By Josh Hertzog   Published Jul 23, 2005 at 5:20 AM

{image1} Jewel sparkled as she provided an intimate solo acoustic performance at the Pabst Theater on Friday, July 22.

An acapella cover of "Somewhere over the Rainbow" started the show, which immediately demonstrated Jewel's incredible vocal range and note carrying capability. If anyone was chatting before she opened her mouth, they quickly refrained and were drawn in as her voiced proved soothing and pure.

Reviving many of the classics from her first three albums such as "Morning Song," "You Were Meant for Me," "Standing Still," "Hands" and "Foolish Games," it was the Jewel the public hadn't seen in awhile: the folk singer.

What surprised many was that she took requests from the audience during her 20-song set. And she just didn't play a song or two that the crowd asked of her, she played them all.

"I hope you guys don't have a curfew," she said.

There was practically no resting moment for the multiple Grammy winner because when she finished a song, she'd tell a story or a joke like an episode of VH1 "Storytellers," often describing the interesting and sometimes crazy lifestyle that is Hollywood.

She mentioned the plastic surgery trend in regards to Nicole Kidman's nose being the only thing she could wiggle in the new film "Bewitched." It was that joke and others which allowed Jewel to come off as a down-to-Earth 31-year-old.

That and the fact that she made up a tune about Milwaukee off the top of her head and shared it with the crowd, singing about our beer and the lake as roars followed.

Jewel shared a few new songs with the crowd from a record that might be released in February. It was a sigh of relief for many as new material was on its way, and the songs were back to the "Pieces of You" style and very autobiographical, not the un-Jewel-like "0304" album.

What blew the audience away was the question and answer session Jewel conducted at the end of the set. She took the time and answered every curious-minded individual who mustered up the guts to ask a question. She was personable, and the crowd loved it.

Further proving her commitment to entertain, Jewel yodeled. It was the cherry on top of the plentiful musical treat she had served the audience.

The show was by far one of the best performances Milwaukee has had all year. The perfect choice of songs, vocal excellence, intimate setting and performer personality made it a show for every attendee to cherish. One can only hope that Jewel performs more shows in this intimate style because it truly defined what a concert should be.

Her last song was "Who Will Save Your Soul," her first single. What's amazing is that it's the first song she ever wrote, only knowing four chords at the time and not able read music. She was also 16 years old.

Pretty impressive stuff for a dyslexic woman from Alaska who used to play subway stations.