ATLANTA — 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. Mraz, 35, had time for a brief chat from a tour stop in Tampa to talk about the live show, his positive outlook 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. 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 ... and traveling with reusable filters. We’re planting trees in select cities and encouraging fans to carpool to the shows and giving them discounts.