Jason Mraz at the HP Pavilion, San Jose, September 28, 2012: Set List

Welcome to San Jose! This was my second and last show of the tour – no crazy cross-country jaunts this time to see him all over the place. I used my vacation time to go to Scotland and visit a boy instead, which you can’t argue with. Check him out:

Jason started the show by coming out in a San Jose Sharks jersey to introduce Christina Perri. I’m not a big hockey fan (unless it’s college hockey – Go BU!), but the local crowd loved it.

Christina Perri made me laugh again when she introduced a song by talking about how she wrote it when she was 17 and dreaming about someday playing with Jason Mraz. And now she’s touring with him, “So let’s dream up some new dreams, then never never never give up on that dream.”

And then she plays this super angry, depressing song. Yay for hopes and dreams!

Jason’s set started out a bit quiet, and I wonder if that was why so many people were sitting down. Looking around the arena it was like people in other sections were watching a play instead of going to a concert, and energy seemed low. Could be the venue itself, as the design is great for ice hockey, not so great for live music.

1.  The World As I See It
2. Everything Is Sound
3. Remedy (The crowd started to show a little life here)
4-6? Make It Mine, which turned into Live High for about 30 seconds, then Butterfly. (This was a weird part just because it was a medley, which made me think of a Vegas act doing The Songs of Jason Mraz, or like Jason was covering himself. I was also a little surprised he didn’t use Live High to show a picture of Obama like he did four years ago. Maybe he’s feeling less political these days.)

7. Who’s Thinking About You Now?
8. Song for a Friend
9. It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (Yes, the Mr. Rogers song. He introduced it as “The oldest song I know about the environment.”)
10. Lucky
11-12. Clockwatching (Which he started out playing on his own, which is how I like him best.) and that turned into Living in the Moment
13. Plane (I really, really love the way he’s playing it now, from the beat box opening to the way all hell breaks loose as it ramps up, lights and video and everything. It just gets increasingly bizarre and artsy, but fantastic. Also noticed “Starbucks cup” changed to “coffee cup”, so maybe he got tired of giving free endorsements.)
14. You Are Loved? (Don’t think I’ve heard this before. He said it’s a new song he wrote with Mona, and it’s about death. So there was a lot of sitting going on around here as the song was kind of a bummer.)

Next there was a small break as Jason had everyone take a couple of deep breaths together. “Now, at the very least, you can say tonight’s show was breathtaking.” I love that he’s never stopped being goofy.

15. Beautiful Mess

16-18. I’m Yours, with a sing along, and then it turned into Somewhere Over the Rainbow, which turned into Up (Or what I think of as The Gene Wilder Song.)

19. You Fckn Did It with Mona, who really does kick some serious ass. She seems to have 120% the energy of a normal human being, and looks like she’s having the time of her life, every, single, moment.

Then Jason did get a little political asking people to vote Yes on 37 for improved food labeling and thanking California for fighting for marriage equality. Yeah, we’re trying.

20. Frank D Fixer

21. The Hidden Track/I’m Coming Over (Just like he did in Atlanta, this was done in a cozy, acoustic way with the band all gathering around him at the front of the stage. Totally fantastic, but just made me miss the days when he played whole shows like that.)

22. Going Up the Country (A song by the American blues-rock group Canned Heat)

Encore
Remember when Jason used to end a show with All Night Long or a big fun song that made you want to dance and sing? Yeah, this time he talked about being inspired by the puppet show Sifl and Olly and the time they interviewed the planet Mars to ask what happened to it. And Mars told them to just keep doing what we’ve been doing to Earth and we’ll find out. And then he played a “pessimistic song about the likelihood of us doing nothing”:
23. Collapsible Plans (although I think he should call it Burn This Mother Down)

It was actually a pretty rollicking, fun song for being about the slow destruction of our environment.

24. Distance, with Christina Perri (It’s on her album, “Lovestrong”.)
25. 93 Million Miles
26. I Won’t Give Up (I know this is the one all over the radio now, but man, what a dull one to end on.)

Ok, I know this doesn’t all sound like a rave review, but I did enjoy the show. As always, I left the show feeling refreshed, like my soul just had a good scrubbing. It makes me sort of understand why people go to church.

I think that with so much material at his disposal now, you’re never going to get to hear all the songs you want, and I was very lucky when I saw him in Atlanta that he did cover a lot of my favorites, including Tonight, Not Again and Sleeping to Dream. You don’t always get Dynamo or Coyotes or Rand McNally, and that’s ok.

I do really miss Bushwalla though. I think of all the tours in the past 10 years, the one they did together with the Makepeace Brothers is my favorite. It just seemed like they were all having so much fun that they didn’t want to stop playing at the end of the night. The venues were also smaller back then, so the crowd had more densely-packed energy.

Still, I can’t wait to see what Mr. Mraz does next.

Enjoy the midnight serenade,
Lisa

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Jason Mraz at Aaron’s Ampitheater at Lakewood, Atlanta, August 18, 2012: Set List

Pretty good seats.

Wow, has it really been two years since I got creative on this blog? Amazing.

So after not seeing Mr. Mraz for a very long time I made plans to fly from San Francisco to Atlanta to visit a friend and take her to her first Mraz show. We hit massive rain on the way there Saturday night, but the skies cleared up just as we got to the venue, and it turned into a decent night for a show. Still hot and humid by my California standards, but delightful compared to the days before that.

Jason walked out all cool and casual to introduce Christina Perri, and I’ve always liked that about him. He doesn’t need to make a big rock star entrance, he’s just a guy, hanging out, waiting to play. And he likes to say nice things about the friends he plays with.

I only knew Perri from the “Twilight” song, and I didn’t expect to like her, but she rocked a lot harder than I thought she would. Her set was a good time.

Jason and band took the stage around 8:45, and the new lineup still looks weird to me. I miss Eric Hinojosa and Adam King. And it’s weird to see someone other than Toca next to Jason, but then the Grooveline Horns do a great job, and the chick who’s filling Toca’s shoes was pretty bad ass. She had a ton of energy and was really fubn to watch.

The set list:

1. Remedy
2. Living in the Moment
3. Plane (Possibly the best live version I’ve heard him do, or I was just so happy to hear it live I forgot past versions. This one had a beatbox beginning that I really liked.)
4. Be Honest
5. Only Human (In my dream set, he’d swap this out for “Coyotes”, but what can you do?)
6. Lucky
7. Sleeping to Dream (Woo hoo! Old stuff! And as if that wasn’t good enough, he followed it with…)
8. Tonight, Not Again (At this point, almost everyone in front of me sat down because they didn’t know it, which is a shame, because Mraz rocked its socks off. If you want a song with a … climax… this is it.)

Chatting with the audience about what he’s learned about love. “Love is simply… sharing.” Which leads us into

9. Frank D. Fixer
10. The Woman I Love
11. Please Don’t Tell Her
12. A Beautiful Mess
13. 93 Million Miles
14. You Fckn Did It (with Mona, the female Toca)
15. I’m Coming Over/ The Hidden Track (This was done with Jason sitting in a chair and the rest of the band gathered around him, like they were playing in his living room or something. Lovely.)

Jason and friends playing “I’m Coming Over”

Mraz feet.

And then Jason introduces his super band, who tonight are known as “Fellopian Voice”.

Next, someone in the crowd shouts a question at him as he takes a drink between songs. “What’s in the jug?” he repeats. “Tears.”

16. Butterfly
17. Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours
18. I’m Yours (Didja see that coming? Didja?) with the Three Little Birds bit and singalong at the end

Encore:
19. Distance (with Christina Perri – it’s on her album “Lovestrong”)
20. I Won’t Give Up

I was really happy to hear the older songs and thought the night was a good mix of his work. He has such a huge catalog now that you’ll never get to hear everything you want, but this show came pretty close.

You are A.W.E.S.O.M.E.,
Lisa


Time to Get Out the Jason Mraz Holiday Video

I’ve been completely MIA on this blog this year, but come Christmas time, I get all nostalgic for the holiday video Jason made for us a couple of years ago.

In case you missed it the last two holidays, or even if you watched it a couple dozen times last December, please take a moment to enjoy Jason’s holiday message. It’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen him do. And that’s saying something.

mraz_holiday

Put your balls into it,

Lisa

P.S. – It’s not quite as good as closed captioning, but if you want to have a sing along with friends, here are the words/lyrics to Jason’s Merry Holidays video/song.

Hi, and merry, jolly times. I’m Jason Mraz.

You know, as an international traveler, I have a really special opportunity to give unique gifts this season.

For instance, for my elderly acquaintances, I give the gift of life, by paying for their medication, cheaply, in foreign countries.

My sister’s going to love these Ritz-Carlton towels, and slippers.

Mom loves lotion and soaps.

For dad, it’s another year’s subscription to Sky Mall.

For my brother, I just got myself this new iPod. Why don’t you join me in the singing of this timeless Christmas classic?

Happy Christmas time

Happy Christ-mas time

What an awesome time of year

To celebrate Christmas cheer

Wherever you go

You may find lots of snow

Unless you’re livin’ in the southern hemisphere

Merry holidays

Merry cou-ple of days

What a wintery way to say

I’m not workin’

It’s a time for you to be you

And a time to go and see how grandma’s doin’

And maybe she’ll have some money too

And oh yeah, the presents!

The way they overflow

from the belly of the Christmas tree

And oh ho ho ho ho, here comes Santa

To say the very best things in life

You can have for free

Everybody, put your balls into it!

Merry holidays

Merry couple of days

Make it a Nat-King-Bing-Crosby-Charles-Dickensy kind of thing

So whatever you’re planning on giving this holiday season, give from the heart. But most importantly, make sure you have a merry couple of days.


Jason Mraz: Life Is Good Set List and Review

OK GO rocks the bells.

Hello Mrazonites. I just got back to Boston from the Life is Good festival in Canton, MA (which should have been called the Life is Dusty festival based on the five pounds of dirt I brought back on my clothes and shoes).

My friends and I started the afternoon with OK GO on the second stage. I didn’t know much about them, other than that they were the treadmill guys, but they put on a really energetic show and completely won me over. I’m downloading their stuff on iTunes right now.

After that there was some time to kill, and since we didn’t know that Mraz was hanging out in the kids tent, we walked around until it was time for Guster.

How can life not be good when you're wearing a balloon dress or hat?

I’ve seen Guster perform once before, in the Tower Records that used to be on Newbury Street. I thought of them as a college band, mostly because I was in college when I saw them 12 or so years ago, so it’s great to see that they’re still making music, and the local crowd clealy adores them. I always love “The Airport Song”.

It was very chilly and a few drops of rain fell, but in the end the weather held out for us and nobody on stage had to worry about being electrocuted.

And speaking of the people on stage, where was Toca? I think the last time I saw Jason without Toca was the Curbside Prophets tour. Maybe he’s still on summer vacation. It’s just a little strange to see Jason play without any of his original band of merrymakers.

Here’s a quick rundown of Mraz’ set:

1. Dynamo of Volition
2. NEW SONG – “Freedom”, written after Hurricane Katrina by Luc & the Lovingtons. Jason said that he performs it to honor the people of New Orleans.
3. Make It Mine
4. Anything You Want/Love Love Love (That’s what I’ve been calling this one and no one has corrected me so far)
5. Coyotes

Jason Mraz lights up the Life is Good main stage.

– Small break while Jason eats cantaloupe and throws it into the audience where a guy catches it in his mouth. –
6. NEW SONG – Mother’s Out There (I think this is what Jason called it. It’s a song he wrote with Brett Dennen, who performed earlier in the day.)
7. Live High
8. NEW SONG – Life is Good (Again, I’m guessing at a title here. It could also be “The Thank You Song” based on the lyrics. It was beautiful, and every geek can relate.)
9. NEW SONG – I want to call this one “Gene Wilder” because Jason sings about him and the glass elevator, but it might also be “Going Up”.
10. Remedy (the reggae version he performed during the WSWDWST tour)
11. San Disco Reggaefornia (with dancers Joe the cantaloupe-catching guy and Katie from the audience)
12. Butterfly

Encore:
13. Lucky (with the ladies in the audience singing Colbie’s part and Jason singing the last verse in Spanish)
14. I’m Yours
15. All You Need is Love (yes, the Beatles song, but with more of a disco vibe) with some of the earlier acts joining him on stage

All in all a fun but dirty, dirty day. I don’t think I’m a festival girl. I think I’m a reserved seat girl. Still, it’s been at least a year since I saw Mraz, I think, so it was great to have a chance to see him live this year, and to get so much new material. For that, I am grateful.

Life is good,
Lisa


Back in Boston, Ready for Some Mraz Magic

Yeah, I haven’t blogged in a few months. We all need a break now and then.

I’m in Boston now, visiting friends, and while I don’t need a reason to visit the people I love other than wanting to see them, there is a tiny reason that I’m here this particular weekend: Life is Good.

Jason Mraz is playing the Life is Good festival on Sunday, and once that was announced a group of us decided it would be a great time to get together. That’s Mraz for you, bringing people together across great distances and time and space and… boy, those drinks I had earlier really aren’t wearing off.

Anyway, I’ll have a full report for you after the show.

He’s the reason that I’m laughing,
Lisa


Jason Mraz, Stripped Down in a Hallway

This headline is another good example of the importance of the comma. Much like “Let’s eat, Grandma”, without the comma you might get the wrong idea. You might think that Jason Mraz took all his clothes off in a hallway.

And would I report something so tawdry? Of course I would, but I’d punctuate it with an exclamation mark. (!)

So there’s a new contest to win one of Jason’s guitars, and that’s all well and good, but the accompanying video of him playing the guitar is freaking incredible. It’s Mraz the way I love him best – on his own.

Yes, Toca is awesome and the Grooveline Horns are groovy in their own way, but my favorite performances have always been the ones where it’s just Jason and his guitar alone on stage. Listen to “Selections for Friends” and then tell me if you disagree. You’re certainly welcome to.

This video has the added benefit of being shot in a hallway at NAMM (the National Association of Music Merchant trade show dealie), so there isn’t even an audience to get in the way, shout obnoxious things or stick their iPhones in your face.

This song sounds familiar but I can’t place it. If you know what it is, please let me know.

Torture and tease me,
Lisa


Mraz Fans in Scotland?

Hi all. I’m trying to plan a trip for later this year and I think I’ve decided to do Scotland next. I’d love some recommendations on places I absolutely have to see from the people who live there.

Ideally, I’d like to go in July so I could attend T in the Park (Paolo¬† Nutini!), but I haven’t set any dates yet.

Speaking of Jason Mraz and T in the Park, here’s an interview he did there in 2009. He’s telling the story of Rand McNally, which I don’t think I’ve ever heard before. Check it out:

“I just kinda wanna be surrounded by women.” Nice.

Anyway, if you can help me out with my trip planning, please leave a note. Thanks!

Lisa