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Jason Mraz embarks on supersize tour

Jason Mraz said he retreated while writing his last album and grew out his hair and beard. Photo: Emily Shur

Jason Mraz said he retreated while writing his last album and grew out his hair and beard. Photo: Emily Shur

In the past almost-decade, Jason Mraz has graduated from park concerts to club shows to radio station holiday hodgepodges to this, his first-ever headlining amphitheater tour.

That probably has something to do with a career that leveled out shortly after his debut single, the breezy, tongue-twister, “The Remedy,” then surged five years later with the inescapable acoustic affirmation, “I’m Yours.”

The song broke the Billboard Hot 100 record by hanging around the charts for 76 weeks and was nominated for a pair of Grammys.

Not to be defined by that piffle, Mraz, 35, quickly returned to the charts with “Lucky,” his sweet duet with Colbie Caillat; earlier this year, a scruffier, slightly brawnier Mraz revisited his sensitive side with another acoustic-based dose of musical encouragement, “I Won’t Give Up.”

His two-month “Tour Is a Four-Letter Word” run – a playful take off on his latest album, “Love is a Four-Letter Word” – brings the Virginia-born, California-transplanted singer-songwriter to Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood this weekend.

He had time for a brief chat earlier this week from a tour stop in Tampa, Fla., to talk about the live show, politics and being green.

Q. This is a big tour for you. How have you had to adjust the staging for amphitheaters? Bigger band? Different arrangements?

A. All of the above. We’re reviving a lot of old songs I couldn’t pull off live [before] and there’s a lot more technology on stage. We’ve got large screens with beautiful content and close-ups of the band. But the key point is having a good time. The goal is for our songs to flow from the stage like the audience is used to.

Q. Did you pick Christina Perri as your opener?

A. I did. It was she who inspired me to work with my producer [Joe Chiccarelli], and we got to spend some time together and duet together. [Marz and Perri sing “Distance” from Perri’s album, “Lovestrong.”] It made perfect sense to join forces for a summer tour. She’s such a powerhouse. She’s always laughing and having a great time with everyone backstage.

Q. What’s inspired this new manly look with the long hair and beard?

A. [Laughs] When I made the last album I really retreated. I moved into a quiet little room in downtown Los Angeles for a couple of months and it was like being in a cave, and when I came out I have a beard and long hair. Then I got home [to San Diego] and took the mirror off the bathroom wall and replaced it with a sign that says, ‘You look amazing.’ It changed my whole outlook. I want to make great music and when I’m not making music I want to better the world.

Q. You’re doing a lot of ‘green’ things on this tour, aren’t you?

A. Absolutely. We’re eating food from local farmers every night and traveling with reusable filters. We’re planting trees in select cities and encouraging fans to carpool to the shows and giving them discounts.

Q. Will you be doing any political campaigning as the election gets closer?

A. Yeah, probably so. I think the swing states, especially. Personally, this isn’t a partisan issue, but I think a four-year term is too short because no matter who you are, you’re going to be met with opposition so you spend the first two years dealing with that and then it’s time to start thinking about campaigning so you have zero time to get anything done. I applaud [President] Obama for all that he has done and would love to see him have another four years to complete his mission.

Jason Mraz with Christina Perri. 7:30 p.m. Saturday. $23-$59.50. Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood, 2002 Lakewood Way, Atlanta. 1-800-745-3000,

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By Melissa Ruggieri, Atlanta Music Scene

19 comments Add your comment

The Source

August 15th, 2012
8:12 am

I disagree entirely with his political view on the presidency, but I am fan of his music and looking forward to seeing him perform.


August 15th, 2012
10:02 am

He just lost a fan. I really wish that musicians and actors would just shut up when it comes to politics…I don’t want your view and I don’t care about your view but now that you felt the need to give it to me, I will not go to your concerts or buy your albums. That probably doesn’t bother him though, given his political views, he probably just believes that everyone should get to go to his concerts for free and he should just give his albuma away. HYPOCRITE!


August 15th, 2012
10:28 am

I saw him in 2009 at the Verizon Amphitheater. This is not a new level of venue for him. This article seems dated.

david c

August 15th, 2012
10:39 am

Reagan, your handle is so obvious. I really hope your parents didn’t stick that one on ya. But I guess from your childish spew it fits.


August 15th, 2012
10:47 am

Reagan you’re that petty that you won’t be a fan because he prefers another candidate than you? I can see if he was spouting ignorance by saying he won’t vote and encouraging others to do the same (Lupe Fiasco) but he’s not. You said you liked his music; be a fan of his music not the person. Sounds like you’re hurting yourself more than him.


August 15th, 2012
10:57 am

To Reagan

It both fascinates and saddens me to see the level of hatred in the voices of people who embrace the cult of Fox, Limbaugh , et. al. Look closely at many of the greatest artists and musicians in history and you’ll find they have similar views. Think, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, and this young man among many others. How much hate does someone have to pack into their heart in order to be able to say “I love his person’s inspired wok, but I hate this person because he likes our president?”.

Really saddens me. Learn to love.


August 15th, 2012
11:16 am


August 15th, 2012
11:35 am

Yeah! Only bloggers can have opinions! Damn the musicians that do! We are the only ones allowed to voice opinions! You’ve lost me, Mraz! I have the right to disagree with you, but YOU, you cannot disagree with me! AJC Blog comments for life! My life is amazing!


August 15th, 2012
12:08 pm

Hey Reagan. You probably defended Mr. Cathy for speaking out against gay marriage. Now you want musicians to shut up about their views. If so, you’re the hypocrite not Jason. Mr. Cathy and Jason have every right to speak their views on any topic. Don’t agree, you have the right to not purchase his music or concert ticket as I will not “Eat Mor Chikin”.

urban redneck

August 15th, 2012
12:10 pm

who is jason mraz?

Melissa Ruggieri

August 15th, 2012
2:37 pm

Rik – that was part of a multi-act radio station concert. This is his first tour headlining amphitheaters.



August 15th, 2012
4:58 pm

that 2009 show @ Verizon was double booked. Tool initially were to play the amphitheater on that night, but alas, it was Jason Mraz who ended up playing there… Tool got moved to gwinnett arena. I was bummed about the extra drive time, but the show more than made up for it!


August 16th, 2012
10:09 am

When speaking about abortion Obama said “If my daughters make a mistake I don’t want them to be punished with a baby.” Did you know that if the abortion patient is running late to her abortion appointment, and gets rear ended by her abortion doctor whos also running late by accident at the exact time the abortion was supposed to take place and the fetus dies, the doctor is charged with 1 count of involuntary vehicular manslaughter? If this is so, then it IS a life. IF IT GROWS, IT’S ALIVE! IF YOU HAVE TO KILL IT, IT’S ALIVE! And it boggles my mind when someone like Jason Mraz who sings about love and peace and all these nice things stands behind a man who believes that a baby is a punishment if it’s inconvient. YOUR BEST ARGUEMENT IS “I LIKE TO HAVE SEX FOR PLEASURE” and you don’t want to endure the consequences. The decision is made when you open your legs, not when you find out your already pregnant because thats what happens when you have sex sometimes…I love Jason’s music and I’m sure his heart is something to admire, but I think he’s decieved. He beleive’s in local farms and businesses, small goverment, taking responsibility for your own life, God/Jesus Christ…these are conservative ideas…why does he support this inconsiderate president who has no interest in LEADING but rather RULING the USA.


August 16th, 2012
10:27 am

Am I on the Op-Ed page?
I just wanted to say what a disappointment it is to have another VERY middle of the road performer get an article in the AJC while more deserving artists get nothing. All, apparently, because this type of artist reaches more people & delivers more response for the paper. If that is a journalism school ethos, the entirety of journalism schools attendees missed that memo. Even as a business ethos, it’s severely lacking in forethought.
Btw, anyone other than tweens using their parents’ credit to see this guy for $60 is nuts. No, I’m not a a hater, just someone who can actually think critically.
Oh, and ftr


August 16th, 2012
11:13 am

Oh, and ftr, Mraz has the right to voice his opinion just like we all do. Respect, indeed.

[...] album, “Love is a Four Letter Word,” was released in April. With Christina Perri. Check out our interview with Mraz. 7:30 p.m. Aug. 18. $39.50-$59.50; $23 lawn. Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood, 2002 Lakewood Ave. [...]

[...] album, “Love is a Four Letter Word,” was expelled in April. With Christina Perri. Check out our talk with Mraz.7:30 p.m. Aug. 18. $39.50-$59.50; $23 lawn. Aaron’s Amphitheatre during Lakewood, 2002 Lakewood [...]


August 18th, 2012
3:17 pm

He’s extremely talented…I enjoy his music…He was asked a question about his political views and he answered in a straightforward way…Get over yourselves! I don’t think it’s any skin off his teeth if you decide you’ll no longer listen to his music because of his political juvenile..There are many republican rednecks who make good music..While I disagree with their political views, and consider them ignorant and misinformed, I would not stop listening to them and appreciating what they bring to the world with their musical gifts…The stupidity among Americans has reached unfathomable depths.

[...] hippie, treating fans with respect while quietly sharing his save-the-Earth missions (he mentioned in an interview last week several initiatives in place during this [...]