It’s been a while, I know… but hey, as some would say, “Shit got real“, you know? And, unfortunately, blogging has had to take a second seat lately. Hopefully, this won’t be the case for too much longer… but for the next week, at least, things will continue to be pretty quiet around here.
That said, I had to make an exception and put up a quick post today to let you know that last night, I managed to catch a cracking set from Jason Mraz, live at the Tivoli in Brisbane.
Those of you who have read this blog for a while will recall that this is the 2nd time this year that I’ve seen Jason play at the Tiv… see my past post here: Mr A to the Z and Friends… at the Tivoli.
This show was slightly different, in that instead of just being Jason, Toca, Ian and Mike, this tour saw Jason Mraz bring his his entire band with him; including the three-piece horn section (the Grooveline Horns), which I was greatly excited about.
The night was opened by Melanie Horsnell. Now, I have to admit, I haven’t heard Melanie play before, but I was really impressed with her set. She has this really vulnerable, emotive voice, that sucks you right in.
Melanie Horsnell, live at the Tivoli
(Side note: yes, that was taken with my now-legendary crappy phone camera. The good news is, I managed to get some better quality pics from my wonderful sister, so those following in this post are hers. Ignore the date and time-stamps on her pics though… those are incorrect on her camera)
Melanie played a great set, and was well-received by the crowd. Her new album, “Complicated Sweetheart”, will be available from September 6, and it just might be one that I check out. If you’re after folk blended with 60s pop, then you probably should too.
At around 9.30, Jason Mraz took the Tivoli stage, and the excitement was palpable… not least of which from my sister (hi Cara!), who hadn’t seen Jason perform live before.
There was definitely a party mood in the Tiv last night; so, in contrast to the last time I saw Jason play – which included many of his slower numbers – last night was almost solely made up of upbeat, party numbers… and the crowd responded in kind.
The Tivoli, packed to the rafters to see Jason Mraz perform live.
Jason Mraz, with the full band in tow, came out and opened the set with the prerequisite “Remedy“, and the crowd absolutely exploded. Combining “The Remedy” with a medley of “Wonderwall“, the crowd was jiving from the get-go. Quickly following on from that opening number, the band launched directly into “Make It Mine“, the opening track from Jason’s “We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things” album – the album they were promoting on this tour – and I’ve got to say… although I’ve been undecided about this song in the past, seeing it live absolutely put those concerns to bed for me… it was a killer tune, that really loosened up the crowd.
Following on from “Make It Mine“, Jason kept the energy high will the tune, “Live High“; one of my favourite tracks off the new album, and one that I highlighted back in this past post: “Mr A – Z… yes I’m excited“. I’d highly suggest that you check that post out, if only for the killer La Blogotheque video of Jason performing “Live High” live.
After “Live High“, it was time for “Only Human“… and it was particularly during this track that it him me again (as it always does, when I watch Jason live)… the guy has one of the most powerful live voices that I’ve ever heard. It can be soft, tender, or hard-hitting… but whatever it is, it never loses that purity and clarity that Jason is so well known for.
Also – and anyone who was there last night, feel free to correct me if I’m wrong here… because I did kind of “bliss out” on the music at points, and I might have this wrong here – but at one point, the Grooveline Horns came out into the crowd, under the cover of darkness, and I think it was during “Only Human”. Suddenly, the spotlights came on, and there were the three of them, spread out around the Tivoli, amongst the crowd… and I can’t tell you what a great moment it was. As with most Jason Mraz shows… it really made you feel a part of the action; as if this was a collaborative effort, where everyone was involved.
Grooveline Horns in the crowd
After “Only Human”, the rest of the band headed off the stage, and Jason and Toca did a stripped-down version of “A Beautiful Mess“… and it was simply beautiful. Melanie then was called back on stage, for Jason and her to perform”Lucky“… and she excelled herself as a makeshift Colbie Callait.
Jason and Melanie perform “Lucky”
Following on from that, things were picked right back up with “If It Kills Me“, which had all the couples in front of us swooning and swaying with much love… Jason would have been proud.
After that, the band performed a birthday jam for all of those celebrating birthdays that night. It might be 2 weeks early, but Happy Birthday Cara!
The crowd was again called on to participate, with orchestrated dancing during the “impossible-not-to-groove-to” tune, “The Dynamo of Volition”. Seeing everyone putting their hands up, and giving high-fives and high-tens in unison… it was a great moment, and one that you would be hard-pressed to find at many other gigs apart from a Mraz night. As Jason said:
“Don’t let your mind stop you from having fun.You know, you might have been at home, trying to figure out what to wear tonight. If you’re a girl, you might have tried on five pairs of shoes. And you come here, thinking you’re going to tear it up! But as soon as you walk in suddenly you think… be cool.
Don’t. Don’t let your mind tell you what to do. Just have fun, in the now. Don’t worry about what other people think. Besides, it’s dark, you don’t even know these other people. So I want to see those hands in the air!”
And everyone certainly responded… the place was, as one… heaving. And it was awesome.
The crowd at the Tivoli, waving theirhands in the air like they just didn’t care.
Following on from that, the band launched into the song which probably recieved the loudest roar of the night, “I’m Yours“. Again, love was flowing in the Tiv last night, that was for sure. Mraz and Co. then segued directly into the Bob Marley classic, “Three Little Birds“, and then finally ended off the set with the cracking tune, “Butterfly“.
Except, of course, that wasn’t the end. If I was slightly disappointed by the lack of older material during the show, the obligatory encore more than compensated in that department. Opening the encore with the opening track from the “Mr. A-Z” album, “Life is Wonderful“, this could perhaps have been my favourite performance of the night… which is strange, as it’s by far my favourite tune from Jason’s albums.
Following in the “older tunes” vein, the band then launched into “No Stopping Us“, from the “Waiting for My Rocket to Come” album.
And the song to close the entire night? What else? What could be more perfect than “Geek In The Pink“… nothing, that’s what.
And that sums up what the entire night was. Perfection.
Thanks again to Jason Mraz and his Superband for allowing us to be a part of it.
Listen: Jason Mraz – Geek In The Pink