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Jul 30 04 8:49 AM
Quote: I JUST CAME HOME FROM FOXWOODS!! WOWW!!! I'm speechless and totally head over heels in love with him AGAIN! I was suppose to sit all the way in row R but called the boxoffice the day of and got upgraded to OPERA BOX!!!AMAZING SEATS!!! (I guess the only place that could have these).The opera box was RIGHT NEXT to the stage and we had a complete view of the ENTIRE stage! We were on the right of the stage and we screamed like mad every time Clay came over to our side. He looked at me about 3 times!!! HOLY COW! I almost died and went to heaven. He did the same thing to 2 girls behind me, Aiangel and her friend. You guys are SO cute! I know you all know about the duet already. I think he replaced NMSS with that. The sound was INCREDIBLE!! My sister-in-law said it felt like he was singing in the shower with her. That's how great the sound was! NO GLASSES and WORE JEANS! No baggy pants! AHHHH!!His hair was perfection and he was so entertaining as usual. A few comments I'm not sure other people have made:
When the 2 girls behind me screamed "we love you Clay" he looked our way and said, "I love you too." and then when a bunch of other people were screaming we love you Clay, he said something like, "I love each and every one of you, but I can't say it to each and every one of you!" HE IS SO ADORABLE. I loved how he said that!
Clay asked Angela if she was wearing her red Clay Aiken thongs and she said yes! Then he went over to Quiana and asked her and Quiana said, "tomorrow". That was so funny!
I'm sure you know about how he went INTO the audience to pick out the singer to sing with him. He brushed his hand with some fans on the aisle while he was walking back onto the stage! We were in the opera box and the railing was very low, so the view was FANTASTIC. Even when Clay went up to sing solitaire, this is the night, you were there, WE COULD SEE HIM SO WELL because we were higher up!!! What incredible seats. I was at Baltimore in front row at the end of the catwalk and those were great seats, but he never really looked down once at us. But at Foxwoods, they had these lights that kept roaming the audience and I could see the fans down there. I'm sure Clay enjoyed that!
I don't know about the others, but I HEARD SCREAMING!!!!! It was DEFINITELY a Clay concert!!! No one really stood in the front sections, but we were not allowed!!! The security guards seemed very strict! I hid my cellphone so I was able to do a cellcert, but he caught me trying to video the duet (I figure you guys would want to at least see that!) so I only caught like 10 seconds worth! UGH!!! He told me no digital cameras allowed! No pics, no video, no dancing, no standing. Sooooo, we placed all our energy in the screams!! There was an elderly couple next to us and I felt bad for her because the screams were so deafening loud. I apologized to her then kept on screaming. Clay definitely responds to the screams because he kept coming over to our side and looking up at us!
After solitaire, we went down to wait for Clay. The security guards had us behind this fence (far from the bus) but one side did not have any barriers. So it became clear to us that he would not be coming towards us without any kind of barrier. Then sure enough, the bus started reversing with Clay inside already. I calmly walked over to the front of the bus. The security guards didn't stop me. Clay was wearing a red t-shirt and standing near the front of the bus. And when Clay turned around, I waved at him and had the biggest grin on my face. He looked at me and waved to me. OMG. I couldn't believe he looked at me when I was standing RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM! I was frozen and forgot to take a picture. By the time my senses came back, I took a picture of the side of the bus that doesn't even look like anything! The bus then started rolling and the rest of the crowd started screaming for him. He apparently blew a kiss to them.
What an amazing concert. My sister-in-law was not a clay fan at the start of the show, but she said he was AWESOME and she would definitely see him again. Then she said she didn't like how they all stood together for the acoustic set. She wanted Clay to be in the front all by himself! HAhahah! Her last question was, is there a concert CD?
Jul 30 04 8:54 AM
Quote:Good morning! Back from Foxwoods, but no time for thorough recap becoss I have to take the postal exam in like, 2 hours, on a few hours sleep-ok since I am still on a Clay high.
I'll just hit on a few things quick-
*CH meers are the friendliest, fun people evah!
*The pre-party dinner was delicious and classy, thanks Nanjeanne!
*The venue was great-the seats were sloped upwards so even a shorty like me had a great view. Good acoustics too.
*Those folks down front, high rollers and comped folks, are not exactly high-energy...all the fangirls (and some guys) were in the back section, whoopin' and hollerin' and occasionally standing.
*Clay's voice was spectacular! Every song was great-I didn't care for the duet with Cherie, but his voice was still great on it. I missed NMSS, which was dropped for the duet-I love NMSS. Kyrie made me leap up and dance like a fool, hee!
*Clay played air-every instrument during Rosanna. It was freakin' hilarious!!! I thought the little dancing girl was a sweetie, and the 14 yo singer girl did ok and was trying earnestly.
*YWT was a good experience-I found it emotional. I didn't feel Clay to be removed from the audience or remote-he wasn't up that high. I'm confused about the video-I watched, but saw no Bibles or churches. Did see the crosses. To me, it was not nearly as overt as what I have seen described-but was it the same video? I wonder.
*I led a posse of meers to the buses after-we waited but Clay got on and the bus backed out. We ran to the street and he pulled away slowly and waved! It was neat.
I have to run but I had a great time, Clay was worth it, and I was thrilled to meet the meers! I'll write more later, I want to wave at the meers I met last night! waves
Jul 30 04 9:29 AM
Quote:I'm home from Foxwoods and have, of course, my normal amount of comments.
First of all, many many thanks to the Clack House folk who stayed overnight on line at Foxwoods to buy expensive tickets on spec and then sold them at cost to people (such as myself) who couldn't manage to buy them otherwise. And many many thanks to Nanjeanne and everyone else who helped put together the preconcert dinner. As always it was a pleasure to get to meet (and see again) the real people behind the somewhat quirky names here. Hot Mom Of Five, by the way, is the cutest hot mom you'd ever want to see.
Secondly, I want to apologize if not to the universe then at least to that section of the universe that didn't get to go to Foxwoods when I did. When I bought my ticket I was still crazy in love with Clay, and I regret that others who are crazy in love with Clay didn't get the benefit of the ticket. If it's any comfort, I suspect Clay will be performing at Foxwoods and Foxwoods type venues for decades to come, and you'll have multiple opportunities.
Now two quickies and one slightly longer observation:
The only other NAT concert I've been to was Syracuse. I thought there that the MOAM song that got the strongest response (outside of Invisible) was I Survived You. I asked anntherese54 about that, and she didn't notice it. But I had the same reaction at Foxwoods. There's an almost sexual reaction to that song. I Will Carry You, on the other hand, isn't treated as a showcase song (as Invisible was on the AI tour and The Way was on the IT), and the audience either doesn't know or doesn't care that it's intended for radio play. I have no idea why it's not being spotlighted, but it sure as heck isn't.
At the Syracuse concert and at Foxwoods, the girls brought up to sing were both about the same age and both sang Without You. I thought that was interesting at Syracuse because the only ways the girl could know the song (especially well enough to sing it) were if she owned Kim Locke's CD or if she downloaded IT concerts. Then poof- the same thing happens at Foxwoods. All 14 year old girls look the same to me (everyone looks the same to me, having as I do, no visual memory), but I'm pretty sure these were two different girls. Is Without You the kind of song 14 year old girls love? I don't know the lyrics to most of the MOAM songs, and I've certainly played MOAM often enough.
My bigger comment and one I hinted at earlier: If by Los Vegas, Simon meant the kind of venue Clay played in last night, then I think Simon was right and Clay could have a successful lifetime career playing Vegas. My guess is he would need about 3 to 5 more songs that are specifically identified with him (in addition to Invisible, TITN and Solitaire). They could be radio hits off of Son Of MOAM. They could be originals or covers. They could be songs from a movie musical or two if that's where Clay ends up, or from a TV series if that's where Clay ends up. And a song like ISY (assuming my perception of the audience response was accurate) could become something of a cult regular number. But it wouldn't take much more than those extra 3-5 songs, plus an expanded repetoire, for Clay to have enough warhorses to last for decades.
The Foxwoods/Vegas venues work perfectly for Clay for a ton of reasons. First of all 1500-2000 seats seems just a perfect size for him. Clay isn't a natural fit in a club venue- his voice is too big. But he isn't really a natural fit in an arena venue either- his style is too intimate. A theater venue works ideally. The audience can both share and shriek comfortably.
Secondly Vegas etc. allows for an audience mix of high rollers and clorilla. The high rollers will undoubtedly through good old fashioned word of mouth learn that Clay gives a great show, because he does. The clorilla will be happy because the seats are great and the venues work for family vacations and gatherings with other clorillas. Presumably a small percentage of the fanbase will prefer not to go to casinos, but I doubt their numbers will be significant enough to make a difference.
In addition in a 1500-2000 seat venue, it won't matter if Clay's fanbase expands to men. If a woman fan wants to see Clay she can simply tell her husband to enjoy himself elsewhere at the casino. And if the clorilla can't sell out the show by itself, the high rollers will certainly fill the remaining seats.
And finally casinos are a huge growth market and they need performers with name recognition. I'm sure all the major casinos know just how fast Foxwoods and Atlantic City sold out. The casinos want performers who can appeal to "the whole family" since many of the casinos want to be family vacation spots. Clay could develop a regular casino circuit around the US (around the world if his career moves that way), thus providing him with work and stability and a nice high income for as long as he wants it.
Jul 30 04 9:49 AM
Quote:First of all, the show was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. There are only about 1,500 seats, and I didn't see an empty seat. And with only that many people, we were LOUD!!! Clay was DEFINITELY feeling the love!!! Out of every concert I have ever been to in my life, this was THE BEST!!! The sound, the music, his voice were all SPECTACULAR!!! I have NEVER heard it sound better, ever! Probably due to the size of the theater, everything was so crisp and clear and Clay was completely GORGEOUS!!! I was in HEAVEN ! I was exhausted at the end of the concert just from watching Clay and all of his beauty.
I haven't had a chance to read the cellcert yet, so you will get repeat info, but I must tell my story. His set was pretty much the same, except instead of NMSS, he sang a duet with Cheri; he told us that it was especially for us that night. My guess is, he will continue singing it, but at least, for ONCE I got to experience a first from Clay! I am just in complete awe of the man. He was gorgeous, he was beautiful, he was sweet, his voice was the best I have EVER heard out of anyone I've ever seen in concert ever. And he REALLY seemed to be thoroughly enjoying himself. He seemed sooooooooooooo happy on stage! As you all know by now, he brought two young girls on stage: one to sing and one to dance. When he picked out the one to sing, he walked RIGHT THROUGH THE CROWD to go get her!!! Of course, I was too far away to be near him. Um, ISY. Um. He SO KNOWS we LOVE what he does with that mic stand!!!! Oh my goodness how I wish I was that mic stand!!! To be caressed and fondled and man-handled only the way Clay knows how!!! I think I was drooling Anyway, I am trying to keep this short, so I those are just the highlights . I know you all know the details anyway. If you have any more questions, just ask. The last thing: at the end of Solitaire, he almost looked like he was going to cry. I love Clay Aiken with all my heart and soul.
Before the show, I ran into IM4UClay and after the show, I ran into, and forgive me if I have the names wrong, but I think they were, Velcrobaby, Youbehbay, NY4Clay, hotclay and I can't remember who else, I am sorry. I was looking for other people I knew, but I didn't see anyone. I was walking out and I heard, "oh there goes Secretly!!" so of course I stopped and there you all were! So happy to see you! They said they were going to wait for the buses. Wish I could've went, but I couldn't.
Now, onto what you've all been waiting for. Thank God I brought my mini camcorder!!! THEY DID NOT CHECK BAGS AT ALL!!!! There were soooooooo many people with digital cameras and they didn't care. All they cared about was cell phones, that I saw. I am sure A LOT of Clack will come out of this show!!! For me, everything would have been great if the woman 3 rows ahead of me on the end wasn't holding up her phone the entire time, even after being asked to put it away, that caused the Security Guard that was standing at the top of the section, who couldn't see me, to keep coming down past me to tell her to turn it off. I lost a lot of great Clack because of that cell phone woman!!!! That Security Guard must've had to come down at least 15 times during the concert, even brought two more "big wig" Security Guards one time to give her a talking to, but she wouldn't stop. She could have at least hid the darn thing!!! Oh well. The stuff I managed to get is AMAZING. I am asking you now to forgive me for when I couldn't use the camera. For instance, Kyrie, I got the very beginning â like 30 seconds, but that's when the "big wig" security guards came over and talked to the cell phone lady through the ENTIRE SONG, so I ended up getting just the first 30 seconds and last like 10 seconds. And when he had the house lights up, I had to put the camera down. I apologize. And of course, I ALWAYS have to be sitting behind someone who will NOT STOP moving their head and that has big fluffy hair. So you will see a lot of the big fluffy hair lady in Clay's way as well. Trust me though, what I got is GOOD. It will take me probably the weekend to get it up: going to the beach tomorrow!!!! So, you'll most like see everyone else's Foxwoods AND Atlantic City Clack first, but trust me, the wait will be worth it!!!! I'll let you know when it's up.
Jul 30 04 10:00 AM
Quote:Last night at Foxwoods i was chosen to sing with clay! This is how it all started:
I found out that Jermon picked someone to sing with clay. So i made a poster and my mum saw jermon in the lobby so i went over to him and asked him if he could sign my poster. He said sure! Then he read it and said can u sing. I said yes. He said do you know the duet. I said Without you. He replyed with ya that one can u sing it. I said sure. So i sang the chorus and he said wow you are excellent can i have ur name and seat number. I gave him that info and he said great. i told him i would also be at the concert on tuesday at the ryan center and he said well you might have jsut lost our chance tonight because someone else gave there tickets up the last 2 concerts but come find me on tuesday and you will probley get it then! I said ok thanks. So we went into the show and durring the first half i saw jerom keep talking to this other girl and i said to my self i didnt get pick next week than. After the 15 minute break Clay sang a few songs and then turned the house lights on. He said usally Jermon picks someone to come up and sing with me but i have already found someone. Theres a poster that says 9 yrs or somthing i cant really see it so let me get down and come read it. He then got off the stage and came over to me. He said is that a girl back there whos poster is that. I stood up and raised my hand. He said so let me read this. He read " Clay 9yrs singing and would love to strut my vocal cords with you!! Cuz if you can do it I can TOO!!" He said so you have been singing for 9 yrs i see. I replyed Yes. Well can you come down here please. I went down and he took my hand.He said, "So where are you from?" "RI!" "So do you sing in school?" "Yes." "What do you do in school?" "Umm I sing." (Clay laughs) "No like do you sing in chorus or musicals!" "OOO Chorus." "Ok well would you like to sing?" "Ok." "Do you want to sing acapella, or with the band, or with me?" "With you!!!" "Ok what do you want to sing?" (Jerom then whispers in my ear your audition) I turned around to him and said "WHAT!!!" Then i said "OOO Without You!" "The band knows that but i dont know if they want us on stage. He guys can we come on stage?" The replyed with 'Fine i guess so" " Ok Jerom take her to the stage." as we were on are way to the stage clay said " Now how am i going to get back on the stage. I might ripe my pants climing the stage" (Crowd Laughs) This girl gives me a mic and says hold it up to your mouth. I said i know. Clay then says "So i see your shirt says Simon said I was GOOD. He never said that to me!! Did he say that to you?" "No" " So you say you know this song right." "yes" "OK so do you want to start at the first verse, second verse, where?" "I dont know" " And you said you knew the song right" " I do i practised" " Ohhh so she practised this is great. Hows this we will start at the second verse." "ok" (music starts and i forgot the words) Clay starts mouthing them to me and i couldnt remeber. He then starts singing. I then joined in and he stoped with a face of shock and amazment. He couldnt beleive that voice was coming from a 14 yr old. Alot of people thought it was a set-up but it wasnt. We harmozied wicked good and everybody loved it. The song ended and he put his arm around me. I then put mine around him and looked at him and there was his face. We where nose to nose, cheek to cheek. It was amazing. He then said to me " Excellent job. I cant belive that came out of your mouth. you are going to go soo far and you are unbeliveable! There will be a thing for you backstage. Great job" " Thanks" He gave me a great big hug and talked! I got a t-shirt that was supose to be signed but it wasnt so when i go on tuesday i will get it signed. Everybody was congragualating me and it was great. After the concert i saw my princibale and a teacher who loves clay and she gave me the biggest hug and was in tears. Which then brought me into tears! All these stragers were coming up to me and it was amazing! I will never forget this night!! Thank you Clay for making it such a wonderful night!!!
Jul 30 04 10:20 AM
Jul 30 04 10:31 AM
Quote: Foxwoods Review- wrote this last night, can ya tell?
Wow... what a concert! What a great encounter! As I sit here in my Foxwoods bedroom, on a bed that I have no intention of using- I try to bring together my thoughts to a clear area of my mind. But before I get to the concert part of the review, I must include my own personal experience with OMC himself!!
After our magical arrival at Foxwoods yesterday afternoon, Clayslucky13 and I roamed around searching for Clayboard members! Along the way we met some RedHotTopic Members, TTC Members, and Clackhouse folk! Oh yes, and two Claymaniacs. From the board, we met Surrealjenny, and others but I can't remember your names- I'm so sorry, I remember seeing all of you there though! We had an absolutely fabulous time with surrealjenny who had already attended 3 or 4 concerts and got to give us tips on what to expect. After hours of the Claynation, we met my grandfather outside the theater.
He came to us and said that our mothers were on the way down with the gift bag and scrapbook we wanted to give Clay, along with Clayslucky13's two little sisters. They were bringing all our cameras down, too. WE WERE GOING TO MEET CLAY!!!
Our mothers waited in line and generously bought us programs to be signed and t-shirts! My heart almost beat out of my chest as the guards escorted us past the people that had been standing in line for hours, right into the theater! We waited in the theater for the slowest fifteen minutes of my life. Finally, a random guard came to us and told us it was time. As I picked up my completely numb body, Clayslucky13 and I held hands and walked through the backstage door, down two flights of stairs, walked straight a while, and took our next right. We passed by a group of a few other girls, who we just smiled at. Our next right brought us into a big room. However, I found Clay quickly- standing straight in front of me- smiling and laughing with Jerome. He was standing by an autograph table with a blue-ish, greenish t-shirt, khaki SHORTS, and FLIP FLOPS! "Hey everyone!" was heard coming from that gorgeous mouth with that gorgeous accent and the greatest night of my life had begun!!!
In our group, it was simply Clayslucky13 (her names Casey,must use that so much easier to type), her two sisters, both of our mothers, my grandfather and myself. After Casey, I shook hands with a friendly, rather cute "Clay's age looking" boy who asked my name. He replied: "Hey Kayla- I'm Nick!" (AHHH THE FAMOUS NICK! I'VE MET THE FAMOUS NICK!) After Nick, I moved up in line to the point where I was standing right in front of Clay. He said "Hey Kayla, how are ya?" As my knees almost let out, I answered "just great!". Then I got a "So where ya from?" As I try to answer I spit out "Bas- uh.. BOSTON!". "Bas-Boston, huh?" was the response. A gleeful yes was all I could say as he handed me back my signed program. CLAY MADE FUN OF ME!! EEEEE!!
We all gathered into a group (aside from my mom and grandfather who weren't in it) for a picture. More like 6 pictures, from all our cameras AND THE PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER! Casey and I (of course) stood next to each other in the middle. Clay slowly approached the group and stood right behind us both, wrapping his arms around our backs!! Almost all cameras were done when Clay quickly scooted away- but we had forgotten one! So, Casey asked for it to be taken and they said "sure" so she yelled to Clay "Well are ya gettin in, Clay?" As he gave us a cute snare, he walked back and held our backs for a final picture. My grandfather then asked- well can they do individuals? And before Clay could answer, Jerome said NO NO NO, and Clay said "Sorry guys, gotta follow his rules." So, as most of them departed I stuck behind and yelled "Hey Clay, I've got a gift for ya!" And as he turned, Jerome grabbed it out of my hands and said he'd give it to him. So, I yelled "Bye, thanks Clay!" a billion times, departed, and nearly thudded to the floor!!
After we returned upstairs, in tears- we all ran up to Claymate22, who had called my cell phone right before we went downstairs, so it was not a phone call but I had seen her. So we ran immediately for her and her daughter. We told her EVERYTHING!! My mom snuck up behind us and had said that she had snuck another program under Clay's nose for him to sign- for Claymate22's daughter as a present for her too keep with her in the hospital next week as she has her 9th head surgery. (God bless her) As I presented her with the signed program, she squealed and ran into her mothers arms, Claymate22 was ecstatic too. So glad I got to do that for the both of you =) So, I was anxious to see where my seat would be so I ran to my grandfather. He then escorted us to our third row, center, aisle seats!!!!! AH!!!
We called a few friends just to scream in their ears as to what had happened and looked at the picture of Clay with us a billion times. Soon enough, Cherie came on. She was great, really nice voice- kind of sounds like a pre-Celine Dion. Her five songs made me realise how close Clay was going to be! She left, there was a short bathroom break, where we saw surrealjenny and told her everything and then we returned to our seats. Then....it began!!!!!!!!
As I heard the intro begin to play, I threw my first nutty! The stairs opened, the band played, and out came OMC! No glasses, the usual funky striped shirt, tie, and blue jeans. As he belts it out like there's no tomorrow, I come to my senses of HOW DANG CLOSE HE IS!! When he place his mic in the mic stand, I felt like I could just reach out and touch him! My first time hearing "Shine" was amazing! With an awesome welcome to Foxwoods, Clay told us how excited he was to be in such an intimate theater and was looking forward to an awesome show! Then he gave a great little speech about the leis and the contest. He brought up a 9 year old girl named Nicole and she was too cute. She danced right with him, and then the backup dancers joined! Clay was trying to watch Nicole but instead he ended up bumping into Quianna and sending her the other way, too cute!
So, as the lights brightened for Kyrie- Jacob, Quianna, and Clay were all dancing in the center! Not for long, but awesomely long enough! Kyrie being one of my favorite tour songs- I thuroughly enjoyed it! IWCY rocked the house! Every twist made it sound so special, it was great!
The James Taylor set was beyond outstanding for soo many reasons! While Clay was explaining what was going on he stopped for a second, and Casey, her sisters, and I all screamed out "We Love You, Clay!" followed by another from out left corner, then another from our right corner- and finally he just says "I love all you guys too! I love everyone out in that audience today, I just can't tell everybody individually no matter how much I want to!" CLAY SAID HE LOVED ME!! AHHH!!
The whole set was not only right in front of us, but it was gorgeous! Sweet Baby James was incredibly beautiful! When "How Sweet it is" came up, Casey and I decided to jump up and dance. However, I did stare right at Clay, oops. At one point, he looked right at us and raised his eyebrows with a smile! He had recgonized and was like "wow, you guys are the only ones in the place standing- rock on!" Jacob and Quianna rocked the house too! You've Got a Friend stole my heart, it is beyond my words.
NOW, instead of NMSS, Clay did a world premier of a duet with Cherie. Can't remember the songs name but it was beautiful, they held hands and hugged at the end too- too cute. MOAM blew me away! I had to jump and scream when he was done just to let him know how much I looooooved it! RTM was next and...just wow...! Jacob was amazing on the sax for both, totally cool! Intermission arrived and it was time to meet up with CutiepieClay, Claymate22, and LMD12 all from the Clayathomemom Group- where we met originally. I had met Claymate22 earlier, But it was our first time meeting each other in person after talking for like months. Casey and I told them all about the meet and greet and showed them the pic on the digital camera- CutiePieClay, let me tell you now- you just are too cool! She was jumping and screaming the whole time... too funny! Soon enough, the PYOB video came on and we all went charging back to our seats and decided to meet after the show.
The video was amazing! I'd heard some of it on the Syracuse cell cert, but not in clear and full. Still the One was incredible, had to get up and dance for that! So much fun... PD was gorgeous! How amazing ISY was is beyond me. It's my favorite Clay song from MOAM so it brought tears to my eyes for the third time that hour alone! AAL meant back up for some more dancing! Before Rosanna started, Clay introduced the band. As he was introducing Jacob, we all screamed and waved to him and he gave us a sweet wave and smile right back- AWESOME! Then he introduced Quianna, and all she did was laugh at us- too funny. Roseanna was next- soooo much fun! Not to mention it was just simply amazing as always.
"You Were There" hushed the crowd to nothing, not one shout was hear- just Clay's powerful voice. (That's how it should be, I'm so glad it was too) His amazing version of TITN blew me away! It was my first time hearing it live cause' I didn't see the AI tour, and it was incredible! The video montage was adorable! Just adorable! He introduced Invisible as the last song *yea-right* and said he thanked us for letting him be here and for just being the greatest fans. We all screamed and jumped up to dance and sang along - just had a great time with Clay! Total audience moment. He "exited" through the stairs, took off the jacket, came back and stood straight in front of me for Solitaire. It brought me to tears for the second to last time. As the lights went up, I wiped my eyes and knew my night was not yet over!
We met the Clayathomemom ladies again and did some more fangirly screaming! I also made a nice purchase at the merchandise stand of some buttons, a poster, a keychain and an Official Claymate Pass (which are so expensive) We took some group photos We met up with a group of Clayboard people and told them we got to meet him and stuff- then met up with surrealjenny for the last time to say goodbye. She said she had gotten the whole second half on tape and was gonna try and upload it. YES!! Then, we departed the Fox Theater and the Claynation- at least until Monday
The night was close to over but never close to forgotten. I swear, Clay looked over at the four of us a lot and made eye contact with me at least twice. We all took LOADS of photos and wasn't even spoken to once. About 7 rolls of film were used. We only got to bring in cameras cause' we were brought in early for the meet and greet and nobody checked our bags, nobody spoke to us while taking pics either!
All I can say right now is..........
Clay, if you're reading this- THANK YOU FOR THE MOST INCREDIBLE NIGHT OF MY LIFE!!!!!
Jul 30 04 12:28 PM
Quote:Hey, we had a fox come out of our woods yesterday too. I thought that would be a good omen and it was!
LONG FOXWOODS RECAP
I leave Western Mass and start tooling down to Foxwoods. All the money that is pouring out of that place and they can't make an exit off the highway that gets your right there? No, you have to go through the old Connecticut town of Norwich and take a left, right , left, drive 40 mph through suburbia. Ridiculous.
I pull into the street that has the hotels. I am now wishing I had my stronger contacts. I look desperately for the word Cedar as that is all I remember is in the name of our hotel. It says Cedar and points to the left. Valet asks me if I'm staying at the mumblemumble hotel and I say yes. I'm taking my suitcase out of the car and he closes the trunk before I'm done. Wait! I have one more thing! He opens the trunk again and I take Wuhstah out and stick him in the front of my suitcase pocket.
Well, it turns out the mumblemumble hotel is NOT the Something Cedar and so now I am dragging my huge suitcase outside in the humidity until I find it. All the Foxwoods hotels are this sky blue color with green roofs and no name on the outside of the hotel! I'm already hating Foxwoods at this point.
I go to the VIP checkin and in walks Nanjeanne soon after. We check in and head up to our lovely suite and kmh135 soon joins us. We're all excited and jammering away while we're getting dressed. I hold up two dresses and ask for opinions and Nanjeanne tells me that one of them looks too mother-of-the-bride. Oookkaaay, I guess I looked like Diane Keaton at my last Christmas party. To get her back, when she puts on two different pairs of shoes and asks which one looks better, I pick the pair that looks the most uncomfortable!
I always buy my nylons in bulk so I brought a whole bag in case one tears. I open up the new bag and pull out a fresh new pair ..knee highs. @#%$! Nan gets on the phone and tells me to go down to the lobby where they sell nylons. I finish getting dressed and take myself and my pale legs down to the lobby where the young Russian girl behind the counter proceeds to tell me that they do not have nylons. I presume the large package marked No Nonsense right behind her is a very big condom. All they had was black in a strange size but I buy them anyway. They actually looked better with that dress than what I usually wear so crisis averted.
We grab the boombox, the nametags, Whustah and head to the dinner. On the way, we pass a huge tank of water filled with..trout! Yeah, a fresh supply for the stampede. Of course, I took a picture and will now be using that instead of red font.
On the way to the party, we run into Dolce Pienza who is wearing a (I'm being polite here) loud dress as if it can become some kind of Pequot Indian fugly jacket rain dance that will make the Paisley jacket of Pukage return. We go by the theater and see Clay's name on the marquee. I wish they put sold out.
The dinner was great-Nanjeanne did a wonderful job. Saw all my old NE/NY buddies again and met up with folks I hadn't seen since Vegas like Aurorabee, Brandilyne,huskerfalcon and MrsLoki. Allingoodfun is aptly named. Jude was late-how Rude.We played pin the Waldo on Clay thanks to Buzztechie and our waitress shook her head more than once.
We all looked smashing. Nothing nicer than meerkats dressed up for the big show. I did hear many complaints about aching feet last night though!
Off to the theater. I try on that denim jacket again and it still doesn't fit. We are escorted up to our seats and I marvel at how pretty the theater is becoss overall I think Foxwoods is kind of garish. We were three rows from the back but dead center. I thought there were a fair amount of men there again.
Cherie sang only five songs with no wave and I actually enjoyed her set much more. I think it was becoss the acoustics were so good that you could actually hear her voice and distinguish the words. I still hate the part where she tells everyone to stand becoss everyone sits so soon after that it looks bad.
We were worried that she did a short set so did this mean that Clay would do a short set too. I looked at the screen and willed anything but the POYB video to come on. When the regular track started, we were thrilled. The mothership opened and that voice just BOOMED back at us. B.O.O.M.E.D.
A lot of the back rows stood and some of the sides but this was definitely a theater crowd and that was OK too. Made it a unique experience from the other venues. He was in great voice again. The no glasses sighting was immediate and at first I couldnât see the sideburns but they were there. His hair looked a bit lighter to me but it could have been the lighting.
He brought the little girl up to dance in WYSYLM and he put her in between Jacob and Angela. No! Stay away from Jacob, cute little girl!!
Just before the surprise duet, he mentioned that they were going to do something they don't do often and this was for you Foxwoods. He starts singing the song and all the multiple show fans are looking at each other-WHAT.IS. THIS? Then we hear a woman at for a split second I thought it was Quiana but the voice was too high.
I loved this song. It's a very mature love song and is the complete opposite of Without You which is just fluff. The song seems to be about a love that is falling apart and than may have a chance to come together again. They start far apart. Clay is in the front, stage left and Cherie is up high, stage right. They sing apart but slowly come closer to each other as the song shows a bit of hope for the two lovers. He had some absolutely huge notes in this song and at the end they both sang one incredible note with great harmony. At the end, they come together and he holds out his hand like he did for Heather Headley. It was great. This duet proved to me that two belters can sing a good duet. KLo and Kelly, take notice.
We were a little confused after that but we realized he left NMSS out, which is just fine by me. We don't need it now that Shine is in there.
During intermission, I spoke to the people behind me. I think it was a mother and her two daughters (13 and 19?). They had never seen Clay live. They were blown away. I offered them a GTBuzz card but they said someone had already given them one. (Good job, guys!!!) At the end of the show, the mom was simply stunned.
RTM was wonderful once again but ISY was brought to a new level, even better than IT. At the last verse- "There's no way I'll let thoughts of you" He held his arms out, palms up, looking up. I had the binoculars on him, it was amazing. It was like he was cursing someone in heaven. So powerful, so so powerful.
TITN was the best version of this song that I have every heard. The jeans for the last costume change were noticed by all. Quite yummy.
His speaking voice was a little hoarse for Invisible but he sang it great. The entire crowd stood as soon as the first notes were played.
Solitaire-there are no words. It's different and incredible every time.
New base player is from Baltimore as I believe Al is. Could this be a planned change (permanent or interim) and Al helped Clay hire a new bassist who is a friend? I like the new bass player, he looks very glad to be there. S'Von appears to be the new musical director.
My favorite non singing part of the show is the polite but definite snarky diss from Clay to the ILOVEYOUCLAY screamers. First time, he said I love you too. Second time, he said "I love each and every one of you but I can't tell you all that because I'd never get to sing (or something like that). Yeah for Clay! Worked like a charm and much safer than a taser gun.
Second favorite part of the night was waving to Clay on the bus. He drove right past us. I love the fact that he still looked happy, grateful and amazed that we were all there.
Funny part of the night was waiting by the bus and I take my aching feet out of these dress heels that are too narrow for my feet. I hold one up and say "look at this. No human foot in the world is shaped like this." A young man in his early twenties said "Yes, but all the men of the world appreciate the fact that you wear those." Aww, he said it really nice. He was there with a few females. He's a keeper, ladies. He danced all night to Clay too.
Thanks to the incredible Nanjeanne for a wonderful party and for being a great concert companion. I think our combined energy makes most people's heads explode but I love going to shows with you.
Finally, a huge "I'm not worthy" bow to Buzztechie, SkateJoy, Finyanga and donnamom for camping out for 20 hours and getting these tickets for us. Experiencing Clay in this venue was something I'll always cherish. Thank you for being generous meerkats and great friends. (Although, don't let anyone listen to Skate when she tells you she is shy. That dress had hoochy mama written all over it)
If someday I am ever lucky to hear Clay sing in a venue with those accoustics in seats that were as close as our Syracuse seats were- I will have to be put in a home for those that have permanent drool running down their chin.
Jul 30 04 1:09 PM
Quote:So, Im sitting here in the lobby of my hotel in CT with hours until my flight leaves to go back to Oregon. I cannot wait to get back because of the HUMIDITY here. My hair, OMG! How do all you folks who live in these steamy places do it? I kept fluffing my hair and adding more hairspray yesterday (needed to be pretty for Claaay!). By the time I got back to the hotel I must have had 50 layers of hairspray and my hair was still flat.
I cant write a recap like some do because when Clay is in front of me, I get into a trance state and it all becomes a blur. I can tell you the moments that stand out in my mind. Oh, BTW, I was proudly a NAT technical virgin. I saw photos, knew the set list, and heard the mp3 of YWT. That is all.
First the bad: Could the crowd BE any deader? Even the Clay fans up top sat a lot. I never sat down at a Clay concert before. And (weirdly and unexpectedly) I was a little unimpressed and bored during the first part of the show. "Who am I?" I think. Bored with Clay in front of me. Then..
SBJ. OMGOMGOMG! I will marry it and have its babies. His voice, his voice. Yes. Yes. At that point I was hooked for the rest of the show.
RTM. I heard actual moaning throughout the audience. Im not speaking figuratively. I heard actual moaning.
POYB video. Lovely. I am. Proud of our boy.
Rosanna. Loved it. He was here. He was there. He played instruments in the air. He sang high. He sang low. It was like a full on buffet for the eyes and ears!
I Survived You. Barely survived. Grrr. Good luck, I wish you well.
YWT. I always envied you folks that cried at his concerts. I never have. Still havent. But I watched his face during YWT through binoculars and it brought tears to my eyes. Such beauty. Such purity. Sigh.
Invisible. Loved that it got those high rollers up off their butts and moving. Loved the audience sing-along. Reinforced to me why he needs another big radio hit. Hope that its on Son of MOAM.
Solitaire. I know that everyone says that you have to see it live. But, but, but, Ive seen videos of live; Ive seen it on TV. Whats the big deal? OMG! You have to see it live. That note. It was so huge. It filled the theater. It embraced it. And held me for so long. And then gently withdrew. Then he humbly and gently withdrew. WOW. Im still in afterglow today.
At the buses. Natural!Clay! waving and smiling and throwing kisses. I lurve him!
Lovely, tasty, and classy dinner. Thank you Nanjeanne! (I love me some Bossy!Incharge!In control! Nanjeanne)
I only really got to meet half of everyone so if I didnt meet you, I wish I had, and if I met you only briefly, I wish wed talked longer. *waves to all of you*
Corabeth. If caught me staring at you, its not because I have a crush on you *g* but because you remind me of my sister so much. Yes, thats a good thing.
HotMom of5. Have you seen her? She is so tiny and cute! Thank you for the bus adventure.
Skatejoy. Another cutie in her rockin slutty dress. Cute shoes, too. Enjoyed the walk to the venue.
Hi to Buzzie and her pretty toes and to huskerfalcon who has encouraged me so much
Brandi, of course, did not fail us in the Pin the Waldo game. She simply has all the right instincts.
*waves to tablemates lyndolphin, donnamom, CTclayfan, and the fashionably late Jude.
Jojoct. I owe you my life for the ride back to the hotel and for all your patience with me. Cash it in sometime. I will do (almost) anything for you.
Last but sooo not least a very humble thanks to the lovely lurker clayamour for the ride. Another beautiful Clay fan and a girl that isnt afraid to use her boobs! She can outtalk Clay and Kelly BTW and made the very long drive to Foxwoods go by in a flash.
I guess that is all for now. So sorry if I forgot anyone. I am beyond exhausted today and have blisters galore on my feet, but Im very happy, oh, and did I mention I love Clay. Sigh. So much.
Jul 30 04 2:05 PM
Quote:Back from Foxwoods. Had a great, great time. I loved every minute of the concert. Some impressions of the evening: Sorry, don't know how to do the bullet thingy.
First of all, how does Mrs. Rosencranz drive all night and then be alert enough to write such a coherent and entertaining recap??? I can barely type this, and I slept till nine this morning and only had a four hour drive home. Maybe it is she who is a supernatural being?
I don't know who said the crowd at the merchandise table was sparse, but I had to wait about 20 minutes to be served.
The venue was great. The acoustics were awesome. I don't know if there were any conversions last night, but there were certainly Clayversions. I overheard some casino regulars who were Not.Just.Us. at breakfast this morning telling the waitress they were at the concert. When she asked them how it was, the woman just opened her mouth and sputtered something unintelligible while almost hyperventilating. Her male companion became the spokesperson: "He was awesome. Just awesome."
A young woman who was a recent college grad was sitting behind us. The first time she ever saw Clay was the Grease performance on AI2. She ten traveled over 10 hours to see him in concert. She was a Big Fan but not an internet fan. She said that Jerome had her seat number and it was between her and the 14-year old as to who was going to sing the duet. The 14-year-old got picked. Did you hear that Clay came all the way half way up the theater to talk to her and bring her back down to the stage???
I did not find the audience dead at all! It was basically a casino crowd. To be honest, I was expecting people to leave early, but I did not notice anyone leaving early, until after Invisible. I thought it was a very enthusastic crowd given the circumstances. I was happy not to stand during the whole concert, but did stand for most of it.
Clay announced before Rosanna that Quiana was wearing her Clay Aiken thong. Then asked Angela, with whom he seems to have a really flirtatious relationship, if she was wearing her Clay Aiken thong. She said she would wear it tomorrow.
EEEEEE!!! I bus-stalked with the rest of the fangirls, led by none other than our resident 18-year-old-masquerading-as-a-mother-of five, HotMomof5. I got a nice close look at Clay who looked gorgeous, happy and smiling. One cute teenie went into hysterics, jumping up and down screaming,"He blew a kiss to me!!!! He blew a kiss to me" She was adorable, but I was almost afraid that she would need the paramedics. Also,she was mistaken: he actually blew a kiss to meeeeeee.[/delusional]
Highlights of the show: Everything. But especially Rosanna, ISY, Invisible, RTM, SBJ, Solitaire, YWT, STO, the duet with Cherie. Oh, and Shine. AndWTSHNN and IWCY. And everything else.
Thanks to Nanjeanne for arranging the lovely dinner. Thanks once again to Runningfree for being a wonderful traveling companion. It was nice having company to share The Misery That Is I-95. And thank you to Clay for putting on a wonderful show.
Jul 30 04 5:04 PM
Quote:Just some quick thoughts as everyone has already done such a great job of reviewing-
Last night was AMAZING!!! My husband John and I were in the first raised row to the right of the stage. Clay walked right by us when he went into the audience- I will have pictures later tonight. I only had a disposable camera so here's to hoping Kodak can work some magic. John actually said he was impressed with the concert and now he knows what all the fuss is about. WHOHOO!!
Hi to surrealjenny, tiffany, lykiera, senorita . I also met a very nice girl, her sister and their mom while I was looking for Rhustress in the stands. I am sorry, but, I cannot remember your screen name. You were very sweet and talking to you all almost made up for missing the preparty. In order to get the General Admission seats, we had to stay in line for the couple we were with. They didn't know they were general admission as they have been to numerous concerts at Foxwoods and have never had to worry about seating with their tickets. When we showed up to scope out the box office, a line had already started to form. While I went to meet the couple, John waited in line. So- no preparty for us.
Kyra and Senorita were among those standing most of the concert to the right of the stage. They were able to stand because they were seated in the last row on the floor section before the raised seats- so no one's view was blocked. When we tried to stand, we were told by security to sit down. This baffled my husband who said- "its a concert!" BUT- I am sure those sitting behind my 6 foot 4 inch husband were silently thanking the security guards. It was a very respectful audience. Except for the undeniably obnoxious person who, during Cheri's set, took it upon herself to shout out- "enough already- we want Clay" - or something pretty close to it. The general consensus around us was that she deserved a good talking to-
You Were There- there are no words. I was afraid to clap after Clay finished. You are so into the song, so mesmerized by the voice, that all of a sudden you realize Clay has stopped singing, but you don't want to clap and spoil the moment. Then- you take a deep breath and you not only clap, you scream, you whoop. And it is then you realize that you have been weeping, because not only have you been privileged enough to see Clay worship God with this song, he has also touched a special place in your heart.
I need to really comment on the Merchandise Table. The guys allowed me to leave a double sided flyer on table- on one side was the "Arthur" Audiobook flyer and the other side was the "Wrapping for Inclusion" flyer. The merchandise people were very nice. I also was able to hand them out to some people leaving the theatre. I couldn't pass them out fast enough for people who wanted them.
edited to add- From this tour- I have listened to 3 cellcerts, viewed some Clack, listened to some MP3's and have now attended a concert. After all of that, I still want to buy a concert DVD. My credit card is getting antsy--Please bring on the concert DVD!!!!
edited to add2- Informal in line to bathroom poll- Average tip for MaitreD seating =$40.00.
Jul 30 04 5:06 PM
Quote:OH My God!!!!!!!!! I'm still in shock! Where do I start. He was gorgeous, he was wonderful, he was in rare form! I have never heard him stronger of better. He did not hit a bad note all night. The acoustics in that theater were phenomenal. His voiced just bounced everywhere!! OK! They did an opening that I never heard about so I don't know if it was new. Before he came out and as the band was coming on, they played audio clips of interviews, songs, etc. The of course he came out from the steps. No Glasses. His hair was sticking straight up in the air kind of like Lyle Lovitt! He looked adorable. They cut NMSS and did a new song called FOOL, a duet with Cherie. It was beautiful. They seemed to have really nice chemistry and he seemed to really enjoy singing with her. His overall performance was one of the most emotional I have ever seen. He did this cute little thing singing RTM, please God I hope someone got it on camera cause you have to see it. He had his hands up at the top of the mic not quite touching it and then he started wiggling his index fingers and then all of a sudden he just started wiggling all of his fingers. It was hysterical. They got it on the jumbotron and everyone was hysterical. Then, forgot what song, but he was leaning against part of the stage sort of like he was leaning against a lamp post with his feet crossed! He jumped of the steps during Invisible, he was a wild man. Then when he was doing the singing with someone, he just leapt of the stage and ran into the AUDIENCE almost up to where we were sitting! Of course, I couldn't see a think because the seats (kind of like stadium seats) emptied when they saw him running up. All I could see was Jerome's big head and Spikey hair. I think he was kneeling down talking to a little girl who had a sign that said she was singing for 9 years. So he took h er up on stage, first he h ad to get back up and there were no steps so he just had to hoist himself up and he made a joke about ripping his pants!!! I WISH!!!!!
He sang WY with this little girl and he was just adorable with her. And he picked a little girl of about six to do the dance!! You had to see him. He was just loving it!!!! You could see his smile just beaming watching her. He got down on his Knees to give her the lei and gave her a big HUG! Teacher Clay was there!!!!! Just beaming.
The Clack and cellcerts cannot do justice to the concert. The harmonies during the acoustic set, OMG were unbelievable!!!!!!!!! I actually started to cry during MOAM!
YWT: He mesmerized the place. You could hear a pin drop! It was very, very, very moving. And Solitaireâforget it. I nearly lost it!!! I've waited so long to hear him sing that live and it was better than I could have ever imagined. The glory note!!!!
I know I am rambling but you understand!!!!
At one point, I think during the acoustic set or something, there was a silent moment and a few fans yelled âWE Love you Clay.!â And He said, "And I love you too." The place went crazy. Then another silent moment and someone else yelled, "I love you Clay." He stopped and said, "Now, look, I love each and every one of you," sort of pointing out into the audience. "But I can't possibly tell every one of you individually!!" Everybody laughed.
When he did STO and the "Scratch my itch" part, he pretended to be scratching his side!!!! CUTE!
OK! So after that, we went outside and waited for the buses, but he didn't come over L! He did wave and blow us kisses on the bus. He looked really, really, tired. But he looked so cute in his KK T and jammie bottoms! It almost looked like he was on auto pilot waving. I hope I got pics, but I got so excited, I think I missed. Just an unbelievable
experience as I am sure you all know. This was my first SOLO Concert and boy I was IMPRESSED! Oh, Jacob came over to the fence and my friend got him to autograph a pic he had taken with her at Dover.
As always, one of the nicest parts was meeting everyone and putting faces to screen name. Met so many lovely, lovely people: LIClayFan, LIClaylady (Thanks for the room!)Zippy888, NY4Clay, Connie (Can't remember your screen name). It was so nice to meet you or bump into you all again. And thanks Robyn for arranging the Pre-concert Dinner! It was lovely!!!!!! I'm exhausted. Stayed up most of the night talking and it was a looooooong ride home. On to NH!!!!!! MUSIKFEST and CLEARFIELD. (Mykie, saw Nick!!!! He's adorable!)
Jul 30 04 7:52 PM
Quote:I am writing from an internet cafe in Rhode Island (dolcepienza convinced me to extend my vacation by a day, and so what else would we be doing on a Friday night but going on line (actually she is looking up amtrak schedules, and I had to have something to do).
Anyway...you know I don't pull my punches about Clay concerts, and I really only have one thing to say about the Foxwoods concert last night....it was [email protected]#%$.TASTIC!!!!!!!!
OK. I lie, I really have more to say, but for those who don't like long recaps that covers most of it.
The highlights of the night for me:
- the pre-concert dinner rocked (thanks Nanjeanne!) and getting to renew acquaintences with the NE PROC and the other attendees from around the country was loads of fun (and how scared should I be that I am starting to know more than 80% of the people at these gatherings from previous concerts?)
- Overall, this is THE BEST CONCERT I have seen Clay do from front to back! He was stunning!
- WTSHNN and Shine were just fantastic. He was in amazing voice and the accoustics in the room (even from the back) were fantastic.
- HEY! This show has lighting effects! Who knew? I have always been too close to see them...pretty cool.
- The little 7 year old dancing girl during WYSYLM was a sweetie (and a pretty good dancer too). Clay was very sweet with her.
- The duet with Cherie was absolutely GORGEOUS!! Her voice complements his extremely well, and he excels at this type of soaring ballad. They blended marvelously, and the duet adds some additional variety to the first set that makes it flow even better. I don't know if the change is permanent, but I would love it if it was!
- SBJ was just beautiful. This is definitely the song that has been growing on me the most during the tour. I love, love, love the sweet tone in his voice when he sings this song.
- MOAM is a favorite of mine, and as always it started me melting for that voice.
- What MOAM starts, RTM finishes...this, for me, is the absolute highlight of the tour! I love the changes he has made from the album...it makes the whole song sound richer and deeper somehow. I don't know how he does it, but he took a song I liked on the album and turned it into something that absolutely makes me a puddle of goo. And last night he just nailed this song to the wall.
- After the first set MrsRosencranz and I turned to each other in absolute amazement at how unbelievably good the first set had been. All I could say was WOW!!
- STO is a fantastic, high energy way to begin the second set. It was one of my favorite demos and I love the fun that he has singing it!
- He did some change-ups on PD that sounded great! I love it when he plays with the songs.
- ISY - the best I have seen in a long time! Vocally he was totally on, and he scaled back the arm movements enough to give a REALLY affecting performance. This was definitely the show-stopper of the second act.
- The girl he brought on stage to sing WY was ear-wincingly bad, but he was very sweet with her. It was really cool to see him jumping off the stage and striding fearlessly up the aisle. And watching him pull himself right back onto the stage wasn't bad either...some nice upper body strength there ;-)
- AAL & Roseanna were upbeat & enjoyable as always. He seemed to have boundless energy last night, and both those songs are just flat out FUN. He also sang the crap out of Roseanna (and changed it up a bit which was very cool).
- YWT - he sang this beautifully as always. This time the video seemed to be the same as described in Delaware (no bibles, no churches, crosses at the end).
- TITN - I never get tired of hearing him sing this song. When he is on (like he was last night) his voice just SOARS. It was a fabulous rendition (and he changed it up a bit near the end in a way that I thought really worked well).
- Invisible - YAY...I got to see him leap down the stairs finally! He was high energy, bouncy and very fun.
- Solitaire - was simply sublime. An UNBELIEVEABLE rendition. Gorgeous. A perfect end to a perfect evening!
After the concert, I was simply speechless...he totally blew me away. I can't even begin to describe how great last night was and how happy I am to have had the opportunity to experience it (sends hugs and kisses to buzztechie).
This recap was brought to you by fangirly kmh135 (she doesn't come around very often, so enjoy her while she lasts *g*)
Jul 30 04 8:21 PM
Posted: Fri Jul 30, 2004 7:57 pm Post subject:
Fans Adore Him, But Aiken Does Little To Deserve It
By ERIC R. DANTON, Courant Rock Critic
Change the circumstances a bit, and the cops would have found a bunch of bodies and some leftover Kool-Aid.
That's the sort of pull Clay Aiken exerts on his fans, who packed the Fox Theatre at Foxwoods Resort Casino Thursday night to see the "American Idol" runner-up make his solo debut in Connecticut.
Yet the attraction is mysterious to the uninitiated, because Aiken is largely devoid of charisma on stage. Despite 36 episodes of "American Idol" and a year on the road, he still looks stiff and not altogether comfortable in the spotlight. Maybe that lack of polish humanizes him, gives him an outsider's appeal that makes Aiken seem like a real person to his adoring fans. It also makes him seem like a hopeless amateur instead of the smooth professional he's trying so hard to be.
Regardless of how he looks and acts on stage, his fans say they love his voice. Truth be told, though, what sounds so warm and deep on his album, "Measure of a Man," comes off as thin and sometimes forced in a live setting.
It's like seeing behind the curtain in "The Wizard of Oz": outside the forgiving confines of the recording studio, the vocal tricks sound contrived. There was a little yelping hiccup in his voice that came right before he'd belt out and hold high notes, for example.
Worse than that was the colorless way Aiken presented songs he had no business covering. He deserves credit for the guts it took to open with the U2 song "Where the Streets Have No Name," but Aiken's version had none of the grit or desire or heated rock 'n' roll passion that Bono - another singer who thinks he's God - injected into the original.
The same was true during an extended medley of James Taylor songs, during which Aiken's backup singers overshadowed him on "Fire and Rain" and "Whenever I See Your Smiling Face."
Although he performed plenty of songs from "Measure of a Man," including the title track, Aiken needed a hefty array of covers to fill out the two 40-minute sets. There were some odd choices, too: "Kyrie" by Mister Mister? "Rosanna" by Toto? The latter, at least, featured Aiken's best vocal performance of the night. The song pushed his voice a little out of its range, and the resulting rawness finally made him sound real.
After performing "This Is the Night," Aiken ended with "Invisible," which sounds like the anthem of a guy who desperately wants to hide in your closet and watch you get ready for bed. Aiken performed the Neil Sedaka song "Solitaire" for an encore.
Jul 31 04 7:51 AM
Quote:Clay Aiken Shows Stage Maturity Beyond His Years
By BETHE DUFRESNE
General Assignment Reporter/Columnist
Published on 7/31/2004
A colleague of my generation, more attuned to the spectacular rise of pop star Clay Aiken than I, assured me as I headed with my niece to the Fox Theater for Aiken's Thursday night concert that the young man has pipes.
I may not be the best one to make predictions, but it looks to me like he has legs, too.
The gangly American Idol runner up, with spiked hair, sonorous voice and soothing style attracted a mostly female audience at Foxwoods. They ranged from toddlers and school girls to the ubiquitous Claymates, a burgeoning sorority of women clad in Clay t-shirts, name tags and I'll bet sooner or later the red thong Clay underwear that was selling briskly in the lobby.
One woman, age 55 and accompanied by her equally star-struck 28-year-old daughter, told me after the show that she had tickets for his next four concerts, occurring within the week. I wish I'd had time to ask if this was her first trip as a groupie.
With his signature Measure of A Man, Invisible, Run to Me, Perfect Day, I Survived You, and my personal favorite, I Will Carry You, Aiken earned every deafening shriek of approval from the capacity crowd.
What struck me most, besides the beautiful voice, was the boyish Aiken's relaxed assurance as a performer. His is such a young career, yet he manages the stage like someone long past trying to prove himself, and he does it without any hint of arrogance.
If Thursday's audience tended to the older side, it might be because of the casino venue and the ticket prices, $85-$110. But it was a real advantage to be in the relatively small Fox Theater.
This is one of the most intimate crowds we've had, said Aiken, and he used the space to his advantage, especially during a James Taylor medley with his superb back-up singers that had me singing along.
As he is wont to do, Aiken connected directly with fans, dancing with a 9-year-old and popping into the audience to pull a 14-year-old on stage for a blessedly brief duet.
He also performed a wonderful full-length duet with Cherie, his opening act. If these two don't make it as longtime pop stars, they certainly have a career waiting in the wings on Broadway.
Can a guy this nice, who wears a W.W.J.D. wristband, raises money for disabled kids and dedicated one of his numbers to Jesus, endure as a pop idol in America? It's far too soon to say. At least he'll always have something to fall back on.
He can sing.
This is the opinion of Bethe Dufresne.
Jul 31 04 8:52 AM
Aug 2 04 8:16 AM
The best part about this show was the quiet. The wonderful acoustics made for an amazing experience. You could hear his voice without the microphone when he was talking and we werent near the front at all! After his little snarky, Now I love each and every one of you, but I cant say it to every single one of you! (so, shut the @#%$ up please), people pretty much quieted down. Whoever yelled out We want Clay or whatever, during the end of Cheries set is a moron. Have some class people. I mean, sure, I wanted to hear Clay as much as anyone, but think of what it would have been like if it was Clay up there as an opening act and someone basically yelled at him to get off the stage and let the real act get on with it. No, I realize they didnt actually say that, but thats how it came across all the same. Completely rude and unacceptable, in my opinion. Anywhoo, other than those few screamers, it was complete bliss. Just his glorious voice in that lush setting, with no distractions. No inappropriate yelling, no loud talking (at least in my general area) no blinking accoutrements and very few signs. It was so wonderful. Dont get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoy the high energy experience of the fangirl crowds at the arenas too, but this was something else. That voice deserves a special setting every once in a while, you know?
I alternated between swooning into Aurorabee and drooling on Jude. Fangirling in a most mature manner is a challenge, but we succeeded. Im sure now that you have all heard the cellcert, Aurorabees true manner as a smutter has come to light. Im sorry about that. Ive tried to shield you all from her dirty mind, but I wasnt able to keep her clean during the show.
Just a few points that jumped out at me:
If you listen to Goldschlagers mp3 of Rosanna + Intros during the show, check out the little wail at 4:36 and that would coincide with the three of us jumping back as though we had been hit with a high voltage dose of sexual energy. How does he do it? Damn. Hes like a living, breathing Hitachi Magic Wand.
MoaM was as beautiful as Ive ever heard it. Hes all warm and glowy singing that song and the venue acoustics really highlighted the JT set and this number in particular. It really was like he was singing 2 feet in front of me. Just wonderous.
His dancing with Angela during STO made Aurorabee and I let out a startled, OH MY! Have I lowered my standards so that two fully clothed individuals doing a light amount of grinding onstage has become my pr0n? I dont care if its all in jest, that feral stance makes me think up some fabulously naughty scenarios.
During ISY, he growled and snarled and it made me feel even dizzier than I felt before the concert. Swoonalicious. When he hit the Sixteen Second Long Note of Penetration (new beginnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnings), you might have heard a Holy Crap or forty seven. His eyes were curiously open during more of this song than Ive normally seen and it was a thousand degrees of yummy sexual intensity. Is it wrong of me to imagine what a talent it is to be able to hold ones breath for over 16 seconds during a moment of such exertion?
When he read that girls sign and came out into the audience to get her, we were in shock. He just bounded right off the stage and into the audience, not a care in the world. It was awesome. Chuck or Jerome went tearing down the aisle after him. Hee. I can just hear the conversation afterward:
Now Clayton. We need to have a little chat about that stunt you pulled earlier tonight. You simply cannot run out into the audience like that, those women will tear you apart!
Dont be silly, those are mah fans! They just want to protect me and tuck me in at night!
Oh for the love of
Dont even say it Jerome!!
Heh, ok. Anyway, I swear, if you do that again? I will throw out your secret stash of Hot Pockets and Krispy Kremes.
eta: I almost forgot the best part! When he said he had to be careful getting back on stage, because he might split his pants? Oh my. Clay, if you ever wear pants tight enough that there is a danger of them splitting, let me know, so I can update my life insurance policy, K?
I will never tire of him playing any instrument in the air. Never. It shows me that underneath it all, hes still kinda dorky and thats so endearing. I love him. He makes me so happy (tm Aurorabee).
When he bumped Angela with his hip during AAL, I screamed with laughter and repeated the move on poor Jude, who then found herself in the aisle. Um, sorry bout that sweetums! Hee.
YWT still touches me. I cant figure it out. Im pretty sure I turned to Aurorabee and Jude, asking them simply, How does he do it? Seriously. I wanted an answer! How does he make your heart burst with happiness every time he sings? For some reason, on that song, it just explodes for me. I wish I could manufacture that feeling and sell it on playgrounds as the new, improved, non-harmful version of Ecstasy. Clay said he thinks its some kind of narcotic, right? This would put every dealer out of business. His voice hits me like that during several songs, but for whatever reason, it resonates the most during this number.
Solitaire blew me away. Right before the glory note, during the lyric, Just how it goes, goes without saying, he had this almost plaintive, yearning look on his face, eyes wide open and imploring, before going into the anguished wail of Soliiiiiiitaaaaaaaaaaaire. Damn. That little look almost made me forget the Thigh Groping of Gah just moments earlier. Nice try Clay, it almost worked, but you cant fool me. I know full blown erotica when I see it. Family show my ass. You might as well have the words, It doesnt make you go blind scroll across the bottom of your JumboPron screen while singing, like Cheries constant advertisement for her new album.
When we all piled out of the theatre and met in a breathless group outside, we were all pretty stunned. As much fun as the concert itself is, I look forward to the group EEEEEEing and SWOOOOONing afterward almost as much! Everyone was gushing over some part of the show, it was awesome! When I was getting ready to go into the theatre before the show, the merchandise tables were very quiet. Now, I realize they were quite busy earlier, but at that moment, they were almost empty. After the concert? Packed again! It made me happy, even if it was just crazy Clay fans needing one more thong for their underwear drawer, it still makes him money and dammit if I dont want that guy to make as much as he can. Chalk it up to bitterness, but I want him to get every single cent he can now that he appears to be away from the evil empire of 20-1.
Aug 26 04 10:34 AM
Quote: Local girl meets an American Idol
BY HEIDI SWEENEY         08/26/2004
For three seasons, Kaitlyn Rosen could be found glued to her television as the hit television reality show, American Idol, aired.
A singer herself since the age of five, Kaitlyn now 14 has studied each singer-the good and the bad-who yearn to receive a recording status and ultimately professional status.
Mesmerized, Kaitlyn viewed the singing challenges imagining and hoping for her own chance to appear before American Idol judges Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson and Simon Cowell. As the show's producers recently changed the eligibility age to 16, Kaitlyn would have to wait for her chances at American Idol status.
Or would she?
Just a few weeks ago when American Idol's Clay Aiken performed in Foxwoods Casino, Kaitlyn bypassed the three American Idol judges and sang with Clay live in front of thousands of fans.
"I couldn't believe I was singing with him. I was standing next to him, nose to nose, cheek to cheek," said Kaitlyn as she eagerly recounted the sequence of events leading to the most amazing night of her life, to date.
In American Idol's second season, voters named Clay runner up to Ruben Studdard. Since then Clay's garnered his own recording contract and thus far has become a triple platinum star and his popularity continues to soar along with the first season's winner Kelly Clarkson.
Just days before Clay's Foxwoods appearance Kaitlyn, after visiting a number of fan-based Clay websites, discovered that one fan is selected at each concert to accompany the red-haired heartthrob in a duet.
In order to make her dream a reality, Kaitlyn had to first attract attention to herself.
So she went to work on a poster board that spanned as wide as her arms could stretch.
In large pink letters made from construction paper Kaitlyn pasted on the words:
"Clay, 9 years singing and I want to strut my vocal cords with you!! Cuz if you can do it, I can too!!!"
Looking on as her ambitious daughter prepared for the concert, was mom Pamela Rosen.
It was Pamela who initially tuned in to view the amateur singing competition.
"I started watching it from the first episode and got everyone else involved," said Pamela.
Everyone else would be son Zachary, 12, and daughter Melanie, 10 and from time to time husband Gregg will catch an episode.
"I think it's great and it's something we do as a family," said Pamela.
Just before the concert, Kaitlyn recognized one of Clay's staff members and asked for an autograph. As he signed the boastful poster, he asked Kaitlyn if she could really sing.
She replied, "Without a doubt."
He informed Kaitlyn of the unfortunate fact that a fan may have already been lined up for the night's show, so Kaitlyn noted that in just five days she would be in the audience once again to see Clay perform at the Ryan Center in Kingston.
The staff member told Kaitlyn to find him on that concert date, August 3.
For just a short moment, Kaitlyn had her dream of singing with Clay in her grasp. Then she believed it was gone, but there was always hope for August 3.
When it came time for the Clay to choose a fan from the crowd, it was Kaitlyn and her sign he noticed.
Clay walked off the stage and called Kaitlyn down from her seat.
With the two up on stage Clay asked the introductory questions such as where was Kaitlyn from and what school she attended.
Kaitlyn wearing a pink T-shirt, denim skirt with a sweatshirt tied around her waste and white sneakers, stood at Clay's side with her very own microphone in hand.
Kaitlyn, who just finished eighth grade at Archie Cole Junior High School and will begin East Greenwich High School next month, nervously answered the questions to the best of her ability at the time.
"I didn't know anything about me. I didn't see anyone around me except his face," she said.
As the spotlight shone on the two and thousands of fans gazed enviously, Kaitlyn chose Clay's song titled "Without You."
He asked which verse she wanted to sing, to which Kaitlyn responded, "I don't know."
"Do you really even know the song?" he then asked.
Kaitlyn who has been singing for nine of her 14 years, has watched American Idol since it debuted and who came prepared with an attention-grabbing sign, answered, "Yeah, I practiced."
Clay proceeded to call her presumptuous, which lead to a roar of laughter from the crowd.
Presumptuous, maybe. Spectacular, definitely.
The music started and an overwhelmed Kaitlyn stood motionless, as did her lips.
Clay prompted her by mouthing the words and nodding his head.
Seconds later Kaitlyn joined in and just about took over as a stunned Clay became speechless.
As each got over the shock, the duet ensued.
"We sang it together until the end. It harmonized really well," she said.
Applause ignited when the two were through and Kaitlyn's dream was complete with a hug and a kiss on the head from Clay.
When she got back to her seat where her grandmother, Joan Rosen, known as a Clay-mate, a term used to refer to true American Idol fanatics, waited for her.
At the close of the concert, fans were coming up to Kaitlyn to congratulate her.
Her super stardom extended to five days at later Clay's Ryan Center concert, Kaitlyn's fourth American Idol concert to date.
Though Clay chose a new fan to join him on stage, numerous Clay-mates who attended the Foxwoods show recognized Kaitlyn in the crowd and continued to congratulate her on her performance.
Kaitlyn, who recently completed the Providence Performing Arts Center's Camp Broadway, a theatrical camp focusing on music and dance, has penciled American Idol tryouts on her calendar, two years from now.
"Singing with Clay was amazing. I loved it and it's something I will never forget," said Kaitlyn. "If American Idol is still on in two years, I'm going to go to the tryouts. I know my mom will take me."
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