I was one of the lucky ones who spent the evening of October 30 with the unbelievably talented Jason Mraz and his friend Toca Rivera at the Smart Araneta in Cubao, Quezon City. My sister, niece, cousins and I – and thousands of other Filipinos – had the most awesome evening ever!
We lined up at the gates sometime past four in the afternoon and the gates opened at six. We didn’t have VIP tickets, but we got a good view of the stage and the big screen. That was enough for us. What was more important was that we had Jason in front of us. In the beginning, the more expensive seats were not filled yet. But as the minutes went by, the coliseum began filling up with people. Eventually, just a little before eight in the evening, all the seats were taken (even the most expensive ones!). There were even some hundreds who were either standing or sitting in the aisles. Yes, Araneta was literally “filled to the rafters”!
So when Jason and Toca came out onstage, the crowd went wild…and Jason couldn’t believe his eyes (and his ears!)!. He was clearly awed (he said so himself). And then he started strumming his guitar, Toca began playing his percussions and the crowd went wild again!
Jason sang songs from his latest album “We Dance, We Sing, We Steal Things”. I never thought the crowd would go wild if he sang songs like “If It Kills Me” or “Butterfly”, since these were not played a lot on the radio. But the crowd cheered and even sang along with him! We all sang, actually. That was when I realized that the thousands upon thousands of people inside the Araneta were all true blue Jason Mraz lovers like me.
Going through the details of the concert will be difficult. I just cannot paint everything in black and white. I was totally mesmerized the whole time. I still am mesmerized, even now when almost a month has gone by. Jason is exceptionally different from all the other artists I’ve seen perform live. There were no special effects. No fireworks. No elegant costumes or elaborate stage designs. It was just Jason and his guitars (four of them, actually!) and Toca and his percussions.
Despite Araneta being a huggggeee venue, I (and the others in the crowd, I believe!) felt that it was the most intimate concert I ever went to. And boy, I have never heard an audience clamor for an encore the way that Araneta crowd did. We literally sang, chanted, shouted and stomped! For awhile there, I was afraid that the rafters would crush under all the stomping!
Jason and Toca went back onstage for an encore like no other. And yes, he sang “I’m Yours” last. And yes again, the crowd (we) went wild. The song’s been played on the radio a gazillion times; but hearing Jason sing it live was really different. For me, the song took on another meaning the minute he picked up his guitar and played the intro.
It will be a long time before I’ll get to experience a concert that’s as breathtaking, electrifying, energetic and unbelievably magical as Jason Mraz’s October 30 Araneta concert. Oh, but he promised to be back next year. Until next year then, Jason! We’ll get better seats…we promise!!!