Jason Mraz performed at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ a few days ago.
I was lucky enough to secure some tickets to go see him at this iconic venue.
First off… the Stone Pony is the place where Bruce Springsteen began his career.
When you think of the Stone Pony..you think of Bruce.
When I first got tickets to go see Jason Mraz I was secretly hoping that maybe Bruce would show up and do a surprise set with Grammy award winner Mraz.
But, after noticing on his Bruce’s Instagram he was playing in Europe it wasn’t going to happen. But…if Bruce was in town I bet he would’ve stopped by. He’s done it before.
Then I thought of Jon Bon Jovi, another local New Jerseyan. He would stop by for sure. He’s not doing much lately. But no. He was too busy as well.
I guess I was kind of naive to think that these mega stars would just drop by and sing a song or two. But a girl can dream.
But…back to the concert.
I was super excited to hear Jason Mraz play his solo acoustic show. It was just him, a stool, his guitar and nothing else. He was trying out some new material which did not disappoint. His new songs were amazing.
His set mixed in old songs like “The Remedy”, “Beautiful Mess”, “93 million miles” along with some new catchy songs.
All his new material had the essence of Mraz from his early days. I really loved an untitled song “If you think you’ve seen it all”. It was perfect.
Even though it was an acoustic night all his new songs were musically mature.
The reason I am saying that is because all his new music left me humming the tunes well after the show ended. All I wanted to do was go out and listen to all those new songs on Spotify.
Sadly, we will have to wait for the release.
It is clear that this might be one of his best albums to come.
The vibe of the Stone Pony.
Even though the venue was small and intimate the tone of the evening was energetic.
I had been at the Stone Pony before and it is a dive bar. Dark, cramped, full of annoying people.
Jason’s show was wall to wall… elbow to elbow.. packed full of concertgoers.
Jason came out at the beginning of his set and even quipped that he was a little worried about the fire hazard of having so many people in the venue. Ha! Luckily I was standing near some exits.
But even I knew the odds were against us if an emergency happened. There were SO many people crammed in there.
The average age of Mraz concertgoers were about 35-40 year olds mixed with some 20 something millennials.
Some 35-40 year olds brought along their toddlers/children …of course…wearing cute Mraz fedoras.
The twenty something millennials spent most of the night snapchatting and going to the bathroom.
I had the lovely experience of being jammed up next to a group of 20 something sorority girls who were there only to hear Jason’s famous songs like “Lucky”, or “I’m Yours”, etc.
Sadly…those songs were usually at the end of the show so I knew it was going to be a long night.
The sorority girls did not disappoint in their impatience.
When I first arrived at the venue the line was out the door. I knew my hopes of getting a front row spot were impossible. After cramming myself through the already crowded venue I was able to position myself in front of the club’s sound board. It was about 7 pm and I was in the “last row.”
But others who must have known the show started at 8 pm came later and filled in behind me. I was no longer in the back row. I was now about 4 rows in.
The four rows in didn’t make much of a difference since most of the large, tall men with their dates were blocking any reasonable view of the stage.
Waiting in a crowded space for an hour might seem like fun…. but it’s challenging.
But maybe we should blame it on the venue.
The venue space was tight, hot and full of different age groups.
Of course the millennials would be a little more distracted with their snapchats and texting.
The older crowd goers wanted to savor every moment and reflect back on certain songs that Mraz pulled out of his career catalog.
One particular song he played “Too much Food” he flubbed the lyrics… but that’s what made the concert so special and real. It was very humbling.
Also, he mentioned it was the second time he had played that song in 10 years. But it sounded so fresh and current…it just fit in perfectly.
Imagine Jason …on stage, strumming his guitar, the crowd happy, singing and learning some of the new songs with him, too. Mraz welcomed with open arms the crowd singing. This was how the whole night was from start to finish. A big sing fest.
It was a great party that was filled with happy vibes.
There were some quiet moments when he played his new stuff but the songs had catchy beats and lyrics that were very easy to enjoy.
As the night went on Jason played nonstop for two hours. He played hits like “I’m Yours” , “You and I”, “Lucky” , “3 things” , “The Woman I love” and some new songs “Chocolate”, “Making it up” , “Work in Progress”, “Got their own sh**” to name a few. He even fit in the Mr. Rogers neighborhood song.
It’s clear that his maturity as a musician has come to a grand peak. Jason is an amazing entertainer and so gifted it was pretty exciting to be with him in such an intimate venue like the Stone Pony.
Certainly a once in a lifetime experience.
If you want to get a taste of the night I am sure there are some YouTube videos floating around somewhere.
A night of joyful singing and drunk sorority girls.