First, let me get this off my chest: Finally, a Jewel concert on DVD!
This is Jewel's first concert release on DVD. I thought it was great-- no rapid cuts between cameras, no quirky sound issues, and the picture is crisp, clean, and clear. Jewel is radiant, and I thought this recording did well to capture her sense of humor.
For those who prefer pre-0304 before the makeover, this was performed well before 0304, so it's folkie-acoustic-Jewel. Whether you like her recent transformation or not, this DVD boasts the same great voice her fans have come to know and love.
Though some have complained about the sound, it's not an issue unless you're *really, really, really* a sound buff. I popped it in the player and was able to enjoy it just fine with my TV speakers and the occasional stereo headphone (when I play it on the computer).
About 3/4 of the songs are done solo, so fans of "Jewel & Guitar" won't be disappointed. The last four songs (You Were Meant For Me, Hands, Everybody Needs Someone Sometime, Who Will Save Your Soul) are performed with a band backing her up. (She picks up the electric guitar in the 'Hands' performance.)
Also included are 3 bonus performances of Love Me Just Leave Me Alone, Do You Want to Play, and Jesus Loves You. There's also a Standing Still video, which is basically a montage of various behind the scenes and concert clips showing while the song is playing. Then there's an interview with Jewel that's about 12 minutes long in which she talks about her creative process and the long break she took between before recording 'This Way.'
Jewel's forte is live performances. Though I wish there were more songs, I'll take what I can get. I especially enjoyed her lively banter with her audience, and it was great fun to see her start off her concert with opera, off all things, a cappella. I also liked Who Will Save Your Soul, which when performed live nowadays is nothing like what it was on the album. It's become a jazzy number that serves her as a vehicle for improv, and improv she definitely does on this one!
Just to set the record straight, I did some research on Jewel since some people have complained that the material is old (from 2001). The new tour for the 0304 CD is currently underway in the US, so it's 1) impossible to get a concert DVD for the new tour, since it still hasn't wrapped up yet, which means 2) this DVD was probably released partly to help promote the 0304 tour.
Sound quality I thought was fine. Jewel's voice rang crystal clear. Picture quality was terrific, clear, and sharp-- no fuzziness/blurriness like on Sarah McLachlan's Mirrorball DVD. The editing wasn't distracting in the slightest, so no rapid-chops like on Sheryl Crow's C'mon America release.
If you're a Jewel fan, definitely get this. If you like the genre or if you loved Lillith Fair, this should be of interest to you. However, if the thought of a girl and her guitar for an hour makes you sleepy just thinking about it, pass on this. My take on this is that it isn't my all-time favorite concert, but it was worth the money and I'm definitely happy with this purchase. I like the genre, I like Jewel, and this concert was 15 bucks decently spent.