Last night was the Jason Mraz concert. It was at Highline Ballroom in Chelsea, way over between ninth and tenth avenues. I got in line around 6:30, and was inside by about 7:45. I almost didn’t get in – I had a printed ticket from the pre-sale, and apparently they had wanted people to just give their names (I always like having a paper copy), so they nearly didn’t let me (and the poor girl I sold the extra ticket to) in. Thankfully for me, I had the credit card I used to purchase it, which they could match to the four numbers (and my name) on the two printouts.
Once inside I was really shocked at how tiny the place was. It probably holds maybe 400 people. There are tables and they serve yummy food – I ate with a couple of girls I met in line before decamping to the main floor. Just that kind of crowd – really friendly, happy people. The show started with a little magic from Justin Kredible who is, as he says, like a magician, but cooler. And he was pretty damned entertaining. He served as host for the evening, as it really was a big show.
First up was The Make Peace Brothers, kind of folk-rock happy guys. They played a quick set, but it was really upbeat, happy, and quite lovely to hear. Plus, they were adorable to watch. After another bit from Justin Kredible, we were treated to Bushwalla. How did I not know about this person already? Seriously, he’s outstanding, and I enjoyed every song he and his group performed. His backing band included Jason Mraz in disguise. It seemed pretty obvious, but I don’t know if everyone picked up on it at first.
Finally, after another Justin Kredible act that was wicked impressive, Jason came on stage. So good! He opened with “Plane”, a great song from Mr. A-Z. I found this video from when my sister and I saw him in Austin.
He played a few of his hits, including “Remedy” and “Geek in the Pink.” Most were songs off of his new album, being released next month. His song “I’m Yours” is so happy, I listen to it when I’m in a bad mood and it calms me right down. The concert was being filmed for the AOL music sessions, so hopefully I’ll get to see it all again soon. There was a great encore with everyone on stage, and then it ended with a big sing-a-long of one of his most beautiful songs – “You and I both.”
In trying to figure out the best way to define the crowd, I would say it was similar to folks I’ve seen at Dark Star Orchestra or other jam-band-type shows, but with a bigger dose of Williamsburg Hipster. Young, happy and just looking for good music and good people. Everyone was really happy and dancing around and just enjoying the show and the people. In fact, here’s my favorite example of the crowd. There were a few douches there, and it’s a tight space, so at one point someone was having trouble getting out of the way of one of the douches. And he said “get the fuck out of my way.” At a ‘normal’ NYC event the girl would have turned around and read him the riot act. Instead, she just turned around, smiled and kind of shook her finger at him to say “c’mon, man, we’re all just here to have fun and love and enjoy the show.” It shut him right up.