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Apr 27 04 4:35 PM
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May 8 04 11:03 AM
Aug 19 04 3:53 PM
Pre-concert Clay sighting!
MarLovesClay just called me to report that she and her friends saw Clay taking a golf cart over to a fair attraction!
He took a 200ft. free fall (NO bungee!!)!!
Is he nuts?????
Before he went there, he had gone through the arena and shook hands with several people who were already seated for the concert!
What's next, Clay???????
The way Mar quickly described it, it sounded like a tower you fall off of, not an actual "ride" that you get in!
Especially when she clarified that it was NOT a bungee!
That's my best explanation from the brief details she hurriedly gave me in her excitement!
And just before the concert??!! OMG!! That Clayton!!!
Aug 19 04 7:04 PM
Aug 19 04 8:32 PM
Quote:WinkyDink and yalcteef reporting from Erie Cty Fair!!
CHAIN OF FOOLS, Bay-bay!!!!!!!!!
The dancer was the girl from MTV New Year's Eve's "The Way".
No security camera check----UNTIL you tried to use a 35mm! Jerome eventually threw out someone behind us. Yikes!
Clay apparently had a good M&G* (inside a bldg; fans wore special stickers). Also, he shook hands before the concert, and waved later as he walked to take the stage. Jacob took up the post-concert slack, signing autographs. It was all cool. And that Clay could feel safe enough to venture into the Fair to go on that drop thang, well, good for him to have some normal fun!!
No thong talk, nor shoes, nor naughty bits.
Clay's hair first looked flat, like just washed. But then it looked better as the show went on.
*Two M&G peeps just walked in here. Clay was awesome, "loose", friendly, asking names, autographing. Stop me before I whine.
MrsR~~~Those $100 bills? Did Clay read your posts?!
Aug 19 04 9:57 PM
Quote: Wow, what an amazing night!
Tonight's concert was lots of fun... he was definitely very chatty and hyper. His story about going to Toronto was so cute. He went to watch Vanessa from AI perform in Hairspray, and he was talking about how Quiana was so worried about crossing the Canadian border because she thought she needed a passport. Then she said, "I need to be sure I have my passport when we go to New Mexico!" He was cracking a lot of jokes on that... he was like, "What scares me is that not a lot of people laughed at that joke. We all know that New Mexico is a state, right?" It was so cute. I hope someone got it on video!
Another fun moment was before the concert. The buses were right next to the track seating, and Clay had been seen walking back and forth so a few of us were gathered on the rail next to the buses like 30 minutes before the show. We saw Clay, Nick, and Jerome drive off in a golf cart toward this ride that dangles you in the air and then drops you 140 feet into a net. (To describe it more, it's a large orange structure that forms somewhat of a triangle. They give you a lift up to the top, right in the inner point of the 'triangle', then strap you in and release you into a net). Security told us that he really wanted to do it, and low and behold, we see Clay's yellow shirt up there falling from the sky. He made jokes about it later in the concert because Quiana chickened out on it. He offered her $300 to do it after the show, but she refused, and so did a bunch of other bandmates. They even showed video of him, Jacob, and Angela. Jerome was over the weight limit, so he couldn't do it. He was also making jokes about his hair... before he fell, they showed him and he said, "my hair looks like I fell already!"
I think it was river that won the dance contest. She did the worm on stage and Clay talked about how creative she was. I guess there was a baton twirler at the show before, but he didn't see her. He said he wants that kind of creativity, for future reference.
The singer was really good. Clay said she was one of the best yet.
Songs of the night: You Were There - absolutely gorgeous, also Solitaire - he hit the "ohhhhh and keeping to himself...." Beautiful glory notes. Chain of Fools was fun, as was Rosanna and STO.
Overall, I had a really great time, though I think I did like Syracuse better. I think the crowd was a lot more pumped there. The whole floor stood the entire concert, while here, a lot of people were sitting. Not to take anything away from this show, because it was amazing! I can't think of anything else to add right now because my mind is mush, and I need to get up at 7:00 AM. Goodnight everyone! Thank you Clay for an awesome night!
Aug 19 04 9:58 PM
Quote: OMG I can't believe I'm the first person back!
I have seen Clay four times and I really think he was the best I've ever seen him tonight. Anybody that might think he's not happy or OK like in some of the threads on the street need not worry!.
Ok, where to start... We got to the fair around 3:30 because this is my last show and I wanted to audition for Jerome. I chickened out the first two times so this was my last chance.
We waited around by the gates until he came out, probably about 5:30 and I finally did it! Well lets just say that my nerves got the best of me and I sounded REALLY bad.
It's OK though, I won't have to keep wondering "what if" anymore because I tried, I sucked and I did not succeed....lol
The woman that he did pick was stunning though, Clay said she was the best yet, and I'd have to say she was right up there. Really really amazing singer.
Once we got inside and found our amazing seats ( track 2 row 6) we just sat for a while because our feet were killing us from waiting around so long. So we hear this screaming and look to our right and there's Clay!!!
The busses were parked to the side of the seating and he was just casually walking from the bus to behind the stage.
Needless to say, my friend and I beat feet over there to see him. He stood there and waved and shouted back and forth to people for quite a while, it was really cool!
Oh, when we first arrived at the grandstand we were able to walk right down to the track, no security stopping anyone which I thought was a little strange, and we saw Jacob and savon! So that was cool too!
Clay was just amazing tonight, his voice was so on and he looked REALLY happy. He did a lot of kidding around with the back ups and the band. He said that they went to Toronto yesterday to see Vanessa in the play hairspray. I guess she has the lead. He was making fun of Quianna because she thought you needed a passport to get into Canada. I forget exactly what he said, but something about Quianna thinking you need a passport to get into New Mexico. Clay made fun of her and was like " hello, it's a state!" It was really funny.
Then, the fair had this big thing that you go up in and you free fall 140 feet into a net. Clay, Angela and Jacob all did it and they showed the videos of them falling. He announded them individually and after that he said.. "and here's Qiuanna, oh wait, we don't have one of her because she CHICKENED OUT!" So he kept trying to give her money to go do it and she wouldn't. He started out with one hundred dollars and went up to three hundred and she still wouldn't do it.
So he tried to get danny and a few others to do it and none of them would. I can't remember what song it was because my mind is a little bit of a blur, but the next song they did Clay was dancing around doing the chicken arm thing everytime he was near Qiuanna. He is so funny.
I won't go over every song because we all know the set.
YWT was stunning tonight, no one screamed during it and his voice just soared.
I really hope someone got video of chain of fools because that was HOT. I was doing this listening to all the growling he does during this song, When I first heard he had added it I was like what is that gonna sound like.
It was just fantastic!
It was cool seeing Ashley get up there and dance, the tummy thing sure was original girl. She got down on the stage and was doing the tummy roll across the stage. I wanna know how you always get so close to Clay, I just do not have luck like that.
Solitaire was amazing as usual, that song just melts me. I love it, yet I hate when he gets to it because the show is over
The only thing I didn't like about this show is that a most of the people on the track sat through most of the concert. When I have seats like that I like to jump around and really show Clay the love and almost no one stood. I stood a few times anyway and I'm sure people behind me didn't like it, but how do you sit through STO and not dance? I've never been anywhere with "floor' seats and had people sit, it was weird.
Well, I'm sure I missed some stuff, but right now my brain is toast. If I remember anything else I'll post it, or I'm sure the other people writing reviews will catch it!
Time for the PCD to set in
Eta...Ok, by the time I posted I wasn't first anymore...lol
Aug 19 04 10:34 PM
Quote:Ok...let me start off by first stating that WNYClayfan did a wonderful job at the pre party! We had arrived early to help with the pre party set up when lo and behold....Cherie wanders into the clubhouse....this was the start of great things to come. The clubhouse was situated right beside Clay's bus and we had great big tall windows that enabled us to have a complete view of all the comings and goings of the performers and crew.
While the party progressed...we were delighted by the appearance of Quiana, Angela, Jacob, Shovan, and of course Jerome.
They came into the clubhouse to grab a bite to eat, and as good Claymates, we let them have the time that they needed to themselves. At that point, Jacob comes over and starts talking to people, signing autographs and taking pictures with people....He was very generous! Oh....I forgot to mention that Freckles4Clay and myself beckoned Jacob and Shavon up before the party started....Jacob had a "little" crush on one of our members and seemed happy to oblidge.....I WILL not mention any names though to protect the innocent...but might post pictures at a later time! HEHEHE
While the party went on, Clay came out of his bus and proceeded to go to his meet and greets which we could see in plain view.... A little blonde haired boy came out with Raleigh and Dudley and took them for walks as John brought Clay's performance outfits to his bus! It is really cool in that clubhouse...I mean you don't miss a thing! When the meet and greets were done, we saw Jerome and Clay speaking to some security and Jerome making this arm gesture repeatedly pointing up at this big free fall contraption and pointing down....Apparently Clay wanted to go on this thing....he was totally enthralled with it!
Well you know the rest of the story about that...Clay did it, Jacob did it, and Angela did it...and the best part was the videoed it and shared it with us! Quiana and the rest of the band members chickened out...and Jerome stated that he was above the weight restriction at 251 lbs...the limit was 250...I think he may have stretched the truth a bit...as he truly is a big guy!
So during the concert, Nick was standing right beside me,as well as Mary...I was front row in my section and I see Nick place the t shirt and the lei off to the left of me....It was really pretty cream colored with mauve flowers! I was going to dance like a maniac to try and get Clay to notice me so I could go dance with him....but it appears as though River has all the moves that Clay was looking for.....lets just say my moves did not go unnoticed...as Nic was watching me make a fool of myself!!!!
So the next song comes on, and Jacob hones in on his little crush and makes sure he waves to her....He really is a big flirt!!!
Clay was so talkative tonight, he really lets you into his life! The songs were done with such finesse....and of course Clay beat Jacob in the note holding marathon! But it was a close second for Jacob! Hehehe!
The singer from Buffalo was indeed the best I have heard so far, she sang Without You, and Clay was totally impressed by her stating there is no reason she shouldn't be recording a cd.
Kudos to her!
At the end of the concert, people made there way to where the buses were...which was right beside the concert seats if you can imagine that...the only thing seperating the people and the stars at times was yellow caution tape. Clay was gracious and came and shaked peoples hands while thanking them for coming to the show. Luckily for me, I was one of the!!!WooooHoooo
Next thing, Jacob comes down the line and finds his little crush, hugs her,says thank you and gives her a little peck ! He asked for her to send pictures, but forgot to say where to send them to....Again...he is such a flirt!!!!!
So back in line his little crush goes with all her Claymate friends and relatives and when he approaches her again, she asks where to send them...he proceeded to tell her and took some more pics with her and her friends! Once again he gives her a little peck ...but of course the friends need evidence so they can blackmail her....you go girls!!!! and ask him if he would kiss her again! And of course he was happy to oblidge! Ok so count them 4 kisses from Sir Jacob the Dance Captain!
Lets just say that tonight was the time of my life...and a night that I will never forget!
Aug 19 04 11:19 PM
Back from Erie ... only got lost once this time, so I think we're improving!
Tonight was very, very educational. Here is a partial list of the things we learned:
1. Clay carries $100 bills in his pocket. Several, in fact.
So he's cute and rich.
2. Clay has the world's bestest cowlick.
2. Clay does know the way to the Canadian border!
3. Not only does Clay know the way to Toronto -- he can drive there himself!!
4. Quiana is a chicken -- neener, neener, neener!
5. Chuck weighs 251 pounds.
6. Clay is impressed by girls who can dance on their stomachs.
7. Clay is "so much better looking in person!" (I heard a woman say this after the concert, so it must be true.)
8. Troopers on horseback make for very effective crowd control. Whereas, yellow "caution" tape? Not so much.
9. There is apparently no limit to the variety of food items that can be deep-fried. (Twinkies? Twinkies?)
10. Clay sings, very, very good.
So, I guess that pretty much covers it. (You didn't want to hear about the songs or anything, did you?)
"Clay was just amazing tonight, his voice was so on and he looked REALLY happy."
I've never heard him live before and I was amazed his voice is even better than I imagined! It was better than PERFECT - and so POWERFUL. He really did look HAPPY.
He was smiling and waving to screaming fans before the show. He drove to T.O yesterday and went on the towering DROP ride today. He said he thought a person would have to be crazy to go on it so he did!
There is something to be said about seeing the whole stage to appreciate what COMMAND he has. He is in control of the whole audience and everyone on the stage. What a born-or seasoned?- performer.
The audience loved the upbeat numbers and I think maybe they were an AI crowd because a lot of people around me cheered the American Idol logo and TITN got the loudest cheers. There were a surprising number of seniors in General Admission and some of the older couples were cute bobbing to the music and hugging each other.
YWT was unbelievable.
Clay ROCKED on Roseanna!
Solitaire was awesome but I expected that.
Clay is so entertaining and a cutie too!
It was a long drive but so worth it!
Patricia, I for one am VERY happy for you and all of your Jacob moments!!! I can't believe you ended up with soooo many smooches! Lucky duck!
Tonight really was your night!!! Glad you had an awesome seat to boot!!!!
Tonight was AMAZING!!! Probably the most happiest I've EVER seen Clay!! It was such a joy to watch him from the clubhouse!! And an even bigger joy to watch him, Jacob and Angela "free fall" on that ride... after getting over the initial shock that was actually them doing it by the way.
Sat 5th row with cassyd and her daughter (love you guys!) BEST seats ever!!! They were great, can't complain one bit!!!!
Clay was soooooo hilarious tonight, I've never laughed so hard! Nor screamed sooo much or sooo loudly.... I dont know how well my voice will be doing tomorrow... it was LOUD in there tonight. "INVISIBLE" was awesome when the WHOLE crowd was singing along... talk about a 'wow' moment!
I won't go into too many more details as they've all pretty much been mentioned already, so I don't want to repeat anything..... and about the dance from River, it was original.
Hoping to get my pictures developed at a 1 hour tomorrow.... hope they turn out! I took LOTS of pics from the Clubhouse of Clay!
THANK YOU TO WNYClayFan for putting on an AMAZING Pre-Party!!!! It really was my most favorite pre-party yet!!! The atmosphere was just so much fun! Who couldn't have a good time... THANK YOU!!!!! (BTW, did anyone tape the news tonight???? It had CLAY coverage!!!!)
But I will post more tomorrow as I am completely wiped out.... it's 3am and I have a bus to catch at 11 for home! So I need to catch some
Aug 19 04 11:36 PM
Quote: Oh my goodness...........................
I am on such a high right now after this day and this show. After I went to the Albany concert, I swore there would never be one as good. I was wrong. This was just as good, just in a different way.
For all your future fair-goers - it was AWESOME. This was my first outdoor concert, and thank the Lord the rain held off (after raining on and off all day). It was a perfect night, a little cool, and seeing those lights and hearing him in the night air was awesome. There was no catwalk, but the chairs were really close together and very close to the stage. I was 6th row right in the center, and it seemed more like 4th row to me. It was so close. Also, I really didn't miss having two songs dropped, I almost prefer that to having the intermission, no kidding (although droppping RTM would not be my first choice, LOL). This way you just stay pumped without a break! I really thought the outdoor fair would be a disappointment, and I LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The crowd was very different, more men than usual, and although everyone seemed to love him, they sat down way too much for my taste. No one checked cameras at all, and people were using digitals and all right in front of Jerome. He did bust a couple people for video. So that was great, although my camera battery decided to die before YWT............I'll post what I got tomorrrow after I get them on a disk.
The day was wonderful, hanging out with my buddies Stephanie and Sue, and then going to the pre-party. What a set up, with a full view of Clay's bus and the stage. Everyone has posted how we could see them coming on and off the bus, including Clay, Nick, Raleigh, Jerome, etc. Saw Clay go to the M&G, and as you read, he waved and shook hands with some of the stadium crowd were were already let in. We stayed in the clubhouse to watch. I saw him talking to Jerome and smiling and I wasn't sure about what. Then after the M&G, right before our eyes, they took two golfcarts and were off. We thought Mr. Aiken might be just wanting to joy ride around the fair, but then someone with binoculars said it was him up inside the bucket, ready to fall. He did a great job falling, looked like flat on his stomach. It was so fun when he talked about it, and showed the video. When he came back from the fall, he waved more to us. He looked so happy.
I was really nervous about security, because as someone said, the first row of seats were about 20 feet from Clay's bus, and just a small gate and yellow tape separated him. What an effort he made tonight. When it was time for him to come on, everyone could see him walk from the bus to the stage, with what he was wearing, the blue embroidered shirt and tannish pants. The usual shoes. He also shook hands on the way out to his bus. Clay likes to go the extra mile, well tonight he went a lot further than the extra mile. Just an amazing, amazing guy. Yes, he deserves the praise for tonight!
Voice - incredible. And his mood - driving to Canada must have put him in a great mood, he had a good day off I guess. He was so chatty, talking forever about the trip to Canada and the free fall jump. I really enjoyed watching Jerome watch the video, he was really laughing.
One of the highlights for me was seeing Riversend get picked to go up on stage and dance with Clay. She had gotten a first row ticket about an hour before the show, and gave her 10th row ticket to Sue, because Sue had awful seats. Then Sue went and got a first row ticket too, LOL, and so they were next to each other! Anyway, if she hadn't had first row, she probably wouldn't have gotten picked, at least not for what she did to get up there, as I learned afterwards. The seats were SO close together, that I said to myself, he is going to have to pick someone from an aisle seat or first row. I saw Clay look down in River's direction, and really look, and Sue and I were pointing at her, as well as some others. I couldn't see what she was doing. Then he looked to the other side of the stage, but somehow I knew he had his mind made up, and sure enough, he told Nick to get her! Nick grabbed her hand and then she was waiting with him and Jerome as Clay sang, then he called her over, and asked her to do what she did down on the floor. Well, I saw her put her hands down like she was going into a handstand, and then she did the worm. She did it three times. I didn't know that's what it was, it looked like what we call in our karate work outs, "up/downs". I can't believe she did them, she has strong arms, LOL! My mouth dropped open, but then I heard that's what Clay saw her doing down on the floor, LOL. She then danced with the back up singers as well, and then Clay put the lei on her and sang to her a little more, then she got the famous, incredible hug from him. I was so happy for her. She'll be posting here in a bit.
Oh, and Clay pointed her out again after the song, saying that's the kind of thing he is looking for in a dance, unique. I was really proud that she was able to do that, and this is not meant toward anyone else at all, but although it was a little wild and crazy, it was family friendly, she didn't have to get into dirty dancing or whatever to really jazz it up or make it unique.
I won't cover all of the songs, just a note that something happened during PD and he motioned the "cut" sign like across his throat. I didn't notice what happened but a couple people did. Tonight was my last concert for this tour, and I'm so blessed to having been able to attend three. But I knew it would be emotional for me.
YWT was incredible, more so every time I see it. The crowd was just about silent again. TITN was probably his best tonight, he was really into it. He got a standing ovation after it and looked so touched. It was at that point that I started choking up, and so after crying through YWT, I began to cry through Invisible (can you believe that!!!!), and couldn't stop as he came back for Solitaire. Okay, I'm fighting back crying right now because I just thought about how wonderful he has been, how wonderful the tour has been, all the people I have seen again, and met. Great to see some folks tonight especially. I tried to pull myself together but was still fighting tears after the show saying goodbye to everyone. I hadn't seen my wonderful friends Stephanie and Sue since March, so that was awesome, and loved riding home with River, smelling the lei as often as I wanted (and my friend Natalie who doesn't post was with us too).
Thank you Clay, and thank you to all of you, who have made this summer so absolutely incredible. Syracuse, Albany, and Buffalo, were the three best days of this summer!
One final thought - tonight I saw Clay in such a full circle. He seemed to be so much the boy still who we fell in love with on AI. Riding the golf cart through the fair, after John had done his hair, and the look on his face when he came back. Clay taking the oppportunity to make himself available to the fans (in fact, I'm not sure I'm comfortable with what he did, 'cause the stadium was getting full, but if Jerome was okay, then so was I!!!). All of the part was so original Clay.
But I saw that other side of him as he performed, and he was lost in the music, and the emotion, and he is able to handle anything up on stage. He is such a polished performer, and I could see it so well tonight, just by how he is aware of, and is in charge of everything that happens, but he makes it look so easy and natural. He is a true super star now.
When that super star went to exit the stage after Solitaire, and he did his trademark salute, as he was lowered down, I saw that humble look, which sometimes looks almost serious. The last thing I saw on his face though, as only his face was left in view, as the crowd was standing, was a smile on his face, amidst a lip bite. That's our Clay!
Aug 20 04 12:10 AM
Quote: LOL...ok...after reading some of these reviews, it's time to put my wonderful experience into words.
Well, my friends and I arrived at the fair very early in our anticipation to get the show started I guess...even though we had like 5 hours to kill. That's what the game "I got It," is for. Around 5:30 we went into the clubhouse where the pre-party was. We didn't have tickets and we had just planned to eat...well the band was there including Angela, Quianna, and Jacob, and I know you don't want to hear about any of them, but I do need to comment on one thing about Jacob because it was very ironic. He came over and talked to me for a few minutes because we've seen each other at previous times, and as he was walking away I told him to look for me in 10th row (I didn't find out til later that I would be able to get front row) and as I said that he replied in a sarcastic tone, "Would you get up on the stage tonight?", and I said back in a lil snarky tone, "I'm trying!".....so.....
Like Mar said in her above post, I was blessed to obtain a front row seat about an hour before the show, and I know if it had not been for this blessing in disguise, I may have never gotten picked to dance with Clay. I'll describe this moment to you, because it is the freshest in my memory and then I'll go on to describe the concert. Well, I had politely told the people around me that I had planned to do a dance called "The Worm" in the aisle in front of me to get Clay's attention (I didn't want to be kicking them or anything)...and they were very cool with that and told me to go for it. So...I did. When the song started I just started going crazy...with my legs kicks first. Then when Clay came over to our side, I just dove down on the ground and did the worm. He saw me, but walked over to the other side to check to see if he saw anyone else...and then I saw him coming back...so down I went again... He then pointed at me and Nick came and grabbed me faster than you could say Bob's your uncle and led me to the stairs on the stage. I had to wait a few minutes before I could go out, but when I got the signal from Clay I just ran out and it was so funny because Clay was like "Show us what you were just doing..." and without even thinking...I dove down again (in front of 8,000 people mind you) and did the worm three times on stage. I don't really know Clay's reaction because well...i was facing the floor, but I believe someone captured it on video...we'll just have to see. After that was done, Clay placed me next to Jacob in the line and Jacob shot me a smile and said "I know you know this dance," and I smiled back and said "Sure do!" and then I heard Clay say.."Let's see how she does" or something to that effect...and I just let loose. I was just being my crazy old self up there on that stage and it was one of the most surreal moments of my life. After Clay asked how I did..I made my way over to him where he placed the most beautiful purple and cream colored lei over my head and then we moved a little bit closer together still dancing back and forth...or maybe we just stood there....oh well...can't remember. Anyways, he finished off the last few bars of the song, took my hand in his and then gave me the infamous Clay Aiken Bear hug. I'm telling you folks...this man knows how to hug! He told me I did a great job and that I should exit the way I came, and as we let go of our hug, he told me to take a bow and I will never forget the way I felt standing up on that stage. It was also pretty cool because Clay mentioned the uniqueness of the dance after his next song...so I was very estatic to know that he enjoyed it. It was surely a very special moment that will forever remain in my heart as one of the best.
Ok..Now onto the concert. The singer that Jerome picked was incredible. The best by far! She had an amazing voice that although seemed a little bit rouch, it was beautiful. I congratulated her afterwards.
You know...I have to say that everything was a highlight for me. YWT was so incredible and truly powerful. I swear to you, this song gets more powerful every time I hear it. Clay's voice was on point once again tonight, and I must also say that a highlight for me was how enjoyable he seemed tonight. Clay really seemed like he was in one of the best moods I have ever seen him in and it was evident from the crowd discussions, and interaction. He talked with us for quite some time about his "free fall" ( which by the way was one of the funniest things I have ever seen....::note:: Quianna is crazy for not taking that bet...) and he also talked with us about travelling to Canada and something about passports..which I won't reiterate well because...I don't remember and plenty already have.
Each song was filled with so much energy tonight and I really enjoyed how there was no intermission. The bill flowed so easily and it seemed as though there were no glitches. The only problem I saw was that during PD, Clay's microphone cut out and he told the band to stop because something was wrong...I was very confused....
Chain of Fools is just...WOW. Clay was doing growls left and right, and Quianna: YOU GOTTA VOICE GIRL! I tell ya...those are some of the most talented people I have ever seen and heard, and although I've said it before...I'm saying it again...Clay has the best band and singers in the world!
TITN and Solitaire were to die for tonight. Clay sounded like a recording...and we know perfectly well it was not. He did not miss a single inch of either of those songs and he put so much emotion into both, and it was obvious that he was so thankful to be in that place at that time. The glory note in Solitaire was literally a binding moment. I think at that point, everyone was frozen in their spots by how mesmorizing it truly was.
STO is one of my absolute favorites because of the energy Clay and everyone portrays. He really is having the time of his life, while touching people's hearts in the meantime and that to me is such a blessing.
I'm going to comment on one thing that Mar did already mention a lil bit. What I would just like to comment on was just the ora of Clay Aiken tonight. Like Paula said on AI...he just was. Clay didn't try to be someone he's not...but instead, he was his snarky (very snarky by the way..taking shots at everyone!), fun, lovable, self, who wasn't afraid to just let loose and just be. When he was being lowered after Solitaire, I could see the smile on his face and that infamous lip bite, and I knew that he was so humbled to be there, and so gracious for everything he has been given.
Clay Aiken just was tonight....and I think that says it all.
I'm so thankful for this night and I want to thank Clay for giving me the most wonderful and all around fun time, and I also want to thank God for making it possible.
God Bless y'all.....and goodnight!
~river~ (aka "worm girl" )
ETA: Some have been asking how I always end up so close to Clay....all I can tell ya is that I'm a very blessed young woman. (and I'm so thankful!)
Aug 20 04 8:14 AM
Quote: Well, kicks self for not going to the pre-party but other than that it was an awesome night!
What is there not to love about Mr Aiken? I particularly love the new thing that apparently makes you the sexiest male singer in the world and that is a cowlick! Oh my goodness, how cute that was. A new trend perhaps?
I won't comment on all the songs because they were great, but Chain of Fools was absolutely OUT OF THIS WORLD GREAT!!! Clay and Quiana totally wailed on this song - it was beyond fabulous! These two definitely have the two biggest, strongest and best voices out there today....no doubt about it!! I hope they keep this song around because everyone deserves a chance to hear it!!!
Clay was well.......Clay last night. I have to admit I was a bit concerned about the setup and possible security last night but I tell you, I ended up being very impressed.....as so must have been Jerome to let Clay go do that freefall ! Hopefully they don't get in too much trouble for that! Anyhow thumbs-up to Hamburg for letting Clay be Clay!
I'm worried about we Claynadian fans, however, how did Clay get into our country without our knowing? Good for him, though, he had a another chance to be just Clay for a day! He totally thrives on that and I do believe he could use more of it.
Overall.....a 5 star night!! .....plus then some!!
Aug 20 04 8:16 AM
Quote:Last night's concert was my very first Clay concert and I will not forget it for a very long time. I will try not to repeat what has already posted but please forgive me if I do.
The rain was a little scary earlier in the day- but cleared up nicely by late afternoon. WNYClayFan did such an amazing job on the preparty. Part of what made this experience so incredible for me was meeting face to face the many clayboard members that I have been conversing with for many months. And the fact that part of Clay's band/crew were eating/getting food in the same facility and that we could see the buses and all the comings and goings was just was icing on the cake.
There was only one tour merchandise "stand" with 4 people working- they probably could have used 8 people working or 2 locations as when we arrived people were about 10 deep. I did get several S'ways but they were not prominently displayed. I felt like shouting that everyone should buy one but it was a very hectic place. I met more claynadians in line here (hi cassyd). By the time we had made our purchases Cherie had started. She has a great voice and the songs were catchy. It has been reported that her set was too loud but I did not find it so.
Our seats (hubby was with me) were behind BassMrs 12th row-right side. I was concerned about seeing but they were great- partly because the track seating was sloped (well done fair committee). I looked around and it was a good crowd- even half the grandstand was filled to the rafters so ECF must be very pleased. Lots of potential Clay dawgs- and lots of families- with little ones.
While the crew was setting up for Clay I chatted up 3 ladies to my right- they had followed him during AI and loved his voice. Not board members yet (gave them our site address). They knew nothing of his Christmas cd or book- couldn't Clay make a plug for that during his concerts????
So Clay comes on and it was so unreal- that he was there in the flesh 50 feet in front of me. His hair had lost some spikes except for his cowlick (so cute) but he had a big smile on his face and lots of energy. I think it was about the third song- we were all standing and I was just mesmerized by the stage when my hubby said "look out" and I looked at him and there was my close encounter with Jerome!
He was in full working mode and bearing down on the family to my immediate left because 2 of them were videotaping. He actually stopped right in front of me and spoke to them and then took their cameras. They followed him out of our row and a big discussion occurred in the aisle. I did not follow it but it lasted quite a while. Eventually the "man" of the family went out to "help" out leaving a little girl of about 4 or 5 by herself in their seats. Eventually she headed out of the row as well. They all returned (except the man) without cameras. Anyway I would have loved to tap Jerome on the shoulder and thank him for taking such good care of OMC but that was not the time.
During WYSYLM, venue security came barreling down our aisle to get people off their seats. This guy was as tall as Jerome but not so big!
When he talked about driving to Toronto it was unbelievable- (I live in Toronto). He talked about how he was actually driving (he mentioned something about the first time in a year?)- it is a 2 1/2 hr drive to Toronto. I realize that would have been so great for him because he was probably totally "invisible" there. Fans would not have been expecting him so he could move around the theatre district freely. Good for him- that probably would have soothed his soul some.
This is getting a little long so may I say that Clay is an awesome entertainer- not just "the best singer on the planet". The upbeat songs meant for pure enjoyment were delivered with energy and a cute fun-loving Clay that was very infectious to the crowd. He just let it rip on Invisible- I was floored!!! He changed it up some too but he does this so incredibly well that it always sounds much better than the original! The JT tribute was quieter and allowed all their voices to blend and soar. And the signature songs- well he delivers them with such power and conviction it sinks in all the way to your soul. YWT- the one I was expecting to be "the best" of the concert and really looking forward to was exquisite- the crowd reasonably quiet for a concert crowd. LOVED IT. But TITN was the showstopper for me- the whole production was so classy from the video to his delivery with such passion- OVERWHELMING!! Solitaire was the best song choice for an encore- he held that glory note for eternity!!! The crowd went wild at this point. It was really AMAZING!
Others have commented on the people in the track seats sitting. Yes, for the JT set and some of the quieter songs. It really is dictated by the people sitting up front. I had a small child behind me so I felt bad blocking her view. If the people in front of me sat then so did I. The ladies beside us appreciated sitting every once in a while. But we stood for all the upbeat songs.
Clay, now that you familiar with the route to Toronto- perhaps you could use it to come back for a concert or 3 in Canada- there are still so many Claynadians that are not able to travel great distances to see you. And I can't think of anyone alive who couldn't benefit from the "lift"
experiencing your concerts gives to their lives.
Aug 20 04 9:17 AM
Quote: WARNING: LONGEST RECAP EVER AHEAD; SCROLL AT WILL.
Hi everybody! After a good night's sleep (that was a long drive) I'm ready to do a proper recap and address this concern without getting frustrated:
"I feel the same way as Oclayhoman. I'm sorry but Clay is who I want to hear about. I have never in my life heard of an artists backup singers, band and bodyguard getting almost as much attention as the artist the way Clay's does."
This is the second time I've seen the solo tour and because we got the shortened set (which just means 2 or 3 fewer songs and no intermission; it still feels like a complete show) something I noticed the first time was even more noticeable last night:
This isn't just a concert with one featured performer. This is an "ensemble" show with a bunch of talented performers, one of whom happens to be the star. It is really quite amazing how Clay has gone from being one guy in a spotlight to one guy in charge of an entire cast. There's never a dull moment on stage. Somebody's always doing something in the background -- a bit of business with the guitars or dancing or fooling around or whatever. Everybody seems to be engaged (and engaging) at all times. And can that Clay talk?!? What a chatterbox ... he just opens his mouth and out it comes. And a lot of it is total snark on his fellow performers. At one point he insinuated that Angela needs "help with her English!" (This was after the amazing singer they brought up on stage told us she had just returned from teaching English in China!)
One of the other Clayboard fans last night (I'm sorry; I can't remember who) said she was talking to a couple who said that Clay's show was twice as good as Josh Groban's, whom they had just seen a week ago. I haven't seen it, but I'm betting Josh's show is just Josh, right? This is much better.
As for the comments about non-stage sightings of the crew, you have to understand that we're all excited when we're at the concert; some of us have travelled for hours to get there and every little detail is of interest to us. If it doesn't interest you, well, that's your prerogative, but it's hurtful to post observations or recaps and have people here s*** on them. Again, JMHO.
OK, enough of that ... on to the recap.
First, I'm pretty certain now that our pictures are all posted on some border-guard site with "Claymate -- delay with caution" captions under them. So we won't go there. (And a little aside to the semi-cute Canadian border guard at the Peace Bridge who "feels sorry" for us Clay fans -- Is that little goatee thing you got going there working for you? No? Not surprised.)
Anyway, the entertainment starts at the border, folks. Don't miss it. Plenty of seats for all, no waiting (oops, no, that would be wrong, there's plenty of waiting!) and a constant cast of charming characters while you twiddle your thumbs on the steering wheel.
For instance: How about the young women who seemed to be doing a synchronized cheerleading routine in their car? (Arms up, off to the side, back in front, out the -- wide open -- windows, bop to the beat, bop up, bop down, arms out ...) Everybody around them was watching this. Funniest thing ever, cause our windows were up and we couldn't hear what they were singing. Rolled the windows down ... they were playing Whitney Houston! We groaned and rolled the windows back up. I suggested we all sing Invisible and see if we could drown them out, but no one would join me. Party poopers.
Then there was the cool guy and his cool girlfriend in their cool little red roadster. Man was he p***ed about this whole border thing! Making him wait and all? What gall! He whined and complained and gesticulated and kept trying to change lanes ... and we beat him through the border by at least eight car lengths! YAY US! (Yes, it is that boring crossing the border that this would be regarded as a small victory.)
Anyway, on to Hamburg and the Erie County Fair.
The pre-party was great ... thanks to all the organizers! I even won a door prize!
I hardly met anybody though cause we were glued to the window watching Clay's bus to see if he would come out. The party was in the glassed-in clubhouse part of the grandstand, right over the part of the track where all the buses were parked. We saw everything that was going on. (Well, it didn't hurt that margd *waves to margd* and I had binoculars. What?) The actual seats were over to our left. So we had a great view of the entire venue.
(Warning: Here's the part where those of you who want your concert recaps straight up, just Clay, don't-want-to-see-any-of-the-strings, should skip ahead.)
Just a random sampling:
THEM: Cherie comes out of a bus, wanders around pointlessly.
US: "Oooh, look, who's that? Is that Cherie? Oh, I don't think so .. isn't she skinnier than that? I don't know. What do you think?" (Everyone confers; no consensus; Cherie disappears.)
THEM: Nick comes out, wanders around a bit.
US: "Ooooh, look, it's Nick! Who's Nick? Clay's personal assistant, a friend from high school. Ooooh, really? Let's see ... ooh, he's cute." Nick disappears.
THEM: Several people come out, including a small blond boy walking Raleigh and Dudley; the dogs' tails are wagging, they're bouncing around, in search of a patch of green. Raleigh finds something stinky to smell. She looks very happy.
US: "EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! (high pitched scream; I think it might have been me, sorry) It's Raleigh! I Loooooove Raleigh! And Dudley! I Looooove Dudley!"
THEM: John comes across the open area, carrying a freshly pressed blue shirt and gray pants on a hanger and disappears into Clay's bus.
US: "EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! (high-pitched scream from claynadian4eva) It's Clay's clothes!!!
Well, you get the picture, so I'll jump ahead to Clay's appearance (apparently after having eaten, cause one of the guys took a meal on a plate into his bus; no, sorry we weren't close enough to see what was on it but I don't think there was any foodstuff at the Erie County Fair that wasn't deep-fried, so we wouldn't have been able to identify it anyway).
THEM: Clay comes out of the bus. There's an immediate stampede of fans toward the glass and a chorus of "CLAAAAAAAAAAYs!!!", which prompts a warning from organizers: "PLEASE DO NOT BANG ON THE WINDOWS!"
He's wearing a jaunty yellow-striped long-sleeved polo and jeans and sandals; hair looks nice; he's very chipper and smiling and happy. People immediately surround him including Jerome; he hugs Angela, he talks to Nick, he waves to us (More "EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEs!" ) ... if this guy is unhappy in any way, he deserves an Academy Award for acting, cause he looked like he is thoroughly enjoying this experience.
There was not one hint that he was afraid of the crowd or concerned about anything at all (and we're talking about 2,000 people milling around trying to find their seats and separated from the buses area by a couple of tiny barricades and some yellow caution tape! He goes into the meet and greets (there were about 21 people led into the area, by our count, but they seemed to be in three groups; we couldn't see the actual encounters except for one photo session during which he shook everyone's hand and chatted for a bit, very animated). Then Clay and the crew stand around and chat for a while. Clay, accompanied by Jerome, goes over to the seated crowd on the other side of the buses and greets fans for a while. He comes back; he's still smiling. Three times Clay and his minions go over and point toward that Ride and they all discuss it. We had no idea what he was planning, of course.
Then the Fateful Moment. A golf cart arrives. Clay, Jerome, Jacob and someone else (I think Angela) get on and off they go. A second cart arrives for everybody else. We watch their progress around the track.
US: "Wait a minute .. where are they going? They're not going over to that ride, are they? He's not going to go up on that thing, is he? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! He's going to kill himself! Oh no, I can't watch! What if he breaks his neck? What if he breaks a leg? What if he can't sing? Will we get our money back?" (OK, actually, most of that came from me; I am deathly afraid of heights and was having a fit. Most everyone else was laughing at me. Heartless b****es.) Of course, although you could see the ride from the venue, no one in the seats there had the slightest idea that it was Clay and Jacob and Angela falling out of that thing.
Well, all I can say is it's one thing to watch the video afterward, with Clay safely on stage and you know he got through it OK. It's entirely another to watch him go up in that thing (with Jerome -- believe it or not, he actually accompanied Clay and Jacob up in the air, I'm not sure why?!) and know they're going to open up the bottom and he's going to fall -- on his back -- down 140 feet into the net below. Yikes! Clayton Holmes Aiken -- DON'T YOU EVER SCARE US LIKE THAT AGAIN!!!
OK, just had to get that out of my system. Anyway, Clay was pretty proud of himself and ragged Quiana mercilessly on stage about "chickening out." ($300 -- as if, boy!)
Anyway, on to the show:
I'm not going to recap each song, because it's already been done. The show was great, only problem was one missed note on Perfect Day; don't know if his voice cracked or mic cut out or what, but it was never repeated. He went flat a couple of times, but not noticeably so. Overall, it was great. I'm sorry we didn't get to hear Shine, but Chain of Fools made up for it.
The audience was pretty quiet by Clay standards, though. I was sitting in the 10th row on the floor and it was pretty much a dead zone. Most of the people around me were casual fans; for instance, the girl beside me had never seen him live except for the AI tour. They all seemed to enjoy it, but they certainly weren't very chatty. One woman behind us was telling everyone that Cherie was "French-Canadian." I corrected her, of course. In front of me there was a couple in their mid-40s. The man spent most of the concert looking behind him at the crowd! He hardly looked at Clay at all. At one point I glared at him cause it was getting on my nerves being stared at like that, and he stopped for a bit. He didn't look unhappy or anything, and he applauded, but obviously his wife was the fan.
YWT didn't go over that well in my area. In fact, a couple of young women on my other side didn't even applaud for it. I don't know if they just didn't care for the song or they were making a statement; I didn't ask. This is my second time seeing YWT and I think the first half is gorgeous, but the second half is way too much for me -- not just the visuals and the staging, but the song itself. Way too much. JMHO
As for people sitting down -- they did, a lot of the time. And the grandstand never stood, as far as I could see. But everyone in the grandstand stood at the end and gave him a standing ovation. So I think they liked it fine, they just weren't overly enthusiastic.
Also, one last thing -- I bet merchandise sales are low for this venue. The merchandise tent was too far away from the entrance on the floor. I don't think most people even noticed it was there. I didn't see much stuff ... nobody in my vicinity even had a program. I bought a keychain after the show and there wasn't much of a lineup. ETA: Glad to hear there was more activity before the show, redbay!
Overall, it was a great concert ... and I hope there's video of the dancer and the singer, cause both were great. I met the singer afterward in the fairgrounds (I was making one last visit to buy another deep-fried something-or-ever) and fans were stopping her and having their pictures taken with her! She was a star!!
Aug 20 04 1:32 PM
Quote:Part two: First I want to thank mother nature for stopping the rain. It turned out to be a really nice night for the outdoor concert.
Thanks to Ali I had a great seat Track 3 which is 15 rows back off to the left a little of center stage. Most of the people around me were not Clay fans. Ali's husband sat next to me and then next to him on my left were two teachers (husband and wife). They never seen Clay in concert and were really big Josh Groban fans. They knew about Clay and AI but just bought the ticket for something to do. They heard him sing and thought he had a nice voice, that was all.
WELL LET ME TELL YOU ALL CLAYVERTED NOW!
The male teacher (sorry forget his name) asked us by the end of Kyrie to all yell together TEACHERS LOVE CLAY Which we did many times.
The teenager on my left who said she wasn't really a Clay fan was very quiet in the beginning. By ISY she was up and yelling with us.....she said, she had no idea he was that good.
CLAYVERTED FOR SURE.
The teachers asked me all kinds of questions and off course I told him everything.
My only complaint about Erie is that the track didn't stand up much and show the love to OMC. If you stood up someone yelled sit down. I liked Albany were we all stood and showed the love.
I did wear my beaver costume (yes mamarose, I finally wore it to a concert). When Clay turned up the lights to see the audience I put the head on, and waved my Canadian flag.
Ali's husband held up my sign Canada loves Clay for me (he is such a sweet man) because it had to be a trip sitting beside me in a beaver costume. Everyone around me the teachers Ali's husband, and behind me, kept bugging me to stand on the chair and wave at him in my full costume. They said they would hold me up.
I did once briefly, but then quickly got down because people where saying sit down. It was probably all of 10 seconds.
YWT was absolutely beautiful, brings me to tears every time.
Solitaire (I love the OOHHH he does in that song) He put so much emotion into singing Solitaire, again more tears.
Chain of Fools was really nice ( growls to die for) in that one.
MOAM, beautiful...more tears.
I could see him every night live in concert and never get bored of him.
Clay is such an entertainer. He is comfortable on that stage. I love his chatter. He was so excited telling about the free fall from 140 feet (as he should be). It was so cute seeing the little boy come out of him and then his snark with Quianna. The Canada trip more Clay snark.
It was simply an amazing night.
OK I SAID JASON MY 10yr MET CLAY
Yes he did!
My husband said it was about 7:50 (before Cherie) when he came out on the golf cart with Jerome and the others. My husband only knows Clay and Jerome, he thought Angela was Jeromes wife. So they see Clay on the cart pointing to the ride and laughing. He said Jerome was shaking his head and just looking at the free fall. Hubby said it was obvious that Clay was excited about this and Jerome was going along for the ride.
Hubby said they all go into this cage and they start to rise and he could hear them laughing and screaming as they went up. When you are in the cage you strap a thick foam cushion on your back and you lie on your back over this trap door on the floor of the ride. The guy says one two three....and they open the door and you fall. He said when Clay got out of the nets he was laughing and pointing up at the ride, jumping around. Hubby said you could tell he was excited. Jerome came back down. He said it looked like Clay asked Angela if she wanted to do it again, because he was pointing up at it and she shook her head yes. Then Jerome stood there shaking his head no and started walking away from the ride.
When they were walking away from the ride Jerome looked over the fence and seen my son and husband. Bill (my husband pointed down at Jason, and Jerome stopped and put up his finger and said just a minute. Then Jerome motioned Bill to lift Jason over the fence so he did. Clay didn't see Jason approach him so Jason tapped him on the side.
Jason said, "Hi Clay." Clay looked down and then bent over and said "Oh, Hi how are you?" Jason said, "fine."
Jason said, "My mom is at your concert, she came from Canada and she is wearing a beaver costume." Clay laughed and said, 'Cool, I'll look for her when I'm on stage."
Jason said, "Bye Clay". Clay said, "Bye guy."
Bill lifted Jason back over the fence and said, "thank you to Jerome," Jerome smiled back, and said, "you're welcome."
Bill said, "Hi Clay and thanks." Clay smiled and said, "no problem, you're welcome."
So as mom is sitting waiting for Cherie to come on they are meeting Clay. HOW COOL IS THAT.
It is a joke at home now, mom goes to all these concerts and parties and we meet Clay.
After the concert Jason was so excited when he ran up to me and told me he met Clay.
Jason said he is reaaaaaay tall. He doesn't look like on tv or on the computer. He has alot of freckles and his hair is red.
He is not skinny. He talks with an accent and he smiles when he talks and you can see his teeth.
They did get to see part of the concert. Bill and Jason were standing by the gate and the security guy said they could go in and sit on the empty seats if they wanted. But Jason said no because he wanted to go see the cows and little pigs again.
They stood and watched ISY JT MOAM...ran to the pigs and returned and watched TITN to the end.
So that was our day at the fair
Aug 20 04 4:09 PM
Aug 20 04 8:43 PM
I just got back from Hamburg NY today, so I thought I would post my concert experience...
Well, we went to Hamburg the day before the concert and I couldn't wait untill the next day! On the day of the concert we went out to lunch then came back to the hotel. At 3:00 we went the the Fair. We went to a few places at the fair, and then went to the grandstand at about 4:00. We had two Track 1 row I seats for my mom and I. Then my mom called my dad to see if he wanted to come to the concert since they still had GA seats left. So he came and asked the lady at the ticket place if they only had GA seats left, and she said that they only had GA seats now, but if we were to keep coming back to see what they have they will probably have really good seats colser to the concert. So like every 15 mins we went back to ask and all the had was GA. Then I talked to two Clay fans at the gates for a while.
Then we went to The Club House place to get something to eat and there was a whole Claymate party there! There was a Clay auction and everything so my mom bid on a few things. We sat down to eat and Jacob walked right past our table! So then they said who won the acution Clay stuff and we won the Clay bear! It's so cute, I love it so much! So the people who donated it are called the "Claynadian Roof Dwellers" so I would like to thank them for putting the Clay Bear up for acution! And we saw Raleigh from the window! She's SO cute!
After we ate we went back to the tickets selling place and my dad asked what they had left and she said that she saved a ticket for us! We asked her where it was and she said "FRONT ROW TRACK A" I was freaking out! So my dad got the ticket and gave it to me, and he and my mom sat in the Track 1 Row I seats.
So I went to find my seat which was a little to the left of the stage, right in front of the sound stuff, seat 16. So Cherie came on and she was AMAZING! I didn't know she was as good as she is. I'm going to buy her CD for sure!
Then Clay came! I couldn't believe I was so close to him! When he did the dance contest I danced, but the girl sitting right next to me was going crazy, lol, she was really good though! And he picked her. Every song he did was amazing, but "You Were There" was the best song I've ever heard him sing! I loved hearing it on airplaycentral, but when I heard it live it was just incredible! And the lady who got to sing with him had an AMAZING voice! She was the best one that I've heard sing with him! My mom got a shirt that said "U.S.A." on it from Roots, and we put a card in it. So when Jerome was right in front of me I asked him if he would take it to Clay and he said yes! So he put it on a table that had lots of other stuff for Clay on it. He's so nice! I just hope Clay gets the shirt because I think his buss left when the Roots bag was still on the table, but before we left out Roots bag and everything else wasn't there.
After the concert we waited at the busses. Jacob came out first, and he was SO nice! He made sure to sign autographs and take pictures with everyone! He signed my ticket, and he took a picture with me but it didn't come out. I'm just happy that I got to meet him, and that I got an autograph from him, but it also would have been awesome if the picture came out. Then the stupid security gaurds made us all leave right when Quiana came out! She was going to sign autographs too! Clay came to shake hands with people like right after the concert, so I didn't see him since it was so crowded so by the time I got to the busses he left already. But I was close enough to him during the concert so I'm happy.
Then we saw the lady who got to sing with Clay! She was really nice, and took a picture with me, but the picture didn't come out! We were having camera issues that night.
Well that's all. I'm had an awesome time at the concert! I hope you all did too!
Aug 22 04 9:44 PM
Quote:Molding his fans
Clayâs Aiken for something better
BY BENJAMIN SIEGEL
News Contributing Reviewer
If Clay Aiken were invisible and he fell in the forest, would he still make a sound?
If your one of the millions of fans worldwide who has fallen in love with Clayton Holmes Aiken, you probably donât care. Youâre probably in love with every story about his North Carolinian rearing, every inch of his 6-foot-1-inch frame, every freckle on his baby boy face, and every chirp of his sometimes charming but usually disconcerting chortle. You live and breathe for Clay Aiken, no matter what his music sounds like.
Just ask Karen Alberson of Fort Erie, Ont., the mother of 17-year-old Jenna. The two Claymates (a team to which fans are affectionately referred) traveled to Hamburg on Thursday night for Aikenâs performance at the Erie County Fair. They, along with nearly 115 other Claymates from around the country who joined them for a pre-concert reception, are part of a fan club thatâs about much more than making posters and sharing stories of first encounters with the âAmerican Idolâ runner-up.
âI would love it if my niece or daughter married him and he became part of the Alberson family,â Karen said with the straightest of faces.
âHeâs given so much back to his fans, even without meeting many of them. Heâs given people hope. My friend lost weight because of him. My sister bought a computer because of him. When Clay Aiken came into her life, she went out and bought a computer for the first time.â
Hey, whatever floats your boat.
If the thought of these fansâ expressions of gratitude, consumerism and courtship are enough to make you double-guess Aikenâs power in the pop music industry, then you obviously missed the show Thursday night.
Thereâs nothing wrong with liking Aikenâs brand of pop music, however common and packaged it may be.
But taking this into consideration, I realize thereâs little I can say critically about a performer who clearly makes so many people jump for joy at the thought of his presence.
Perhaps that was the problem with Thursdayâs show. More than the often-flat high notes and cheeky routine, itâs that every ounce of Aiken has been marketed, designed, stylized, emphasized, pre-chewed and digested. His rise to superstardom came in the form of a weekly television show, one that advertises Coca-Cola as much, if not more than, itâs contestants. Itâs pop in its definitive form.
From the odd opening video sequence of Aiken in the studio to the inappropriate Jesus portion of the eveningâs hour-plus program. Aiken manufactures and sells exactly what the audience wants. Or maybe itâs the other way around, maybe theyâll buy whatever he gives them.
One way or another, Aiken delivered his goods just as his Claymates expected and deserved. Besides including most of his 2003 debut, âMeasure of a Man,â Aiken and his notably talented backup singers cruised through a selection of covers as well, including U2âs âWhere the Streets Have No Nameâ and a mini-James Taylor set.
From his own album, Aiken included hits âThe Wayâ and âThis Is the Nightâ (also his first post-âAIâ single), as well his No. 1 hit, âInvisible.â In that song he whines â I mean, proposes _ that if he were invisible,âI would just watch you in your room.â
Youâd what? Watch me in my room?
Despite what parents of Thursdayâs mostly female audience would like to think about their favorite someday-son-in-law, I donât know if stalking is something theyâd considered.
But when you have a singer so admired, so adorned, so â and hereâs the clincher â so idolized, why worry about it now?
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