Today’s picture shouldn’t really come as much of a surprise if you’ve been hanging around here a while. Hell, even if it’s only been a day and you checked out the links I’ve got over there in the left sidebar you’ll know who it is, seeing as though his is the only musician’s blog I follow regularly. The request is for a ‘picture of your favorite band or artist’. Do I even have to say it? Yeah, I didn’t think so.
So a couple days ago I shared the brief story of the first time I ever saw Jason live. It was at Irving Plaza in NYC back on July 21, 2006. I had no camera, don’t ask me why, but I was all ready to experience the fun live show I’d been exposed to online so many times; his ability to laugh and joke with the crowd and make an audience feel like they were part of the show was something he was famous for.
Okay, wait a minute, I should back up for a second. When I say “famous for” I mean among his fans. And when I say “fans” I mean the up to 200 people who would go and see him play every night back then. He wasn’t selling out multiple dates in Boston at the Bank of America Pavilion or headlining an enormous all day festival. Nobody knew him, so to speak.
Not yet anyway.
Matt and I had moved to New York already when he played Irving and it was really the first time he’d come through town close enough to us that we weren’t totally poor and could make it to the show. (As a side note, there had been a show in Boston in 2005 where he actually opened for Alanis Morissette. No I’m not kidding. Yeah I’d never have put those two on a bill together either but it isn’t the strangest pairing I’ve ever seen him in…Sadly, what really bums me out about not getting to see him open for Alanis has little to do with Jason though, Taylor Hawkins, drummer for the Foo Fighters, was still playing with Alanis in 2005 and I would have been able to catch him in his early career. But this is about Jason, so I digress…)
I’d already been listening to him for four years, almost to the day, strangely enough when we saw him at Irving. In fact, I distinctly remember hearing his first release on the radio on the way out to Springfield, late summer of 2002, right before we got married, right after we’d bought, and started renovating, the house. That was “Remedy” and before “Rocket” even hit the shelves. The song was so catchy I instantly fell in love with the lyrics and bought the disc that fall pretty much the day it was released. “Rocket” got me through a lot of lonely days at the house in Springfield, but that’s a story I already wrote so feel free to read that if you’d like to learn more.
By the Irving show he was already touring “Mr. A-Z”, but he was still playing stuff like “Galaxy” and “Childlike, Wildlife”. And not just for novelty sake like he does these days, those were fan favorites. At any rate, the show was not much better than alright, it was plain to see he was exhausted from touring for well over a year and he just didn’t have that spark. Plus the crowd was awful, loud and obnoxious and shoving and pushing for no reason at all. There were really only a little over 100 people in there, anyone could have walked right up to the stage & licked his bare feet if they’d wanted to but rudeness ensued and Matt and I both left, somewhat disappointed in the experience.
We went about life though, and I started reading his blog. Back in those days his blog was hosted right on his website and it was kind of a pain in the ass to read. If I recall (and bear with me this is a lot of years ago damn it!) there wasn’t any way to leave comments or anything. But knowing his lyrics for being so clever I had a feeling his writing wouldn’t let me down either. I wasn’t wrong.
This is how I became friends with Trayce, Ginger, Bridgete and Bree. This information is pretty important because these ladies all rock and I’ve been lucky enough to meet 2 of the gals in the real world, hang out and can safely call them good friends. The other two gals, well I fully intend to meet them when we start that secret Pentavirate. But as for Trayce, well she was fully present for the next time I had the glorious opportunity to catch Jason’s act live.
Things were a little different at that show.
It was Friday April 11, 2008 (aw, T it’s our meeting-a-versary yea!) and we took the day off to drive down to New Jersey. Why Jersey you may ask? Well the show happened to be at Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania. Yeah, that’s right. Trayce, even though she’d never met us, was kind enough to open her home to us to spend the night after the show, seeing as though it was only a two hour drive from her place and she was a self professed night owl who offered to do all the driving. How awesome of her!
This was the Music, Magic and Makepeace tour. If you want to read all about it, I wrote all about it already. That show was un-freaking-believably good. And then three weeks later he was playing right in our own state! By this time Bridgete and I had already started talking about wanting to get together sometime and it was the perfect time to do it. Not only that but we convinced Trayce to take a ride up (you know, because jersey’s right around the corner…of course it wasn’t too tough convincing her haha!) and we all went to see him at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA on April 29, 2008. It was freaking freezing and we were all forced to wait in line outside, the show was G.A., and poor Bridgete was in a skirt. I don’t know how she made it through!
And now everyone knows his name. He’s his own Cheers Bar. He’s been in commercials promoting California tourism, his songs have been used for T-Mobile and the Hilton chain of hotels, he’s had a bunch of songs in movies (50 First Dates, When in Rome, Happy Feet), and TV (Ugly Betty, Everwood, American Idol), covered a few classics (Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Peg, All Night Long) and “I’m Yours” made him famous before it was even released.