i went to watch jason mraz perform at stadium merdeka a couple of weeks ago. it the first concert i’ve been to since the magnificence that was switchfoot and although i knew that jason mraz wasn’t gonna be a rah-rah-power-guitar kind of performer, i guess i went with those kind of expectations because, well, because.
i was a bigger fan of jason mraz when he was a curbside prophet, before he got into the whole zen thing and started writing music that suited CDs and coffeeshops but not larger arenas. he’s a talented singer-songwriter, that’s for sure, and his vocal skillz are to-die-for, but it just isn’t my kind of thing anymore. i felt disconnected with him because the stadium was so big and there were so many people there. i couldn’t feel the sincerity in his lyrics and there were a few places in his performance that i felt were lacking…something.
ok fine, he was brilliant in mashing oasis’ “wonderwall” into “the remedy” (still my favourite song from him) as well as slotting in some bob marley into that overplayed radio hit (you know which one) but those are things you expect from a concert and while he did them pretty well, i still felt as though something’s missing.
that said, i have to give a hand to his superband. in malaysian football jerseys, no less! they stole the show from the wordplay master with their quirky antics. i couldn’t keep my eyes off the band.
the malaysian crowd didn’t disappoint, singing along enthusiastically to every single song and humouring mr.a-z’s attempt at crowd participation most of the time. however, the whole sing-along thing got on my nerves when it came to the lovely, tender songs in the repertoire. it happened when switchfoot sang “only hope“, and it happened again when jason mraz did “you and i both” and “if it kills me“.
those aren’t the songs you should sing along to, people. you sing to the big choruses. you sing to the happy chirpy numbers. you allow the artist to do his thang and show his emotions when it comes to the songs with beautiful melodies. you don’t interfere with those!
anyway, i would have enjoyed it alot more if jason mraz played an acoustic set to an intimate crowd, where the interaction would have been alot better and the people’s manners would have been kept in check. of course, that would mean the tickets would burn a larger hole in his fans’ pockets, but that’s the best method to filter the pseudo fans from the ones who have only heard “i’m yours” before deciding to go out, wear a fedora and sing, dance, steal things.
looking forward to more great acts in malaysia…that is if singapore doesn’t get them first. i’m still bitter about coldplay and the fact that it’s bloody held on monday. grr.