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Concert Review: Jason Mraz & Raining Jane at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre

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DH Vancouver Staff Oct 24, 2014 8:45 am

Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter Jason Mraz brought a new kind of concert to Vancouver’s Queen Elizabeth Theatre on Thursday night, showing adoring fans his glowing and humorous personality, while delivering a solid acoustic set with Raining Jane.

On a theatre tour for his latest release, “YES!”, it made sense for Mraz to tour with the female four-piece who collaborated with him on the album. The show began with Raining Jane, showcasing their talent for a few tracks, before drummer/percussionist Mona Tavakoli began telling the story of how they met Mraz in 2006. The chatting and storytelling between songs continued throughout the evening. Speaking to a seated, silent crowd, Tavakoli soon introduced Mraz- who performed with them from then on.

Opening their set together, Mraz and Raining Jane performed “Lucky”, a single originally from his 2008 hit album “We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things.” But “Lucky” was soon blended with Spandau Ballet’s 80’s hit “True”, and Mraz even threw in a couple of lines from Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy The Silence”- and looking at the age range in the theatre that night, most of the audience would definitely recognize these tracks.

After a strong opener, as latecomers ran down the aisles to be seated, Mraz joked, “For those of you who just sat down, this is the end of our show, thank you.” Laughter filled the theatre, as the band covered yet another classic 80’s song, “Sweet Dream” by Eurythmics. The strong opening set also included “The Dynamo of Volition”, which sounded quite different in acoustic setting with Raining Jane. As Mraz sand the lyrics, he jokingly changed up the words to the audience’s surprise, “I have no idea what this song is about and I can tell by the look on your faces you have your doubts.” The fans were loving it.

The show felt intimate, and personal, with a hint of a comedy show. “Why are bumper stickers so short by the way?” Mraz asked at one point. “Bumpers are huge.” Being an acoustic show, Mraz and Raining Jane gathered around one microphone for a few songs, and gave some beautifully arranged performances of some tracks from “YES!” along with older songs such as “Make It Mine.”

Although the crowd remained quietly seated the entire time, there was plenty of audience interaction and applause. Many “I love you’s” were heard throughout the night from the crowd. At one point, it was so quiet in the theatre, that the footsteps of the crew on the stage could be heard.

Several backdrops were used during the show, including one of Mraz’s own garden, which was used during “Back to the Earth.” He spoke of growing his own vegetables, and asked Vancouverites to support the local organic farms. An outspoken Environmentalist and Vegan, Mraz also shared images and footage from his trip to Antarctica during a climate summit. Images of penguins left the crowd awing while he performed, with the video montage of his trip continued to play in the background.

The set, which included almost twenty tracks, included what Mraz called an “Inner-mission”, or an intermission for about twenty minutes. The five piece returned on stage for their sort-of encore to perform Love Someone- the first single from “YES!”. Rapper Bushwalla, a known best friend to Mraz, made a beatboxing appearance. As the evening approached its end, Mraz began playing a ukulele, and the crowd cheered loudly, as he sang “I’m Yours”- arguably his most popular single.

The beautiful, harmonic, and entertaining setlist ended with “I Won’t Give Up”, after which Mraz and Raining Jane received applause and a stand innovation. For one last laugh, Mraz asked Vancouver to all get in on a group photo, to which the audience happily smiled and cheered. The show, unlike any other Mraz concerts, was a pleasant surprise. And now we know what Mraz’s backyard looks like.

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http://instagram.com/p/uhqDllO7mz/

Amazing concert, amazing human. #jasonmraz @jason_mraz

A post shared by Sarah McGrath (@vangrath) on

wasn't expecting it, but best concert I've been to in a while #jasonmraz

A post shared by LD (@lucas_davies) on

http://instagram.com/p/uhcxCwOJ_V/

Feature Image: Peter So Photography

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DH Vancouver Staff
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