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Jul 24 04 8:47 AM
Jul 27 04 6:49 PM
Quote:t started with a two and a half hour drive down I-81 from our getaway place in the Shenandoah Mountains. We arrived at our home for the night at the Roanoke Hotel, a lovely historical landmark and rightfully so. It sits on a rolling hill and has a beautiful lobby, murals everywhere including the very high domed ceiling....the lobby is quite large. At the entrance there is a welcoming porch with white rocking chairs.
After checking in we went out and had a late lunch or early dinner and then drove to the civic center, site of the concert and went to the area where we saw buses....there were baracades about 50 yards from the buses and several people standing there....I learned that HE had gone into the venue 20 minutes before. After awhile we went back to the hotel, which was about a half mile from the site.
About 6:00 we made our way to the venue so we could get a good parking place....this was important to my husband, John, because he has artificial hips and some arthritis....we enjoyed watching the fans arriving (they were all ages and all sizes). Pocketbooks were seached and I HAD to toss my bottle of water away (sob). They did not see my squat 8 oz bottle of water, thank goodness, or my disposible camera!!!!
So we found our seats....I had asked for the side because I knew we could not stand throughout the show. I had not expected that row "J" would be so high up...it was very steep.....there were three gals in the second row who wre so nice and said they had traded their seats from higher up than ours to row B because one of them was pregnant....and they thought maybe we could do that. (well, unless there was a really BIG miracle I couldn't use that reason)...John had already gone up to the seat ...so I was thinking about trading the seats ....we had already paid the highest price....probably the row behind us started the $35.00 seats!! A nice young man John had talked to came down to see if I needed some help going up....how nice was that!! So up I went. Clays fans are the nicest fans anywhere. We were not too far from the stage ....about 12 to l5 rows back (but up on the side)
I spotted Jerome, I think, and then in the box seats section (wasn't available when I reserved our seats at least six weeks before) I spotted someone who resembled Faye...well, it was Faye, dressed in black and looking very chic. Some people were getting autographs..... One girl, whose name was Faye Parker, I met at the hotel the next day told me she saw Clay's mother at her seat and asked for her autograph and Faye asked her name and she said "Faye Parker" and Clay's Mom said that's my name, what's yours....so the two Fayes finally got it all straightened out....really thought that was cute. Her seat was about four or so rows closer to the stage, but also on the side....close to ours, but miles lower!!
Now it's 8:00 and no sign of Cherie(sp)....let's get this show on the road, I'm thinking. We had not heard she was not appearing so I was really surprised with what happened next.
Suddenly every light goes out and this tremendously loud music starts and the crowd screams and Clay appears with some light on the stage....I have never heard anything so loud in my life!!!!!! What a welcome OMC got!!! He looked great in his red/white shirt and red tie and glasses! He's full of energy....heeelllloooo, Virginia!!!!
You all know the song order....the big screens on the side were helpful many times.
One of my favorite moments involved the little singer...she was going into 3rd grade so the minute she got to Clay's side he immediately got to his knees so he would be on her level....it was an instinctively kind kind and thoughtful thing for him to do. She started to sing TITN and he motioned discretly for the band to be quieter so she could be heard....her singing improved when he joined the singing
and together they sounded very nice....he was on his knees all this time....it brought tears to my eyes, because I felt it demonstrated what a truly nice person he is.
The part with the backup singers was very good...We were able to hear them better because the audience was quieter and I think the band was also. There was a portion when they all, including Clay, sang as a group that was lovely.
During intermission we made a pit stop, which meant we went down the dreaded stairs (not as bad as we thought it would be) .....we stopped at row B where the three nice girls were and they said the seats in front of them (row A) were not being used. What a welcome piece of information!!!! See, Clay fans are sooo nice. So we happily enjoyed the second half of the concert in row A without worrying about stairs.
The montage was wonderful ...especially liked the Rolling Stone cover picture which ended featuring his WWJD bracelet. YWT was moving, but sadly there were those "we love you, Clay" shouts...mostly in the beginning.
Invisible was sung by Clay and the audience.
Solitaire was beautiful....and Clay's bow to his audience was a lovely salute to us.
We thanked the wonderful gals....I told them I would be writing on this site....they did not seem familiar with this site, so I hope they have come here and have enjoyed their visit and will stay awhile.
We went back to the hotel lobby and chatted with some fans there....then who came out of the bar area but Clay's Mom! I believe she was staying at our hotel... not sure if Clay was staying there, but I enjoyed thinking that he was.
The next morning we saw Faye (the girl I mentioned earlier) and her two friends and another girl from NC, but who works in Germany. She had been to five concerts and seemed to enjoy them all. We asked her how the Roanoke Concert compared to the others.....she said it was the loudest concert and had the poorest accoustics. I was relieved to hear that opinion. She is going to Atlantic City....I think she'll enjoy that too....I envy her.
This was an experience I will never forget....when I read reviews of other concerts I will be able to picture what they are talking about.
I will never forget the wonderful Clay fans....They ARE THE BEST FANS IN THE WORLD !!!!!
Aug 29 04 10:02 AM
Quote:Wednesday, July 22
Roanoke, concert the last
I wasnât supposed to go to Roanoke. All my plans were made and leave requested before it was announced and there was no way I could see it working. But when my concert buddy Kyrielle bought a 5th row ticket from newland and couchie was trying to sell the seat beside it, I figured that I could make things work. Southwest Virginia is to me like Raleigh is to Clayâeverything about who I am has been molded, influenced, caused by growing up thereâso when the opportunity came along, I couldnât imagine not seeing him in concert at home (or as close to home as heâll probably ever be). I was not to be disappointed. For me, it was one of those times that I wish all of you could have been there, because it was that special to me.
Kyrielle and I left Richmond later than we planned and zoomed across the Commonwealth without incident and in much better time than we anticipated. I had thrown together a very casual pre-concert dinner (literally reservations at a restaurant) and I think we ended up with 9 or 10 folks. Newland had checked out the Civic Center and brought us news of no cameras and a report of seeing FarAway!Clay! We ate, visited, and caught up, although most of us had just seen each other the night before in Portsmouth. I was especially touched that both deborah and newland asked about the status of my gastric bypass journey.
We made our way to the venue, got a great parking space, and watched in horror as the folks in front of us were literally striped searched. I watched the bag checker dig through purses and check waistbands, yet she barely gave Kyrielle or I a second look.
We headed to our seats in the 5th row near the catwalk (the closest Iâve ever been since all ticket-buying websites hate me) and I immediately noticed that the stage was already set for Clay. Could the gods be so kind? Apparently so and then some. I thought the Civic Center filled up respectfully, especially considering reports of very slow ticket sales. I saw Faye as soon as she came in and by the time she reached her seat, all eyes had spotted her. Before the concert and during intermission, the line to have her sign grew ridiculously long.
There were lots of signs around us (a by-product of being up front?) and directly in front of us were the ladies with the sign Clay read (âClay we found the man with the cane and hit him backâ). Luckily, everyone seemed well-versed in sign holding etiquette and was pretty good about not blocking views.
Clay came on about 8:00 and when he stepped out of the spaceship and had on his glasses and I could actually see him, I knew this trip was so worth it. Iâve been blessed with good seats every time Iâve seen himâgood in the sense that I didnât have to watch the jumbotron to see him. But being so close that you can see how green his eyes really are or that the pockets on the back of his jeans have some detail work was a whole new experience.
We were chastised for poor dancing and his amusement at the girl he brought up was hilarious. I know some have expressed mixed feelings about his selection of âhoochieâ dancers, but I think it may be part of him staying in the show. Plus, it was all worth it to watch him chuckling and then hear him say he needed a cold shower.
At the beginning of Kyrie, he was again doing the choreography with Jacob and Angela. However, unlike the previous night, he continued through the first verse of the song. I just like to see him groovin' like that.
The little girl he brought up to sing was not very good at all. His banter while waiting for her was cute. He managed to say â[weâre really] on top [of things].â He was very sweet with her, standing on his knees the entire time. We were impressed at the direction he was giving Sâvon in trying to help her. He also was singing/whispering the words in her ear. Swoon!
Just like many of you, I find it nearly impossible not to watch Clay when heâs on stage, and this show was no different. I could see he and Angela talking during WISYSF, so was especially surprised when he goofed up and forgot to acknowledge her. His quick wit led him to âforgetâ her again at the end, which just proved how quick his is on his feet.
I was sitting beside a older lady and her daughter (I assume). The daughterâs daughter is featured in the POYB video at the Skate with Clay. They were both very nice and normal. Although they and the folks behind us believe he should record and release YWT...
He again was jacket-less for YWT. Unlike the previous night, the Roanoke crowd really didnât seem to know what to do with the song. I was expecting another tent revival a la Greensboro, but we didnât get it.
While Clay was rightthere all night, I donât know that he actually made eye contact with me until Invisible, during which I am pretty sure he saw me bouncing and singing along like a fool, and likely thought, âLook at that fat girl making a fool of herself.â
I used one disposable camera for all three shows and my pictures were all a huge disappointment. However, if I could have captured one image of the concerts it would have been at Roanoke. I tore my eyes away from the stage for just a moment during Invisible (I think) and glanced across the catwalk to where dolce was sitting in the 3rd row up against the catwalk. She was just looking up at him, basking in the joy that is Clay, an image I will carry with me for a long time, even if it just exists in my memory.
We chatted with Danie for a while post-concert, as our good parking space meant a hard time getting out of the parking lot. She had managed to get some great pictures, which we previewed while waiting. We decided not to go to the buses, even though we were done earlier than expected. In hindsight, I wish we would have, as we would have seen Glasses!Pajamas!Clay!, but instead we hit the road, I don't know if he was verbally thanking people for coming at this point, but having Glasses!Pajamas!Clay! thank me for coming, might have caused me to spontaneously combust. Back across the Commonwealth we went talking about Clay and the concert and Clay Nation and Clay, until we arrived back in Richmond.
I love Clay Aiken. Even when I think the fangirl may be waning a bit and life might become a bit more normal, the love remains. Brandi wondered in her Greensboro recap if it is actually possible to love someone youâve never met and, likely, never will. I, too, have had the same question. But, for me, it really is. My three concerts only cemented that fact. At some point during Roanoke, I told Kyrielle that I wished I could see him every night in concert. This is the only way I could get behind Branson!Clay!, so we all could just move to Branson (or wherever the Clay Aiken Theatre opens), find jobs there, and see him every night we want to.
Itâs funny that in just going to 5 concerts total (2 IT, 3 NaT), I still recognize people. Not our folks (Iâd know yâall anywhere), but other fansâcrazy and not. I leaned over to Kyrielle in Roanoke to ask if I was crazy for thinking the folks in front of us (with the sign Clay read) looked familiar. Luckily, she said she recognized them, too. They had so much crap with them. I canât imagine hauling huge-ass signs and other assorted stuff with me from concert to concert, but thatâs just me.
[sap]With all the crap that Iâve had going on in my personal and professional life for the past year, seeing him makes me physically and emotionally feel good. For those couple of hours, I have no other cares in the world, but watching and listening to Clay. That he has been able to make me forget all the other stuff, makes me believe heâs a great entertainer, and I know that I got my moneyâs worth and more each night I saw him. Finding Clay and finding y'all has been such a blessing to me. I truly could not ask for more.[/sap]
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