An Experience: Jason Mraz & Raining Jane in Manila

My excitement from Jason’s concert here in Manila has yet to diminish and I’ll always remember it as the highlight of this year. As I’ve said countless times, I swore that his concert would be my first. I swore true.

Jason Mraz in Manila

From the time I bought those tickets until the moment I saw him walk up to that microphone on stage, I was holding my breath.

Third Time’s a Charm

I cannot count how many times Jason Mraz has been to the Philippines whether to perform shows or to promote his advocacy. What I am sure of is the many times I’ve tried to attend his concert.

The First Time… was the latter part of 2011. Simply put, I wanted to go, so0o0o wanted to go, but I stopped myself because I was reviewing and had to focus for the bar exams. The concert and the bar exams were just a month a part so I had to painfully let go.

The Second Time… was May 14, 2013. I remember clearly because I had bought the tickets–VIP tickets–but had to beg someone to buy them from me the night before the concert. I was in the hospital for four days already before the concert and was yet to recuperate. I tried my best to negotiate my way out of confinement, but then it wouldn’t do me any good to collapsed in the middle of the concert. So again, I had to let it go.

The Third Time… this time, I made sure. I bought the tickets, took care of a little problem with the online confirmation, carefully thought out my meals and took care of my health on the days leading up to 27-Nov-2014. From the time I bought those tickets until the moment I heard his voice on stage and later saw him walking up to that microphone, I was holding my breath.

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It felt like I stepped into a whole new different reality altogether.

Yes!

The moment I heard his voice as he introduced Raining Jane, everything exploded. All my pent up excitement manifested and I didn’t know what to think. I guess that’s the beauty of having opening acts or opening numbers. Thanks to the introduction of Raining Jane and to their wonderful songs (Opposite of Blue and From Me to You), I was able to calm down.

Still, when Jason finally stepped onto the stage and his voice and wonderful music filled the coliseum, it felt like I stepped into a whole new different reality altogether. If I try right now to recall every bit of the concert, it would just be a blur.

I don’t have all the details or a single coherent thought about it. I was so intent to be and live in that moment that I had to jog myself every few times to take some pictures. Even then, everything just fused into a mixture of emotions and images, all positive, all takeaways from the concert.

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If I can summarize my experience in one statement, I’d have to say that it was like going on a journey from the earth to the heavens and then back into myself. The background scenes were a delight to the senses, an explosion of colors and heavenly bodies, especially when he sung Shine and 93 Million Miles.

Somehow, I felt my existence as something so small compared to the whole universe and yet, necessary, too, in the greater scheme of things. No matter how small my part may be, it is my role to play, whether I know it or not, whether I like it or not.

Good Vibes

Now I don’t have any concert experience to compare this with but judging by how others have commented, the money spent was all worth it. For me, I’ve seen and heard (via the internet) how he does his concerts, and his songs are never the same when he sings them live. They take on character and depth. That in itself was enough for me to really want to see and hear him live.

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This is me, super excited.

There was never a dull moment in that concert. He had us dance, had us sing, had us follow and repeat his musical gibberish, and fill the coliseum with good vibrations.

He has a lot of thoughts, said my companion, who was with me at the concert. And he is great with his “verbal diarrhea”. Yeah, that’s Jason Mraz alright. He is Mr. Wordplay and he has quips and puns that really make everyone smile.

During the concert he asked the crowd from the back if they can hear him alright and then he went on to say that it feels like he has a long distance relationship with that crowd. But it’s alright, “distance makes the heart go fonder”.

He taught us some moves that we can dance in our seats to the tune of The Dynamo of Volition. These moves come from the heart because you see, “The arms are connected to the heart. It’s biology. It’s science.” Again, it’s hilarious but it makes sense.

Breathing exercises were also in the menu. Jason had us inhaling and exhaling and inhaling so hard so that we can say that “concert took our breath away”.

And finally, during the intermission, Jason asked us to make the most that time and not be bored waiting for them. We can write in our journals and make our intermission an “inner mission”.

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During the “inner mission” other people went outside to buy some of these great souvenirs.

Mission

Speaking of missions, Jason not only engaged us to sing and dance, he also made sure that we become aware of all the good things that we have on earth and encouraged us to protect it. It’s part of his advocacy. After all, we only have one earth in this solar system.

In one of his songs, Bottom of the Sea, Jason shared pictures and a video taken from his trip to Antarctica with Mona (Raining Jane percussionist) and other travelers as they learned about climate change.

{A video of Bottom of the Sea taken from Loren Leialoha’s YouTube account}

Jason also shared his passion in gardening, his was of giving back to and taking care of the earth. As he nicely put it, “home is where our food is grown”, and he showed us a picture of his beautiful backyard garden {source} as he sung Back to the Earth.

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Goodbye! Kita-kits!

Near the end of it, Jason sang 2 of his powerful songs: I’m Yours and I Won’t Give Up. Everyone was screaming, singing, standing, and swaying to the music. It was magical.

In the middle of I Won’t Give Up, my boyfriend nudged me to look at the whole coliseum. The coliseum was transformed into a beautiful planetarium. It just took my breath away.

{A short video I took of the whole coliseum from where I stood}

Goodbye, my most favorite song from his Yes! album, was his very last song for us. It was a fitting ending to the beautiful night. He changed the final line to “It’s so hard to say goodbye to the Philippines”. 🙂

It wasn’t really a goodbye. It’s more of a see you soon or until next time or, as Jason emphatically told the Manila crowd, Kita-kits!

Salamat & Shine! #jasonandjane

A photo posted by Jason Mraz (@jason_mraz) on

Until next time, Jason. Thank you!

Music Mondays: Love Someone (Jason Mraz)

Another Jason Mraz song, this time from his latest album Yes! and because there’s only 3 days left before his concert here in Manila. Finally! I’ll be able to watch and listen to him live! Fan girl gushing here. 🙂

I’ve read through the comments on this video, someone said that s/he misses Mraz’s old songs like Geek in the Pink, Wordplay, etc. I miss those, too. But I don’t think Mraz really changed from then until now, he’s just no longer constrained to conform (see Wordplay lyrics).

He’s always been so positive and his songs, whether upbeat, perky, or slow, are all calming. Especially his latest album, which I think anyone can practice yoga to. He’s such an amazing person and artist if I am allowed to judge based on his music and the things he does on the side.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s Music Monday as much as I did. 🙂

Music Mondays: You and I Both (Jason Mraz)

In light of the upcoming Jason Mraz (and Raining Jane) concert here in Manila on November 27, I’d be featuring one of my favorite artist’s songs: You and I Both.

This is the song that first introduced me to Jason Mraz’s music, although I later found out that I’ve listened to his Sleep All Day and The Remedy before this, I just didn’t know it was him.

A friend of mine asked me if I knew the You and I Both and recommended that I listen to it. And listen I did because I didn’t understand it at first but I already loved it. About 10 years later, I’m still not sure what the whole song means yet I still love it. The music video sure didn’t clarify much, but I did love the dance part. What I can say is that there’s a whole lot of love in this song and it’s become a special song for me and it has never gotten old.

I think it’s about…

…connecting with someone and the story is about two childhood friends who’ve found this connection, perhaps through conversation. And it all started with one of them saying “All things are gonna happen naturally.” I’d like to believe that Mraz’s talking about himself and a friend, and that he’s the one who took that advice and has since looked at the bright side and balance in all things. Maybe this has shaped him, because his ascent to greatness wasn’t that immediate (just listen to Wordplay and you’ll get his story).

He has some lesser known songs that I really love like Please Don’t Tell HerLove for a Child, Mr. CuriosityNot So Usual, Frank D. Fixer, and 1,000 Things. 

I think I’m a fan but not in the way stereotypes go. I like listening to his songs and reading into the lyrics. I feel like I’m getting to know him through his words because he loves those words and so put effort into crafting them into his melodies.

I still know little about Jason Mraz, only that he’s vegan and he’s into photography, yoga, and music. He’s also active in supporting the rights of LGBTs, protecting the environment, and spreading awareness about human trafficking. He’s interesting, to say the least, and inspiring, to say more.

I’m excited that I’d get to listen to him live this coming November 27. Short of gushing and screaming, I’m just writing my excitement here or else I’ll explode. His singing live is the best because he never sings his songs the same way and he adds a special magic to them.

Here’s my favorite acoustic version of You and I Both. It’s also longer because he added a few lines to the bridge, which I think is just great! His boyish smile is also charming!

I pray that I won’t get sick and be confined in a hospital like what happened to me last year. Wish me luck!

~ o ~ o ~ o ~

P.S. Try watching his concert at EBS Korea. So far, it’s the best for me.

Music Mondays: The Woman I Love (Jason Mraz)

For this week’s Music Mondays, I’m grabbing Jason Mraz’s The Woman I Love.

Jason Mraz has always been my go-to artist when it comes to feel good music. Ever since my college friend introduced me to You and I Both, I’ve been hooked on Jason Mraz. I know most of his songs and have favorites that have not even been played on the radio.

Next to my all time crush Jackie Chan (another “J”), Jason Mraz would be my dream. =”>

Like Sara Bareilles, I also think Jason Mraz is an old soul. He’s even a vegan and practices yoga (not that this proves anything). Still, my admiration for him is such that I swore not to go to any concert unless my first concert would be his.

Ramon and I were supposed to go to Jason Mraz’s concert last 14 May 2013. We bought VIP tickets. Unfortunately, it was my 4th day at the hospital. The doctor didn’t want to have me discharged for the night to attend his concert. In the end, I was forced to have our VIP tickets sold. I hated the world that night. ='(

Moving on, the reason why I chose this song as my first Jason Mraz song for Music Mondays is due to the fact that at the time I was listening to his 4th album (Love is a Four Letter Word), by the time I got to this song, I got curious whether he’s in love. As it is, the song’s lyrics and melody is filled with good emotion that I couldn’t help but feel loved, as if I was the “woman”. The fact that the concept for the music video was sourced from fans on how they would describe the woman they love also doesn’t hurt.

~ o ~ o ~ o ~

What’s your Monday Music?