Monday, November 3, 2008

In the Center of It All

Last night, I was at the peak of fashion, and I do not take freak coincidences like that lightly.

Jewel played at the brand-spanking new Urban Plains Center. It was the place to be for 30-something women, and not a very good place to meet a man. But that is not why I was there. Here's why it was a big deal to me: First of all, I love Jewel. That sounds kind of cheesy, I guess, but I own 6 of her 7 albums, so you can judge if I'm exaggerating or not. (I only own multiple albums of one other group, U2) Second, this UP Center is kind of the new big thing in town, and this was the first concert held there. Third, Aaron was totally depressed that I went with my buddy Crystal and not him. He's probably one of the few not-attending men who was actually SAD about it, but he said it's because it was an event. (It occurred to me yesterday afternoon that I sounded a bit Barbie- going to a Jewel concert with Crystal. Yikers.)

So I'll summarize this "event" for you:

The parking was horrendous. I followed the signs and ended up in a line at least a mile long of cars bumper-to-bumper, moving one car at a time. After 10 minutes, I still couldn't see the Center. So I turned around in the middle of the road and went further north, where I could see that vehicles were getting a whole lot closer in a lot less time. I got to park in a deeply rutted field, which thankfully was dry. Then I walked a quarter mile to the front doors, on the opposite end of the building from where I'd parked. Of course.

Because of the traffic (and my request for cash) Crystal didn't make it into the building until about 7:15. The concert was supposed to start at 7pm, and the videos of Jewel performing in the entry area were giving me mini-heart attacks that I was missing her - but then Realtor Dave reassured me that there was an opening act. Whew. Realtor Dave was there with his daughter, and was trying to give away his extra ticket. If only we'd known that sooner! And had a babysitter. Oh well.

We made it in and found our incredibly good seats, in the 9th row, all thanks to Crystal. I was very glad I had worn my turtleneck and long sweater vest-thingy, even though as I had watched all the chickies come in I'd felt overdressed. What those young thangs forgot is that this place is a hockey rink. It was seriously chilly. Especially for poor us on the floor.

Jewel was simply great. She opened with an a Capella version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" which was actually not a bit cheesy. Okay, maybe a little. But still, it's a great song. It was a simple concert, with just her & her guitar, and a table and chair with a floral arrangement for visual interest. She sang all the "big" songs: Hands, You Were Made For Me (my fav), Intuition (too bad I can't separate it from the ladies' shaver ad), Foolish Games (Crystal's fav), Standing Still, and her very first single, Who Will Save Your Soul.

Of course, she also sang a couple songs off of her new country album, which I'd listened to twice the night before. (Leah likes Jewel! Who'd have thunk )

For her encore, she did a yodeling piece, and proclaimed us all sick when we screamed, "YES" we wanted her to go faster! At that speed, it ceased to sound like singing, and sound more like a dj scratching a record. It was incredible.

In between various songs, Jewel told very cute little stories about her social anxiety, a freaky video she received from a fan (including You Were Made For Me at half speed and a nekkid fat man covered in Crisco), a story about being on the sidelines of a drug bust in Mexico (she was NOT involved personally!), and of course, her beginnings in Alaska and being homeless in San Diego. All in all, she was very charming and made you think you could be friends with her. Yep. Really.

Here's something that stunned me: She taught herself 4 guitar chords in order to busk her way across the lower 48 - at age 16. She got her first record deal at age 18, and her first single was the one song she wrote on her cross-country trip - Who Will Save Your Soul. Seriously - who exactly does that happen to?
She said when she first heard "Save Your Soul" on the radio she was totally embarrassed, because she realized that she sounded like Kermit the Frog. "But", she said, "I was embarrassed all the way to the bank, so it worked out all right!"

Gotta love the honesty.


Noel said...

Nice report.

At the hockey christening of the UP, they had parking and shuttle service from the softball parking lot adjacent to the new Salem location. That made me wonder about a new ministry of event parking and van service from the new Salem. Hopefully the parking situation will get better. Did you experience the roundabouts?

Speaking of Salem, in Sunday School the last couple weeks there has been side bar discussion on whether men should be allowed to participate in the Book Club if they are not the author of the book. One of the "con" arguments is that if men came to Book Club, there would be no one to take care of the kids. Maybe the same doctrine applies to husbands attending Jewell concerts.

And finally, Sherman, if we set the wayback machine to the late 1970s, we find Lyz, Jewel, and Sarah Palin all living in Alaska at the same time (along with one of my college room mates). I'm not sure where to go with this thread....

Lyz said...

Noel: Yes, I experienced the roundabouts, but without any other traffic, so they were fine.

I am a big fan of separate gender activities - I think it benefits both men and women. I read a great article once that compared beauty salons and barbershops in this way. So with much apologies, I say NO to guys in our book club! Of course, you are free to start your own.:) And us ladies will stay home with the kids.

It's true - maybe that's one reason I've always liked Jewel, is that we came from the same frontier state. Although I only lived there for 6 years or so, and in a fairly large city. But still!

mama.nichols4 said...

What a fun night! I remember when Jewel debuted.

I'm too tired to think further into a comment.. I'm glad you had a great time. Thanks for today. :)

Crystal said...

Woo! I had a really good time :)

Matt said...

You'll be happy to hear the parking lot at the UP Center is being paved this week and next. The hastle of parking last winter will hopefully not be as much of a problem.