The evening got off to a bad start when the box office didn’t have our tickets. Fortunately, a very nice guy working that night was able to help us out. “We have some extra tickets,” he said. And they were good seats! No love for Jewel? “There’s love,” box office guy replied. “Just not… that much love.”
So the place wasn’t packed and she might have been better off doing a show at say, the Triple Door, but it wasn’t downright embarrassing or anything. What surprised me is that Jewel has a lot of frat boy types that love her. I was expecting something more along the lines of the crowd at the Ani DiFranco concert earlier this year. Turns out, straight men love them some Jewel.
The blonde folk singer, now 34—wow, has it been that long since “Pieces of You”??—performed an entirely acoustic set. She performed plenty of her ‘90s hits and some of her newer country-tinged songs from the current album “Perfectly Clear.”
Truth be told, I never knew until last night that Jewel is a great performer. The lady can sing—and more importantly, yodel. People went nuts every time she yodeled. Jewel’s set included a somber rendition of “Hands” dedicated to the victims of September 11 and to bring the mood up again, she fessed up to sounding like Kermit the Frog on “Who Will Save Your Soul.” (Which she kinda does.)
Some dude screamed out a request for Jewel to play “Free Bird” to which she replied, "I'm sure your date's thrilled with you right now." I forgot Jewel can deal with some ribbing. Remember her super awkward interview on MTV with Kurt Loder back in the day? She called him a smart ass after he accused her of misusing the word “casualty” in one of her poems. Probably one of the most tense interviews ever on the typically ass kissing MTV.
Anyway, it was the first time I’ve seen Jewel perform live and I can see why she went from living in her van to getting a record deal so quickly. It’s rare that a performer can command that large a group to stay in their seats, shut their mouths, and listen for more than five minutes.
My only complaint is that Jewel SHOULD’VE broken the acoustic-only rule for her set when she sang “Foolish Games.” That melodramatic piece of heartbreak ain’t the same without a piano. Click play on the music video above and you’ll see what I mean.