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Review and photos by Frances SealyJason Mraz and his Superband began their June mini-tour with a sold out, 2,500 person crowd. Jason and the band delivered a two and a half hour show of Jason Mraz magic. In turn, the crowd swooned through the same charm.
Jason started the show performing three acoustic songs. He is the master of performing solo. Jason promised the screeming fans a lot of chords, a lot of words and some dance moves. He seemed to be hoping to remember them all. He was joking as he said, "You need to change the abbreviation for Arizona from from AZ to AC." (The high temperature in Tucson on this day was 106 degrees).
The energy totally changed when his "Superband" took the stage. The show quickly turned into a high-octane fest. The musicians were a combination of the four female members of the band, Raining Jane, and Jason's longtime basic touring band. Raining Jane consists of: Mai Bloomfield on guitar, cello, and vocals; Chaska Potter on guitar, mandolin, vox, and vocals; Mona Tavakoll on percussion, drums, and vocals; Becky Gebhardt on bass, guitar, and sitar. Add Toca Rivera on percussion, Andre Santana on bass, Eric Hinojosa on keyboards, and Michael Leroy Bram on drums and you've got one of the best touring bands this summer. They were all at the top of their game.
Mr. Mraz mentioned that he has been writing songs with Raining Jane for 10 years. The first song that they wrote together was "Beautiful Mess." The chemistry as well as the talent exhibited between Mraz and all of the musicians was impeccable. Seeing and hearing Becky's sitar during the set was refreshing and a rare sight these days. Toca and Mona's energy throughout the set was relentless a shot of adrenaline in all the right spots. Leroy was a kick to watch on drums.
One of the highlights was Jason's clever song, "Chocolate," that was about his solution for his lady's "PMS" cycles. There was plenty of clever lines that seemed to have some truth buried in the lyrics.
Jason Mraz's music rolls between pop, reggae, rap, jazz and occasional blues. His shows are light and fun. That may be the reason for his success among fans from seven to seventy years old. At the end of the set, Jason asked the crowd to take some deep breaths and they complied. Finally he said, "If anyone asks, you can tell them, the show was breath-taking."
1. Let's See What The Night Can Do
2. You and I Both
3. Tonight, Not Again
4. The Remedy
5. Work in Progress
6. Make It Mine
8. I Take the Music
10. A Beautiful Mess
11. The Woman I Love
13. Browntown (Raining Jane cover)
15. Might As Well Dance
16. I'm Yours
17. Long Drive
19. 3 Things
20. Love Someone
21. 93 Million Miles
22. I Won't Give Up
23. Love Is Still the Answer
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