T-minus-4 days to Mraz!!!!

13 Aug



The level of excitement in my little person is approaching explosive amounts. I’M GOING TO SEE JASON MRAZ ON TUESDAY!

The last time I saw my very favorite of favorite artists, it was my final semester of college, right before graduation. My roomie, a friend and I went to Case Western to join the reletively teeny throngs of fans in one of the university’s gyms to scream for the Mraz. We pushed our way to the front. Jason tossed a guitar pic out, and one of the guards picked it up and held it out right in front of my face. Some whore to my right snatched it out of his hand before I could break out of my “OMG, I’m getting something Jason Mraz used!!” trance to take what was rightfully mine.

But that’s OK, because Toca waved to me at one point, and he threw his head back and laughed when I looked at him, surprised, and tentatively wiggled my fingers back, because why on earth would he be waving to me? (The fact that I sang every word of every song at the top of my lungs had nothing to do with it, I’m sure.)

I recently passed on some of my Mraz CDs to a friend who just doesn’t get it. I understand the confusion. How many white guys with guitars do there need to be? Why is he so special? Well, let me tell you, if I may:

1) The voice. It’s strong, powerful and simply beautiful. He can belt it out like the fat lady at church or scale it back to a whisper that makes my knees wobble. It’s pure and, dare I say?, angelic.

2) The lyrics. He has a song called “Wordplay” on “Mr. A-Z,” and it’s a perfect way to describe him. I mean, look at the title of that ablum — it’s his last name. One bit of wordplay that always makes me giggle, no matter how many times I sing along, is off “Clockwatching,” also on “Mr. A-Z”:

“I’m using my right brain, and I’m prayin’ that we don’t crash. Who knew I’d come so fast? So what if a two-pump chump can’t last? But I made it to three, and I foreclosed your five-minute fantasy. I’m sure it’s like makin’ love on economy.”

Yes, I’m a 14-year-old boy; leave me alone.

And, of course, there’s the oh-so tender lyrics. One of my top three favorite love songs of all time is “After an Afternoon.” Utterly beautiful. (By the way, if he ever did that to me, I would shake and cry and explode in a big ball of happy. And look how cool she stays!!)

“And there’s something in the way you laugh, and it makes me feel like a child. Aspects of life they confuse me. You and your thesis amuse me after an afternoon with you … Face to palm, tear to tear and mouth to tongue, heart to ground, heart to ground. Say, ‘I am in love.'”

Simple, beautiful and perfect.

3) That live’ness. Jason in a studio is good. Jason live? Holy God. I’m not a fan of concerts where the musician sticks to the recorded material; if I wanted to hear “Butterfly” just like he did it on “We Dance. We Sing. We Steal Things.,” then I’d listen to “We Dance. We Single. We Steal Things.” Give me some ad lib. Throw in more guitar. Skat. Work with your band. Go off and go crazy. He does this.

Well, he did this at my last two Jason concerts. Please, Mr. A-Z, do it again?

I leave you with the first Mraz song I ever heard, the one that got me hooked, and this, below, my favorite song from my favorite album. I dare you not to dance.


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