Sunday, April 13, 2008

A Magical Weekend of Love

What do you get when you combine 800 miles, new friends, diner food, a magician, a couple brothers, the original gangsta’, random musicians, a gnome and the cutest man you have ever seen in a hat with a pom-pom? Most would say it sounds like a circus act. Those people would definitely be onto something. Friday night we experienced what is known as the Music, Magic & Make Peace Tour in the fine town of Selinsgrove, PA and when it was over we all came out feeling the love.

Matt and I drove down to New Jersey early Friday morning to meet Trayce, her daughter Katy and boyfriend Mark (who did not join us for the festivities) so the four of us could make the three hour trek out to the middle of Pennsylvania to see Justin Kredible, the Makepeace Brothers, Bushwalla and Jason Mraz perform. After initial introductions we had our first diner meal and hit the road. Conversation on the way out did not stop for one second and we could all feel the anticipation building.

Once we arrived it seemed as if we might be in the wrong spot since there could not have been more than 100 people in line but sure enough there was a poster with Jason’s face hanging in the window. As the doors opened we could hear music playing and at first I thought it was piped in but to my surprise the Makepeace Brothers (Finian and Ciaran with a friend Conor on bass) were sitting right in the lobby jamming out for all of us. Their sound is unique and I definitely dug it. We got a double shot of these guys as they also played a few songs on the stage inside to open up the show.

Considering the lack of people in the line we expected a very small auditorium but it turned out to be quite large and had really cool acoustic panels on the ceiling. I took this shot before the show began and later Jason mentioned how it looked like that Lenny Kravitz video or a spaceship.

It is difficult to pinpoint who played when as the entire show morphed into an ensemble cast of characters but Justin Kredible gave us a magical introduction and interlude between each set, performing his tricks and slight of hand with a dry sense of humor and fantastic wit.

I had never seen Bushwalla (Billy Galewood) live, but stalked him on YouTube, so I really had absolutely no idea what to expect from his performance. He did not disappoint. I have been to a lot of shows and seen many various styles of acts before but there is nothing that comes close to the energy that he puts forth on stage. I was in awe of the clearly obvious love he has for performing. I felt a little bad though because after all “It’s hard to be a Gangsta with a basket on your bike.”

During each set a whole load of musicians came out to play. They almost looked like Jason and his band but if so then they must have been in disguise because I really thought that afro, mutton chops and moustache were real. They were hot and played great.

After a short break, the moment arrived as Justin pulled Jason out of, not a hat (that would be way too freaky) but a big tent. He was greeted with the cheering and clapping he deserved for wearing such a heavy weight hat when it was almost seventy degrees outside. They opened with Make It Mine, the lead off track, from his upcoming album (We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things.), and combined with a few oldies (1000 Things surprised & delighted me!) he played many new tracks as well. On stage Jason was joined by Toca Rivera (hand drum), Ian Sheridan (bass), Eric Hinojosa (keys), Michael Brown (drums) and the Grooveline Horns (who brought the brass hard core). There was lots of banter back and forth between the guys (especially with Toca who laughed at Jason for forgetting his own lyrics) and a positive vibe swirling around the entire performance.

The entire set list included:
Make It Mine
Geek in the Pink
Dramatica Mujer (Not So Usual)
Dynamo of Volition
Beautiful Mess
If It Kills Me
Sleep All Day
The Remedy (the “everyone knows this one” song ended up breaking into Wonderwall)
1000 Things
Live High
Only Human
I'm Yours (The first single from the new album burning up airwaves near you)

He also came back with the entire band in an encore to perform No Stopping Us and Fall Through Glass. Those were amazing but then the band took off and Jason grabbed a guitar, walked out to the edge of the stage and acoustically performed You and I Both for all of our eagerly snapping cameras. I have never heard silence (perhaps better described as intent listening) like that which emanated from the crowd during the last bit of this song. His passion for performing certainly shined and I got the sense he could have played this one song quite literally forever if given the chance.

In the car on the road back to Jersey at midnight, the four of us were high on the love and the short conversation we had with Billy in the lobby after the show, not to mention the caffeine we all ingested at the diner down the street. Matt and Katy nodded off first and I tried my best to make it but about an hour out I fell into sleep as well. After all, it was 4:30 AM and that marked my twenty second hour of awaken-ness. Even the euphoria of having seen Jason does not allow this old body to make it twenty four hours anymore. Thanks to Trayce who is obviously nocturnal and a wonderful soul to have done all that driving!

After a full night’s sleep and another fun filled meal of diner pancakes and great conversation, Matt and I took off late afternoon on the final leg of the journey – heading home. The two of us will see Jason again when he comes to Worcester* and just maybe we will have the steam to wait like groupies after the show to meet him this time. No matter what happens in two weeks, the memories from this wonderful weekend will bring magical peace forever. To everyone who took part in the joy I am holding up your sign, you rock!

* Because I live in my own fantasy world where Jason actually reads my blog, I would like to point out the pronunciation so he is not embarrassed by the screaming Bostonians who will correct him if he does it wrong – it is Wuss-ter.


High Desert Diva said...

What a great night!

Are you sure you're not a secret music reporter/reviewer?

Judi FitzPatrick said...

Sounds like a fantastic show; great writing as always. Maybe if he comes to Louisville, you will follow him out here for a show!
Peace and hugs, Mum

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

I would love to report on music! That would be THE career for me combining the two loves I have into one lifestyle of late nights interviewing musicians. Perhaps faux will pay the bills until the writing career takes off...???

Mum if he plays in L'ville believe me you will be the FIRST to know that I will be crashing on your sofa & I'll be dragging you to the show with me. Matt might stay home for that one lol.

Elyse said...

hey, i was at that concert!!! it was so amazing. i think you described it PERFECTLY!! =) i was dead tired when i got home, but it was sooo worth it. i got some pretty amazing pictures, too!

be_brilliant said...

hey thanks for the info about the book and your nice comments. I agree with above, you should write for a music review. You have a knack.

Julie Mc. said...

Hi -

It sounds like you had fun! :) Thanks for writing me on my blog. I just finished working on a re-write for my ISU Class.

I wish I was going somewhere big over the Summer, but I think it'll just be day trips here and there. Thanks and have a good week, Julie :)

Julie said...

*high-pitched girly squeals of excitement!*

I am SO psyched for Thursday now -- I mean, not that I wasn't before, but, you know! ;) I'm so glad to hear of your weekend's fabulosity, and the review was wonderful! And I can only hope we get an encore of that encore...

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Thanks for checking out my blog & for the compliments everyone!

Elyse where were you standing? We could have been right next to each other & didn't even know it :~) We were 3rd row, left center in the 2 seats right next to the center aisle

Julie ~ I also squealed at one point during the show (I think when Bushwalla started to sing Ghetto Blaster) & Matt said I had just reverted to age 12 lol! You are SO going to love this show!!!

Suldog said...

Thanks for the visit! I'll be back to read more.

draagonfly said...

That show rocked hard. I'm so psyched to do it again tonight in NYC - wish y'all were there with us! Full report with pics will be on the blog in the next couple days. I was reading the thread on RKOP about the Philly show last night and it sounds like they've really got a well-oiled machine going now. :) It'll be interesting to see how the two shows compare.

Bridgete said...

Wait, when is he coming to Worcester? Why does the schedule I looked at not have that? I am going to a show, but I decided to take a trip to Richmond to do it. Yes, I was aware of the one in PA but I had issues getting tickets for some reason and the NYC tickets were sold out so I said, well, I've never been to Virginia, so there we go! Besides, my parents funded the trip as a birthday present. But I'm feeling silly for not knowing about the Worcester one...oh well. Richmond, here I come!

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

suldog - I almost spit coffee reading your blog earlier today, the sign of a great blog. Thanks for visiting mine too!

Trayce - There are no words to describe my jealousy for your getting to see him again tonight lol. Enjoy the show, be safe & say hey to Katy!

Bridgete - I just posted like 100 messages on your comments re: Worcester show...let me know! He has LOTS of not published dates for this tour...sneaky man lol

Bridgete said...

Okay, I got the link all figured out and I now see the secret show date. I'd LOVE to get a ride with you to the show! Thanks so much! I'll reserve my ticket ASAP.

Email me at and we'll work out the details.

Oh, and yes, I am going to the Richmond show. I'm so excited to be going to a show so close to his hometown, I'm sure it is going to be great. There will be a full blog entry with all the details. =)

CrowBiz said...

Hold on there - now THIS is the cutest man you've ever seen in a hat with a pom-pom:
If not, I'll get outta town. ;) Crow

Julz Nally said...

what a fun weekend! ;) i love pancakes for dinner too!

ginger said...

"wuss-ter"....i also live in a fantasy land where jason read smy blog. the reality is that it's highly doubtful though.

okay, i'm jealous and extremely happy for you all at the same time, but i have a question....who's the new drummer? where's adam king?

jason! where's adam?...the king of england?!?!

ginger said...

haha ~ i said "read smy blog."

you know what i meant.

Julie Mc. said...

Thanks, me too! :) ha,ha! Have a good week! ~ J

HollywoodFix said...

Ah, I am sooo green right now. He isn't making his way to Arizona. Sniff.
And sorry to keep you hanging! You will have to contact me via email for what my last blog was going to be and an update on the pregnancy.
I'm no longer going to post it.
I am however going to post something new for entertainment purposes until I pull myself back together.

Chris Stone said...

i'm sure Jason appreciate the wuss-ter help! sounds like a great time!

melissa said...

WoW, Wish I was there!


Chris Stone said...

Chucka stone! you been tagged girl! Go Girl Go!

(i need to figure out the html linking stuff... will do tomorrow!)

Octavine Illustration said...

whew...i had fun just reading that. i too hope that my rock heroes happenstance upon my blog...wonderful post and introduction to a most enjoyable blog. cheers.~

@ByHandGiveaways said...

Man sounds like some awsome fun!