Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Jason Mraz in Hawaii: It couldn't have been better
Though it was an abbreviated performance of his completed Asian tour leg, Jason Mraz's show in Honolulu last weekend was undoubtedly wonderful.
It was packed at the Waikiki Shell, an amphitheater located on one end of the city's busiest district and the Aloha State's largest tourist area. The weather that day was super hot, producing a beautiful warm night with the slightest of breezes. The Pacific Ocean is a five-minute walk from 'the Shell'.
Mraz played a mellow, and sometimes jumpy, set that included "Bella Luna", "Lucky", "Only Human", "The Remedy (I Won't Worry)", "The Freedom Song", "Frank D. Fixer", and "You and I Both". The best song was probably "Living in the Moment", and if you haven't heard it live yet you need to.
A vast portion of the show was taped for an E! series called "Opening Act", in which big name artists choose an unknown supporting act to open one of their concerts. Mraz chose a singer named Jono (if we're spelling that correctly), who hails from Colorado. Jono performed two songs twice before the headlining act went on stage, and then joined Mraz for two numbers during his set.
With bushy hair, that he apologized for, and an untrimmed beard Mraz could've easily been mistaken for a beach bum. But he's still in great shape, and his voice has really matured - it's soulful with a wider range.
Many fans in the audience excitedly shouted out "I love you" and other greetings throughout the concert, which actually clocked in at around two hours. At one point, Mraz told everyone to extend their enthusiasm to people they might come across in their daily lives, "like that barista who makes you a dynamite latte".
The first half of Mraz's performance was a little on the tranquil side, yet the second half was livelier as he asked fans to sing along to "I'm Yours" and interacted a bit more with the audience. He had a full band with him, including a three-piece brass section and a side vocalist/violinist.
There were times when the cameramen running around for E! created a distraction. From where I was seated, in the row directly behind Jono's family, it got annoying.
Seattle Gay News didn't get a chance to meet up with Jason Mraz in Honolulu, as he was mostly occupied in his few days there recording snippets for the TV show. But we did connect with members of his management team, who assured us that he's looking forward to his upcoming North American tour that begins next month (contrary to what we said earlier that the Hawaii show was the kickoff date, our apologies).
Mraz will play The Gorge Amphitheatre on September 22, and Seattle Gay News is hoping to cover the concert. We'll do our best to connect with Mraz before the show, if he's available. Read a full review of the Honolulu performance in Friday's issue (July 6) in the SGN. And to the Jason Mraz fans who strolled into Hula's gay bar after the show, it was great meeting you!
* Our apologies for the bad photo, we're still getting used to our iPhone camera.