Jason Mraz in Dallas Concert Review
This past Tuesday and Wednesday, September 2nd and 3rd, Jason Mraz and Raining Jane performed at the Winspear Opera House, here, in Dallas. I had the pleasure of going to both concerts. The first day I left thinking how amazing the show was. Magnificent is probably a better word to describe it. Then on Wednesday, I was shocked because the impossible happened. The show was even better.
Both nights, Raining Jane, an all-girl rock/folk band from California, opened the show. We were given just a taste of their songs, as they performed only three. Then, Mona, the drummer and percussionist for Raining Jane, explained how Raining Jane’s relationship with Jason began. Their connection led to co-writing “A Beautiful Mess” with Jason (a song that appears on Jason Mraz’ We Steal. We Dance. We Steal Things. album) which, ended up in co-writing and playing on Jason Mraz’ new album, Yes!, the album that sparked this tour. Jason was introduced next, and then together, they began.
The talent of this group is outstanding. All have amazing vocals that came together for a savory blend. In addition to the blissful harmonies, there were elements of jazz that were displayed through scat as well as some opera singing. Multiple instruments were used throughout the concert. Not only were there guitars, keys, ukulele, and electric bass but also cello, mandolin, xylophone, standing bass, and world instruments such as the cajon, djembe, and sitar. Winspear Opera House was perfectly acoustically suited to deliver their sound.
Then there were the set lists which, are like a fan’s dream. I didn’t know what to expect due to all of the moving parts which made the second show that much more intriguing. Hit singles “I Won’t Give Up” and “I’m Yours” and selection new songs including “3 Things”, “Love Someone”, and “Quiet” were performed both nights but the timing of the appearance was varied. Older songs were played in a new, refurbished state. “Only Human” became more up tempo, was soft rocked out a bit more, and given a soulful breakdown. “A Song For A Friend”, was completed with the addition of a rap. “Life Is Wonderful” included a solo on guitar. “93 Million Miles” was introduced and included the sitar played by Becky, bass guitarist in Raining Jane. “Mr. Curiosity” appeared with the opera style vocal performance.
Not only did the order of the set list change but so did the songs. This gave rise to at least 11 different songs (or partial songs) included the second show. “Unfold” was a surprise to the first show which, metamorphosed into another surprise, “1000 Things” with a “Lovers Rock” (by Sade) cover during the second show. “A Way To Remember Me” made its tour debut in Dallas followed by “Butterfly” both, as a solo ukulele performance in the second show. New song, “A World With You” only stayed for the first night. A visual with fan photos during “Back To The Earth” was absent along with the song the second night.
Variances like these made it possible to hear other things. The second night, Jason discussed his how his charity, the Jason Mraz Foundation, is working with the School of Performing Arts in the Richmond Community who created the LIVE ART program. In LIVE ART, children of all abilities are educated through the use of art. We were then treated to an example of one of the activities in the school, through a blindfolded performance of “Details In The Fabric”.
If that wasn’t enough change, the visual presentations of a couple of songs were different as well. On the first night, “Out of My Hands” was brought to life with a gathering of Jason and Raining Jane in the center of the stage which, didn’t occur during the second night. A fan, Jennifer, was invited to the stage to “drive” with Jason riding shotgun the second night for a hilarious performance of “Long Drive”.
In all, the concert lasted about 2 1/2 hours not including the 15 minute intermission.
I said all of this to basically say, when there is a chance to see them, GO! (They still are in Texas by the way) There is no review, audio from the concert, or even video that can capture the experience you will have by seeing Jason Mraz & Raining Jane live, in concert.
For people wondering about the song changes, these were unique to their night in the show (if I can remember them all):
Day 1- “Back To The Earth”, “A World With You”, “Remedy”, “Unfold”, “A Song For A Friend”, “Hello You Beautiful Thing”, “Everywhere”, “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”, & “A Beautiful Mess”
Day 2- “A Way To Remember Me”, “Butterfly”, “If It Kills Me”, “Details In The Fabric”, “Life Is Wonderful”, “1000 Things” with “Lover’s Rock” (Sade) cover, “Across The Universe” (Beatles) cover, “Mr. Curiosity”, “Rely On Me”, & “The Woman I Love”