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Aug 12 04 12:29 PM
When I first got out of the car which was parked clear back by something that looked like a grandstand I could feel the energy. It was snapping and cracking in the air all around me. I said "Whoa" just what do we have here. It is so hard to explain the emotions or feelings of someone. As I walked to the fairgrounds I seen people struggling to get there. They would sit or stand but I felt their determination. They had a goal of which I know nothing of but it was going to be achieved. I seen people who were pushing wheelchairs and it was damn hard but I could see how much they wanted to give their someone what they needed. There was alot of joy in the doing for someone else. You could say this happens all the time. Yes it does but there were so many. I have never seen so many people that have mental and physical disabilities in one place. To me there is joy in seeing an acceptance of all people in everyday situations. Were they going to Clay's concert, maybe some but most were there to enjoy the day at the fair. Did I see some of them at the concert that I had seen. Yes I did.
I walked into the Celeste Center to my seat. Section 105 a real good side view but the jumbotron was so close it was like looking at my computer screen. If it had not been for the side view I would not have seen Clay walking back and forth. I would have not seen the little bounce as his shirt slides from one cheek to another. The long thin legs with thighs to die for the cute bouncy ass and the fact that he does not wear a Clay Aiken thong.. Side views are not always bad.
Charles sat in the row I was in. He sat at one end and I the other. The row had 31 seats so when everyone held their breathe I could see him or it could have been his hat. Still it tickled me how so many were giving him love. When Jerome came and took him to see Clay I had to giggle. I could not see Charles when Jerome put his arm around him.
I think the crowd did try to cheer for Cherie but it was never in the same place at the same time. I mean at the end everyone was going for it but it was kind of like a wet noodle having a hard on. I gave all my love to the gifted woman who was signing as I said earlier in a post.
Does Ohio Loves Clay. Damn to we ever. There was so much energy in the center there could have been a nuclear reaction. The spaceship opened up and the man was holding all that power in the palm of his hand completely in his control. Did he ever loose control. Yes. Thrice. At the end of ISY. Invisible. and TITN where our respond and love were overwheming him. I love a gorgeous sexy man who looses control of his emotions once in awhile.
I did not see sweaty Clay but did seen wet hair where the mullet should be and some hair was starting to fall down around the face from heavy wetness. I even wished he would come out in a Tshirt, baggie shorts and flip flops to be cooler. The lighting on stage seemed to be alot more concentrated. The stage area was really closed in leaving little room for air circulation so the heat from the lighting just kept building up. No wonder he has his eyes closed during Solitaire there is an intense very close spotlight on his face. I don't know if the light is this close during YWT and TITN.
Clay really searched for his dancing lady during WYSYLM. Walking back and forth and back and forth. I think we had too much pent up energy he was trying to dissipate. I was looking at the jumbotron at the time and wondered. How does he keep a straight face with all those boobs bouncing around. The dancer was a delight from her love hug to Clay to stealing kisses. Faith the singer. The child can really hit those notes. She already knew how to change her voice up to be able to do this. I think she is a natural like Clay. Clays expressions during both of these are priceless. I hope that there are videos.
His voice was perfection. He put all he had into every song. Rosanna is so his bitch. He sang it until she was laying at his feet begging him to take her. Dammit he sang the @#%$ out of that song.
When the band was done playing the solo for Rosanna I wanted to yell "do it again."
Clay really has the music in him and it needs to come out. His whole body is one big voice of expression. What a joy he is to watch. I think he has a basic outline to follow for a performance but most of what we see is Clay at the moment. I do not think he is acting so much anymore. I think more and more we are seeing Clay expressing what he is through music.
I loved all the songs he did. The man knows how to rock. I giggled at ISY in St Paul but last night I seen a man who knew what he was doing. We as a crowd felt his emotions in each song and reacted to them. He knew what we wanted and he gave it. We sent him all the love he could ever dream of.
Aug 12 04 3:25 PM
Quote: Good Afternoon Clayfans,
Just home from Columbus and am still feeling a bit fragile. Before I get to the important stuff I must say, Cherie was fabulous. She was much better than in Lexington and the crowd seemed to really like her....plenty of applause. She hit some notes that were so pure and beautiful they brought tears to my eyes.
We had crappy seats (in the 300's)but were directly in front of the stage and the jumbotrons offered a great view of The Man. I swear to God he was even more awesome last nite than he was in Lexingon just a few weeks ago. We had the blue shirt and tan pants in Ky, so I was pleased to see the red striped shirt and the Jeans That Fit. He looked positively yummy.
Clay was relaxed, in great voice and incredibly funny all night.
If the Ohio State Fair arena holds 10,000 people, I'll bet there were 9,900 seats occupied. (only empties I saw were on the far right on the floor in the corner). It was really packed and the audience was wild. Ohio really did show Baby the love last night.
At the Celeste Center the elevated seats are built on wooden tiers. Everytime the crowd wanted to show it's appreciation or when it was time to call Clay back for the encore they (okay....we) would stomp or jump on the wooden floor, clap and scream. The noise was deafening and I was afraid the whole thing would collapse and we would all die. I was ready to go .......the thought crossed my mind that the funeral director would wonder why I looked so happy to be dead, and I didn't care.
The dancing girl was darling and so funny, she wouldn't let go of Clay's hand. The young girl that sang was wonderful and the interaction between her and Clay was hysterical. The songs were all as have been previously reported and were fabulous. I had seen this concert before but YWT affected me more deeply this time for some reason. I never felt preached to and I doubt many of the non-Christians there felt excluded. I have said this before, but to me, it felt as though Clay were sharing part of himself with us, allowing us a brief glimpse into his soul. It was immeasurably moving and powerful. His voice at the end of that song must have surely blown the doors to Heaven right off their hinges.
One of the friends I took with me had not seen Clay since the AI2 Tour. She cried through the whole thing. She said, "OMG, he is just amazing".....and she kept repeating it like a mantra. Watching and listening to her made me very emotional too, and she and I went through a huge wad of tissues. They are probably still sweeping up the lint.
The state of Clay-saturation was not reached as I had hoped. This was to have been my second and last concert for this tour. This is no longer an acceptable situation. We are going to have to go to Dayton, even if the best we can do is nosebleed campstools. When is it ever enough? Dumb queston, I guess.
I have always maintained that there is nothing in this world any sexier than a funny, intelligent man. Clay only reinforces that opinion. The fact that he sings pretty is merely a frill. Allison Glock had it right when she called him "The Thinking Woman's Heartthrob". I only wish he had a much older brother.
THIS CONCERT IS NOT TO BE MISSED, sell your car if you have to, but get to at least one of these shows!!!!
Lordy, I did go on, didn't I?
ETA: One of the absolute highlights of the adventure was meeting all the great Clayfans, both at the craft show and at breakfast at the Ramada. Some of you are Nky, Berkeley, Teacher, ClaysHeart, OhioWannabeClaysMom(?), Clayfan84?, the gals in the great jean jackets, the whole group from Dayton and Cleveland, the "Van ladies with the stickers", and everyone else I met whose name I didn't get or don't remember. A big shout out to all the lurkers, too. You are all warm, wonderful people!
Aug 12 04 3:30 PM
Quote:Panty queen was looking for Columbus recaps, so hereâs mine. Iâm sure it wonât be funny or brilliant, and I seriously doubt there will be any snark, but itâs the best I can do while on a Clay hangover!
I didnât get to go to the CH party, or any party for that matter, because my mom was with me, and she really didnât want to go to âany more parties with strangers.â I couldnât really make it in time anyway, so that, combined with my momâs reluctance, resulted in no partying for me.
We made it to the fair in time to grab a quick dinner at the indoor food court at the fair. There was a cooking exhibition going on when we got there. The lady doing the exhibition called three volunteers up to help. When she asked one of the volunteers where she was from, the lady said âNew York.â Well, I knew right then why Volunteer Lady was at the OSF, but Exhibition Lady was still clueless, so she asked Volunteer Lady âwhat brings you to Ohio?â Iâm sure you already know what Volunteer Lady said: âClay Aiken.â The whole food court erupted in cheering. What a good start to my evening.
Then we moved toward the venue so I could pick up my sixth row ticket from will call. After that, we were back outside waiting for the venue to open, and a young girl was giving away some promotional info on the local radio station that had a booth outside the main doors. She tried to give one to my mom, but mom told her we were from Indy. The girl laughed and said âIs anyone from Ohio? Iâve tried to give one to a group from Chicago and Louisville, now Indianapolis. Where are all the local people?â I thought it was pretty funny, but then I realized that itâs probably not good for Clayâs radio play if the radio stations think everyone comes from out of town to see Clay. Really, though, I think the reason she was getting so many out of towners was because it was still an hour before show time (I was nervous about getting my ticket, so I insisted on getting there as early as possible), and the ânormalâ fans hadnât arrived yet. She was only seeing us nutcases there that early.
The seating in the venue was kind of strange, but I was fortunate to have a good seat. I did feel bad for the people who had side sections because those seats were pretty far away, even in the first 15 rows. I was thoroughly amazed as I watched the venue fill up before Cherie. It was packed out!
Chronological order isnât going to work for the rest of this recap, because I canât remember when stuff happened. Iâm just going to mention some things that stood out for me in random order.
I certainly understand why Clay complained of being hot. I was sitting in the sixth row, and it was pretty miserable. I had sweat dripping down my neck, and I certainly wasnât expending the kind of energy Clay was. It was totally worth it though to hear him say âI didnât say I was going to change on stage.â Hee, that totally cracked me up. He still thinks heâs a skinny little dweeb, but he knows that we (okay some of us) think heâs a HAWT skinny little dweeb.
He gave us the IT ISY glare at the end of WTSHNN. I didnât quite see how that fit with that particular song (is he mad at Columbus fans because their streets have names?), but I thudded anyway. Iâm a good Clay fan!
I loved YWT. I really felt like worshipping God during the slow, quiet beginning of the song. Then he sings You were there-UH, and suddenly, SWOON. Then back to worshipping again for the rest of the song. It was like worship, worship worship-SWOON-Worship. I had to laugh at myself for that reaction, but it couldnât be helped!
I saw STO in Lexington and really enjoyed it, but heâs done something with this song that has changed it from a sweet little song to something HOT! Seriously, I was amazed at the difference. When he did the little âscratch my itchâ motion, well, my knees started doinâ their thing, know what I mean? I hadnât watched any video of that, and now Iâm glad because it was fresh and new for me.
ISY was just stunning. Amazingly stunning. I watched the jumbotron at the end, and his face just radiated hurt and anger. The last few lines were impressive, and Iâve seen my share of ISYs. The crowd response was unbelievable. Clapping and yelling went on for what felt like several minutes. Clay tried to start talking, but the crowd wouldnât let him. The best part of it was the people in the bleachers way in the back started stomping. The sound gained strength as the entire back section joined in. The sounds of screaming, clapping and stomping filled the arena and I could see a little bit of the âaw shucks, I canât believe you love meâ Clay returning. I think that will always be a part of Clay, and it was incredible to see it for myself live and in person. I donât think video could ever do justice to that moment. It was something you had to be there to really grasp.
The response to TITN was very similar, but Clay didnât let it go on as long. He started his little speech about Invisible and managed to get the crowd quieted down. I wish he had let the clapping and stomping continue as long as people wanted to do it. I loved feeling that appreciation flowing back and forth between Clay and the crowd. I never wanted it to end.
During the TITN montage, I thought I heard loud booing when Ruben was shown, but one person I mentioned it to heard awwwwwwing. Another fan said she thought people were booing the anomaly more than actually booing Ruben. I really hope they werenât booing Ruben, because Clay has said many times that Ruben is a good friend, and even if their friendship has cooled somewhat since AI2, Iâm sure Clay would not appreciate the crowd booing his friend.
I think the Celeste Center has to be the most laid back venue I have ever been to. Venue security didnât care if you were videotaping with a giant camcorder (Jerome and Chuck, on the other hand were pretty scary looking as they tapped people on the shoulder and told them to put their cameras away). Also, I saw people walking around with fair food in the arena, so that didnât seem to be an issue either. No one checked a single bag for anything, from what I could see. They didnât even check tickets, so it would have been really easy to move up from seats in the back. There were a few open seats interspersed on the floor. I donât think those seats were ever offered on TM.
Whew, what I planned to be a mini-recap has turned into quite a marathon. Iâm impressed by those who have the attention span to make it all the way through!
Aug 12 04 9:37 PM
Quote:Finally! I've got time to add my two cents from Columbus - who really needs to sleep? But before we get to Columbus, I have to share this from the sj-r.com article linked earlier:
"NR:What is the weirdest thing you've seen so far at a state fair?
CA: Well, I've only been to one state fair, the Delaware State Fair, and it rained the entire time. So I don't know that it was weird, but there were some passionate people out there because it was pouring down rain the whole time, and there were about 5 or 6,000 people in the audience. I was like 'Man, you guys are better than I am.'"
(Puffs chest out with self-importance)Yes, I was there and I am Passionate, thank-you. (I'm not quite sure how I feel about Clay stating this was weird though......... even if I also resemble that remark)
So, on to Columbus. fortunately for me va_1587, webcat and Panty Queen have already written their recaps and covered many of the items in my notes, or I'd never get this done.
In no particular order:
**While walking around the fair we had several encounters of the Clay kind. I had my 8 year old granddaughter and two young men I care for with me. We all had on AgingHippie's hubby's wonderful shirts, so there were a few comments.
-from the teen behind the lunch counter in an eeeeing fangirly voice: "Are you going to the concert tonight? I am - sixth row - I'm so excited!!!!"
-from the 30-ish lady running the beebee gun shoot.out.the.red.star booth: "Hey, his band was here this morning playing my game." (me: Oh really? Are you going tonight?) Her: "No, I have to work - but I wish I could - I hear he's good." (umm, yeah.)
-from the 30-ish man selling pastries behind the horse barn: "I guess you're going to the concert tonight." (me: Yes, we are - Are you going?) Him: "no, I have to work, but I'm thinking of taking my daughter to the New York fair show. She really likes him and I hear he's very good in concert." (umm, yeah.)
-from a 30-ish man sitting with his friends/family in front of their draft horse stalls: "Hey, who is that guy on your shirt? He was here earlier - wanted to get his picture taken with the horses." (me: you're not serious, right? You're just trying to send all the women into a frenzy.) Him: "No, really, who is he?" (me: It's Clay Aiken -he's doing the concert tonight. He was on American Idol last year.) Him: "Yeah, that's what he said.
-from the Yankee Doodle Dandy walking by to the guys: "Clay Rocks. That's an oxymoron."
**Also due to those fantabulous "Clay Rocks" shirts, I was able to meet ficus, sparklish, MsMia and MsMiafriend. I also found out I was doing the cellstream that night when I had thought I was just the backup.(Thank Mr. AH for the stream last night, y'all). A quick, frantic call to Eva later we were set to go. Ficus was on a quest to find the butter cow for a picture and sparklish taught my granddaughter to EEEEEEE! MsMia and MsMiafriend shared their outstanding, clear picture of Waldo and we were ready for the concert to begin.
** the dancer - someone here? All I got to add is.... she took some liberties, y'all. ahem...... kisses(a very shocked look on Clay's face as he jumped back away) - hugs - trying to drag Clay to the ground - refusing to let go of his hand(Clay was so cute when he told us "she's not letting go" ) . I'm very glad to hear she is in her twenties, and not 14 as originally reported - but, she definitely goes on the shuttle. Just saying.
**the 8 year old singer was too cute for words. Clay not only got down on his knees to be on her level, but was walking around on his knees while talking. I was cracking up - boy's gonna have bruises on those knees if he keeps this up. His snarks to her older sister for not sharing her CD were hilarious. He asked Faith if she had Kim's CD and she said no, her sister did - he then asked if she had his CD and she said yes - snarky boy replied "well, that's all that's important."
**Yes, it was hot in the venue. Yes, Clay intentionally made it hotter - and smiled as he did it. He so knew what he was saying when he said Ohio made him hot, and later when he said he needed one of his t-shirts to put on. Just sat there and watched the ladies swoon and then made the comment about not getting excited because he wasn't going to change in front of us.
**The thong schtick was changed up a bit - When Quiana said she wasn't wearing hers, (I think she said it was dirty) - Clay, marketing guru, responded that she needed more - one for every day of the week - and that she could get them right now as he pointed to the merchandise tables located in the venue on both sides. I didn't see any thongs when we went up to pick up a few more t-shirts at the end of the concert - so, maybe they sold out. I wouldn't be surprised if they show up in a variety of colors with the days of the week printed on them in future concerts. (Also, someone was asking after the concert if they had any of Clay's CDs for sale. The merchandising lady said they did have his single earlier, but it sold out.)
**After ISY - which he totally drove the crowd crazy with - and one other song, there was so much cheering, screaming and bleacher stomping that he couldn't talk. It took several false starts for the crowd to settle down. Did I already say he spent the night making Ohio all hot and bothered? sigh.....
**Clay's interactions with Angela and Quiana were part of this whole plan I believe. He had some serious eye seduction going on during STO and the James Taylor set - sexay dancing with Quiana who looked very into it -no stiffness on either of their parts during that scene. (Well, maybe we'll need to check the video record again for stiffness....). Jacob was back with the Lordy, Lordys for YGAF and Clay added a few of his in to the mix - very cute. Jacob started the end glory note way after Clay did -so of course Clay was very happy with himself when he still won the contest despite that.
**IKYWW Kicks ASS!!!! Check out Clay's eye movement in va_1587'svideo at 1:32 - yeah, baby! This is some funky,sexy- OMG give it to me NOW @#%$ here!
**A sign inside the venue said capacity 10,3**. I am sure there were over 10,000 there - and close to sold out. It looked to me like between half and 2/3 of the seating was on the floor - and virtually everyone on the floor stood and rocked out most of the show. It was a phenomenal crowd.
**Clay dances more and better every show I go to. Looked like he spontaneously went back up the steps and started dancing with Jacob during the middle of Kyrie where he didn't use to. I sure lurve me some dancing Clay. yumm (watch va_1587's Kyrie, and see if you don't get a @#%$ eatin grin on yer face watchin that hunka hunka cheesy man groove out.)
"I really didn't care for YWT. I was hoping that seeing it live would change my mind, but... it didn't. It's not the controversy, the staging, or even just the lyrics, I just don't like the song. Clay does sound amazing on it, and I think that if I could see his face while he was singing, I'd like the song more, but as it is... I could take it or leave it."
This is interesting, because when I saw YWT in Syracuse and Delaware, I also said, meh. I think many people would fall in love with this song if there were close ups of his facial expressions while he sang it on the jumbotron. I am sure it would be just as intense, if not more so than Solitaire. (Course, then people would be watching him instead of the captivating visual imagery. Don't think it's gonna happen, unless we do our own zooming in the clack gathering - let's get on it Meers!)
Now, despite this comment, I have to say I really loved YWT last night in Columbus. It was the first time I heard it live without screaming teenies or pouring rain distracting me from the singing. And it was intense. And captivating. The audience had almost all sat down in their seats and were listening raptly as Clay poured his heart out up there on his pedestal. Following the final "risen son of God", the audience spontaneously jumped to their feet, giving a mad standing ovation that went on and on. Did I say it was intense? WOW.
**A funny clorilla moment happened after the concert. We went out the back doors of the venue because they were by the merchandise tables - people were blocking the doorways and just standing there - had to push through them to get out. I thought it was because they were watching the fireworks display. Shoulda guessed - they were lined up at the fence surrounding the buses. Now, this fence was one of those chain link fences, but it had wooden slats in it so that you couldn't see through - except for little cracks between slats. I saw Jacob jump up and peek over - and maybe Jay too. We decided to go get something to eat since there didn't seem to be much hope of seeing Clay - or of him coming over to peek through the slats before he left. We walked back past there after eating - and the fence - how can I say it - had been slightly dismantled. *g* Some industrious fingers had been busy inching those wooden slats up and out from the chain link they had been woven into. There were wooden slats lying all over the ground, and you could see through most of the fence with no problem. Gotta wonder what the maintenance people that had to reassemble the fence thought. One of the Smokey the Bear-hat wearing-highway patrolmen-working as security guys was busy trying to convince people that Clay had already left and they were wasting their time. No one was buying his story. We left, so I don't know how it turned out in the end, but I chuckled all night thinking about all those slats just laying on the ground.
**There has been a woman signing at all of my concerts (Syracuse, Delaware and Columbus). It may even be the same woman -not sure, but last night was the first time she was on the jumbotrons. They have a nice set up for her - a little stage down to the side of the stage, with a curtain that she goes behind during breaks in the show, and she has her own spotlight. I'm pretty sure last night, she even did an outfit change between Cherie and Clay. *g* Anyhow, she was rocking out too - emoting and dancing as she signed - very cool and cute.
**yamyam01 said this:
The same way with Jacob; he seems to get "mobbed" too, now. But for everyone that screeched his name, it was followed by "Could you give this to Clay?,Where is Clay," etc,etc. Exactly why my encounters with him were centered around "you did really great" comments; none about Clay. Although my DL says he must know he is not the star, and so not find those behaviors offensive.
As we were walking in the front doors of the venue, one of the young men with me noticed Jacob walking out the door next to us and said, "Jacob! Hi" and then both guys proceeded to introduce themselves and shake Jacob's hand and tell him how they loved - Clay. I just shook my head and tried to explain to them why this wasn't so cool to do. Poor Jacob - I bet that happens a lot.
Panty Queen wrote:
"I am so high on Clay love right now that I can't settle down and even think about going to bed! Nova I see you lurking...do not trout me for being a postho...I'm antsy as hell and I gotta do something with all this nervous energy and the hubby's asleep!"
. Hee - this was so me when I got back to camp after the concert, cept. hubby was awake. He commented "Geez, you sure are wired! Drink too much caffeine?"
Uh, no - I don't think that's it, hon.
Oh and AgingHippie cracked my @#%$ up today with this:
"My real bummer thought is that if RTM is a song he chooses to leave out that means it's never gonna be a single which means I'm never gonna get my video. Clay in the rain. Collar turned against the chill. Looking back at the lighted window. Flashbacks of him backing away from an embrace...just his angsty face against her hair. The pain of letting her go. He turns to walk down the glistening streets, lifts his face to the rain ..."I.... can't give you what you need...". A pair of skaters zoom by his north side, holding hands. He watches them wistfully.. Sigh."
It took me friggin 2 1/2 hours to put this recap together. I'm tired and I'm not caught up and if anything here has been said by someone else while I was busy composing - too bad! Gimmee the trout and I'll fry it up for breakfast.
Aug 13 04 7:05 AM
Columbus, Ohio, The Ohio State Fair: An Exercise in Good Taste and Antiperspirant
As I started off on my next concert journey, I started the day bright and early, packing all my belongings, checking my tickets and gathering my maps. I then jumped in the car and drove the strenuous 17 miles all the way to downtown Columbus. I had no interesting encounters with gas station attendants, made no Wendy's detours and ran into not a single presidential candidate. See why I road trip?
Regardless, the day was still jam packed with fun and excitement. You should read the sarcasm there, as it will help in understanding my joyful day. I am doggysitting for my parents while they are on vacation, so there were some major puppy placement issues throughout the week. (Sidenote: Apparently Aiken was being a bit mischievous and told Duncan that he would have fun if he went for a dip in my pond. Nothing smells so pretty as wet, pond scum covered dog. Good thing they are so cute, or they would have been homeless for the week.) I have my dad's big red pickemup truck so I am able to transport the doggies back and forth from my house to theirs all week long. Since he didn't see fit to install a cd player in said truck, I decided to listen to some new lite FM station that just began to reach Columbus last week. I knew it was going to be a good Clay day when I heard Still the One, Everlasting Love and To Love Somebody right in a row on the way to work that morning. Hmm, perhaps this station is where Clay gets his inspiration for concert material? Because I heard When I Need You and I Knew You Were Waiting on the way home today!
Anywhooo...I was so fortunate to have a last minute training seminar scheduled that day at our corporate office. Yay! I made it a point to nicely inform my DM and RHRM that I meant them no offense, but if they weren't done talking at 4pm, I would have to quietly slip out the door to meet my boyfriend, er, friend va_1587 at my house. Since I am completely out at work, they expressed neither shock nor outrage, more like a bemused expression of disbelief. During the icebreaker section of the meeting, my Ops manager felt it necessary to say "Something you would be surprised to know about Brandi is that she knows more about Clay Aiken and baseball than anyone I've ever met." Ha. Needless to say, no one was surprised by that in the least. When your office is wallpapered with baseball memorabilia and Clay pictures, they pretty much have your number. So, I left them to their group exercise of writing corrective actions and ran to the car to get on the road to see Clay! Wheeee! (Is it just me, or is concert day your favorite day ever?)
va_1587 and I quickly fed the pups, prettied ourselves and once charliegirl arrived, we were on our way! It was great to see everyone at dinner, we were a small but mighty group! scarlettudor and her delightful friends were a hoot and a half! It was great to meet sweptaway and friend also, sorry we didn't get more of a chance to chat! xfileluv, her pal Holly and the fabulous Shaggy make me laugh! I love them! Of course that crazy woman PQ was there, I can't seem to get away from her. Heh. Oh hell, I can't be mean to her, because she said:
The back door directions Brandi gave me were perfect
*sigh* I want to smut that, but it was so nice to receive something akin to a compliment regarding my driving and directional skills, that I'll have to let it pass. Also, I am occasionally useful, isn't that nice? PQ also mentioned our waiter, Brett. Who was an ass. A cute ass, but an ass nonetheless. Apparently he liked my name, because he said it a thousand times. And he mocked us for our Clay love. Jackcuteass. The funny thing is, we were sedate and composed. No games, music or nametags in sight. Still, he felt compelled to make fun of us the entire time and then had to nerve to invite us back to drink a few later. Whatever. *insert giant PQ eyeroll here*
We made our way to the venue and...you know what? I'm going to stop calling it a venue right now. It really wasn't a venue so much as it was a metal shed with parachute material covering the ceiling. And apparently it came sheep scented for our pleasure. Seriously, the Celeste Center was yuck. I'm surprised that the acoustics were actually decent (Except for the strange alien sounding base reverb during MoaM, that is! I was concerned for a minute that something may burst out of his pants and come slithering down the aisle. Did anyone else notice that? BzzzzzzzHMMMMMMBzzzzzzzMMMMMMZowwwwwwMMMMM. It went just like that! In fact, it kinda sounded like the noises that tweelers makes in her sleep!) If I thought Cherie was loud at Foxwoods or Greenville, there was no way on earth I was going to listen to her surrounded by sheet metal and farm animals. charliegirl and I decided that purchasing a pr0ngram and smoking outside like delinquents was a much better idea. Plus, you can people watch. The fair gets all the best specimens, you know. There was the most adorable robot outside where we were sitting and he was highly entertaining to all the children gathered round. He was talking to them about all sorts of strange things, like what they were holding or eating or wearing. We couldn't possibly fathom how this little robot guy knew all that when we finally figured it out! Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. I so want that job!
The ven...er, shed was packed to the gills, er, fleece with fangirls and boys galore! Seriously, if that place seats 10,200, there couldn't have been more than 200 empty seats in the joint! I can't wait to see the numbers from this show. Our seats were slightly to the right, in the second section. We were a bit farther back than I would prefer, but actually we lucked out because the first row in our section was the handicapped seating, so there was plenty of room to dance around and we had no problems seeing at all! Plus, the beautimonious JumboPron was right in front of us, so I got to watch Sweaty!Brow!Wiping!Clay! allllll night long. *swoon* Who knew it would be so hot to watch him wipe his forehead with the back of his cinnamon furred arm repeatedly. Oh who am I kidding, we all know just how hot that would be. Especially when your head is tilted back and you are looking up at him....wiping...his...brow, deep in concentration, lost in the momentï¿½
So yeah, it was um, steamy in there. I've always wanted to spend the night in the dark with a hot and sweaty Clay, but I'd prefer it not to be with 10,000 other people and significantly less Eau de Ewe. If PQ wasn't sweating at all, she is obviously missing some rather important glands, because it was seriously warm, especially when you consider it was like 63 degrees outside!
When charliegirl and I got to our seats, I was shocked to find that I knew the person sitting next to me! And from Real Life even! Heh. (Seriously, I scared myself at some point by remarking to charliegirl that this was the first concert I had been to in a while where I didn't recognize every fifth person that walked by me. I'm not sure what that says about me or the rest of the crazies.) Anyway, it turns out, I knew this woman and her daughter from way back, she was on the swim team when I coached for Special Olympics in high school! Her mother was thrilled to be there and she leaned over with a tear in her eye at one point, saying,"Can you believe he can teach special education AND sing like this too?" Awww. The biggest difference I noticed at this concert overall was how many "non-fanatic/groupie" fans were there! It was definitely a "first timer's" crowd in my area, and the cheering was insane! Did anyone else get that sense? Then again, Bob and Linda were there, so we had that portion accounted for as well.
Ok, I can't believe I'm recapping this concert again! Heh. But dagnabit, he does something new and cute each time! Plus, it's easier to actually notice stuff when you know what to look for!
When the intro to WTSHNN started, the place erupted. Most energy I've seen from a crowd ever. It might have even (gasp) rivaled the Raleigh IT show for me! And I was vibrating like a street vendor in the red light district after that concert, so this one must have been out of control loud!
During WTSHNN, he did this move that was part head bob/neck pop, part jutting lower lip and part peacock with a smidge of chest puffery. I turned to charliegirl and said, ''What kind of bizarre mating call was that, birdboy?" Then I swooned into her and said, "He's so sexy." See how easy I am?
For the life of me, I can't remember all the times this happened, but I distinctly recall turning to charliegirl several times during the show because he changed up a note or varied his phrasing dramatically from my other shows. Anything that man does with his voice makes me tingle.
The girl that he took on stage for WYSYLM was very cute and happy. Also, very huggykissy. The look on his face when she gave him a particularly strong squeeze around the middle was classic! It was like the he had the stuffing squeezed right out of him! Heee.
During Kyrie, he was a DANCING FOOL! I have never seen him dance like that. He was all shaking shoulders and twitching hips! Damn, between Sweaty!Clay! and Grooving!Clay, it's like all my fantasies came true last night. (Sidenote: va_1587 got great clack of that dancing boy! AND, it has great audio too!) Be sure to note his cute little pelvic thrust/hip shake/jump move at :09. Yeah, cute isn't the word for it, but smoldering sex god of all that is good and horny isn't an adjective, so just go with it. Plus, I noticed that some kind and selfless washing machine has managed to shrink that red striped shirt a bit at the hem. Now, if we could only bribe the dryer into eating his undershirts like it eats my socks, we would be all set. Multiple shots of rising shirt got my hopes up, only to be dashed by the sight of a layer of 100% Hanes combed cotton.
I am sure several have mentioned how cute the little girl Faith was that sang with him, but I'm going to say it again. She was adorable and he was so cute with her! I'm not sure if anyone described this, but his mocking her older sister because "that's whatcha get when you're selfish, sis!" was hilarious. I'm sure it's a sickness when I can't decide if I like his sex faces or his goofy faces better. When he got down on one knee with her, I swooned. When he was whispering to her so she would know what to sing, I swooned. When he winked at her and told her it was going to be ok (she was so nervous!), I swooned. If he ever winked at me like that I am quite certain I actually would turn into a pile of gelatinous fangirl goo. I mean, really. I know, I know, I've said it before, but the hell with him dropping his pants, I just want him to wink at me like that. GAH! Adorable!Teacher!Clay is lethal. Perhaps more so than Eye%$!Me!Senseless!Clay! How is this possible? (Ok, I just watched it again and *sniffle* he makes me so happy!)
Ok, back to the unbearable heat and Sweaty!Clay! After Faith left the stage with her tshirt, he remarked that it was so hot that he would like to go put on a tshirt too! I immediately turned to charliegirl and remarked (eyebrow waggle) that we would all enjoy that as well, as the entire audience began hooting and hollering. The look on his face was absolutely priceless when he said, "It's not like I'm gonna change on stage people, my god!" I lost it. The entire audience lost it. He knew EXACTLY what he was saying and why we were cheering like the lust filled, hormonally charged women that we are. Heh. He loooooooves being Sexy!Rock!Star!Clay, where women faint at the thought of him wearing one measly tshirt.
The JT set was amazing as always! Check out :29 in va_1587ï¿½s clack, that lipbite is like a double clutch lipbite. Gahitygahgahgah. Also, the sometimes odd camera angles on the JumboPron work for Clay, enhancing his lovely forearms and hands. Unfortunately, it's not so kind to Angela and Quiana. Hell, you know when Clay looks beefy it's gotta be bad. (It's a damn good thing that Waldo didn't make an appearance, because at that angle it would have scared Jemock, not to mention the children!) And Quiana was ON last night. Clay was so cute being all proud of her and what not. Oooh, and such adorable faces when Angela was singing YGAF with him! Hell, just go watch the clack and I'll stop babbling.
Ok, not really, heh. I know that it irks some people when they get a bit giggly, but I adore it (I completely understand why some don't like it though). I swiggled (that would be a swoon/giggle combo) when he was doing his little, "Lordy, lordy, lordy" bit. Perhaps I could find a new way to say this? When he is obviously having so much fun, and he is happy, I am happy. I was trying to describe this to someone at work today and I said, "I know it sounds cheesy as all get out, but watching him is more than entertainment, it's like he fills me with complete joy every minute he is on stage!" And the note holding? Oh Lordy, lordy, lordy indeed. I'm starting to sound like a broken record here, but dayum, his lung capacity bodes well for his future partners.
Did I mention he had funny hair? And that it was hot? And that he loves Ohio? Ok, just in case I forgot, he had some seriously whacked out hair going on. I'm going to attribute it to the temperature and not speculate that it looked like he-slams-me-up-against-the-wall-but-then-I-throw-hin-on-a-bed-with-no-posts-so-I-am-forced-to-grab-onto-something hair. Also, it wilted as the evening progressed and the brow mopping became frenzied. Mmmm. It was hot. And he said Ohio has the best crowds! Yay for Ohio! First it made me remember that interview where he said the best AI show audiences (thus far) had been Columbus and Richmond. Then it made me remember how @#%$ ridiculous it is that this man can sell approximately 22,000 tickets to two concerts in the span of less than six months in this city and yet, no one wants to hear him, so those bastards at WNCI won't play him on the radio. Whatthef**kinghellever. Ok, back to happy, back to happy!
This was my first time seeing IKYWW and I loved it! I agree it's not a big showcase of his voice necessarily, but it shows his ability to interpret something musically that I don't think I've seen yet from him. Hell, his second line in the song, "Yes I did" with it's sultry rough edges, complimented by a little shrug? Gah. "I don't regret a single moment" is all kinds of yummmmy texture, a little growly and authoritative. I can't wait to hear it again so I can concentrate on his voice more and his ass less.
Heh, check out the look he gives at the end of ISY, after the last "I was doomed." You know the one. Lipbite, fluttering eyelashes and a deep, long inhale. Was it good for you Clay?
I hope the applause and crowd response came through on the cellcert for TITN. I have never heard such an extended cheer from such a wild crowd! He had to start over at least three times in attempting to introduce Invisible, because the fans were still cheering and screaming at the top of their lungs after it was over! It was the best I've ever heard it and it was the song that made me teary this time. There was a husband and wife team in front of us, with her very elderly mother, in a wheelchair and I could tell they were getting ready to get up and leave, thinking this was the end and wanting to avoid some of the traffic getting out of the shed. I told them there were two more songs and the wife thanked me heartily! I didn't want her to miss Solitaire for heaven's sake! He tried to get them up and moving again when Clay left the stage after Invisible, but I told him to stay another few minutes, it would be worth it. *g*
Lots of great changeups in Invisible! Vocally he was so amazing last night. Also check out Invisible clack for excellent bedhead. Heh. You can definitely see that the last line of "Wait I already am" is meant to be sung as he is in the dark, with the mic at his side. I guess I never noticed it before, but I looked for it last night and it was obviously done that way on purpose. And am I the only one that worries that one night they are going to close the spaceship door on him before he's done singing?
Solitaire was fantabulous! At one point, he brought two fingers up from his death grip on the mic stand and actually caressed the microphone. Of course my mind instantly saw it in MrsLoki Slo-Mo Pornovision, complete with Barry White music to hump by in the background. Then, in case I wasn't dead from that little move, he brought his arm around and lovingly groped his other arm, in a self hug of sorts. I'm all for anything involving "self" and "love" where Clay is concerned. I was so astounded over by this combination of moves that I almost didn't even notice when he screwed up a line or two. Almost. Hee. Of course he recovered fine, but I thought to myself that it was a good thing he didn't sing RTM tonight after all! And I won't even begin to tell you about the sideways glance he gave right before the glory note. There really should be a limitation on the amount of sex appeal bestowed upon one human being.
After the applause finally died down, the lights came up and our tremors subsided, we made our way over to find the rest of our little group, where we found xfileluv an ecstatic but emotional mess, Shaggy and Holly beaming with happiness and excitement and va_1587 grinning from ear to ear! While chattering about his amazingness, we were unceremoniously shooed from the area, when we happened upon the beautiful and crazy MsMia! YAY! I love my fellow road trip fiends! I also managed to run into berkeley! What a totally wonderful and awesome surprise to meet her and her sister so unexpectedly! *Smooches* to everyone!
We staggered into the cool evening air and decided that beverages were an absolute must. Just my luck! Fair Iced Tea is even better than Wendy's! charliegirl is a lemon shake up kinda gal, so we visited va_1587ï¿½s famous stand! We decided a leisurely walk up and down the midway was in order and I was craving some kind of deliciously horrid fair food, so we found ourselves some fried dough. I really don't think "Death by Fry Daddy" is the best way to sell those deep fried oreos and twinkies, but maybe that's just me.
Finally, I can't believe this is the first venue where they offer this service after a Clay Aiken concert, but the rest of the country should really get in on this trend. Vibrating chairs. At first, we really enjoyed it. Then we really, really enjoyed it. Then we really, really, really enjoyed it. When it was finally over, you can see by our broad smiles that we were satisfied customers. Clay? If you can sell a thong, you can certainly put your support behind a vibrating stool that costs a quarter, ok? Think about it.
On our way out of the fair, we were lucky enough to see GMA Pink Barbie Girlï¿½s cousins, with their friend John. I wish I had been brave enough to take the shot from the front, so you could see the silver glitter letters on their shirts that spelled out, "I'm His Hottie." Nothing says classy and romantic love like matching microminis, berets, pink stilettos and bling.
One last shot of Clay at the Fair and we forced ourselves to drive home, where we EEEEEEEEï¿½d over clack until the wee hours. Ahhh, going to the concert with CH friends is the best! (and when they leave their program at your house, it's even better! Hee! *smooches* va_1587!)
Aug 13 04 7:42 AM
Quote:MUSIC REVIEW | CLAY AIKEN
Fans adore winning performer
Friday, August 13, 2004
FOR THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
For a popular singer such as Clay Aiken, theres nothing unusual about playing to sold-out houses, being surrounded by beefy security guards and working a tour schedule that finds him in a new city almost every night.
His stop Wednesday night was the Celeste Center at the Ohio State Fair.
The unusual thing is that all of this has come so suddenly to the earnest 25-year-old from Raleigh, N.C., who has almost completed his degree in special education at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Sixteen months ago, he had appeared on the second season of American Idol and had been voted off. He won a "wild-card" return, finished second and was off to a world of compact discs, TV appearances and "Claymates," audience members who proudly wear their allegiance on their chests.
This was his third appearance in central Ohio in about a year, but most of the more than 10,000 seats at the center were filled for the roughly 80-minute show.
Some fans are following his tour, from Rhode Island to Colorado, including eight state fairs in 30 days.
The acoustics in the Celeste Center are, to put it politely, poor. Metal isnt the best conductor of sound and music. The bass boomed enough to make any car-audio addict jealous.
Yet Aiken gave the crowd what it wanted, with smiles and grace.
"I always love coming to Ohio," he said, "because you are some of the best crowds we have and I dont say that everywhere."
That statement and everything else he said brought cheers, screams and applause from the audience.
From the opening Streets Have No Names, Aiken ran through more than a dozen of his songs, many fans singing along with every number.
A James Taylor medley allowed him to show an easy, melodic range and added appreciated variety. Yet the crowdpleasers were the hits and his latest single, I Will Carry You, along with an encore of Solitaire that was more intense than Neil Sedakas original.
His three backup singers and five musicians showed talent and skill and added an extra depth.
Aikens stage is a production number in itself, allowing the singer to rise at the back, then walk some illuminated stairs which disappear and reappear to the stage.
Costume changes from a long-sleeved shirt, tie and jeans to all white, then all blue were incidental, but noteworthy for a state-fair show.
The opening act was a 20-year-old French singer who uses only her first name, Cherie. Her style is a mix of Celine Dion and Gloria Estefan, with plenty of enthusiasm. She made a bouncy beginning to an upbeat evening.
Aug 13 04 10:32 AM
Quote:Columbus Concert 8-11-04
My dream was to take my two daughters to a Clay concert (since they are uninitiated). However, neither could come. Daughter #1 wanted to stay with the precious red-headed grandbaby and I could certainly understand that. Daughter #2 blew her only 2 remaining personal leave days (which I was counting on) for throwing up and a water emergency at her house.
SoI had an extra ticket (although, granted, not very good) and l/2 of a motel room at Country Suites in Columbus. I asked friends, RL and ciber, wouldnt SOMEONE like to come?! Finally, the daughter of a friend at work, Trena, decided that it sounded like fun to her ~ a gorgeous 29-year-old hanging out with 3 50-something women, lusting after a 25-year-old man that she wasnt sure, at that point, wasnt gay.
Panty Queen had reserved a table for us at Champps restaurant. Drinks were $1 off and appetizers l/2 price. VERY good menu. Xfileluv was there, along with her friend Sean and a young woman whose name I didnt catch. A lovely lady next to me had only posted once on the board (screenname sweptaway) and was a theatre critic at the Miami Herald. She had flown up to see Clay and stay with an old friend, who was with her. Trena, along with Carol and Charlene from Lexington, were my guests. va_1587 was at the end of the table and I didnt get to talk with her other than waving, but she was so very generous as to bring everyone 2 cds of Clays Greenville performance! My friend Tawny411 had already made 2 for me, so I wasnt greedy and didnt grab one. Brandilyne was at the other end of the table and I didn't get to talk to her either, but she looks like she has such a great time at these concerts!
After some very good drinks and appetizers, we all headed out to the Ohio State Fair.
We had such fun, just being in the venue with Clay! As I walked in (albeit with difficulty, since Ive had a flareup with osteoarthritis in my knee), I saw such cholesterol-dangerous southern dishes as deep-fried twinkies and candy barsHow DO we survive? Anyway, my two older cyber-friends and I, along with the younger girl were a wee bit late, due to the long walk from the parking lot, but we were settled in our seats before Cherie finished. She seems to do a good job and seemed to be getting some good audience response..but we know who were there for.
Now, I think this is interesting and I hope I dont offend anyone. Trena asked at one point if we thought Clay was gay. She doesnt know anything about Clay except shed heard Invisible on the radio. We all solemnly told her that he says hes not, his mom says hes not, his high school and college friends say, Just the opposite. So, we believe him. Its no longer an issue to most. Well, she commented she can always tell whether a person is gay or straight (ah, the confidence of youth!). She nodded toward a group of guys in the aisle during the intermission and said, Those 2 are gay. Then she looked further and said, No, all 4 guys are gay. We were amazed and looked carefully and really could not discern any signs hung around their necks.
But we were eagerly looking forward to Trenas experience of the Aiken. Ill skip along in my story a little and tell you at one point during Clays performance ~ I forget which song ~ when he does that little side look and down (you know the one I mean), Trena whirled around to me, her eyes big, and said HES NOT GAY! It seems her theory is that a guy uses different bait (dress-wise, gesture-wise, etc.) when hes trying to attract women than when hes trying to attract men. And Clay, obviously, does all these things that drive women wild. Of course, it drives a few men wild in the process, too. Anyway, I hope I didnt offend anyone, but I thought that was interesting ~ a girl who feels she can tell, definitely felt Clay wasnt. Of course, her ovaries spontaneously exploded, too. More evidence.
Clay came out in the red striped @#%$ and tie and the luscious jeans. He changed and made a comment that he was going to do that and the audience went wild. He laughed and said, Well, not right HERE! It was very warm in the venue and, early on, as he was bouncing from one side of the stage to the other, he said Im HOT. Are you all HOT? Yes, you are, honey. And you sure are making us so..
The lei that the lady in Hawaii flew in for that nights performance was very large. I think maybe she was hinting for Clay to choose some more, shall we say, zaftig ladies. And he did choose a lady with a build more similar to many of us fans. You know what Im saying? She was not a size 7. But, oh, she did love Clay. She hugged him several times, bounced around the stage with him, and would NOT let go of his hand at one point! She had a absolutely fabulous time and we all felt it with her.
Later, Clay had a lovely little 8-year-old up to sing. She had long blonde curls. She was going into the 3rd grade and Clay said, Well, you know those 3rd grade teachers are pretty mean. I used to be one. She was giggling and relating to him quite well. He asked her if she was his biggest fan and she said, no, her big sister wouldnt let her. Clay made a big play of saying, But YOURE the one up here singing! Im sure the older sister was dying of envy in the audience. The little one had some stage fright at first and forgot even what song she was going to sing (Without You), but Clay was so gentle with her. He knelt down beside her, looked directly into her eyes, so she paid attention to him and not the big audience, and talked her through it. Her first notes were tentative and weak. Clay sang gently along with her ~ WINKED at her in the most adorable way (thank goodness for Jumbotrons) ~ and she settled right down to do a beautiful job with that song. After she was going stronger, Clay came in with an unbelievable job of harmonizing that made you think theyd been doing it all their lives.
What strikes me is ~ American Idol supposedly auditions, what, 70,000 singers for their show? And they end up with the kind of uneven talent that we saw last year? And Jerome ~ who is a bodyguard, for goodness sakes ~ can spend a few minutes before the show auditioning with people who want to sing with Clay ~ and come up with great talent most nights. What is wrong with this picture?
Clay is really obsessed with those thongs. Or, at least, he likes to think about a sexy item of womens clothing with his name on it actually ON women! He jokes with Angela Do you have on your Clay Aiken thong? Sometimes she says, No, and he asks why. Because its DIRTY, Clay, she says, to his delight. He even asked Jacob if he had on his Clay Aiken thong and Jacob said no. Well, thats good, Clay said.
The group is really tight. Whether theyre singing Sweet Baby James or Youve Got a Friend, the genuine liking, even love, on their faces for one another is very obvious and nice to see.
Trena had asked us 3 Clay fans if wed ever met Clay. We told her no and that we really didnt think we ever would, as hes getting bigger all the time (quiet, smutters). She was amazed. With the confidence of youth, she thought sure she could chat up several venue people and at least get us close, which we certainly werent during the show. We were about a football field distance from Clay. He was this little bitty guy in the light.
So, after Solitaire and the lights came back on, Trena went up to an absolutely gorgeous state policeman and talked with him for a bit. She had asked me before what she could say and I told her, Say youre with these 3 geriatric women who probably wont live to the end of the year and they really want to see Clay! The nice policeman said he couldnt do anything, so we trotted off to check out the buses. Trena kept looking over her shoulder and the guy kept threading through the crowd, kind of trailing after us. Trena said, Im going to see what time he gets off. She came back with a grin and said He already had his card ready to give me with his cell number on the back!
There was a fair sized little gathering at the buses. But very shortly, Jacob came over and jumped up on the top of the high fence, telling us he was sorry, but it really wouldnt do any good to wait, that Clay had left right after Solitaire. Apparently, theyve changed the procedure since Charleston, WV, where I waited for an hour in the worst humid heat to catch a glimpse of Clay. They now whisk him away and he leaves on one of the buses. The rest of the entourage finish pulling down the set and do whatever they do. Then they catch up with Clay in the remaining two buses. Well, we were a bit deflated, but not totally discouraged. Trena got on the phone with her state policeman and he said hed see if he could do anything and hed call her back. He got Jacob on the phone! I got to ask him if Clay got the little pink rhinestone jacket I made for Raleigh in Charleston. He honestly said he didnt know. Then, I dont know why ~ the devil made me do it ~ I said he really had to meet Trena, that shes gorgeous. You know what the first words out of his mouth were? How OLD is she?! Apparently, hes been getting a LOT of flack for picking up those underage girls at the shows. When I told him 29, he wanted to meet her, but said he just could not get away, theyd kill him. So, he got her cell number, said he might be visiting friends in Charleston soon. Anyway, Trena was more impressed with the good-looking policeman, but neither contact has come to anything. I think Clay concerts bring out the romantic in me and I was egging her on!
Well, we had a great time with the two Clay ladies from Kentucky, staying up till 3 a.m., sipping wine or chugging beer, went to the hot tub, talked about Clay some more, finally got some sleep for the trip back the next day. Im so impressed by Clay fans. As I looked around the table at dinner, I thought these women have a lot on the ball. Theyre attractive, bright, many have wonderful jobs, are self-sufficient, competent, confident women ~ and they become little puddles of goo when Clay wails! Its an interesting phenomenon, isnt it? Although not one Im very objective about because Im usually doing some wailing and moaning of my own!
PS added after reading some of the other comments:
Yes, to the poster who laughed at the poor abused fence around the buses! Fans had threaded up many of the plastic pieces meant to shield our view. Several maintenance guys came out and grumpily threaded them back down.
Yes to Panty Queen, I also had the feeling Clay was not feeling well Wednesday night. I don't know how, since I was a football field away, but I thought his energy level felt low or something. Not that he didn't put on a great, high-energy performance. He gave us his all. But I had that nagging little feeling he wasn't well. Must be the mother in us, PQ. I didn't know about the sweating. Clay doesn't usually sweat, does he?
Aug 13 04 2:28 PM
Quote:xfileluvs Boring Not-A-Tour Recap
Im not much for writing recaps, I tend to ramble on far too long and usually prefer to spare readers. But sharinlilbit wanted to know the details, so here they are in all of their boring glory.
Ive stated many times that I am blessed to have Real Life friends who not only understand my Clay love, but participate in it as well. I had two friends with me on my trip to Columbus, Holly and Shaun. Some of you met Shaun in Chicago, but this was Hollys first Clay concert. She knows all the words to the CD, but that was about the extent of her fangirliness.
We made great time to our hotel, and only got lost a little trying to figure out how to navigate the weird access roads into the French Market area. We did ponder stopping into the Anhauser-Bush plant, on the off chance they were giving out free samples that day. (Heeee.) Alas, we were on our mission for Clay, so we made our way to the Country Inns and Suites, where Holly got her first taste of Clay fans converging on a concert. I laid my keychain down on the desk and was promptly drawn in by two other women standing there, both of whom were Chasing Clay (second Not-A-Tour concert for one, third for the other). They showed off their Clay shirts and merchandise and when Holly didnt look too afraid, I took that as a good sign.
The three of us got freshened up and headed to Champps a bit early to indulge in some cocktails. As we walked to the bar, my Meerkat Radar went off and sweptaway locked eyes with me. I walked right up to her and asked, Clackhouse? and we were off and running! PantyQueen called on my cell phone about three minutes later to let me know that she had arrived, and discussion of which drinks to have ensued. (Many Mudslides were consumed, but Shaun, Holly, and myself had Flirtinis and Caramel Apple martinis. A bottle of Pinot Grigio after that. For those of you who are keeping track. *g*)
FWIW, Champps is THE BOMB. We had the best brushetta EVAH, and we shared a little pizza with fresh basil, mozzarella, sliced tomatoes..yummy! I think that our server, Brett, wanted to run off with Brandi, but then again, what red-blooded, straight male doesnt? She had va_1587 and her RL friend Charlie with her, and scarlettudor joined us with three of her RL friends. We had a great time with sweptaway and her friend Jenny, who were kind enough to haul our drunken asses to the fair (where we got to hear about the Butter Cow and take a pseudo-hayride around the ginormous parking lot). Holly insisted that I was embarrassing her due to my lack of filter (and yes, I did come a little bit when Clay walked out in his candy cane jacket that makes me want to lick him from head to toe and back up again), but we had fun, and I fully expect sweptaway to come out from behind the potted plant more often and post on the board!
We met back up again with Brandi, va_1587 (who snagged my extra ticket and ended up sitting with usbut not next to me, so as not to have a replay of the whole Independent Tour, OHMYGAWWWWD, hes tying his shoe! incident while she gathered the Clack), and Charlie in the parking lot, so we all walked into the fair together. I was on a mission to find a fried Snickers bar (the concept boggles my mind), but the junk food gods were against me that night. Wait (tm Clay), there was more bitterness to come!
NO BOOZE ON THE ENTIRE FAIRGROUNDS! Ugh, I was NOT happy. Even less happy when we walked into the seating area. NO CATWALK! I was forced to be bitter for a few minutes, and Holly was concerned when I wouldnt get up and dance to Cherie. Sorry, not impressed. And thenLights go down. Proud of Your Boy video. Even MORE bitterness, dammit, we are getting the shortened set!
:::sigh::: I resign myself to it all within about 3 seconds flat, because suddenly, there is Boyfriends face, and yes, I was in tears before the concert even started. The end of that POYB video? My heart literally burst in my chest. I @#%$ LOVE THIS MAN.
Segue into the thumping strains of Where the Streets Have No Name, the stage opens up, and there Clay stands in all of his 61, hawt rock star, spiked-hair glory! BitterGrrrrl! is suddenly FanGrrrrrl! I am up and screaming and jumping around like the 12 year-old that I am (well, at least on the inside), and all thoughts of being pissed off are gone. Much has been said about the energy here, and its all true. Almost 10,000 horny meerkats, buzzing with anticipation? Yeah, there was plenty of love for Clay that night.
Im not going to give a play-by-play of the entire concert, but the highlights for me were many. I had quickly started expounding upon the joys of Clay Aiken in those jeans, and finally Holly turned to me and said, What were you saying about those jeans? Because DAMN, that man sure is wearing them well! She got swept away pretty quickly, and has now officially crossed the Im In Love with Clay Aiken line. After Invisible, she grabbed me (we all know the Fangirly Concert Grab quite well) and screeched, I dont want it to be over!!!!!!!! Welcome to my world, honey, thats why many of us go to multiple concerts. Clay is like great sexonce is never enough! When she asked me if she could go to the Cleveland concert, I laughed and said, We dont call it Clack for nuthin. He really is addictive!
I already mentioned what the POYB video did to me, and his entrance is fun (although, I still think that Kyrie for the Independent Tour was the best). I do love watching him climb the steps out of the space ship and walk up to look out over his bitches. His power over us is palpable. His interaction with little Faith was priceless, he has such a way with children. I expected Measure of a Man to move me more, but this version is more up-tempo and less tender, for me at least. However, I had purposely not watched any of the This is the Night bootlegs, because I knew what happened and I wanted to get swept up in the raw emotion. And I was. Everyone thought the baby pictures were darling (hes such a beautiful creature!), but as soon as the Grease red leather jacket flashed, I lost it. From there on out, just listening to him wail out that song (which is cheesy as hell but dammit, I adore it) and watching all of the visuals (the duet with Bing Crosby, Diane Sawyer, Ellen, Leno, Saturday Night Live, his AMA award, the Billboard Award, Rolling Stone cover, etc.), I was literally sobbing. Just watching that montage of the past year, thinking about all that hes done, with and without our help, I was overcome. (Quick props to Shaun, who is the bestest concert buddy. He catches me when I swoon and hugs me when I cry over The Aiken, and never holds it against me the next day. Okay, maybe just a little. *g*)
Invisible was fun; I dont think Ill ever get tired of hearing that song or watching him perform it. We got a little shirt tug, which sent us all screaming, and then it was back in the space ship. I had told Shaun that Clay doesnt do Solitaire, hed wanted to hear it on the IT and was bummed when Clay didnt sing it, so I decided to mislead him this time to surprise him. After Invisible, he turned to me and said, He HAS to be coming back out, but I dont think Solitaire crossed his mind. So when Clay entered again, at the top of the stage and the first few notes began, Shaun was thrilled. We stood there, Clays collective bitches, and simply absorbed his energy as he unleashed the passion of Solitaire. Again, I was bawling by the glory note, and when the lights went up, I saw that Holly was crying, too. Shaun told me later that hed tried to be manly, but admitted that Solitaire made him tear up, as well.
Other random comments: When Clay pointed out Charles Grigsby in the audience, Holly said, Ha! We have better seats than him! Heeeee. Also, I had not watched any of the You Were There bootlegs, simply because it never interested me, although I am well aware of the controversy. I chose to just stand quietly and watch and listen. I didnt take it as a direct message to me, but as a reflection of what is important to Clay. His voice was utterly amazing on it, and his passion shone through. I wasnt offended, but I wasnt moved to head out to church, either. I just do what I normally do, take what Clay has to offer and realize that not everything that is important to him will be important to me, and that doesnt mean I have to love him any less.
Listening to Clay talk about being hot and sweaty made me all.well, hot and sweaty. Yes, I was yelling, Take it off! What? Please. Its not like I was the only one.
I also want to address I Survived You. I know weve discussed the dramatic anger of that song, but day-um, when I told the woman next to Holly whod never heard of Clay (her father bought the fair's ticket package), Hold onto your ovaries, its going to be a bumpy night, this is exactly what I was referring to. How does he do what he does, and can we even pinpoint what it is? Watch va_1587s clip, from 3:04 to the end. Breathtaking. That look of pain and angst really killed me on Wed. And the spontaneous screams after Good luck, I wish you well! are pure gut reaction to his emotion and power. I love the puffed out chest and outstretched arms on the drawn out new beginning! Of course, watching his hands caress the mic stand the entire time with his head thrown back and his eyes closed might have something to do with it, too. Whatever it is, I sure was moaning a lot through that song.
After Clay was finished having his way us, we stayed put for a few minutes. Id noticed a man right in front of me watching me with a knowing, sweet look on his face throughout the concert. At one point, I think after Solitaire, he reached back and touched me nicely (caressed my arm or shoulder, I think). When the lights went up, he turned around said to me, He really is amazing, isnt he? This is my 58th concert. I said, Oh, you must be Bob! He nodded and said that Linda was a few rows up, so they are mini-celebs, in their own right. (FWIW, this was my lone encounter with him, and based solely upon that, he seemed nice and harmless. He went up and brought Linda back our way, and they both smiled and said goodnight to me.)
We regrouped with Brandi for a few, where we cracked up over Clays new bird mating dance (Holly pointed out that yes, Clay, we saw it and our bodies definitely responded!), said our good-byes, and parted. Holly, Shaun, and I headed to Wall St., where we were the first ones there and among the last to leave. We are not used to staying out all night and dancing, but we had a blast. We paid the price a bit the next day, but it was worth it.
On our way out of Columbus, we stopped at Bob Evans for breakfast. We were waiting for our table and I mentioned that I wanted a morning after picture of us. A cute teen was sitting there and said, You must have seen Clay last night. Bwah! Yeah, how did you know? I asked. She replied, Well, if youre talking about the morning after, youve either seen Clay Aiken the night before, or gotten drunk. We cracked up and told her, Both, actually! She was 15 and a total sweetie, and we chatted while we waited. She lives in PA, but since Clay wasnt touring this time near her, she and her mom and aunt came to him in Ohio. We looked intensely at each other and I said, Its not like you even had a choice, right? Its not an option NOT to see him. She replied, Thats why were here.
Aug 16 04 7:22 AM
I was lucky enough to share the Lexington bus experience with BearCat & Steph and have to agree completely with everything they said. Being early on in the tour, we had relatively few people waiting and it seemed that the baricade was just about the right length for the number of people - we didn't have to line up 2-3 deep.
I can still see Clay so clearly in my mind stopping about 10 feet from the baricade and taking the fedora off - he had this HUGE smile on his face, like he was just so happy to see all of us! He truly gave each person their own moment, taking their hand and looking them directly in the eyes. I'd like to say that I at least said "thank you" or "hello" back to him, but I was lost in his eyes - I don't think I spoke until Jerome was in front of me, shaking my hand!
This past week in Columbus I was lucky enough to get to go to the Meet & Greet. Sorry - I haven't posted this yet, so it's going to be a long one!
I know that people have made it sound like you're read the riot act and that Jerome is some kind of monster, but nothing could be further from the truth. He did have us line up along the fence, as the m & g was right outside the venue, next to Clay's bus. He did tell us the rules, but was VERY friendly & even joking around and laughing a bit with us.
Unfortunately, time is always an issue - there's only one Clay and so many who want to see him - so it goes by rather quickly.
Nick was there to help us at the autograph table - I'm afraid I zoned out for a few seconds and had to be prodded to head up to the table - lol! They hadn't given Clay a list of our names, nor did we have name tags, so I did have to squeak out my name - no problem. But, being the graceful person that I am, I tripped on the table skirt as I turned to walk over to the group photo spot!
I managed to make it all of the 10 feet back to the photo area without embarassing myself further! Just a minute or so later, Jerome came over & asked me to step down closer to the bus - Clay was going to come over to talk with us & take a separate photo since we were there presenting our BAF Craft Show check to Kristy.
Kristy came over & we chatted. We did the check presentation and photos. Then I saw Clay walking towards the bus.... then Clay got on the bus.... My heart started to sink a little. Then he came bounding off the bus, smiling and walking right towards us. "Hey! How are ya?", with his hand outstretched to shake mine. OK ~ I've got to get a little fangirly here.... Honestly, he's got more freckles than you could ever imagine & his eyes are the most beautiful bright, light green - how CUTE is natural Clay?!
He thanked us & said something about all the work we did and then it was time for our picture. Again, my brain chose this moment to take a break - for some unknown reason, I headed over to the other side of him where Renee (Alliicat) was standing. Thank goodness Clay was thinking clearly! "How 'bout one of ya on each side of me?" Hmmmm.... good idea.... So back I went, to his left side, where I could very happily have stayed much longer than the minute or so it took to get several pics! He puts his arm around you much like he shakes your hand - it's not just a light, quick touch. He actually hugs you to him!
He turned, shook my hand, and thanked me again. I decided it was now or never if I was going to speak to the man, so I told him how so many people had been inspired by him to participate in this project & that it really became an inclusive event. Smiling, he shook his head a little, took my hand in both of his, shaking it again & said how much he appreciated the efforts we made for the foundation. And then it was over.
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