In the past 10 years, Jason Mraz has visited the Philippines and performed in concerts, both his own and in local music festivals in the country, in more than just one occasion. Sometimes I think he’s like David Pomeranz, because he keeps coming back.. probably because he loves the Philippine audience, and we feel the same way.
I’ve lost count in keeping up w/ the exact number of times he’s been here, but I am pretty sure the count is past 5 already. Just last year he was here. And the year before that, he was here with Toca Rivera. I wanted to watch that show, but the planets just didn’t align that time. I bet it would’ve been a fantastic show too. The earliest I remember would be the appearance he made at the first ever MTV Exit event at the Mall of Asia back in 2009. He’s visited couple of times prior to that, too.
Fast forward to the present: Fortunately for me, Jason Mraz came back to the country just last week and the best part is.. this post won’t be me regretting not going again, because I actually got to go and watch. Finally! It was a last minute thing — as with every event I find myself going to these days — but we were lucky to have scored really good seats as well. 😊
I may be biased, and I probably am, but I think this is his best in all of the Manila shows yet. I was expecting a mellowed down set like the one w/ Toca, but since he brought the lovely women of Raining Jane this time, it was a lot more fun. Certainly, I got way way more than I came there for.
Fun, very entertaining, and spectacular would be the three words I would associate with this show.
I would consider myself an occasional listener of Jason Mraz’s music, and a complete newbie to Raining Jane’s. I had no expectations at all about the show. In the end, seeing them together was a very very good treat, and left me with wanting to dig deeper through their discographies after the show.
It’s Raining Jane
I have never heard of the band until I saw them that night opening up for the show and playing w/ Jason. It turns out that these girls go way back w/ him and they’ve been making music for a very long time. I dig their sound as well. Folk-indie is their sound, is it? (I’m forever bad at labeling music and genres haha)
Raining Jane are Mai Bloomfield, Mona Tavakoli, Chaska Potter, and Becky Gebhardt
I didn’t take note of all the songs they played, but one stood out which is Browntown. It appealed to me because of the use of the Sitar instrument in it. Listen to it here. Let me get back to you about their music. As soon as I get a hold of it, I will write about it! 😛
More than just the usual concert
They knew how to keep us hooked, interested and entertained throughout the 3 hours. Imagine that, the show went on for 3 hours! To think this wasn’t even one of those flashy over the top produced concerts. It was advertised as an acoustic evening of sorts (omit “of sorts”, that wasn’t part of the promo material haha) so I thought we would be listening to them performing with no interaction w/ the audience for the next ONE hour.
Clearly I have NEVER been to any Mraz show. It is NOT like any other. I may have been far from the stage to be reached by him at a considerable proximity but I felt the joke sa threw out to the audience, the banter was entertaining everytime. He pulled off jokes from his hat with much gusto and all of it sounded genuine and not forced. I loved those impromptu moments throughout the concert where he would make playful banter w/ Raining Jane, or with the audience. This gave me the impression that he’s generally a nice, jolly person who’s easy to get along with. I hope I’m right? Hahaha.
Talking about how they sound live.. ah, no problems at all. It was mostly an acoustic show so we all got to hear the singing chops in the raw. If an artist sounds even way better live, even with just his guitar, then he’s just really that talented and good in my book.
“I write songs about optimism, positivity..”
Jason Mraz said something along those lines during the show. It may be one of the reasons why he clicks so well with the Philippine audience. Y’know us, we love anything that’s positive and happy. Lol! 😛 He did admit that there are times that he’s written sad songs, but stressing out that he doesn’t dwell so much on it after. #SayYes to positivity, indeed!
93 Million Miles
I did not pay much attention to the usual songs that I thought he might be playing in the concert such as Lucky, and I Won’t Give Up.. though I was hoping a bit to hear personal favorites such as Bella Luna and Clockwatching.
Although the coliseum looked awesome during the performance of I Won’t Give Up: People lit up the LED lights (whether its from the phone or their own light sticks) and the whole place resembled a night sky. Just lovely. Didn’t take a photo (surely somebody has shot a photo of that moment!). However, I have this photo of them after the song.
A song that I just found out about during that concert and absolutely love.. and now holds dear to me because I heard it first live would be 93 Million Miles. Not a rare song in Jason Mraz concerts, apparently, but the best one I’ve heard so far (after watching different versions of it online). Alright, I also remembered this because Raining Jane played Browntown first as its prelude. 😛
Mona is the percussionist of Raining Jane and she, for the lack of a better word at the moment bec I am typing this at 3AM, AWESOME. She stole the show, in a good way, and I was completely blown by her presence and skills. Really talented lady, just by the look of all the instruments she played in the show. I took some photos of her, and I’m happy she looked fierce in most of it. I think she loves to look fierce in photos. Love her hair too.
“Salamat Po!” – Jason Mraz
No, Jason, thank YOU. Thank you for returning to the Philippines every time you can. On a different note, thank you too for bringing Raining Jane and introducing us to them. Back to my thought at the beginning of this post: I think you really are the next David P. in line.. Incubus comes second, in my opinion. Lol.
And that wraps up my evening w/ the Janes of Raining Jane and Mr. A-Z himself, first time in the flesh. I had fun and I hope it won’t be the first and last show of his that I watch. Thanks to a friend who invited me over to come watch with her. 😊
This is also my last concert for this year, I think. What a good year 2014 has been! Though I have been to lesser shows this year than the last. Still, I’d like to think I made good choices with the concerts I chose to go to. I hope I get to meet them next time they’re here. Love meeting musicians who put up a great show!