My wife and I caught G. Love and Special Sauce at the Hollywood bowl last night. They played a 5 or 6 song set between the opening act Brett Dennen and the headliner Jason Mraz. It was a weird night. G. Love is a blues influenced band who has been around since the early 90s. This was my first time seeing them perform live. I enjoyed their performance. You see them for yourself onYouTube with their songs, Cold Beverage, Baby’s Got Sauce, or Hot Cookin’. I plan to catch them again the next time they come to town.
Brett Dennen’s set was odd. He is awkward on stage. He’s a tall lanky ginger kid who moves stiffly and is a bit out of sync with his music, plus he’s a tad on the androgynous side. Put that together with a voice like Carol Channing and you soon start asking yourself, when will this set end? Don’t get me wrong. I like Dennen. I have all of his work. But I’ve always listened to him one or two songs at a time. I love his powerful song Ain’t No Reason, but of course he did not sing it at the concert, instead he opted for She’s Mine and Make You Crazy. I will not pay to see him perform again.
Jason Mraz, well I knew I was in trouble before we climbed the hill to the Hollywood bowl. The crowd looked odd. And by odd I mean the crowd was mostly white or Asian women between the ages of 14 to 30 accompanied by slim men with odd little hats. By the time his set started, every seat in the house was full. When I’m Yours played, ten thousand voices sang along. It was a spiritual experience for most of the audience.
I don’t get Mraz. His music runs counter to my desire for funky rifts with an edge un-blunted by an enthusiastically optimistic outlook. I felt like one of the only people in attendance who did not drink the cool aid. But by odd coincidence, a coworker sat in the row ahead of me. He looked miserable too.
My wife told me this morning that if we ever get married again, Lucky will be our official song. I don’t think I’m going to be able to avoid Mraz much longer. If the wife likes him, I’m doomed.
At times Jason Mraz reminded me of the great Bob Marley. I think it was a combination of his Reggae influenced sound, and his desire to spread love via his lyrics. It was a disturbing thought for me as I wanted to dislike Mraz, but I found by the end that I could not.
When sitting in the Hollywood Bowl the audience cannot help but see a large well lit Christian Cross atop the Cahuenga Pass behind the venue. The only way to avoid the thing is to sit in the box seats so that the dome will hid it. The rest of the audience is forced to see a cross hovering over the stage the whole night. It pissed me off.
The cross is a historical Landmark originally erected in 1924 to honor actress Christine Wetherill Stevenson. A religious woman who help found the Hollywood Bowl. I’m all for tearing it down.