Jewel played Cleveland last night. As usual, she put on a good show and had an outstanding band. Still, weird things were afoot at the Nautica Stage.
First off, Jewel is as polished and passionate as ever as a performer. She's a professional and a damn good performer. That said, there were some things missing from her show compared to the first time I saw her at the Lakewood Civic Auditorium. She doesn't talk to the crowd as much, she doesn't yodel and she doesn't do the unpublished songs we all know. I fell in love with her because of these things, not because of her CD's.
Was it a bad show? Absolutely not. She still did "The Cold Song." She blew me away with the "New Wild West," which is easily the best song on her last album. And she shook her (slightly thinner since last time) "ghetto booty" all over the place. Can't beat that.
I'm thinking a lot of the weirdness came from the environment. First off, fucking Q104 (Cleveland radio station) was everywhere, including introducing the opening bands. I loath that station, and Cleveland radio in general. Granted, I came from Cleveland radio right out of college, so I'm still a little bitter, but what the hell? How many barbie interns do we need running around with bumper stickers?
Then FYE, the record store, has a tent setup inside. Don't know what their point was.
Then there were the attendees. Fortunately, there was a lot of skin to watch, good hair, nice tattoos and navels, and this irresistable novelty selling girl (who was just "a little" pregnant, but still a cutie). That was the good part.
The bad part was the yuppie piece of shit element. Now that I make a good bit of coin, I absolutely can't stand how "those people" create this stigma associated with upper-middle class. These two dudes, easily around 40 years, were about to go at it for who the fuck knows what. Security had to babysit them the whole show. Give me a fuckin' break. What the hell do you have to fight about? You're at a fucking rock concert! I've seen better behaved crowds at KMFDM, where all of the kids people are scared of are having a good time!
What struck me is the irony that Jewel made a speech at the show (and on her Web site) about how corporate and generic the music industry had become, yet everything around me was a part of that. I don't know, maybe it's because the last two shows I went to were Garbage and KMFDM, which oddly enough both sold out despite little to no radio promotion.
So all things considered, Jewel put on a good show, and it wasn't really her fault for the environment, but it sure was odd.
On a side note, I love the new "roof" over Nautica. Would've been nice to see when INXS played there in the rain for one of their last shows.