October 1, 2009

He Sang, He Danced, He Stole the Show

I just returned from the Jason Mraz concert in Vancouver and can't seem to stop smiling. Something about his incredible talent, positive energy, and generosity emanates outward and is infectious. He's one of those musicians that you cannot truly appreciate until you see him perform live. As one fellow concertgoer put it, while she walked behind me over the Cambie Street Bridge on our way home: "I knew I liked him, but I had no idea he was THAT talented." Here, here!

The depth and breadth of his vocal stylistic range (from reggae, to pop, to skat, to operatic) is a marvel to witness, but what impressed me most was the diversity of fans that Mraz has managed to gather around him. The audience consisted of individuals from a variety ethnic backgrounds and age ranges. From a young boy of seven attending his first concert, to an older man in his 40s or 50s singing along to his anthem-like track "I'm Yours" with the exuberance of a teenager, Mraz is an artist who knows how to bring people together.

Some of his lyrics reflect more serious themes, such as the struggle so many of us have with self-love and learning how to honestly look at ourselves and our actions. In "Details in the Fabric" (probably my favourite song by Mraz), he encourages us: "If it's a broken part, replace it / if it's a broken arm then brace it / if it's a broken heart then face it." Kind, but firm. He wants us to heal ourselves and live from a place of gratitude instead of victimhood.

I will sign off with an inspired charge by this wonderful musician (lyric taken from the same song): "Hold your own / know your name / and go your own way." I'll try my best, Jason. What will you do, dear reader?

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