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Volume 68, Issue 143, Wednesday, May 28, 2003 

Arts & Entertainment

Pop stars heat up Earth Fest crowd 

By Nathan Nix
The Daily Cougar

Amidst a sea of halter-tops and bikinis Saturday afternoon, seven of the nationis top artists took the stage at Eleanor Tinsley Park for the 104 KRBE/Green Mountain Energy Earth Day Festival. 

Behrooz Paizi/The Daily Cougar

Multi-platinum industry veteran folk-princess Jewel showed off her new pop-diva image while playing the 104 KRBE/Green Mountain Energy Earth Day Festival at Eleanor Tinsley Park on March 24.

As the billows of heat and sound crashed against newly built downtown lofts and floated over the surface of Buffalo Bayou, new hit-makers including Lucy Woodward, Simple Plan, Lisa Marie Presley, Bowling for Soup, Kelly Clarkson and Michelle Branch were joined by multi-platinum industry veteran Jewel in a festival contrasting the new guard of pop with the experienced.

Presley, making every effort to skirt her fatheris shadow and establish herself as a legitimate artist played it fair and took an early afternoon opening slot as opposed to using her financial muscle and star power to work her way into a headlining spot.

By turning out pristine performances of songs off her debut album and showcasing her distinct, yet strong vocal abilities, she scored a major public victory. 

Though somewhat drowned in effects, her talents cut through and in combination with her stage presence formed a lovely blues-pop package. 

Wichita Falls native Bowling for Soup began its set shrouded in a wall of feedback and launched directly into songs off its pop-punk breakthrough album, Drunk Enough to Dance.

Though tight and possessing decent dynamics, the songs didnit move the crowd one way or the other. It waited patiently, if not dispassionately for the bandis single, "Girl All the Bad Guys Want" at which point people jumped and sang along with the band.

The atmosphere of the show changed immensely once Jewel took the stage. Dressed in a tank top, extremely short skirt, and high heels, she came across as an amalgamation of her former folk self and her new pop-diva image. 

Though past hits such as "Hands" and "Standing Still" served the crowd what they wanted, her performance took an awkward step on new dance-pop songs such as the new single "Intuition."

Even though her voice suited the music fine (if not a little twangy), her stage presence packed too much swagger and sultriness and not enough rhythm. This problem found redemption as a main ingredient to the highlight of the festival when she launched into the blues-rock of "Love Me, Just Leave Me Alone."

This, in addition to "Life Uncommon," brought out the immense talent of the folk-rock diva as she came across as part Robert Plant, part Aretha Franklin, with her voice soaring and emoting enough sexuality and spirituality to diminish the weak lyrics.

After Clarkson performed two songs, including "Miss Independent," Branch took to the stage and ran through her hits plus her new single, "Are You Happy Now?"

Despite a solid performance, she would do good to take note of and imitate Jewelis rock atmosphere and lyrical enunciation.

104 KRBE/Green Mountain Energy Earth Day Festival

Eleanor Tinsley Park

The verdict: Though Clarkson and Presley were the big draw for the day, each artist seemed to have the support of the crowd and were greeted warmly by the half-dehydrated, sun-burnt festival-goers.

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