Oh the wait was so worth it: Acoustic Night with Jason Mraz and Toca Rivera

After I've seen Gin Blossoms {the ultimate band I wanted to jam to, I know, so 90s!} in concert last year, I never really expected to rave as much over a performer. I have seen John Mayer, shortly before and while I enjoyed his songs while standing in the rain, but Jason Mraz, despite his third time in the country, was all on a league on his own.

On the morning of October 30th, I had been seeing photos of Jason from his Twitter and his surprise appearance at the MTV Exit party and I was terribly worried that he was not the Jason who came here twice before. He had on what I can only remember as a look Christian Bale sported, called Jesus Bale. I was not too happy about it. I wanted the Jason with the sweet look from A Raining Jane with the cheesy fedora hat.

At about 8:10 PM, a scruffy barefooted Jason, wearing a black shirt with a Peace sign, a yellow bandanna, with a black-shirted Toca Rivera, wearing slippers. I thought, "This is going to be an interesting night."

 I still love you despite the scruffy look. Photo via Manila Concert Scene

He came in dancing in weird albularyo-like steps, chanting weird chants and I had then thought that the night might take away the fan girl in me after all. "How you do anything is how you do everything," he says after asking everyone to high five each other. Well, guess I was wrong. Again.

I am not quite sure when or how it started but suddenly, Jason Mraz morphed into the soulful super adorable performer we all know of him. At that moment, his scruffy looks just made him look well, hotter, and Toca Rivera's percussion and backup vocals accentuated Jason's masterful acoustic skills. "What version you know is never the version he'll sing," a friend said. I nodded, in a trance. Prior to the day of his concert, I'd been on Youtube a lot to watch his performances and every place is known for its unique Jason Mraz version.

The World As I See It and Woman I Love
You are the world and I love you.

The Dynamo of Volition

And as I was coming back from the restroom, as I climbed the steps, the opening riffs of A Beautiful Mess started filling the SMART Araneta Coliseum and for that moment alone, everything {spending on the ticket, going out in public when I'm really ugly} was all worth it. I was in a trance and I couldn't be talked to. And {this is supposed to be a secret} I might've shed a tear or two.

A Beautiful Mess | Jason Mraz and Toca Rivera | Live in Manila
Funnily, my friends are too sweet distracting me during the time Jason was singing this, asking me to buy beer for them and asking me to take their photos. I couldn't be bothered.

Please Don't Tell Her {third most favorite Jason Mraz song, the next one below being the second}

Consequently, Jason Mraz and his songs kept me in a trance, I was at a standstill and I just stood there, I just listened and felt my that heart was where it wanted to be.

I Won't Give Up {This is a new unreleased song and listening to it is giving me goosebumps.}

Live High

Details in the Fabric

If It Kills Me {where Jason sings a line from Across the Universe}

How long, can I go on like this,
Wishing to kiss you,
Before I rightly explode?
This double life I lead isn't healthy for me
In fact it makes me nervous
If I get caught I could be risking it all
93 Million Miles | A friend said he's never seen me giggle the way I did when Jason sang I want to go home with you. "This, I believe is another unreleased {maybe a cover} song.

Just know, that wherever you go, you can always come back home

It might be the poetic lyrics, or the way Jason sings that seems to make every single female in the entire coliseum feel like she is the subject of every song, and every male audience made them want to be him or the way he has crafted his words so simply that it talks directly to the heart. I don't know. I have never seen a concert where people held up banners and placards and singularly, without shame, shouted "I love you, Jason Mraz" in a male voice. I haven't felt this way when I caught Gin Blossoms or John Mayer. In that concert, I knew why, in all his simplicity, in his ratty shirt and baggy jeans, why people would line up to see him for the third time. It was him, his music and okay, Toca, who was on stage, and the world really stops to melt with him. Note: He didn't sing I Melt With You and I was too engrossed to really care. Normally, I abhor new songs being launched at concerts because I can't sing to it but this concert made me thankful for making me discover the beautiful songs Jason Mraz is about to release.

Of course, Mr. A-Z can't come out of SMART Araneta Coliseum alive if he didn't sing his super hit, I'm Yours. Even I, who have come to dislike the song from too much airplay just fell in love all over again.

I'm Yours

Jason Mraz and Toca Rivera's Manila 2011 Setlist:

She's The Bomb
Dynamo of Volition
Live High
If It Kills Me + Across The Universe
Fly Me To The Moon
The World As I See It
The Woman I Love
A Beautiful Mess
Please Don't Tell Her
I Won't Give Up
93 Million Miles
You And I Both
The Remedy + Wonderwall
Details In The Fabric
Life Is Wonderful

The Freedom Song
I'm Yours plus some comic improv

As if that was not enough, I have come to fulfill an item on my bucket list. As my friends and I waited for the crowd to thin out, I noticed there were people waiting at the West Gate of the coliseum. 

Me: Lalabas dun si Jason Mraz
Friend: Fan girl? Hihintayin mo?
Me: Nasa list ko yan, let's go!
Friend: Eh?
Me: Hindi naman siguro nakakahiyang maging fan girl for Jason ano? Hollywood naman.

Needless to say, I turned into a celebrity-stalking fan girl machine and waited for Mr. Mraz come out of the gate. When he did, in a black SUV, I just stood there with my mouth opened slightly in awe.
15. Watch a concert and attempt to meet the artist. I definitely do not wish for this particular artist to be biggies like U2, or Madonna, or even Jason Mraz {but hey, who knows?} only because it would be un-realistic. I just wish to watch a concert, something I always put off, thinking I will always have another chance, but never really do. I want obscure bands/artists like Stars, William Fitzsimmons, even Hanson {yes, I will always be a Hanson fan at heart}, Gin Blossoms {crosses fingers}, or The Weepies.

Well, high five, 24 year old, self! I didn't meet him like with a proper handshake and all but a backstage/exit gate attempt is more than my heart can handle.
And now, the morning after of my exhilarating time at the Jason Mraz, I am floating in awe, wonder and I'm rotating his songs on my iPod. I am so glad I watched <3 Thank You, universe for making this happen!

And I know the word they call this: Smitten. I am smitten.