Singer, songwriter, poet. I had heard many praises of Jewel over the years. Being it my first time seeing the talented musician, I was uncertain what to expect but, to my surprise, all the stories I had heard were just the tip of the iceberg. Jewel is so much more then just a singer. She is a well-rounded artist that does not shy away from the topics that matter most to her. She sings from her experiences and sings from the soul. Jewel is as real as it gets and last Thursday night I, along with a packed Avalon Ballroom, were treated to the music stylings and storytelling of the Alaskan native.
Intermixing old favourites and newer tracks, Jewel made the night memorable as she played her heart out and made the already intimate venue feel even smaller and more personal. Taking requests throughout her set, Jewel stood alone, center stage, and delivered her poetic lyrics with grace, humility and compassion. Jewel stated early in the set that she was feeling under the weather, however this did not hinder her singing or spirit whatsoever. She had the crowd grinning and enjoying themselves all evening, especially with the tune “Cold Song,” which she teased was an example of her being ‘poetic.’ A song that clearly resonated with the onlookers, bringing tears to some, was “Violet Eyes,” which was written in tribute to a friend of hers who had passed away from cancer, fifteen years prior.
Each song Jewel performed throughout the night was accompanied by a story that helped connect her with the audience. Much to the delight of the Canadian crowd, Jewel referred to the influence that late great Leonard Cohen had on her song writing and joked that “Foolish Games” was her way of ‘ripping off’ Cohen’s song “Famous Blue Raincoat.” Jewel’s light-heartedness shined throughout the night as she told story after story and created an atmosphere of kindness and humility. Jewel interacted with members of the audience all night and made them feel as if they were a part of the family. In her song “My Father’s Daughter,” she sang of her Dad and how “he passed on legacy wrapped up in melody.” This is a tradition that she carries forth each night she performs.
Jewel made an impression on all those in attendance last night. She has a gift for pairing music and story telling in such a way that makes you feel included and turns her show into a unique and rewarding experience. Everyone left the venue last night with their hearts a little fuller as Jewel enlightened with her passion. Make sure you do not miss out the next time this gem from the 49th State comes to a venue near you.
Near You Always
My Father’s Daughter
Pretty Faced Fool
You Were Meant for Me
Who Will Save Your Soul
Photos by Brandon Taylor. We would like to thank Mallory Antonello from the Fallsview Casino for the credentials to review the show.