|Jewel: The Essential Live Songbook|
|Written by Noah Fleming|
|Monday, 24 November 2008|
Disc one of this two-disc Blu-ray set contains the "Goodbye Alice in Wonderland" Concert. This concert from 2006 marks her return to her musical roots. The concert was recorded at the Meyerson Symphony Center. There is a fair amount of material present in this concert, as compared to most. The tracks she performs are; "1000 Miles Away," "Near You Always," "Stephenville, TX," "Morning Song," "Fly To Me Angel," "Foolish Games," "You Were Meant For Me," "Long Slow Slide," "Hands," "Good Day," "Satellite," "Everybody Needs Someone Sometimes," "Love Me, Just Leave Me Alone," "Break Me," "Where You Are," "Standing Still," "Intuition," "Who Will Save Your Soul," "Goodbye Alice In Wonderland," and "Yodel."
Every track in this concert is performed with outstanding amounts of soul. This is an impressive concert.
The second Blu-ray disc contains the "Live at the Rialto Theatre" Concert. Originally, this concert was broken into two parts by SoundStage, and played on PBS. The concert took place in early 2007. If you thought the first concert had a ton of material you'll be astounded by the number of performances on this disc. The tracks on this concert are; "Near You Always," "Just Passing Time," "1000 Miles Away," "Little Sister," "The New Wild West," "Sometimes It Be That Way," "Get Ready Boy," "Morning Song," "Rosey And Mick," "Grey Matter," "Break Me," "Violet Eyes," "Life Uncommon," "Cold Song," "Race Car Driver," "Foolish Games," "You Were Meant For Me," "Who Will Save Your Soul," "Goodbye Alice In Wonderland," "I’m Sensitive," "Hands," "Satellite," "Intuition," "Anything Goes," "Per La Gloria D’Adorarvi," "Somewhere Over The Rainbow," and "Yodel."
While there is a lot of crossover material between concerts, each concert results in its own distinct feeling. At the same time, both concerts are very personal. You can really connect with Jewel and her music.
Koch Vision has been very generous with this release. The collection comes on two BD-50 Blu-ray discs with a 1080p/AVC encode in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio. Both concerts are superb video quality. The second half of the performances on each disc contains decked out set designs. On Blu-ray the details are extremely apparent and well represented. Textures are clear and present. Colors are vibrant and accurate, even with the massive amounts of colored lights used on stage. Jewel's skintone is flawless. The black levels are consistent, but a little weak. This causes the image to appear a little on the flat side. However, the image quality is better than 99 percent of most Blu-ray concerts.
Koch Vision has given the audience every audio version you could want. The primary track is a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 audio track. There is also a Stereo PCM audio track and a Dolby Digital 5.1 track. The acoustic performances by Jewel are well represented in all the channels. Most of the sounds are faint, but it draws you into her performances. The band performances are much more active. The mixes are well represented in all the channels. The bass is powerful, but not overly present. You are in for a special treat with the orchestra that is present on the Rialto Concert. The chamber orchestra sounds beautiful. The mix contains plenty of space around the performers. The Stereo PCM track feels much more tight compared with the surround mixes. The Dolby Digital mix doesn't even hold a candle to the DTS-HD audio track.
Even with all the performances present already, there are several bonus videos. First there are four performances from her performance at Red Rocks. These songs are; "Everybody Needs Someone Sometimes," "Love Me, Just Leave Me Alone," "Standing Still," "Who Will Save Your Soul." Rare for bonus materials, the audio here is DTS-HD 5.1. Second, there is a music video for "Stephenville, TX." This clip has a Stereo PCM audio track. Lastly, there is an interview with Jewel. She provides some of the well known background on her life growing up and how she relates to her music.
This is an incredible release. It is safe to say, these concerts have rekindled my affection for some of Jewel's folk tunes. All the material is presented in high definition, which is a nice change. The audio and video quality is impressive. This is a must own in terms of music concerts on Blu-ray. Highly Recommended.