Born in Utah and raised in Alaska, singer Jewel Kilcher — known professionally simply as Jewel — has laid down her roots in Texas with her husband, Ty Murray. She debuted in 1995 with her album “Pieces of You,” which sold more than 15 million copies, thanks to her hits “Who Will Save Your Soul,” “You Were Meant for Me” and “Foolish Games.” Fittingly, she is the host of the Bravo singer-songwriter competition, “Platinum Hit,” where she also serves as one of the judges.
Jewel may have been nursing a broken collarbone and ribs, but there was nothing ailing her voice Sunday night at the Chicago Theatre. Backed by a five-piece band, the singer-songwriter captivated the sold-out crowd with a two-hour plus concert that showed off her flexible range. She sang all the expected hits from her three studio albums (excluding her Christmas CD, for obvious reasons).
“Turn to me with frozen lips; Your hands are icy cold.” No, Jewel wasn’t describing the chilly conditions Friday night at the New World Music Theatre. Rather, she was singing a verse from “What’s Simple is True.” What’s true is simply this: With two hit albums (“Pieces of You” and “Spirit”), a best-selling poetry book (A Night Without Armor) and a leading role in Ang Lee’s coming film “Ride with the Devil,” Jewel’s ingenue days are over. Talented and lovely, she oozes telegenic charm in her music videos.
Sitting on a stool – but looking as if he’d be happier hopping around – Steve Poltz accompanied himself on guitar and played homespun acoustic rock songs from his week-old solo album, “One Left Shoe.” He padded his two-hour set – which is brief by Poltz standards – covering cuts by TLC’s “Waterfalls,” Prince’s “Little Red Corvette” and Jewel’s “You Were Meant for Me.” Poltz, who still is in the Rugburns, included some of his group’s material as well.