Jason Mraz makes a comeback at QU

Michelle Collins

Before the show, he refused interviews from The Chronicle and requested that pictures be taken only during the first three songs. After hearing such requests, one might think Jason Mraz is some sort of prima donna until he came out on stage, and proved the contrary: that he is actually one of the most laid back artists in the business.

On Saturday night, Mraz played a free acoustic show to any student with a valid QU ID in the Rec Center. The show was sponsored by the Office of the President and Division of Student Affairs. The place was comfortably crowded despite the fact that Mraz hasn’t been on the music scene since 2002.

The show started at 8 p.m. with a mellow opening act after which Mraz graced the stage at 9 p.m. sharp. The only back-up music Mraz had was from his sidekick bongo player Toca Rivera, who Mraz deemed “the Sleeping Giant.” Mraz opened with a song that was almost too slow, causing side conversations among audience members to begin and continue throughout most of the show.

The boring opener was not a good indication of Mraz’s personality, however. In fact, he was rather entertaining between, and in the middle of, every song. Some audience members joked about how they thought Mraz was “on” more than just the tea he was drinking during the show.

For example, a girl in the front row told Mraz it was her birthday. Mraz named the girl “Clarence,” and then sang his own longer-than-usual version of “Happy Birthday” to her. Also, in between the first couple of songs, Mraz made noises with his mouth and tried to get the audience to mimic the same noises, saying that the audience was “here to make noise.”

Despite the occasional ramblings, Mraz did manage to get through a few songs. To the audience’s delight, he played his hits “The Remedy” and “You and I Both,” putting his own live twist on each song. During “The Remedy,” Mraz performed one verse in French, then sang verses of Oasis’ “Wonderwall” in between verses of “The Remedy.”

Though it seemed Mraz did a little more talking than singing, he was still entertaining. The ladies in the audience seemed to enjoy Mraz a little more than the men, but most of the crowd agreed he was funny (including Rivera). It was an acoustic show, however, and a lot of Mraz’s songs are more mellow. The show would have been more enjoyable to listen to while sitting in a comfy chair at a coffee shop, rather than standing in the hot Rec Center.

Despite his antics, Mraz did make himself recommendable to see live if you missed him Saturday night. Just try to see him somewhere where you can sit down and really enjoy the music.