Monday, July 7, 2008

"Let our light shine through the night..."

"I'm talking about my life and my stories. I'm not trying to use art as propaganda to make myself sound more perfect than I am. I talk about the good, bad and the ugly."-Jewel Kilcher-

After a fun-filled day at Playland, I hit the road, east bound to pick up my Dad, who was my date for the evening. Then we were en route to The Red Robinson Show Theatre in Coquitlam, and both beyond excited to catch the lovely Jewel Kilcher's sold out solo acoustic performance there on Saturday night. After grabbing a couple Keith's at one of the many bars inside the place, we were ushered into the theatre. We had the most amazing seats ever in this unique venue, at which I'd never before seen a show. I was definitely impressed. You could have heard a pin drop on stage and it was so intimate that it actually felt like we were just hanging out with Jewel for the night, as opposed to being at a formal concert.

Jewel interacted with the crowd as though we were all old friends. With her pure, bell-toned voice, subtle intonations, and brilliant lyrics, she entranced us for nearly two hours. Appearing with no back up, the blonde beauty stood centre stage and played an acoustic guitar as if it were an extension of her body.

What's so refreshing about Jewel is her down to earth nature. She's completely open and relaxed with the audience. She tells entertaining stories, isn't afraid to make fun of herself and is quick with witty comments and observations between songs. Not only is this woman a brilliant singer and songwriter who will knock your socks off with her voice and sound, she's also incredibly funny. She sings and tells tales of her road from homeless to celebrity with a kind of poignancy that blows you away. She's the kind of girl that you want to be friends least, I do.

Her most recent record, Perfectly Clear is a country one. Country music tends to eat and spit out pop stars who think they can twang it up and take over the Nashville airwaves. But Jewel was never really a pop star. She grew up in rural Alaska, the daughter of hippy intellectuals and burst on the music scene in 1995 with the remarkable self recorded Pieces of You album that saw Bob Dylan and Neil Young hailing her as the newest singer/songwriter since Joni Mitchell.
That said, I've always been able to detect the country influence in Jewel's music, so her new sound doesn't feel like a huge departure to me. Plus, with the boundaries of musical genres becoming more blurred all the time, her latest songs are fresh and on point without being easily categorized, in my opinion. It's just that she's finally getting some air time on the country music stations. Since I've been a fan of her music since she first emerged on the scene, I have a sentimental attachment to all of her records, so I was delighted that she played a fantastic mix of songs from her entire catalogue, including all of my favourites.

To cap off the night, Jewel yodeled in the encore, much to the delight of the crowd, who were attentive and transfixed by her music for her entire performance, despite being quite a different audience than I am used to seeing at her shows. Jewel's distinct sound and prevailing passion has never been more evident. This little girl from Alaska can put on one hell of a show.


Danny said...

You got some really great shots. Thanks for posting.

Tawcan said...

Great shots. I haven't been to any concert lately. The last one I went was Deftones. I'm getting pretty stocked about the Radiohead concert in August. Can't wait!

Barbara Doduk said...

It is a great venue isn't it.