Jason Mraz: You Are Loved, November 15th 2011

He sings with so much heart and soul, he scats effortlessly, he plays the guitar like a boss (especially considering he is self-taught!), he writes his own songs, he raps like a pro and even sings opera – is there anything Jason Mraz can’t do?

About 3 weeks ago, I attended his concert – or more appropriately called, his “acoustic evening” – at the Civic and that was easily the BEST thing I did all year.

I have been a fan for a long time (from the beginning), and I had been hoping and waiting for YEARS for him to come this way for a gig.  I was beyond ecstatic when I found out he was coming; I purchased my tickets TWO MONTHS prior on day one of the fan pre-sale – which resulted in (I thought) the best seats in the house 🙂  Not only was I mere feet away from the stage but I was clever and lucky enough to have picked seats that were right smack bang in front of the mic!

I have watched some of his performances online but nothing could honestly prepare me for what I was about to experience on the night.  He is already ‘aMRAZing’ as a recording artist but he is absolutely phenomenal live.  Completely different energy and his voice almost takes on a whole different persona.  One of his trademarks is that he is very improvisational with his performance; he has said many a time in interviews that he rarely performs the same song the same way more than once.  And this is so true.  Even though many of the songs were tracks I had heard a million times, it was like I was listening to them for the first time.

From start to finish, I was completely mesmerized.  What made the experience that much better was how he engaged with the crowd – he is very charming in real life!  He had some really funny stories to tell but also heartfelt words of inspiration to share.  I also loved all the audience participation bits – quite an integral part to the overall evening.  He has said in an interview that when he performs live it’s not about people coming to stare at him for 2 hours but it’s about everyone coming together to enjoy the music and participating in the experience.  To me, that speaks a lot about him as an artist and really just makes me love and respect him even more!  I think it is this perspective that he has that explains why he also incorporates other singer’s songs in his performance which I think is so refreshing.

I definitely, totally fell in love with him even more after watching him live ❤  The only thing I wished was that he wasn’t sporting the long hair and was wearing his trademark fedora!  He’s still incredibly cute though, and just such a down-to-earth and genuine person.

I have been listening to his music non-stop since then and watching countless videos of his other live performances all over the world and I just cannot get enough of him!!  He truly has a remarkable gift – he has such a beautiful character and tone to his voice and I think what’s even more appealing than that is just the way his songs tell a story.  He is such a fantastic lyricist; the way he expresses himself through song is a breath of fresh air – he is so clever and sometimes whimsical with his words.  His songs are all full of meaning, heart and soul and even though he is singing to a crowd of hundreds or thousands he has this uncanny, amazing ability to perform as if he was singing to only you.  And I have to say he has some crazy breathing skills; how he gets out so many words in one breath (and so succintly too!) is beyond me.

I must also mention the extremely talented Toca Rivera, Jason’s percussionist/right-hand-man who is a star in his own right, in my opinion.  His vocals perfectly complement Jason’s and don’t get me started on how he works his magic with all the percussion instruments he has at his disposal!  During the few times I wasn’t so busy staring at Jason, I was completely sucked in to Toca in action.

I didn’t record any videos myself because I just wanted to fully enjoy the evening without getting distracted, but thanks to Youtube there are quite a number out there and I’m going to share some of them here – because I don’t think my words can really justify how amazing he is!  There were, of course, SO MANY to choose from – I knew I couldn’t put them all here so I’ve picked the better quality ones and (hopefully) a good mix of tunes.  If these whet your Mraz appetite then go check out the other performances on Youtube, they’re not difficult to find.

In this one he talks about why he says “water” the way he does, hehe – he’s so adorable ❤

*Thanks to sienetta for the video

When this happened, I pretty much died of jealousy right there and then – no doubt every girl in the crowd was completely jealous of Esther!  Even now after the fact, every time I watch this video I get so sick to my stomach with jealousy!  I hope I am fortunate enough to get to sing a duet with him one day…a girl can hope!

*Thanks to j9broom for the video

This song leaves me so gobsmacked each time.  His range is mind-blowing – not only can he go really low but to be able to go operatic as he does here is just incredible. I also love the words behind the song too – one of my faves, in terms of the lyrics.

(Whoever keeps laughing in the background is really irritating though!)

*Thanks to sienetta for the video

Some of you may have heard this song on the radio – apart from his “hit singles” this would be another familiar song to the non-Mraz-fan ear because he won a Grammy for this song a couple of years back.  I think it has a very interesting beat to it, always makes me feel happy when I listen to it!

*Thanks to TheFletcherStewart for the video

This is one of my fave up-tempo tracks from him – I can’t get over how dirty the song is though, LOL.  I love the scatting he does in this performance, and the guitar lick at the beginning is freaking wicked!!

*Thanks to GriefHammer for the video

A new track which I hope will make it onto his next album!!  I love the guitar riff in this track and the harmonies between him and Toca are beautiful!  The lyrics are really interesting too if you listen closely.

*Thanks to sienetta for the video

And finally, I will leave you with the song he is best known for, with a little bit extra at the end!

*Thanks to kangta164 for the video

Thank you, Jason Mraz, for coming to New Zealand.  You changed my life that night – something you said near the end really spoke to me and changed my entire perspective on life.  So thank you!!  I can only hope I will be fortunate enough to watch you perform live again.

YOU ARE LOVED, JASON ❤

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