Live at Humphrey's by the Bay DVD

The contemporary artist, Jewel, is an unusual review for R13, but this lady can sing. The reserved and sometimes shy girl that grew up in Alaska has never really been comfortable in the spotlight. Jewel's debut album, "Pieces of You", released in 1995, peaked at number 2 on the American Billboard. She decided to take a break after her successful second album, "Spirit" was released in 1998. The DVD "Live at Humphrey's by the Bay" was shot after the release of her 2001 comeback album, "This Way" and released in 2004. The DVD was recorded over two nights with a sold out crowd at the venue in San Diego. The DVD also includes bonus features such as interviews, videos from the tour and a photo gallery.

Being the ever down to earth girl, she plays most of this concert with an acoustic guitar and on her own, dressed in a simple top and jeans. The first half of the show is basically an unplugged and solo act, filled with melancholic breakup songs. Highlights on the first half of DVD include the acapella rendition of 'Per La Gloria D'Adorarvi' and apparently forgetting the lyrics to 'Kiss the Flame' and employing one of her dedicated fans in the audience to help her with the lyrics.

Jewel has always managed to deliver emotional songs without sounding cheesy, but I must admit that after one too many break up and melancholic song, the DVD became a bit tedious. 'New Wild West' was a fresh change with a more social/political theme.

There is a whole new dynamic to the show when her band joins her on stage for the last four songs. Personally I preferred this part of the show. The groove kicks in and the whole atmosphere changes. Whilst Jewel is obviously a very talented guitarist, her voice comes out so much stronger when accompanied by the band.

The concert ends with a classic performance of one of Jewel's best hits, 'Who Will Save Your Soul' taken from her debut album. She delivers the song with so much soul and complete with some Janis Joplin sounding improvisation in the breakdown. Jewel ends the show like she started it with the entire audience in the palm of her little hand.

The DVD was produced by Gloria Gabriel and with a collection of songs taken from her career spread over ten years, this is a must have for any Jewel fan and contemporary music lover.