M r a z

By my best estimation, I’ve seen Jason Mraz around a dozen times (not nearly enough), around Michigan of course, and in Vegas, San Francisco, Chicago and San Diego.  At my first show – back in 2002 in East Lansing, before “I’m Yours” became anything to anyone – I was instantly hooked by his voice, his wordplay, and his presence, and now 12 years later I was once again anticipating an evening with the one and only.  Said anticipation was wrecking me; I was near tears at work when I found out I’d be working on a job in the afternoon that would threaten my on-time departure, and I was a nervous nelly all day and into the evening while driving through thick traffic home from work to meet Kristy (BFF/the night’s concert buddy) at my house before turning around and driving back downtown D.  The nerves were building over whether we’d make in time, distracting me so much that I could hardly carry a conversation with Kristy.  But, the stars aligned and after a stop for a shawarma at Bucharest (best on the planet), and with a few minutes to spare, we made our way to the Fox Theater, showed our tickets, and got pointed all the way down to the front row.

(Kristy was sure to point out to all of the ushers, “oh yes, we know where we are going…we are in the front row.“)

Because we arrived on time (phew!) we were there when he came out before the show, in front of the curtain, and casually interacted with us, the audience.  If I had any guts at all (and no fear of being ejected) I could’ve stood right up and touched him, or talked to him, or tossed him my resume (let me make videos for you!).  He commented on some of the posters adoring fans were holding up and he accepted gifts (WHY oh WHY didn’t I think of something clever to do?) and was basically just super charming.  Duh.


Not only were we front row, we were as center as you can get, literally looking up at him most of the show.  We were able to marvel at his long-ass fingernails (seriously, guitarists, is this a thing?), and basically just swoon for 2 hours while he and his current backup band (the girl-band, Raining Jane) entertained us.

It was my little slice of heaven.

And then the next few days happened, as I entered the post-show slump.  I am not new to concerts; these dozen Mr. A-Z shows are a blip among the many shows I’ve seen over the past 15 years or so, so I’ve many times suffered the post-concert lows after a much anticipated evening.  Especially when the concert is super special, super intimate, or super Mraz-y.  So, as I pouted around post-show, I googled around to see if I was alone and found an amusing and spot-on blog/post/article about the “9 Phases of Post-Concert Depression.”

I skimmed through quickly, happily noting that I was set to enter the 8th and nearly final stage, Acceptance any moment because according to my best estimate, I was currently in the 7th stage, Lack Of Impulse Control.  I had already gone through:

Phase One: Euphoria
These are the remnants of what you felt while standing front row, singing (possibly crying) along to your favorite song. It enfolds you into the night, past the merch table and onto the sidewalk where you’ll either choose to battle traffic, or wait by a fence near their bus hoping your favorite musicians come outside to say, “Hello.” 

Please note, I didn’t do any crying, although I did do a fair bit of grinning.
Phase Two: Reflection
You will take a moment to register everything that happened­–either loudly with your friends who were there or quietly on your own. Some people choose to use this phase of their post-show life to write a review or to upload photos. …

This phase had minimal impact on me.  I may have skipped it.


Phase Three: Realization

…You start to realize you’ll never experience it again and that all the photos and descriptions in the world can never, ever really capture the beautiful thing you just experienced.

Wait, I can’t get front-row to every Mraz show ever?


Phase Four: Reality

The next day, you will return to your everyday life, which will seem exceedingly inferior after the night you just had. You may just go through the day-to-day motions and wonder, “What’s the point? This isn’t life. Last night’s show–that was life. That was being alive. This is merely living.”

I couldn’t say it any better.


Phase Five: Feeling Outcasted

To cheer yourself up, you may find yourself grasping to go back a few phases to “reflection” and share with people who weren’t at the show. Most humans will respond with a half-hearted “Oh, that’s cool” or “Sounds fun.” And it’s just like, “But you don’t understand. It was so much more than that!”But what it means to you is impossible to articulate…

So misunderstood.
Phase Six: Stalking
This is a phase in which you seek out articles, posts, Twitter feeds, pictures, anything that brings back the feeling of the show.  In this phase I found an article about Mraz gardening in an urban Detroit garden while he was in town.  So, there’s that.

And yes finally, I reached Phase Seven: Lack Of Impulse Control.  You realize your lonely lifeless existence can be sated only by more of what put you in your current predicament to begin with: a show. You may find yourself on LiveNation, looking at that next date seven states away thinking, “Yes, this is a good idea.”

In fact, just moments before, I had wandered over to Ticketmaster to see if Mraz was anywhere else geographically desirable, only to find out that he was indeed in Chicago that evening and by my quick drive-time math I could still make it, with plenty of time to spare.  I then popped over to Craigslist to see if any fans had last minute emergencies that led to selling me their tickets at rock-bottom prices.  It didn’t come to fruition, but I hope to soon enter Phase Eight: Acceptance in which I realize that I’ve got to move on to Phase Nine: Living.  

Here’s to looking forward to the next time I have the opportunity to suffer through these phases.