Jason Mraz wraps-up intimate tour in Chicago

By Katherine Savage, News Editor

Courtesy Sharisse Coulter
“Ladies and Gentlemen, An Evening with Jason Mraz and Raining Jane” will finish its two-month-long tour at the Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St., for two shows Nov. 23 and 24.

After playing more than 15 intimate shows across the U.S., Grammy-award winning singer-songwriter Jason Mraz and pop-rock band Raining Jane are wrapping up their tour in Chicago.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, An Evening with Jason Mraz and Raining Jane” will finish its two-month-long tour at the Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St., for two shows Nov. 23 and 24. The shows will be a combination of music from Mraz and Raining Jane, as well as their various collaborations, including the song “Have It All” off his recent album and “Know.,” which was co-written by Raining Jane, along with the entire previous album “Yes!”

“It’s a bit of a short tour, and it’s bittersweet to be ending so soon because we’re just now getting the hang of it again, and we love it,” Mraz said in an interview with the Chronicle.

With this tour being smaller, he said more intimate venues felt right because those were the kinds of places where he got his start in live performances.

“I started in coffee shops and then evolved up to clubs and small theatres. That, to me, felt like home,” Mraz said. “I was in theatre as a kid, and I felt like theatres are perfect for telling stories. That’s really what our show is, as well.”

Mraz and Raining Jane are keeping the production simple because they want to focus on telling stories through the music. The music is a stripped-down, acoustic sound with only Mraz and the four members of Raining Jane––Mai Bloomfield, Becky Gebhardt, Chaska Potter and Mona Tavakoli—onstage.

For his latest album, Mraz wrote the song “Love is Still the Answer” after the 2016 presidential election, and it remains one of his favorite songs to perform, he said.

“It is a very simple waltz to me,” Mraz said. “If I can ever land on a song or a lyric that uses as few words as possible to tell a big message, then I feel like I’ve succeeded. And [‘Love is Still the Answer’] does just that.”

In 2011, the Jason Mraz Foundation was created to help make arts education more inclusive. For every ticket sold on his tours, $1.23 is donated to the foundation which then distributes the money to different organizations, such as Harmonic Humanity—an organization that serves the homeless. On Feb. 15 and 16, 2020, Mraz will host a concert called “Shine” in San Diego, with performances from various nonprofit groups showcasing what they learned through the educational programs.

“Write about whatever’s going on in your life. If you’re stuck, if you have no ideas, write about what that feels like,” Mraz said. “You can build on that and then suddenly you find, ‘Wow, I’m not empty. I’m not meaningless. I give this meaning.’”

For the Nov. 24 show, students can get discounted tickets for $25 using the promotional code “THANKS” on Ticketmaster. The deal is available through Nov. 20.

“We realize how lucky we are that we get to [perform], and we bring that gratitude to the stage with us,” Mraz said. “We’re working hard every day, and we inspire each other to work hard every day to make the shows great.”

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.