It seems like 2015 has been one of the more challenging and difficult years for nearly everyone I know, but I also think many of you will agree that it has been quite a good year for Jewel fans. Not only did she finally publish her long awaited book of memoirs and what many (including me) consider to be the strongest album of her career, many of you finally got the opportunity to experience Jewel up close in intimate settings (like bookstores!). She also collaborated onstage with a diverse range of performers this year, from great musicians and songwriters like Alison Krauss, Kris Kristofferson, Kip Moore and The Zac Brown Band, to comedian Josh Wolf, Kool & The Gang, and on two occasions, rockin' out with The Foo Fighters!
For our year-ending EDA Inclusive, I’d like to share a couple of my favorite 2015 on-stage moments with you. I’ll also be exploring a different approach this month by collaborating with some of you on this one! Let me explain...
During the past several years cell phone cameras have come a long way. Many are now capable of shooting very stable HiDef video even under less than optimal conditions. The result is that nearly every concert of note is shot on cell phones these days with the results often available on YouTube within 24 hours. As good as this type of footage often is, the weak link is the audio, as microphones still leave a lot to be desired, even on the most sophisticated phones. One of my obsessions during the past few years is synchronizing high quality audio to my favorite fan-shot bootleg videos. Sharing a couple of these with you is what I'm up to for this month’s EDA Inclusive.
These videos have an unusual thing in common, as both occurred immediately after significant historical events, one terrific and one horrific. That coincidence aside, I’m confident that you will enjoy both of these videos as much as I do.
The first is a rather long one and has an element I’m always looking for - spontaneity! It also features some of the most enjoyable Jewel/EDA interaction ever captured. This occurred on August 19, 2015 in the middle of Jewel’s Sheridan Opera House concert in Telluride. This was right after Marriage Equality was finally passed. At the pre-show meet & greet, Jewel met Steph Beecher, a longtime EDA who was so cool that Jewel invited Steph to join her on stage that night for a Q&A session. As Steph explained it to me:
“This was totally not planned. Meg had absolutely no idea, Sheridan folks had no idea, and Jewel had no idea. Meg and I bought tickets for the meet and greet. When I went up to talk to Jewel I showed her my journal (from when I was 11 years old) and asked her if I could ask a couple of questions from it. The journal was called "Jewel" and in it, I wrote obsessively about Jewel and questions I would ask her if I ever met her. Before I could even open the journal, she asked if I would ask her my questions on stage. At some point during the show, she would call me up to the stage to read the questions.”
So, without giving anything else away, that's the basic back story. I can only add that I find Steph’s time on stage thoroughly enjoyable, often hilarious and to be honest, I just love everything about it! For maximum enjoyment, watch this all the way through, as some of the most engaging moments occur towards the end:
The second video I’d like to share with you is even more recent. It was recorded two weeks ago on November 14, 2015 at The Palace Theatre in Los Angeles, which was the night after the horrific terrorist attacks on Paris. By request, Jewel performed a potent version of “The New Wild West,” which she hasn’t played in quite some time. Also now synchronized with soundboard direct audio, have a look and listen:
My personal thanks to several EDAs, without whom this months Inclusive would not have been possible - Kate Cox who stealth shot the Telluride footage, Oscar Hernandez who stealth shot the L.A. footage and last but certainly not least, Steph Beecher for being so cool and comfortable with me sharing the footage of her with all of you.
Here's to 2016 being a less difficult year than this one. Some great things are already in the works, so stay tuned. I wish you all safe and happy holidays! Alan