Written by: Jamie Ortega
Photos by: Ferdie Arquero, Kris Rocha and Ed Clinton Go
“Like being at Woodstock,” was how several members of the audience described Jason Mraz’s concert at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum last October 30. Indeed, the Big Dome was filled to the rafters with good vibes and a genuine appreciation for the music that was to come as the American singer-songwriter serenaded the audience with his unique and unforgettable acoustic tunes. Accompanied by percussionist Noel “Toca” Rivera, Jason kicked off the show with the tune “She’s The bomb.” Sporting a yellow bandana and statement shirt with the words PEACE emblazoned in front (and looking very much like a hippie), the singer got everyone into the chilled back groove by requesting the audience to clap their hands and give the people next to them a high-five.
He then launched into his second song for the night, “Dynamo Of Volition.” This was followed by a string of songs from his three studio albums such as 2002’s “Waiting for My Rocket to Come,” 2005’s “Mr. A-Z,” and 2008’s “We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things.” Although he admitted that he was used to performing at intimate venues, it sure looked like Mraz got everyone’s attention judging from the heart-shaped figures fans were making with their hands. Several people in the audience were holding up banners with one particular sign reading “We love the Jesus look.” Jason pointed that out in between songs and gamely chuckled onstage.
One of the most applauded numbers was a mash-up medley of his original tune “If It Kills Me” which he interspersed with the Beatle’s “Across The Universe” Astrud Gilberto’s “Fly Me To The Moon,” and Oasis’ “Wonderwall” ending with another original song “The Remedy.” As expected, “You And I” one of his biggest hits which stayed for 76 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart, got everyone on their feet applauding and singing along. Another remarkable number was “Lucky”. Originally a duet with acoustic songstress Colbie Cailat, Jason sung both male and female parts to everyone’s wondrous amazement. Right smack in the middle of the audience was a couple slow-dancing to the music, oblivious to the noise around, proof of the overflowing good vibes imminent from every corner of the venue.
Jason capped the night with the songs “Details In The Fabric” and “Life Is Wonderful” before leaving the stage. After the audience requested for an encore, Jason and Toca returned singing “Butterfly” and “The Freedom Songs.”
Most artists are active in their respective charities, but when a singer mentions it in the middle of his concert you know they mean business. The acoustic singer, who made an appearance at the MTV EXIT live concert the night before, spoke out against human trafficking. “Real men don’t buy girls,’ boldly shared the songwriter. Before leaving the stage Mr.Az (as he is more popularly known to his fans) left a parting message “Keep that love going, applaud everyone in your life.” Judging from the smiles on people’s faces, we’re pretty sure that request wont be hard to follow.
Jason Mraz: Special Acoustic Evening with Toca Rivera was brought to us by Dayly Entertainment, LAMC Productions and Rockstar Touring.