Last Thursday night, November 27th is another insanely aMRAZing night with Mr. A-Z, Jason Mraz. It’s Jason’s seventh concert here in Philippines and just like the other concerts of him I’ve seen, it’s really a wondrous and delightful experience.
In this latest concert Jason bring with him the four girl band, Raining Jane, composed of Mai Bloomfield, Becky Gebhardt, Chaska Potter and Mona Tavakoli. I still remember Mona as the woman who drums to Jason’s guitar last year in Araneta which awe the audience that night. She’s really talented and seeing her again with Jason, together with other three more talented musician is really wonderful.
The concert started with Jason Mraz’s as a voice over introducing Raining Jane for the opening act. The girls played a few songs like “From Me To You” and “Opposite of Blue”. In between songs, Mona tell the audience their story – of how they become part of Jason’s Band. I’m surprised to find out that they actually first met Jason when they performed as an opening act in one of Jason’s concert. It’s the start of their friendship and since then they collaborated and make music together. One of the song they made is Jason’s big hit Beautiful Mess.
“When we saw him, we stopped ourselves from fainting….
“After we performed he was there, smiling big and told us, ‘You guys are good. You’re good,’ and we just fainted.” – Mona
After a few songs from Raining Jane, the girls introduced Jason Mraz which makes the big dome boomed with the audience’s excitement and shouting. Obviously everyone is thrilled to see and hear Jason again. His first song that night is “Life is Wonderful”, my favorite song from Jason’s 2005 album, Mr. A-Z. Just imagine how wonderful I feel when I hear him singing that lovely song live again. After the first song he greeted us “Magandang Gabi” (good evening) and then sing his next songs, “Everywhere” and “Sweet Dynamo”.
Jason in concert mode is really different from what you will here in his recorded album. I feel like everyone must see him performed live at least once in their life. He is talented and very inspiring. He constantly change his song’s line to get more personal with the audience, like when he say “Life is Mabuhay” in his song ‘Life is Wonderful’. He learned some Tagalog/Filipino words which makes the audience more crazy for him, because who doesn’t want hearing your idol conversing to you in your language?
As always, watching Jason Mraz perform live is more than entertaining. He sing, he dance, and played different musical instruments such as Ukelele, piano, and of course his guitars. He even played guitar backward over his head while bouncing/dancing to his music. In between songs he interact with the audience with full enthusiasm and honesty. He tell stories about his travels, his life experiences, his music, and advocacy. There’s one point during the night where Jason show to the us the screen footage of his trip to Antarctica. The video shows him and Mona singing “Bottom of the Sea”, but more than the music video, beautiful Antarctic glaciers, and cute penguins the video actually promote love for mother earth because in that trip Jason learn the realities of climate change.
“In that trip I’ve learned how the world is dramatically changing, it’s what inspired me to plant trees and be a better farmer, to be really responsible for the energy that we consume.”
He also encourage us to support our local farmers while showing photos of his beautiful garden. Seeing those photos and videos makes it easier to connect with him. Like he is telling us that he is one of us and not some celebrity who is surrounded by fame and glory. He is really inspiring. I’m at awe of his humility and his talent. His songs and performance are emotionally honest, soul touching and full of optimism. They inspired, humble and shake me and that for me is more than just artistry.
I don’t know how he do it, but for a big place like Araneta that is full of people, that night feels like intimate. As if he is actually performing in few selected people. He truly gives a stellar performance that night. When he sings “Mr. Curiosity” with the opera rendition the crowd go silent then dramatically applause and sing their praises for him. I’ve already heard him sing the lady part of “Lucky” live in one of his previous concert and I know he can sing the perfect girl note but that is nothing compare with his opera version of Mr. Curiosity. It’s jaw dropping and show stealing.
Just like last year, Jason is full of life on stage. He looks so happy and contended which is somehow contagious. As he and Raining Jane sings songs from their Yes album, some from Jason’s old albums, and few remix the crowd is having the best night of their lives.
The shows end’s with Jason singing “I Won’t Give Us” during the encore while the whole Araneta Coliseum turned into a night sky filled of stars. It’s a breath taking scene seeing how the crowd automatically raised their phone with lights on as their final salute to Jason and Raining Jane memorable performance.
As Jason and Raining Jane take their final bow, he make a promise to everyone in Araneta that night, “Salamat Po. Kita-kits!” (Thank you. See you all!). I’m looking forward watching his next gig in Manila or maybe his other live performance outside the country.