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State Fair Grandstand endurance test, days 5 & 6: Beach Boys, Jason Mraz

Jason Mraz: Look at this fuckin' guy

Jason Mraz: Look at this fuckin' guy Star Tribune

If you're just tuning in, this year I'm attending all 12 Grandstand shows, as a feat of State Fair endurance, My interest in these shows ranges from mild to nonexistent. Make sure to check in each day as I lose more and more of myself to this misguided task. 

Day 5: Beach Boys

8:45—The Righteous Brothers Bill Medley sings “Unchained Melody” solo. A contender for the greatest song of all time. Seeing it live is a treat.

9:30—The remnants of the Beach Boys race to their positions on stage. Video behind the set projects a montage of the band in their heyday.

9:32—John Stamos arrives, stands front and center playing a red, white and blue guitar. The same John Stamos who played Uncle Jesse in Full House tours with the Beach Boys.

9:42—Beloved popular entertainer Mike Love runs through fluff hit “Surfing USA.” The 77-year-old singer mimes riding a surf board during the chorus.

9:44—John Stamos given proper introduction. A satisfying answer for Stamos’ inclusion in the band is not given, leaving the audience perplexed.

9:52—The Beach Boys have a proxy Brian Wilson who takes the lead for “Don’t Worry Baby.” The song is still great if a proper reminder that the band is missing their genius leader and best vocalist.

10:06—Uncle Jesse gets behind the kit and plays a drum solo. It’s a surreal moment in a night full of them.

10:16—John Stamos is embraced at center stage by Mike Love.

10:21—The Boys run through “God Only Knows.” It’s apropos that John Stamos is still on stage.

10:30—A new Beach Boys song is played, presumably for fans of the band’s recent output?

10:37—“Wouldn’t It Be Nice,” the best Beach Boys song.

10:41—There’s a moment in “California Girls” when John Stamos takes over lead vocals.

10:54—The set closes with “Good Vibrations.” John Stamos will forever eclipse the music in my memory of having seen the Beach Boys.

Day 6: Jason Mraz

8:47—Jason Mraz takes the stage. It’s the smallest crowd of the Grandstands so far. This may be due, in part, to the fact that Jason Mraz is terrible.

8:48—Oh no.

8:58—Mraz is rapping now and it’s horrifying.

9:00—Jason looks like a guy who buys a Plan B pill before a first date.

9:05—If you think the Jason Mraz songs you’ve heard on the radio are bad, you should hear the rest of his music. This is painful.

9:07—“The Remedy” is an all-time stinker. I hate that I know the words to this song.

9:11—What podcast should I listen to?

9:15—Band is dressed in oversized one-piece jumpsuits. Mraz has a tiny barbershop quartet hat on which would look ridiculous if he weren’t Jason Mraz.

9:18—Mraz is for some reason giving a speech about why we should replace the word “fuck” with “love” in our vocabulary. Love off, Mraz.

9:22—There’s a giant sign advertising “Good Vibes” that’s hung above this relentlessly vibe-killing concert.

9:28—The rain is coming down. Presumably, God wants this concert to end too.

9:32—Jason Mraz writes lyrics with the care of a drunken carnival barker.

9:36—I’m watching a Jason Mraz concert in the cold rain. Karma is real.

9:38—How can someone who spends so much time scatting and hip-hoppin’ be this low energy? Time has ground to a halt.

9:45—I just don’t see why people like this shit. It’s repulsive. The lowest common denominator of music.

9:56—Hopeless Aretha Franklin tribute. Lightning inexplicably fails to strike Mraz.

10:03—“Why are we here? To say our hellos and goodbyes and disappear?” This is some of the philosophy of Mraz, a void of personal interrogation.

10:10—This is one degree removed from Christian summer camp entertainment. The gospel is all that’s missing.

10:22—“I’m Yours” is a horrifying reality of popular music. I want to dip my ears in acid.

10:30—Mraz is rapping again and this is unquestionably the worst concert I’ve ever been to.

This is Ryan’s third dispatch from the fair. Check out his first two reviews here and here. He has just six more Grandstand concerts to get through.