Tonight I went to a somewhat ‘secret’ show at Java Joe’s. I got a text on Monday that said Jason would be playing on Wednesday with a number to contact to Venmo some money. On Tuesday, I thought, “What the hell?” And contacted the person to ask if tickets were still available. She promptly replied with a yes, ticket price, and when doors opened. I sent the money.
I headed down there to get there by 6:30 pm where there was already a line forming. I saw a couple friends just ahead of me and joined them. After a pretty long wait, we finally were able to go in and grab seats. I ended up taking a seat in the back by myself and getting a hot chocolate. The venue is outside, and it’s starting to get chilly at night here.
The show started with Billy Galewood performing and telling us we couldn’t take any photos or video, then he introduced Gregory Page, a singer-songwriter I’ve known 20+ years. He’s a legend around here and so very good. Then Gregory brought Jason out, and in case you didn’t get it from the title of the post, that would be Jason Mraz.
I used to see him when he first started out at Java Joe’s back in 1999, but it wasn’t long before he got management and signed to a label and became a huge star. I enjoyed him then and am happy that he has had success knowing how he started out, but I’ll admit that’s as far as it’s gone.
But tonight I was curious and thought it could be fun to see him in a small venue with his friends: he & Billy met in college and has taken him on tour with him, he & Gregory met at Java Joe’s. Jason played a few songs, silly ones, serious ones. His banter was fun and relaxed. He then introduced another friend of mine, Jeff Berkley. They sang together, doing Jeff’s song “Sink or Swim” that was really cool.
Jason played some more. He had another guest, Ben Verello (?), who did a couple songs. He brought out another guy from the old days (who has toured a ton with him), Toca Rivera who plays djembe and sings. They did some old stuff. Later he brought Gregory back out and they did a couple of his hits, “I Won’t Give Up” and “Have it All.” The show ended with Jeff coming back out and doing “Stir It Up.”
It was an enjoyable night, and I’m glad I went.