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Quote:Aiken works to build career beyond 'Idol'
Tuesday, August 24, 2004
Special to The Plain Dealer
Clay Aiken is one Idol who hasn't been idle.
The slender North Carolinian has been in constant motion since finishing as the runner- up in the second season of "American Idol" in May 2003 - a near photo finish with Ruben Studdard, the soulful Mutt to Aiken's emotive Jeff. Aiken has toured with the other "Idol" contestants and watched his first single, "This Is the Night"/"Bridge Over Troubled Water," top the charts and become the best-selling single since Elton John's 1997 "Candle in the Wind" remake.
Rolling Stone magazine put Aiken on its cover - even before Studdard - and all manner of other media latched onto the for mer special-education teacher from Raleigh, whom "Idol" made over from a bespectacled, self-declared geek to a confident heartthrob with a lusty legion of fans - Claymates - and scores of fawning Internet sites hopping on the Clay train. "I haven't exactly skimmed below any spotlights," Aiken, 25, says with a laugh.
Oh yeah - he made an album, too, which has only kept those spotlights burning brighter. "Measure of a Man," which came out in mid-October, logged two straight weeks at No. 1 and went platinum in its first month on sale. It's now moved nearly 3 million copies - the top-seller by an "Idol" contestant - and launched the hits "Invisible," "This Is the Night," "The Way" and "I Will Carry You."
And with the album's success, Aiken hopes that "Measure of a Man" - which was overseen by RCA Records chief Clive Davis and "Idol" creator Simon Fuller - has established him as a durable talent independent of the show, closer to inaugural "Idol" winner Kelly Clarkson than bust Justin Guarini, Aiken's direct predecessor.
"I don't want to be 'American Idol' runner-up Clay Aiken the rest of my life," he acknowledges. "I don't necessarily feel like I have something to prove. We just want to make sure that there's growth and there's change, and you'll hear that on the album.
"But it's also important that we don't alienate the people that watched ['American Idol'] and put me there. If it weren't for that show, I would not be in the place that I am now. It would be a mistake to forget that."
From the classroom
to the TV cameras
Raised by his mother and grandmothers after his parents divorced, Aiken - who subsequently took his mother's maiden name - never craved a career as a singer, though he did sing in his church choir and in school-theater productions. Mostly he was happy to teach his grade school students and even planned to get a master's degree in administration.
That all changed when some of his students' parents, who had heard him sing, encouraged Aiken to try out for "American Idol." He stumbled his way through the audition process, finally getting a spot on the show via a wild card round for those who had been previously axed. There, as his appearance morphed, Aiken quietly won the support of the voting fans and the "Idol" judges - even acerbic Simon Crowell, who derisively dubbed Aiken's "This Is the Night" as "American Idol: The Musical."
"Y'know," Aiken says, "in all honesty I came into this whole experience not really expecting to ever be a recording artist or to have an album. It's not like I had some kind of grand vision for how my big recording career would pan out."
He does, however, bristle at those who want to position him and Studdard as rivals - and give Aiken the upper hand in the battle because of the Rolling Stone cover (the mag's best-selling issue of 2003) and the fact that the "This Is the Night" single far outsold Studdard's "Flying Without Wings"/"Superstar."
"Yeah, I sold more singles than Ruben did, but his single got more airplay than mine," Aiken notes. "It's not that either one of us beat the other on anything. He's great at what he's great at, and I'm good at what I'm good at. And we're not even competing in the marketplace, 'cause we have two completely different markets.
Not in competition
with Ruben Studdard
"So it's almost a moot point, this competition thing. He and I are not competing with each other at all. We're friends. We support each other." More than that, even; Aiken would ask Studdard to knot his tie before going onstage during the "Idol" tour. "He can do that better than me, too," Aiken says.
Being the runner-up, however, did give Aiken a chance to finish "Measure of a Man" quicker than Studdard made his debut, "Soulful." Aiken says that "the basic feel is pretty much the same" as what he did on the "Idol" telecasts; "I like songs that need to be sung, that you have to emote on," he explains.
But, he says, "there's definitely been a progression. These songs are a little edgier. We've made them more radio-friendly. They're definitely more modern types of songs than I sang on the show, more modern than 'This Is the Night.' "
Aiken has a Christmas album slated for November, but he's really looking forward to getting into the studio again for his next album of pop songs - primarily to leave no doubt that he can succeed beyond the "Idol" aura.
"I don't think I have anything to prove at this point," Aiken says. "I hopefully won't have to prove anything. We just want to make sure that there's growth and there's change. I did that on ['Measure of a Man'], and I want to keep doing that on everything that I do."
Graff is a free-lance writer in Beverly Hills, Mich.
To reach Gary Graff:
Aug 24 04 2:54 PM
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Aug 24 04 7:24 PM
Quote:There was a bus greeting tonight.
He shook a bunch of people's hands.
Jacob was out there for awhile as was the band and John gave out a few hugs.
He was wearing a MO shirt
Clay DID come out tonight to meet everyone at the buses! I'm sure everyone was wondering if he would stop doing that after last night, but apparently he hasn't given up on it yet. She didn't mention any incidents, so I'm assuming it went smoothly
Aug 24 04 9:38 PM
Quote:Just got back from Cleveland (after being stuck in the parking lot for 45 minutes and then getting lost while looking for the freeway home. Yes, I'm an idiot). I was in the third row tonight and I LOVED close-up Clay. I was on the receiving end of a group @#%$ (I don't know if he looked at me directly, but I'm totally pretending that he did) and my heart actually skipped a beat when the Aiken gaze was pointed in my direction. He's totally @#%$ gorgeous (but I think that you all knew that) and I love him. He sings pretty good too.
Oh, more? Okay (in other words, keep skimming *g*). My disposable camera was indeed . . . well, disposed of. I was told that I could either throw it away or take it to my car and leave it there. Since there was no way in hell that I wanted to get back in the line to get in, I chose to pitch it. Later, another venue security person told me that disposable cameras were allowed. So I was just lucky enough to get a major camera Nazi at the venue entrance. Nice, huh? And during the show, I saw lots of people get yelled at for having cameras. It was a serious crackdown. Hearing that the boyfriend of claysawesome got his memory card taken AND was kicked out? That's just wrong. Especially since he commented at the pre-show dinner that he didn't care if he had to leave the venue as long as he was able to keep his very expensive memory card (which he was more than willing to erase if necessary). Looks like he didn't get a choice.
Anyway, I had a seat by myself, so I made friends with a concert virgin, a Claymate who posts on the Clay Maniacs board, and an Idol Forums girl who brought her Mom (and her pom-poms). Two of the three left during "Solitaire" to get a jump on the parking situation. And the concert virgin asked me if Clay was going to come out and sign autographs on stage after the show. I had to hold myself back from saying something really sarcastic and mean (something that Clay might laugh at, for example *g*) and just shook my head. Remind me to always bring a CHer when I see a Clay concert in the future.
As I was leaving the venue, I heard a guy say "I could smell the Jesus thing coming a mile away." I gave a mental "Hee!" but I couldn't hear the rest of their conversation, which is too bad because they didn't sound like huge fans or anything and I was curious to know what an average person's reaction to the YWT performance would be. I thought that this crowd ate it up, but it's hard to judge when you're so close (if that makes sense, which it probably doesn't).
Speaking of YWT, I'm actually shocked at how much it moved me tonight. I think that it's a combination of Clay singing the hell out of the song while also looking really @#%$ gorgeous in the white outfit and the spotlight. So yeah, I want to do the guy singing about Jesus. And I also came periously close to angelwinging over the weekend in Clio (as xfileluv can tell you). But I think that I'm okay now. It's not like I'm running after him in the hopes that he'll touch me and clear up my hangnail or anything.
Hmm, what else? Clay said something like "nice haircut" to Quiana (who has a shorter cut now) and she said "you too" and he thanked her and laughed. It was cute. (Yeah, it's random. But I can't think in a linear fashion right now.) He also commented during the dance contest that a lot of people brought props. And yes, many ridiculous props were brought into the venue. I even saw blinky hearts being waved during MOAM (wasn't that supposed to be an IT thing?). But the venue also got in on the act: A girl selling boas, pom poms and blinky things walked by me and asked if I was interested. Like a good CHer, I said "hell no." Maybe next time though.
The growling in COF and ISY killed me (as usual). But I was a bit worried when Jacob, Quiana and Angela took their places for ISY. They were literally lined up diagonally in my sight line so that they obscured my view of Clay as much as possible. I leaned over to one side (hoping that I wouldn't catch the eye of the nearest camera Nazi, who also harbored an obsession with keeping the aisles absolutely clear) and thanked my lucky stars for the mini-jumbotrons (which operated randomly throughout the show and often showed blank screens).
Speaking of the backup singers . . .
the lovely (and probably drunk by now) xfileluv wrote:
Comment from non-internet friends during the JT set regarding Clay and Angela: "Are they sleeping together? They have soooooooooo got to be doing it!" I just shrugged and said that Clay doesn't share the details of his love life and left it at that. They remain convinced, however.
I can definitely see why they thought this. Let's see if I can describe what happened as I saw it (since the clack situation doesn't seem to be looking good). Clay started YGAF and hit a bad note. He immediately made WTF? faces to everyone, then started cracking up. Angela started laughing too and walked over to him and put her hand on his shoulder. Then when Jacob and Quiana sang their parts of the song, Clay and Angela were whispering and laughing to one another as if they were the only two people on stage. But the best part was at the end of the song, when they stopped laughing and just stared into each other's eyes as they sang. Due to the angle of my seat, I could only see Clay's face (I couldn't see Angela), but it was enough to nearly kill me. I don't know if he's acting or what, but that look on his face? OMG. Let's just say that it was intense. So they could be acting. But the idea that they could be having some fun offstage? Doesn't seem crazy to me. It's a fun little fantasy anyway. I just like to think of him doing someone, even if it's only in my mind.
Overall, it was a great night. I had a blast meeting with Brandi, va_1587, xfileluv (though she was too busy partying in her limo to eat with us), goatlady, shearwater (and shearwater neighbor), northernghost, claysawesome, ann therese, beauzzartz and anyone I'm forgetting.
And Clay? Well, it was my last NOT concert and I'm already missing him. Someone take away my wallet please.
Aug 25 04 9:13 AM
Just got home...what an amazing night. My seats were soooooo GREAT! I couldn't believe how CLOSE he was to me! He was in such GOOD voice(isn't he always?) It just amazes me how he can be so powerful, so ON every single night! wow My little sister and eye got some eye contact and smiles during the concert. best feeling! we also met some people from here who were sitting near us. That was cool! Got to say hi to Jerome who is the sweetest guy!
then after the concert we went to the bus afterwards and he came out looking all cute in his pajama wear and a little hat and at first I thought he was gonna get directly on the bus because he stepped over on it and just like waved at us and then a stupid truck came and blocked him from everyone(which was probably done on purpose), but THEN he walked over to the beginning of the line and I ran over to the corner and stuck my hand out high and I thought he was gonna ignore it because there were so many hands sticking out, but he reached out and grabbed my hand and I hung on for as long as he would let me! AHHHH I got a handshake from CLAY AIKEN. That absolutely made my night! How funny that one little handshake can have such an effect on someone!! He will never know what he does to us....But seriously how NICE of him to come around and greet the fans after all the shows! Seriously, that would get tiring and annoying, especially after what happenend in Rockford. But he STILL does it. I love him to death.
Just got home about 40 min ago. What a wonderful night for an outdoor venue ON THE WATER. Can't believe that Clay never mentioned the proximity of the stage to the Cuyahoga River!!
The venue was great..stadium seating and floor seating. Maybe only the far right and left corners had difficulty seeing. No jumbotrons other than what they use as part of Clay's own staging. The sound was awesome!!! I was in the first section up from the floor and very few there would stand. That was difficult for me , but I tried to be respectful of those behind me, but sometimes i just had to get up!
I must say that Cleveland, and Ohio audiences in general, are very enthusiastic for Clay. ISY was breathtaking and snarly and the response was deafening!!! He was totally engaging, funny, happy, electrifying, mesmerizing,emotionally charged!!!
The crowd at the buses was respectful and we were rewarded IGOT TO TOUCH THE CLAYTON!!! He never hesitated to come over to the crowd and was very happy to greet us.
This was a PERFECT summer interlude for Clay and his fans and I must say my BEST concert ever...been to 5 in one year, including AI2 tour. I've never done that before. I'm usually the one going to many baseball game! The Goodyear blimp was in town, also, butI think it was for the Indians/Yankees game, as it seemed to be hovering over the ballpark..They probably wondered what all the commotion was beyond the river, as I would guess that Clay outshone the local major league team..who lost its 9 in a row...ouch!
tug my jersey
Oh my gosh. I just got home and what a night! The concert was incredible...I was so overwhelmed and proud of him! Loved ISY he was smiling his head off before he did the growl...he so knows! I was soooo close and sat next to a really nice lady and it was her first time seeing him and she asked me if he was good live. I think I paused longer than normal, heck, longer than polite even, and all I could say was, "Uhh...yeah, very." How do you explain? But after the show. Everyone went back to the buses and Jacob came out but I was too short to get up front to see what he was saying and I thought I'd missed Clay and that he'd gotten on the bus because everyone was screaming but he was walking down the line shaking hands! So I'm standing there, and my heart is in my throat, because, well...things like this just don't happen to me. He's right there, in front of me, and I reach out both of my hands and he walks by and for one instant I thought I'd missed him but my left hand brushed the top of his and his wrist (I FELT FURRR!!!) and he turned his hand over and squeezed mine! I have no clue what he was wearing besides a light shirt and darker pants. He looked like he had taken a fast shower, his hair was still wet, freckles visible. And his eyes. OMG. It was dark but they stand out so clearly, they are so beautiful. And it was all over in an instant. He rushed onto the bus and a pizza guy came and brought like 15 Papa John's pizzas right after him and that was that. I cried and cried and finally just fell asleep in the car. Being that happy is the best feeling.
Aug 25 04 9:16 AM
Quote: MY RECAP OF CLEVELAND, SCENE PAVILLION, AUGUST 24, 2004
Got only one hour of sleep...still "seeing" those gorgeous EYES of Clay.. "Sigh"
I swear I feel hynotized..WHAT is it about this guy?? Why do those eyes seem to reach into your soul? and that VOICE..I really wonder if he knows how deeply he touches us...
THE CONCERT....Where do I begin??? Awesome, marvelous, wonderful...flawless!!!
CLEVELAND ROCKS FOR CLAY!!!!
My hubby and I left the house early so we could get down to the Scene ...I was going to be meeting some wonderful friends so I was anxious to get there...When we got there, all of the buses and trucks were already there... We just stood around for a while talking to some other fans...It was only around 4 or so...
I am standing there..talking to one of the Scene security people about the Flats and a van pulls up..people had been coming and going in cars so I wasn't paying that much attention.. But then I see someone waving thru the black glass window and it took a couple of seconds to realize IT WAS CLAY!!! As the van moved forward I could see his head and his fedora hat!!!! No mistaken that!!! LOL First someone got out of the van with Raleigh...and then Clay..and he waved to us!! Then he got his bag, slung it on his shoulder, turned, and waved again!!! and was gone! I was standing there, still sort of in shock because I wasn't expecting it..and it happened so fast! Well, I was really pumped up at that point!!! There was only a handful of us out there at that point...
I went inside and told my friends and my hubby what had just happened!! Needless to say, they were sorry they missed him!! We decided to go back outside....
We were able to hear them rehearsing and they were doing a song called "Signed, Sealed and Delivered".. It sounded AWESOME!!!! I thought they were going to sing it tonight but they didn't.....I hope they put it into a future show...It's a song with Jacob and Clay singing together...
We were hoping that Clay would come out again.. but one of the security people assured us that he would not...and he didn't...
I went back inside to the party (which was great and very nicely done by the Cleveland Clay fans!!) The place was filled to the walls!!! They had raffles for some wonderful gifts...and two 2nd row center stage seats!! I didn't win anything but that was okay because I had already seen Clay in the flesh and the concert hadn't even started!!! LOL
I got to meet MONA and lrCLay.. and Deedee and a few others that I had recognized from previous shows!! Wonderful and beautiful people!!! I did not have the opportunity to meet Jeanne and Annie..Maybe next time, gals! Nicmike was there too...and I got a funny picture of her sticking her head thru the fence yelling at someone LOL I hope I can get it uploaded into my album!!! LOL She signed my book too (by the way Nic...Angela and Jacob and Nick all thought it was really cool!!
One really neat thing they did at the party was to record a cd for Clay.. each person got 15 seconds to say something to Clay....My husband told me to go ahead and take his 15 seconds too.. (isn't he sweet?)..I talked and just stood by my side lol...Later they had the group sing Measure of a Man.. I had gone back outside and didn't get back in time to take part in that
Before long the concert started. Cherie was pretty darn good.. very cute girl...(just ask my hubby!! LOL)
OMG.. that man just amazes me....My hubby and I have been to a lot of concerts over the years.. and I'm telling you.. NO ONE.. and I mean NO ONE has the vocal range of Clay.!!! Security was very tight on the cameras!!! They stopped me going in and made me give the camera to my husband to take it back to the car.. I was ticked.. so I went in...and ran around to the fence and called him back.. and someone distracted the security guard and I grabbed the camera thru the fence and hid it in my purse!! SOOO I had the camera but Jerome and a few other security people were really checking everyone out!! They kept scanning the audience.. Jerome disappeared and one of the Scene security guards (female) was singing along with Clay and I turned on my camera and snapped a couple of pics.. Nothing great unfortunately because I didn't use the flash...I started to record a couple of times but had to stop because of security.. I was on the end of the 5th row.. so I was an easy target... During intermission a few Claymates ( I won't mention names - lol ) assured me that they were getting us some Clack!!! I'll download what I have onto my computer tommorrow and see what I come up with.. I know I have the second part of Solitaire. I figured if I got caught, the worst they could do was throw me out.. but the show was over anyway!! lol Everyone else must have felt the same way because cameras were flashing all over the place!!!!!
He did do Chain of Fools!!! Oh my gosh.. .that growl is just knee-weakening...and that deeeeeep voice!!! THUD!!! I am sure hoping someone got that on video!!! The deep notes were even better tonight!!!! and MORE of them!!!!!
The concert was absolutely flawless and he hit every single "glory" note without a moments hesitation..
The girl that sang with him today was really good... I had been talking with her outside and she was a really nice gal...The dancer was a girl from Cleveland...
The greatest part of the concert was all of the "newbies" who were really getting into the concert and CLAY!! I had the most darling little girl sitting right in back of me.. Her name was Lisa and she's 11 !! She absolutely adores Clay.. Her family had tickets way in the back.....and one of the workers came up to them and asked them if they would like to sit closer!!!! The girl was absolutely thrilled... I told her that they were probably seats that were saved for Clay but he gave them away.. That just put the biggest smile ever on her face!!!...She told me that she voted for Clay every week on American Idol...staying up past her bedtime to vote for him and that she got in trouble in school twice because she had posters of him on her locker and because she put stickers of him all over her school clothes!!!! LOL The greatest moment came when she was standing on a chair...and Clay stopped right in front of her.. and pointed right to her while singing!!!!! She nearly fell off the chair!! Her mom and dad and 15 year old sister were very surprised by the concert and Clay's magnificent voice!!! The little girl left there on cloud nine.. I think we can all relate!! LOL
I saw a lot of men at the concert.. and they were all on their feet standing with the rest of us!!! The one right in front of me tapped his foot the whole time.. and another had his arm around his girlfriend and they were swaying back and forth!!!!
Must have been a batch of Claymates in the bleacher seats because it was like being at a football game when they all started STOMPING THEIR FEET!!!! It was awesome...!!! and Clay got a big kick out of it!!!
The songs were fabulous..He proved his wonderful vocal talents once again on each and every song of the night... We got a taste of "angry" Clay in "I Survived You"...The knee bend in "Chain of Fools" was really low.."You Were There" left me spellbound..."This Is The Night" brought back the memories...and "Solitaire" gave me those chills just as if I've heard it for the first time...
All too soon the concert was over...and our little stud muffin disappeared from view..My heart was elated because of the wonderful experience it was..and yet a little heavy because I don't know when I'll see that marvelous man in concert again....
My husband and I made a last minute decision to bolt out of there and head for the bus area...It had been lucky for me earlier so I figured I'd give it another shot...My friends got there a couple of minutes before me so I walked up and was able to stand with them... More and more security people were coming out.. so I knew that Clay would probably be next....AND THEN... Here he comes!!!! He went straight to the bus and we all sort of sighed because we didn't think he was going to come to the fence...and then suddenly here comes this HUGE truck of some sort and blocks our view!!!! BUT then Clay turns around and heads for the crowd!!! EEEEEEEEE Clay.. this close .. OMG.. the thoughts that past thru your head in those few seconds.. Would he come close enough to touch?? Would he touch MY hand?? Oh.... Please God.. PLEAAASSSE!! I'll go to church TWICE next week!!!! LOL
Well, let me tell you....Prayers do get answered!!!! He got closer and closer and then there he was right in front of me!!! and he touched them BOTH!!! I told him that the concert was AWESOME! Then paused and held on to my fingers!! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!! and LOOKED ME SQUARE IN THE EYE AND SAID "THANK YOU"!! I nearly died!!!! Needless to say this was my greatest CLAY DAY so far!!!!
Oh almost forgot!! Jacob and Angela came out to the crowd before the concert...both were extremely nice...... and I got both of their autographs in my Claymate Handbook... I also got Nick's!! (what a cutie!) They were all very pleasant to talk to!!! ... John walked to the bus.. but didn't even look at the crowd!! I yelled.. "Hey John, can't you say hello..and he just ignored us"...Jerome also signed the book and took some stuff from a few of the fans but we never got them back...I told him he would be an easy man to come after in the future..LOL but he warned us that we might not get out stuff back.. so be careful what you give him!!! Mine was a nametag on a rope that a friend had made for me and gave to me at the concert.. I was sorry to lose it...but she promised to make me another one
Probably the dumbest thing I did today...was give Clay..and Jacob shirts from HOOTERS!!!! LOL My 13 yr grandson was wearing one (he got it as a birthday gift and it looked cute so I decided to get one for Clay..and figured I'd get Jacob one too... They didn't have any for the girls and I felt bad about that.. I told Angela I would be sure to get one for her the next time around!! Well, they only had them in XL but the guy said they would shrink in the wash.. so even though I figured Clay would never wear it in public..he might be able to sleep in it.. and have sweet dreams of Cleveland.. CLEVELAND LOVES CLAY!!!!
So...that is my Recap of the Cleveland Concert....Sorry it's so long but I had an absolutely wonderful time!!!
THANKS TO CLAY AND THE WHOLE ROAD CREW FOR ANOTHER FABULOUS CONCERT...and Hey Jerome.. We love ya buddie.. but ease up on the picture taking...just a little..okay??? LOL
Aug 25 04 9:20 AM
IS ANYONE STILL HERE?????HELLO??????
It's almost 5am and I just dragged myself up the stairs----I'm sleep deprived and at 4am, I just drove home from Cleveland!!! So energized! that I couldn't stop for 4 hrs....windows open, wind blowing through my hair, radio blasting, talking out loud to all of you and Clay and myself-----my vision is a little blurry and my memories are a little distorted.....I finally PULLED OVER when I got that WHITE LINE FEVER!!! and the white van I was following began to look like a BIG BLACK BUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!....the adventure I had today!!!!!!!!!!will take forever to relay to you....OMG!, OMG!, OMG!, OMG!, OMG!!!!!!!OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I was LOST----and I was FOUND!
STARTED OUT BAD---ENDED UP GOOD!
CONCERT WAS GREAT!
I'M TOO TIRED TO THINK AND TOO EXCITED TO SLEEP!
standing outside the gate AFTER THE CONCERT---I ENTERED THE TWILIGHT ZONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!..You know--that place you sometimes enter that takes you where you never intended to be......a strange and eerie place...where people come and people go and when you leave you don't understand what just happened???????????????????????? I was so ecstatic that it propelled me all the way home!!!!!!!! I couldn't wait to tell you everything but now I sit here not sure I believe it myself!!!!! Maybe it was fantasy???? and maybe it was reality???????
I just stayed up and wrote a lonnngggg review and it was just swallowed up by the forces that be in my cp! If anyone has any idea of how to retrieve this lost post form please let me now........It's daylight now and I need to sleep....to be con't or retreived!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Got home at 4 a.m. and am now sitting at work... **yawn** But the 4 hour drive was worth it just to see Clay perform ISY. He was SO on last night!! And he sooooo knows exactly what he does to us!!! The smiles and almost laughs right before the grrrrowl is ISY are absolutely to DIE for. I am just praying that someone was able to video that performance.
I had my first experience with some psychofans last night. I wouldn't call them crazy or dangerous, but honestly? They were embarrassing. It's the people that act like total idiots that give the entire ClayNation a bad name.
Anyway, enough negativity, the concert was absolutely awesome!!! There was some definite flirtage going on between Clay and Angela last night. It was like they weren't even giving a performance at times! They were just off to the side chatting. It was really quite cute. Although they were laughing so much at something that they totally messed up the note holding contest. I"m still not sure what they were laughing about.
It was an awesome show. Well worth the drive. Well worth the money. The Cleveland Clay Fans put on a wonderful pre-party. Kudos to them and all their hard work.
Aug 25 04 9:21 AM
Quote:Ok so this was my last concert of this tour. Sad but it ended the expirience with a bang. My sister and I were sitting in Section 3 Row E - 5th row - very good but my digital camera is crappy so the pics are still not that great. So we got to the venue around 5:00. The first person we see is Jacob walking around with the girl who got on stage to sing. You don't even want to get my started on this girl. I'm sorry but she is gross. The whole day she was flirting wityh Jacob, touching him and everything and their is no doubt in my mind that that is why she got on stage. More on that later. So after a quick bite to eat we go up to stand by the busses. We sent our dad down by the gates to look for Jerome and call us if he starts auditioning people. So first Jacob and Shovon(spelling?) come out. I have met Jacob on a numerous occasions and yes he does love all the attention but he is ALWAYS so nice to everyone so no complaning here. They both signed my trour book and then we showed Jacob our photo with him at Musikfest and he signed those. He happened to be wearing the same shirt he was wearing in the photo and he wrote cute personalized messages on our photos. One said "Same Shirt..." and the other says "Cute girls!" So then Nick comes out. People start asking him for his autograph and he is like "What for, I'm just Clay's friend, I can't even sing." I was about to ask him to sign my tour book anyways when my dad called us saying Jerome was coming out. So we rush down to the gates just in time. Now if you have read any of our other concert expiriences you will know Jerome knows us. He sees me coming and gives me a quick hello and wave. When I get up to sing he says something like "This girl is a pro, she knows what shes doing." After singing I toild him that this was my final show and he asked me how many I had been to and hbe said 4. He auditioned soooooo many people. The girl who actually got on stage went first. Grrr. She makes me so mad. Not even that good and just used sex appeal to get on stage. So then Jerome proceeds in telling us he got our card (my sister and I made him a thank you card after he got us backstage to meet Clay at the Ohio State Fair) and he said he was going to email us. Then I realized he didn't have our email address. I wrote it down on a slip of paper and gave it to him. He thought we had put it in our card but I was 100% sure I hadn't. I don't know what he is emailing me about but I'm excited to hear from him. We then asked for a photo with him because the other one we tried to take at the Erie County Fair came out blurry. He said sure. It's not blurry but of course my eyes our closed! Ok so after that we went up by the busses again. No one came out for a long while and my dad and stepmom left because they didn't have tickets and were going out for dinner. Then Jacob came out again with this little airplane and was flying it around to all the fans. He said something like "This plane is just so awesome." Soon after that Angela came out and she signed my tour book along with the 2 photo we brought of her, Quiana, my sister and I from the Ohio State Fair. She said something like "I look so awful in this picture" even though she didn't. haha. It was aroujnd 7:15 at this time and we decided to go get in line to go inside. The line was sooooooo long. It streached all the way down into the street and for anyone who was there, thats a long way. We get inside just around *:00 and as we are finishing buying our merchandise Cherie comes on. I have really learned to like her. Maybe because she was nice enough to take a photo with us at the previous concert, I don't know. I just think she is such a good singer. She actually gave me goosebumps. Ok so then it was time. I am not going to go into full detail but i'll give you a run through. Clay once again told the story about Quiana and NEw Mexico. He asked the crowd who had heard it before and there was a loud scream. I love how he always acknowledges how people go to multiple concerts. During the JT set Clay started cracking up hysterically with Angela. I wish I knew what about. They both couldn't even sing they were laughing so hard! At one point in the first half some people started sitting - not something I like doing. I like standing for everything. The person behind my sister was like sit down and my sister did and the the women behind me were like "You paid for your ticket! If you want to stand, Stand!" So she did. Thank you ladies! During Measure of a Man I got a phone call from my step mom, she was in the bleachers. At intermission we met up with her and my dad and she said just as they were finishing dinner they saw 2 girls walking out of the concert and they paid them $10.00 for their tickets! We actually happened to have 2 empty seats next to us in 5th row so they moved up there with us for the 2nd half. What a deal - 2 rth row tickets for $10.00! It's hard to even remember the exacts of the concert. I got really choked up during You Where There. I was just thinking about how this was the last time I was probably going to ever seen it live. When Clay goes into the high notes and the lights go all bright and white - that just kills me. So right after the glory note in Solitaire we proceeded leaving. Yes I love Solitaire but we had seen it 3 times and this was our last concert. If we were going to get to see Clay after the buses we would of had to leave then because it was a long walk and we wanted to make sure we were us aganist the barricades. They had blocked off the quick entry to where the buses were and without even to think to ask if we could get through there we started running - we ran all the way around the building. Later we saw people coming through the short way. Oh well, at least we made it right up aganist the bars. First Jacob came out. He went on the bus and came out with some pizza. He then started signing things and shaking hands. When he walked by us he was like "You girls are just so cute." - what he had been saying to us all day. I don't know in what order but Angela, Shavon and Derek all came out. Plus Raleigh. Then it was time. We heard the screams and Mr. Clay himself appeared. He was wearing the fedora a tshirt and his orange pajama pants. At first it looked like he was just going to hop on the bus but then he started heading over to the left side to start shaking hands. By the time he got to us the fedora was gone ( he must of took it off) and I just grabbed his hand and he kind of looked at me because I held it for so long and finally had to let go. He proceeded all the way till the end of the row, gave everyone a quick wave goodbye and hopped on the bus. This concert was just so amazing. A great end to an amazing summer. I have so much to cherish - signed tshirts by Clay, a photo with Clay(group of course but still) signed photos and tour books by many members of the band and just great concert memories to last a lifetime!
edited to add the screams and applause after ISY was just spectacular. It must of went out for 1-2 minutes. Everyone was stamping on the bleachers and he got a huge standing ovation.
Aug 25 04 9:23 AM
Quote: Just a few extras--
In Chain of Fools, I have now figured out why Clay wears his pants so loose. If he would have squatted any more, those pants would have ripped (no comments on that, please!). He was so far down on the ground during the squat, that he would have probably fallen over if it weren't for his size 13 shoes balancing him.
During the JT set, someone messed up on the melody, or when to start, or when to harmonize. That's what started it all. He was bantering with Angela because they were trying to figure out who "caused" the problem, at least that's what I figured out. It was really cute how they couldn't stop laughing because the "mistake" was quite obvious. He had a good time last night!
Finally, he has a new wardrobe! During YWT, he came up from the stage without his white jacket on. (It was quite warm in Cleveland last night.) He had a long sleeved white shirt on with gold cufflinks. I have to say, it was so beautiful because he almost looked apostolic and so simple (not meant in a negative way) without the jacket, and it was quite appropriate for the song, even more so than with the jacket on. This is the best YWT that I have heard him sing yet! Can't say what it was, but there was just some more "soul" that he put into the song last night--if that is possible. (And I have been to more than a few concerts so far). I would have loved to have been outside this open-air venue to hear Clay's voice so beautifully filling the city of Cleveland's night.
Invisible was quite incredible!
And for anyone who can see Clay as the stage door closes after Invisible, he is so cute! You can just see him "explode" with joy and happiness just as the last few feet of the stairs close. I saw him do this at both Clio and Cleveland. I think he knows how much we appreciate him and his voice.
Suffices to say that Cleveland made us proud last night! For those people who were just down in The Flats (a huge night entertainment area), not going to Clay's concert, they were in awe of how far the lines extended for people going into the venue. If nothing else, their interest was piqued why so many people would be going to a Clay Aiken concert. They kept asking who he was...too bad the concert was sold out! Could have been more Clayverts, I think! Several of the local radio stations (they never play Clay) had booths set up around the venue, so they saw first-hand how many radio listeners they are ticking off by not playing him. Hopefully, this changes their attitude about Clay's music!
And thanks to everyone who came to our CCF pre-concert party! We had a great time hosting it, and hope that everyone had as great a time as we had meeting everyone! There were over 160+ people in attendance which made us proud that Cleveland loves Clay!
Aug 25 04 9:27 AM
Quote:Nice-guy Clay Aiken thrills his fans
Pop cover versions fill out nearly 2-hour show for Scene Pavilion crowd dominated by women
Clay Aiken may not be the pop-culture phenomenon he was shortly after he was named runner-up in the second season of American Idol, but the faithful ``Claymates`` and their husbands/significant others and chaperones still love the nice boy from North Carolina enough to have sold out the Scene Pavilion on Tuesday night, and to scream at his every word in his nearly two-hour set.
The obvious question is how can a guy with only one album, clocking in at less than 80 minutes, perform for two hours?
The answer is that since he came from a glorified karaoke show, he was free to liberally pepper his set list with other folks' already-famous songs.
He entered from beneath the staircase in the middle of the stage, singing U2's Where the Streets Have No Name (without all the pathos that Bono gives it) to a positively giddy crowd of overwhelmingly female admirers. The count was so high that Scene Pavilion staff members were forced to transform a men's room into a women's room with the help of carefully applied neon orange duct tape.
Those women made sure that Aiken knew they love him, and he in turn made sure they knew that he appreciated their ardor, repeatedly thanking ``the wonderful people who made all of this possible.''
Aiken's double-platinum debut, Measure of a Man, is full of pleasantly bland pop music, and that safe, family-friendly blandness is part of Aiken's allure.
``He's like a breath of fresh air,'' one fan said.
Presumably the covers were songs that Aiken loves and loves to sing, and his choices showed that he is definitely a fan of pop music. He applied his malleable tenor to Mr. Mister's Kyrie, Orleans' Still the One, and a medley of James Taylor tunes, including Fire and Rain, Sweet Baby James and How Sweet It is (To Be Loved By You).
If Aiken's nice-guy persona is a pose, he's darn good at it, because aside from his aw-shucks stage banter, he gave up stage time so that his five-piece band could turn Toto's Rosanna into solo spotlights. Aiken also introduced each band member and several members of his road crew (by name!) and brought fans onstage to dance and sing a duet with him.
For all his nice-guyness, Aiken is a shrewd performer. He closed the show with several songs from his CD, including the stalker anthem Invisible, the title track, Measure of a Man, and This Is the Night, and he knows what gets his fans' collective panties in a bunch.
So there were plenty of dramatic crescendos, and Aiken standing legs akimbo, arms spread wide, to elicit screams. Interestingly, many of the biggest screams came when he rubbed against one of his female backup singers.
Aug 25 04 9:32 AM
Quote:Reason #5230 why I LOVE CLAY AIKEN!!!! (tm Institches)
He forgave us for Rockford and came out to see us at the buses tonight.
(using "us" very loosely here, because I know that the arm-yanker in Rockford wasn't "us", but to him we're all "us".)
I fully expected that we'd seen the last of him at the buses after the Rockford fiasco. But ding-dangit if that beautiful man didn't come out and greet us, thank us and say his good-byes again.
What was even more amazing... there was absolutely NO MANIA!!!!! There was an initial cheer when he came out, but I didn't know it was him because I couldn't see from where I was. And everybody exiting the venue was cheered.
It was so quiet, that I didn't even realize that he was coming down the line until I leaned over to take a peek. Really... no pushing, no shoving, no screaming. It was just so laid back... I'm still awed by how well it went. And I actually got more than wrist this time. I put my hand right in his and shook it and thanked him for a great show. (d'oh... I pride myself on my originality). He looked at me and thanked me back. It was a freakin' thank fest. ooooooooh.... Thanksgiving!!!!!
Camera nazis!!!!!! Geesh!!!!!! No disposable cameras? WTF!!!!!!!!!???????????????? Since when? And yeah..... I wasn't about to go back to the car and have to wait in the unbelievable, only one way to get into the venue line. So I tossed it.
You guys all know the concert/s by now, so I'll only comment on a couple of things that were different tonight.
YGAF. I saw that Magnoliafan mentioned that he hit a bad note. I didn't hear that. But something happened and when he turned to Angela when it was her turn to sing, he did something that made her laugh so she couldn't even sing her part. His back was to me so I couldn't see what he did. When she came over to him, she laughed again and again couldn't sing her line. Then he was laughing and quit singing his.
Then..... when Jacob and Quiana were singing their parts, Clay and Angela were actually having a conversation at the front of the stage through their whole part. And I'm sure you heard that there was no note-holding contest at the end.... because Clay was laughing.
Talk about weird.
I love all the banter, etc. during the show. Shenanigans, showing us tapes of funny stuff like the practical jokes, Jae dancing on the bus, the Acrophobia ride, et. al. And I'm all for them having fun together and love the camaraderie they display. But THIS was messing up a song. And everyone but Clay and Angela was excluded.
But I still love him!!! *g*
During YWT... a woman behind me placed a cellcert call.... and then proceeded to talk LOUDLY through the entire song. Un#$&#ingbelievable!!! I'm usually rather laid back about stupid fan behavior... it may piss me off, but I maintain my composure. I found myself turning to her and yelling..... SHUT UP!!!!! (Surprised the hell out of my concert buddy, because she'd never seen me do anything like that before.)
This however had no effect on this person... I'm sure that she didn't even hear me, because she was talking so loudly herself. At one point, I heard her ask her cellcert buddy, "Can you hear it better now?" I snickered, because I can't imagine how the person on the other end of the phone could have possibly heard any of it, when cellcerter talked through the entire song. I couldn't hear it and I was sitting right there.
Saw a few meers briefly... *waves to Magnoliafan, Brandilyne, Goatlady and Institches*
And so ends my NaT. Thank you Clay... for all the fun, for all the great music, for all the great new friends.... for everything.
Aug 25 04 9:46 AM
The CH was a small but vocal group last night--there were about 20 of us at The Rock Bottom Brewery for dinner. A big wave goes out to va_1587, the wondrous goatlady, magnoliafan, whom I finally got to talk to for more than 30 seconds, claysawesome (sorry to hear about your boyfriend losing his memory card), the absolutely hilarious Brandilyn, our road-tripping friends anntherese54 and beauzzartz (glad to read you made it back to PA this morning), and the lovely red-headed northernghost and her friend who was attending despite having a painful ear infection (ouch!). I saw ficus, sparklish, and xfileluv later at the venue and envied them their spectacular seats. (Hope I didn't forget anyone!)
This concert was special for me because I got my friend who lives across the street from me to go at the last minute. She was a Clay concert virgin, and I couldn't wait to hear what she thought of the show (much more on that later). Luckily for me, both va_1587 and goatlady had extra tickets. My neighbor got a good seat with goatlady in the 10th row, pretty close to the aisle in the left section.
I was the closest I've ever been, in the 3rd row, but I was all the way to the left with only one seat between me and the far aisle, so my sightline was a bit odd. The floor chairs were very uncomfortable and we were packed in like sardines, much worse than at the Detroit IT. Danny, the new bassist, and the camera boom regularly blocked my view of the left-side Minitron, and the fangirlies around me all seemed to have signs that they held up whenever Clay so much as looked in our direction. Jerome also stood at my corner of the stage for a while, and people kept coming up to talk to him, which I found extremely distracting. There was a severely disabled gentleman in a wheelchair and his mother right in front of me who had received seats free of charge from a non-profit organization (not BAF--unfortunately I can't remember the name, but I thought that was an interesting tidbit). The man in the wheelchair was in awe of how cool the camera boom was and told his mom all about it through most of the concert. The woman next to me had a sign, painted red in the shape of a STOP sign, that read, "Clay, please save me from an arranged marriage." Um. No comment.
The girls behind me and to my left nearly blew my eardrums out with their screaming, and they loved to scream at moronic times, like during all of SBJ, the beginning of YWT, and the quiet opening verses of Solitaire.
Sure, the crowd was loud, but in Clio, it felt like we were really communicating with Clay and giving him something to feed off of, whereas in Cleveland, at least in my little area of the arena, I felt like I was with a bunch of three year-olds who were screaming just to hear themselves scream. I found myself nodding in agreement with ivy's comment:
For many of them, where is the fun in being a fan and in enjoying the music? So much of it is negative and focused on themselves.
WORD to the third. Being surrounded by so many CHers in Clio, I almost forgot that certain elements of this fandom can be so freakin' obnoxious. I was actually able to hear maybe half of the concert. I have a theory: Are people so damn loud and self-centered and attention-whorey because they've been to so many concerts that they aren't really bothering to pay much attention to the singing any more? (That's not a rhetorical question--I would really like to hear others' thoughts on this.) People who weren't screaming in my ear during the opening of YWT were talking to the people they were sitting with or yelling into their cell phones. WTF?!?!? Get a feckin' clue, people.
OK, sorry, enough bitching, let me describe the setting and the actual concert a bit more: the Scene Pavilion is roofed with some sort of flexible fabric, but you can still see out the sides, and it's right downtown on the Cuyahoga River, with the twinkling lights on the major downtown landmarks clearly visible--quite a pretty setting, all in all. The weather was clear, warm and very humid, not quite tropical, but it made me wish I had worn shorts.
As you heard, the concert sold out. (Yay!!) The line to get in the venue was, I kid you not, a quarter-mile long. My neighbor and I had to walk around the block to find the end of the line. Cherie started her set early, so she was our background music as the line moved toward the entrance gate. We could hear her clearly from the back of the line. The volume was just right and I actually enjoyed hearing her for once. She finished her set just as we finally hit the gates--perfect timing. We hit the bathrooms and the merchandise stand (my neighbor bought a baseball jersey for herself and a hat for her daughter) and made it to our seats with just a few minutes to go before Clay came out. I called my neighbor's house on my cell for the first two songs, but her DH and daughter described the sound as "a roller coaster combined with shattering glass." They heard no music whatsoever. Oh well, I tried.
A few random notes:
-I saw some wonky-eye from Clay during the first set. Ragweed levels are very high here right now, and I had to wonder if that was bothering him.
-The camera nazis were really vicious. I saw lots of warnings and saw some people get thrown out. Jerome was also eagle-eyed and really, really looking for stuff. To answer an earlier poster's question, I think the level of vigilance depends very much on the individual venue and the exact instructions security receives on any given evening. Apparently the SP is full of camera nazis.
-Clay made sure to make direct eye contact (more than once) with the man in the wheelchair. After he turned away, we all told him, "Clay looked right at you! He was definitely looking at you!" The man was very excited about that. He also "whoo'd" and tried to raise an arm a few times when we were all screaming. I think he really enjoyed the concert.
-Clay sang several lines of some song (Shine? PD?) while standing under the boom column, which was as close to us as he could get. I got no eye contact, but I really enjoyed being able to stare at him from only 8 feet away. Boy is purty. And a little sweat makes him v. sexy.
-When Clay sang "you're still the one that makes me laugh" in STO, he looked right at Angela and smiled at her while he sang the line.
-Danny and the bassist talk to each other a lot while they play. They also exchanged eye rolls at some of the more outrageous audience behavior.
-"Shine" has stuck itself on permanent repeat in my head. I think it's my new favorite off MOAM. His performance of this song was fantastic.
-COF was sexay, sexay, sexay! Sweet Cheezus.
Overall, it was a good concert, but it was no Clio. My neighbor and I high-tailed it for our car after Solitaire, but it still took us 45 minutes to get on the interstate. While we were inching forward, a rent-a-cop stopped us at an intersection to let a driver through who had told the cop she wanted to go straight across. My neighbor thought she looked just like Cheyanne, the dancing girl (who, BTW, could definitely bust some moves). She then turned left to get in front of us instead, and the cop yelled at her. And her license plate read "SHYANN1," so it was definitely her! That was as close as we ever got to anyone famous. We heard the screaming at the buses from our car, and I was buffaloed that Clay would keep plowing on with the hand-touching thing, but it's his life, so whatever [tm Kelly].
My friend loved the concert. She thought the first half seemed more fun, more interactive, more talky (she loved the banter and thought it was really charming), and then the power singing really kicked in during the second half. She said she'd never been to a concert by a solo artist who made you feel so much like he was just part of a band, and she wondered if he was deflecting some of the attention because he felt uncomfortable having it all heaped on him. I mentioned that some CHers wished the focus would be a little MORE on him, and she agreed with that sentiment. Her faves were Rosanna (which she really gushed over), Invisible, COF (which she said was "very sexy" ) , Solitaire, and Measure of a Man, but she loved just about everything. She's a churchgoer, so I was really interested to hear her opinion of YWT. She liked the all-white attire and the lighting, but thought the song itself was kind of repetitive and meh, a very "typical Christian music kind of song." It was her least favorite overall. Oh, and I had to laugh when she noted this, "he sure wears a lot of clothes. We never even saw short sleeves. Does he think his arms are ugly?"
Now she wants to know how she can lurk at the CH. Heh. I think I've got a new concert buddy for the next time he comes to town. <g> shearwater out!
Aug 25 04 9:56 AM
He was hot. He was sexy. He made even made inanimate objects move (like zippers for instance). His voice was like a hurricane...beautiful, powerful, a force to be reckoned with. Who could ask for more? Certainly not me.
Just a few comments:
The venue was packed...very close quarters. Not real comfortable, but the people around us were friendly. That helped.
It was really, really, really hot. Clay made it more than tolerable. So did beer. So did the ice-cream a radio station was passing out to folks in line before the show (Q104?) Sweet!
I got my camera in no problem. I have a purse about the size of a ham sandwich and all that was in it was my camera, a pack of smokes and a lighter. Security guy looked right at it and waved me through. *shrugs*
A lady in front of me got hers confiscated, saw that I had one and immediately gave me her email address so I could send her the pics. I don't know her name she doesn't know mine, but if she's reading this as soon as I get 'em I'll send you a copy!
My sister and I dragged our barely tolerant husbands to the show. THEY LOVED IT. Thought he and his band were incredible. That made us happy.
Their favorite tunes were COF, Rosanna, and YWT(!). But all in all they enjoyed the entire show. We all agreed that Cherie, while vocally good was TOO FREAKING LOUD.
I won't recap all the songs. I really loved them all. But my favorites were YWT (something about the passion and conviction he uses in this song just slays me. My little black heathen heart knows beauty when it sees or hears it regardless of the content. *sigh* Just. gorgeous.)
Now I have never really been a fan of ISY. I don't know why. Never did a thing for me. HOWEVER...that has all changed. After watching that man thump his chest, point, snarl and spit out the words "good luck.. I wish you well"....*SWOON * *THUD* *gasp* *whimper* *moan*...gah. My sister clutched my thigh and squealed "omigawdhe'ssofreakingsexy* I think I replied "droolincoherentmoandrool". I don't know. I may have recited the Gettysburg Address. I was hypnotized. After he finished the song my sister whispers to me.."your zipper is down". I didn't do it. Nope.
I don't think...I guess I should be thankful the song wasn't any longer. *ahem*
Saw the group around the buses and heard a cheer rise up as Clay made his appearance. I still don't think it a wise move, but I gotta respect him for going out there and doing that for his fans. He obviously wants to give a little something more and I'm actually kinda glad that the other nights episode didn't scare him off completely. I just hope it made him more wary. Does that make sense?
Anyway...Great show. Great audience. Great time. He makes seeing him live just soooo much fun. Love, love, loved it.
Aug 25 04 4:31 PM
Do not get directions from Rand McNally unless you check someplace else first. The very nice policemen give good directions when you are lost and close to a possible crime scene. * note to self...repeat to Dh the name of venue many times so at said crime scene he does not keep asking people where the Scene is* Why does Cleveland has a baseball game the same night as a Clay Aiken concert when we all use the same roads.
Do not go 75 north to 224 to 12 to 53 because you will come across a no name town whose only road is under construction with no outlet. Everyone starts following everyone else and ya'll get to see many fields of plentifull harvest. Country roads are only for speed drivers and sometimes you barely have to touch the road. We come to the only stop sign that exists. The driver is in a fancy painted truck with lightning flashes across the doors and is hauling a race car on a large piece of wood with wheels. The car has many lightning flashes and one on the roof . There could have been rods too. He looks at the line of cars following as he turns and gives us a big WTF look. We continue to follow some cars drop out. The road is straight so its petal to the metal. We hit a different road surface completely made of gravel. Our daring leader looses control of his purdy truck. Dust is everywhere. I can see the carrier of the race car hitting cornstalks first on one side of the road than on another. The cars in front of us all disappear in the dust. I told my Dh to slow down. The dust settles and all are okay. We start the high speed bit again. Than all of a sudden all the cars left in front of us pull off the road and we slow down. There are all guys in these cars. They jump out and start laughing their asses off. They all light up smokes because they are so excited they can not talk without them. They are even holding on my side of the car to hold themselves up they are laughing so hard. We get new directions and I compliment the driver on driving skills because he wasn't wearing a shirt. Dh kind of gets lost again but never fear because he informs me that there is a water tower in the distance which means a possible town and new directions.
It was hard finding the flats but we found the ramp. Went through two parking lots and many more direction. Which is very hard for Dh because he is a man and does not take getting directions from someone else very well. Well twenty times was a bit much even in my unwritten book
I will not talk about ending on the other side of river, parking or long lines that never move. The bridge sure looks pretty when it turns around right after you get off of it. Surprise!!!
We surprise the hell out of the Flats. People were really amazed and were not prepaired at all. It makes me wonder if the Scene Pavilion has even been full before.
Cheri was singing before we even got through the gate. The woman even touched my purse and pulled apart the different compartments. What I wouldn't give for a dido in the shape of waldo at that time. I said its just junky stuff. She said junky stuff is good. I said junky stuff is very good.
I had two seats in the same row but not together so I had to check out the location of both. The girls seating people were really sweet about doing this. The second one told me this seat is in the middle. We smile at each other and I say this one is mine and we laugh. Dh did not care this was his first NAT because the others were at state fairs and he just wanted to look around at them. He always told me how good Clay sounded and ask questions about the concert because it could be heard outside all over. Hee. Now he knows.
I looked at Rock Brewery hours after the fact and gives imaginary smack up side the head to DH for getting lost.
I thought the crowd was older than I normally see at Clays concert but we were also very vocal. Maybe the Flats normally have an older clientete or it was in the middle of the week and a school night. The crowd was also not much of a standing crowd to my dismay but we did very much have our moments. We gave Clay all the love we had and he accepted it with open arms.
I love watching the fans. One of my favorite is seeing someone give a gift of a Clay Concert to someone. The hugs and the joys are so worth seeing. It always ends with the surprise of Solitaire and tears of happiness. Sometimes it is very good being a clay fan. It tickes me that some of the men are there by themselves and can not figure out why. They keep saying..its all about his voice and I love to hear him sing. The man next to me was just sitting there like in a trance and pops up and said he was good. I mean he was very good and this was after the first half. Hee.
What can I say about Clay that has not been said and most of us have felt. When the first notes come from his voice you just have to scream. There is so much emotion inside of your mind you can not do anything else. It does not go away. Only reaches another peak where a scream comes again. You have to reach out and touch the air as high as you can because you want more. In our minds we say give it all to us Clay and he does. He pours it out and we consume every bit of his energy that we can. Now I am talking about what our minds do. The body said this is good this is the best good evah.
Clay was very high on all the love. I have never seen him so high. The voice was perfection. So clear so beautiful. On the ballads when he looks like someone was tying his shoe laces I felt I was there with him in the aftermat glow. Clay takes you to many places. He does experience the love of God in YWT but it is his alone we just get to see it.
I loved the dancer. She was just so into the music. The girl could dance. Clay was just a bit left at the wayside on this one. I will say this time that he was the one who got a hug from a beautiful young woman instead of the other way around. Hee.
The sweet and beautiful Quiana saved his butt on the passport story because it fell flat. He knew it and said so. Quiana just kept building him up saying good things. His ego was repaired. Quiana is really coming into her own. She has quite an engaging smile.
I missed something during COF where just before Quiana starts singing again. I look over and Clay arms are out like he had been flying a plane with Angela. He is kind of at an angle with her. The crowd started yelling. Did anyone see this.
As far as Waldo goes. I figure he was covered in two thongs.One wore backwards, sports shorts and very baggie pants. Even with Clay strutting his aggressive self around the budge seen to be girded in its place. The damn tie knew his correct position and kept to it.
Clay and Angelas rack. The man is not into sneak peeks. He wants what he sees and it pleases him to look now. I think Clay was singing a different part of the song than he was suppose to and Angela started to do her part and knew he was not going to go with what he sang. Clay than got a WTH look with a smile from Angela and than she cracked up. Who knows if he forgot or did it on purpose.
The thong bit is not to bad because the singers make it funny on what and how they answer. Quiana.yes.always. 7 pairs. Angela. no. don't know. only two pairs. Jacob yes. always. 3 pairs. Anything you say boss. Clay.HUH!!!
Plus is was so hot there. I thought it would be cooler by the water.
Aug 25 04 5:29 PM
Quote: Well last night was definitely a highlight for me. My name is Jill and I am the one who sang with Clay last night Thanks to all of you who gave nice comments about the performance.
As Clay mentioned last night, I had auditioned a few times and the timing was never quite right. Once I was late, once there was an adorable child and another time, there was already a fabulous singer chosen. Actually, they were all good This time I made sure that there was no way I was going to be late and then Jerome himself kept us all waiting outside the box office for close to an hour I was the first one who auditioned but wasn't really sure of my chances. I spent some time talking to Jacob and S'von (who I have met at previous concerts) and listened to other singers. There were quite a few people who sounded great. There was an adorable little boy and I though for sure that he would be chosen.
I donï¿½t think I concentrated during the first few songs and I was sure that he had chosen someone else. All of a sudden Jerome was in front of me saying "let's go" and then I was back stage with a microphone in my hand When Yetti (spelling) passed me the mic, he asked me if I was going to "kill" the song. I asked him if killing it was a good thing or a bad thing but figured it was a good thing (I am getting too old for all of these expressions ).
I didn't really have a chance to get nervous. When I walked out, S'von greeted me and he wished me luck and that calmed me down. After that, it all gets a bit blurry. I remember talking to Clay. When I told him I was from Toronto, he raised his eyebrow at me and looked up at Quiana. That was when I said that I had heard that story. I was referring to the passport story when he came to Canada last week. I donï¿½t remember the audience at all. It is like they weren't even there (although I was aware that there were 5,000 people and that fact sunk in later ). I just sang right into Clay's eyes . When he joined in it actually startled me and I almost lost the next line. It was all very surreal. After the song was finished, I gave him a hug and said thanks . He whispered that he thought I was great. A few more words were said and I asked for one more hug (I figured I would take advantage of it while I was there). Then it was done!
Details: I couldnï¿½t see a lot of freckles because I think he was wearing makeup. He has a fabulous smile and beautiful eyes . He makes you feel like you are the only one there worthy of his attention at that exact moment . The hugs are wonderful, as everyone who has hugged him has mentioned. And, I have absolutely no idea what he smells like .
The rest of the concert passed in a blur. Clay was amazing of course with my favourites being ISY, COF, and Solitaire. I saw him one more time at the buses. He took my hands and thanked me for singing with him. I took Jerome's hand after and thanked him from the bottom of my heart for giving me that opportunity .
That's my story. So now all that remains is to beg anyone with pictures or video. PLEASE tell me that someone at least got a picture . I would be so grateful ray. If not, I guess I will still have the wonderful memory .
Aug 25 04 5:32 PM
Quote: Hi gang, I just got home from Cleveland a while ago! We had a blast and Clay Rocked Cleveland last night!!!Thanks to Melissa and Rachel and the Cleveland Clayfans for a very nice pre-party. It was a lot of fun. I enjoyed it.
It was a hoot to see Jerome outside by the buses taking things from fans even tho he was trying to be kind and not guaranteeing he could get those things back to them. He is very jovial and patient with the fans. Was good seeing him again and we chatted briefly. I just wanted to say hello.
It was so funny once Clay was out during rehearsal of Signed Sealed Delivered the pre-party cleared out in a rush!!LOL Since the pre-party was in the building right literally across a street from the venue, and with this venue being an outdoor amphitheatre, you could hear everything! We all watched through the cracks in the tall wooden fence. It was cool seeing Clay up there rocking out. He's really getting down these R&B songs..I wish we would have heard it last night..darn...
We had third row seats and we had a great view. Clay truly rocked last night and I won't go into all the details again as others have already. The girl who sang was really good and seemed so confident on stage. Clay said she should have gotten up there the first time she auditioned! They were good together!! The camera police were out in full force up and down the aisle so we just used the disposables that they allowed after Chuck talked to the local security guys....I took a few, don't know what I got. The sound was INCREDIBLE!! I agree with everyone's posts before me about the show! Clay and crew really rocked out last night! He was very happy on stage.
During the James Taylor set, he did something to mess Angela up, so she in-turn totally messed him up-kept staring at him and giving him look & Clay cracked up laughing so hard he lost it and said he lost the contest!! Something funny between those two, it was hilarious!
I was lucky to get out to the gates by the buses early enough and saw both cute little pups come out, Raleigh and Dudly are adorable. Cherie snuck by quickly and we said hi to her as she went by. She smiled and waved. Angela came by too and smiled and waved. We saw Jacob and I enjoyed getting to chat briefly with S'Von too. He's very nice and laid back..
As everyone said, Clay came out and he waved, put his things on the bus, came right back out and he started on the side to my left, I was in the middle. I had a good experience where I was. No on pushed or shoved as he made his way by.
Everyone was saying before-hand, don't push, don't or he won't come out. I was able to shake his hand and told him it was a great show, he smiled and said thank you. He looked adorable, and to me, not tired at all. I like his hairdo too, looked adorable!! He appeared happy to be out there. Now a lady beside me said there was some pushing behind her but I didn't think it was bad. I think as he proceeded on down the line it got worse. My friend was down at the lower end of the baracades. Someone before her must have held onto him a little bit as she said he briefly stopped and then Jerome did pull Clay's arm back but he proceeded on down to the end and by then he was almost finished. My friend said down there she experienced more pushing and hands reaching for him over her head and all...They drove the bus on down to where he was at that end and he smiled and waved and got on the bus...So many fans were thrilled to death he came out there.. I was too.. I took a few pictures, not sure if they will come out.
Clay really wants to do this I believe, as long as the fans behave, things go fine. Jerome and Chuck were fine as they passed me by. Clay didn't rush, but moved steadily along the line from what I could tell. There was a major crowd out there by the time he came out....It was a nice set up with the baracades most of the way around so he had a barrier.
I talked to one of the local security guys and he enjoyed Clay's concert..Think he was Clayverted!!!!
That's my last show for a few weeks..Was great!! Clay thank you for effort to acknowledge your fans and give us a wonderful concert every time out, and then to try to do your best to say thank you and meet us after the shows. Not many other artists do this!!! Clay you Rock!!![
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