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Volume 68, Issue 72, Monday, December 9, 2002

Arts & Entertainment
 

Pop-addicted fans unwrap early gift

By Lindsey Bowers
The Daily Cougar

Jingle Jam, 104 KRBE's fourth annual winter concert, drew in more than its usual screaming teeny-boppers Thursday night at the Compaq Center. A surprisingly diverse crowd showed up to watch performances from Destiny's Child, Nick Carter, O-Town and Uncle Kracker.

The much-anticipated reunion of all three Destiny's Child members proved the group was as resilient, strong and talented as ever. During the pre-show meet-and-greet session, skinny, smiling, soft-spoken beauties Beyonce Knowles, Michelle Williams and Kelly Rowland greeted and took pictures with their hometown fans.


Kelly Rowland (left), Beyonce Knowles and Michelle Williams of Destiny's Child warmed the Jingle Jam crowd Thursday by performing a few of both collaborative and solo hits.
Mauro Alvarez/The Daily Cougar

 
 

The trio did all its hits, and the girls individually performed their solo work, too. Knowles cried out a ballad that showed off her true singing talent, but Rowland's "Stole" was the best of the bunch. The group members wore their classic corresponding outfits, in glittery black this time, and presented an exciting show complete with fireworks, a rising stage platform and flames shooting from the floor.

Solange, Beyonce's little sis, appeared during their set as well. She has an edgier style than her older counterparts and sings with a soulful voice to a reggae-influenced beat. Both she and her background dancers moved perfectly. She's different, but good, and her supreme level of confidence helped her presence on stage tremendously.

While Destiny's Child and company provided the most crowd-pleasing performance of the night, the most rockin' performance came from Uncle Kracker. His presentation is just real ­ pure music and no fluff. After speaking to him backstage, it was apparent that this is an artist who doesn't mask himself. He sang his hit, "Follow Me" before his new single "In a Little While" and closed the show with "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah."

Nick Carter, a performer whose background might cause one to expect something impressive, is just plain unappealing without the rest of his Backstreet Boys crew. Unlike Justin Timberlake, who has enough talent to hold up on his own, Carter should've never gone solo. Carter's scratchy, metallic voice was simply not pleasant at all. He walked to his dressing room flushed, out of shape and sweating like a pig after his show. He should've brought along his little brother, Aaron Carter, to salvage the performance. Even Aaron alone would have put on a better show than what the older and more-experienced Carter presented Thursday night.

O-Town, a boy-group with its members still well-intact, quickly put smiles back on the faces in the audience. Really though, who wouldn't smile at the refreshing sight of cutie-pie Ashley Angel or the cool Trevor Penick? The group's latest, "These are the Days," was performed exquisitely. O-Town even used a live, full-band setup for its performance.

American Idol runner-up Justin Guarini appeared between acts, despite some snowstorm that slowed his arrival, to make time between set changes go by a little faster. With simple stage lighting and wearing plain jeans and a T-shirt, the pure sound of his sweet serenade caused the girls to scream even before Destiny's Child came out onstage.

DJ Kamakazie kept the crowd pumped as well. Between acts, he spun hip-hop hits and showed off his notable skills on the turntables.

 Send comments to dcshobiz@mail.uh.edu

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