Jason Mraz - Royal Albert Hall
Live Review

Jason Mraz – Royal Albert Hall

Jason Mraz kick-started a string of UK appearances with an ‘intimate’ show at London’s prestigious Royal Albert Hall last week.

Kicking things off with no support band were a few songs from his backing band, girl band Raining Jane. Playing a few songs that no one seemed to know, and making the crowd feel slightly uneasy that they had been tricked into watching a support band, rather than what had been publicised, they had their work cut out for them. Eventually warming the crowd up with a cover of The Eurythmics’ Sweet Dreams, they went on to tell a musical story of how they got to where they are now, and dedicated a song to one of their travelling mums, before HRH Jason Mraz came back.

With a weird and wacky set list, that kept his biggest fans entertained for almost 3 hours, it is certainly clear why Jason Mraz has such a huge fan base. Admittedly it was clear from the start that there were people there only for that one song, and he didn’t help stereotypes made famous by popular American cartoons by wearing his pork pie hat. In fact, it would seem that members of the audience came dress as Mraz, whether that was their normal dress sense or in tribute to their evening, no one will ever know.

A background fairly like Windows 98 screensavers, and an incredibly preachy start did not set Mr Mraz off on a winning streak, however his attempt at reigning the audience back came with ‘Lucky’ and an incredibly cute video of him and one of the beautiful Raining Jane musicians on a Climate Change trip to Antarctica…with additional cute dancing penguins.

From that he seemed to move into thinking that we were in his living room and all close pals, when his set got a little more countrified and the background turned to one of his garden where he was all Mr organic and growing things and composting (pronounced like Royal Mail ‘post’)…

With an interval, or as Team Mraz put it with their space theme ‘inner-mission’, it really felt like something out of this world, but the second half seemed to lift –off without a hitch. More Enterprise than Endeavour (attempted Space Shuttle joke). The final few songs were played with great enthusiasm and much less preaching, and the backing band Raining Jane, with whom Jason Mraz co-wrote and recorded his most recent album ‘Yes!’ with, really made the atmosphere intensify.

It is with almost sickening disappointment in myself and the ‘intimate’ crowd that were present that the highlight came from his only real successful hit, but a standing ovation before it even started meant that ‘I’m Yours’ was a spectacular finale to an out of this world show.

– Jess Kempner

Venue: Royal Albert Hall
Support Band: Raining Jane

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