Jewel – April 16th 2016
Music Box @ The Borgata – Atlantic City, NJ
Words/Photos/Videos – Jay Porks
Atlantic City is known for many things. Casinos, Casinos that closed down, Buffets double stocking trays of food in fear of visits from the Governor, people wondering when new Casinos are going to open and lots and lots of folks walking down the street grubbing cigarettes. Tonight Atlantic City has one thing happening worth my time, and that’s an evening with Jewel at the Borgata.
Before the night officially kicked off we were treated with a set from JD & The Straight Shot. That is only if treated is actually code word for “tortured”. It’s bad enough my basketball team is terrible, but now the owner of said basketball team is causing another inconvenience to my life by impeding on this awesome evening with Jewel? What scared me most was that all these old people were digging it. The fake upbeat manufactured bluegrass crap.. Most likely the high rollers that surround me were comped in due to the amount of money they lose here on a weekly basis. Maybe they don’t even know who was playing. Covered “Let it Roll” by Little Feet before ending this annoyance at 9:30. Not before Dolan had a top hat on and pulled a stuffed rabbit out of it. What a clown
At 9:51 Jewel’s voice began playing on the loud speakers. Throughout the evening we would get these little pieces wisdom from her. Whether it’s little short stories written for the tour or pieces of her memoir on audiobook, which was on sale at merch because this is the Picking Up The Pieces tour after all. . Shorty, beginning the night with her version of Somewhere Over The Rainbow, Alaska’s favorite songstress was here to serenade the room.
The cool things about intimate evenings like this is the ability for the artist to give the audience some background on the songs. Most of tonight’s music was accompanied by a little tale. Jewel was taking a lot of time to tell us the stories behind the songs. Like driving down the mountains in 2001 hearing Hands on the radio shortly after 9/11. Or the drug bust Jewel and her friend Steve Poltz accompanied Mexican Federali on that ended with a thousand pounds of pot. Or how she hates that she thinks she sounds like Kermit the Frog.
The set was well rounded featuring songs both new and old. Plain Jane was a new one I got the name of. It’s written about a party she went to in New York City that she alleged wasn’t dressed nice enough to be at. Little Sister, Angel Standing By, Father’s Daughter all early crowd favorites. Heard some of the most beautiful songs of my life here tonight. The loudest the night got was during Standing Still oddly enough. It’s a way bigger song than I realize because I only usually hear it in a supermarket, I never listened to it as a stand alone song on purpose. There was a buzz for the whole song.
As far as documenting the evenings proceedings, I did fairly well. I was able to snag video of Little Sister, You Were Meant For Me, Foolish Games and Who Will Save Your Soul. The exact tracks I walked into this venue planing on getting. Love it when things work out. Also got Standing Still because the why the heck not. After Who Will Save Your Soul Jewel said goodnight to a resounding ovation. She came back out to do a little yodeling. Yes yodeling. It was awesome.
Sometimes you just need a phenomenal evening of good songs in good seats at a good place. And your favorite artists from the 90s hitting stages. With the exception of JD & the Straight Shot, I cannot find anything more I could have asked for from Jewel at the Music Box at the Borgata here in Atlantic City. Incredible.