Jewel and Don Henley – TSB Arena, Wellington – 22 March 2017

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Originally featured in www.13thfloor.co.nz

With a three-night stint in Aotearoa Henley rounded off his landed his four-decade time machine in the Capital with much ado and little fanfare.

Jewel Kilcher kicked off the evening with a simple solo set, beginning with a simple and stark a capella rendition of Somewhere Over The Rainbow. I haven’t see her perform since she performed in Wellington over 20 years. When she did that gig she was in her prime and she was very young, too. Her first album was out and she was enjoying the novelty of her first world tour. “This place is a barn” she remarked, noting the lousy sound and high reverberation. Back then the TSB really was a barn. Roll on a few years. Times have changed. Thanks to the shows like WOW (World of Wearable Arts) the place has come up to speed. And sound systems are definitely much better these days. All the better to hear Jewel. I’m still amazed at the purity of her voice. It’s still unique and so very clear. I don’t think it’s changed at all over the years. She still possesses the ability to jump octaves in a single song. The best example is during her big hits Who Will Save Your Soul and You Were Meant For Me. The latter she does with such aching passion that there’s not a dry eye in the place. She also rattles off a couple of others like Intuition, Hands, Standing Still and Foolish Games. Most of her material comes from the early albums. They all sound great in this stripped back format, as they were originally written.

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