Jason Mraz and Robert Francis played a great show on October 5th at a less than full Scotiabank Theatre configuration.
Mraz is finishing off his "pre-album" tour, consisting of visiting places he hasn't been to in the past several years. The last time he played Ottawa, it was in support of his second album (Mr. A-Z) and he played the old Capital City Music Hall downtown.
This time, he brought the the Grooveline Horns band, part of whom he toured with on his last tour in support of album "We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things".
The show was a wonderful mix of new and old songs and a stage complete with a recycled bottle light show. While "I'm Yours" was the obvious crowd pleaser (kept until the very end), Mraz's new numbers show a variety of his traditional style ("This is what our love looks like") and tongue-in-cheekness ("Mama Say").
Opening with "A Way to Remember Me" on piano, the show moved onto "Up", a new tune that reminds one of "Live High" from his previous album. A reggae version of his first hit "The Remedy" had the band appear on the second level in the arena.
After "Make It Mine", a new tune "Gentleman (Don't Change At All)", Mraz got the entire crowd playing duet on "Lucky".
The encore featured a band instrumental ("Freakshow"), a brand new un-named tune and then a funky cover of the Beatles' "All You Need Is Love".
Whoever was behind the sound board certainly didn't have their Wheaties. The opening numbers had a "buzz" and several clicks. Thankfully, it was fixed in the end.
Why Ottawa doesn't seem to have heard about Jason Mraz, I have no idea. Radio here seems to ignore him as do the papers - while the Citizen featured a phone interview, they didn't actually review the concert. They are missing out - and it seems to be a continuing phase the city is going through.
Jason Mraz rocked Ottawa on Tuesday night - it's a shame Ottawa didn't rock with him! (save for a few fans)