Monday, April 21, 2008

Jason Mraz Concert

Saturday night, my friend Kim and I went to see Jason Mraz live at the NorVa. While I knew who he was and enjoyed what I knew of him, I wasn't prepared for the concert.

First of all, I LOVE live music. All kinds. Artists are usually much more open and flexible when you see them live, and there's just something about being in the presence of someone while they are doing what they love to do.

The NorVa is a unique venue. Different than most settings, it was originally an upscale downtown vaudeville and movie theater, built in 1923. In the '60s, part of the Norva was transformed into a retail storefront for Lerner Shops. I don't remember when that closed, but in the late 90's, early 2000, the transformation began to restore the NorVa. Now, it's a small venue that holds about 1500 people. It's general admission and two levels. The second story is not a full floor, but has a balcony around the perimeter, that overlooks the open floor below. Both floors have bars, and limited bar stools/tables. Digital cameras are allowed in *provided* they do not look like professional cameras, and look like your typical point and shoot digital. Unfortunately, Kim found this out the hard way!

As for Jason Mraz.... He was amazing. What's different about him, is his sound. He doesn't have your cookie-cutter sound, and isn't likely to be labeled as anything in particular. He is pop mixed with soulful, jazzy, eclectic, and folky. Throw in a touch of reggae, a splash of hip-hop, and a touch of the blues and you end up with an all together different sound. He is sarcastic (which I personally adore), witty, and generally a funny guy. He interacts wonderfully with his audience, and commands audience participation around every corner. While up on stage, it is apparent he TRULY loves what he does. His supporting band members do a great job, and the end result is a magnificent show. His audience is a range of young teenie-boppers, to folks well into their 40's and older. I can certainly see his appeal to all backgrounds.

I might have overlooked this concert if Kim hadn't asked me to go, and now I am certainly glad that I didn't miss it.


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