Jewel polishes actJewel
Mar. 17, 2004
Review and Photos by Phil BonyataJewel's stripped down (no band mates - and no, not naked) show made an intimate appearance last night at the Coronado Theatre in Rockford, IL. During her 90 minute set - Jewel culled from all four of her CDs - and told personal stories interspersed with crowd interaction. Her popularity might be waning a bit - but her voice hasn't lost its soaring range. Flanked by three guitars on a bare bones stage - Jewel kicked-off the set with the lucid and tender "Near You Always." "Passing Time" had the velvety chorus wrap it's arms around her expressive delivery.
Oozing with sex-appeal and wearing a tight tank-top with her name "leweJ" spelled backwards and hip hugging jeans, the Alaska native unintentionally tempted the audience, male and female, into making various cat calls. "I love you Jewel" to "I want you Jewel." Her tight-fitting clothes surely weren't meant to discourage. Jewel fought back and started into "Boy Needs a Bike (Ride Away)" She started strumming the chords, but couldn't remember the words (the song is off a bootleg, after all). She then challenged someone in the audience to come up on stage and help sing the lines. An excited couple hit the stage and together they patched the song together. "Even Britney Spears forgets her dance moves sometimes," she chuckled while shaking her hips suggestively back and forth. "It happens to the best of us."
The folk princess turned deep inside on numbers like "Hands," "What's Simple Is True," "Little Sister," and "2 Find U." She created a bridge to the audience inside the ornate, but small theatre. Jewel infused some personal humor and seemed to think verbal interaction was needed, including a too long Q&A with the audience for an encore.
Her stage movements are concentrated, but fluid. Her body moves in and out naturally between the chord changes and vocal inflections - weaving a lyrical tapestry. On "You Were Meant For Me" Jewel's high range seemed to be fueled by a little of Popeye's leftover spinach. On "Who Will Save Your Soul" Jewel tilts her head back and forth and coos out the question that most in the audience have no answer to.
Jewel's talent lies in a brew consisting of a beautiful voice, sexual charisma and a knack for changing with the times.
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