Big on Branch

By Douglas Martha

Michelle Branch’s “Hotel Paper” tour brought a diverse crowd of young and old fans onto campus to hear the sounds of a pop sensation.

Branch and opening act Decca Tree took the stage Friday night before a packed house in the Duke Ellington Ballroom.

“We sold 1,300 tickets and we are really pleased with the turnout. Our only complaint was the length of the line to get in,” said Jennifer Suerth, Campus Activities Board president.

Decca Tree kicked off the show about 8 p.m. with a rock-star feel that was intense for an opening act. However, the feeling expressed by a nameless group in the crowd was that “Decca Tree is nothing but a Nickelback wannabe.”

Branch took to the stage about 9 p.m. She appeared at the mic as the lights went off. Her shoeless, grunge attire matched the look of many in the crowd.

Branch’s 16-song set included her top singles “Everywhere,” “Goodbye to You” and “All You Wanted,” which was the band’s last song.

The crowd, which appeared pleased with the performance, went into a frenzy, drawing the band back to the stage to perform the dark single “Are You Happy Now.” During the song, the video screen in the background played images of fire, a drastic turn from the calming waves and children’s videos that ran earlier in the show.

Junior music major Ellen Vogelgesang said she liked the show.

“The show rocked and she should come back,” said Vogelgesang, adding that “she would hate to be the person that the last song was about.”

Vogelgesang’s opinion seemed to be shared by many in the crowd.

Afterward, Branch said, “It’s awesome and they presented a great first impression,” when asked her thoughts of the DeKalb crowd. Between songs, Branch did not have much to say to the crowd except to mention Cindy Crawford was from the area.