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Jul 12 04 11:23 AM
Quote:cms and sausi and soon kandre again. We have just come back from a very fast decompression round of alcohol which we all seemed to badly need. There was something very electric in tonight's performance, and indeed in this entire driven urgency and immediacy to be here, in this improbable place of Grand Forks, taking 48 hours away from family and jobs and homes and normalcy to coalesce in a parallel universe. Yes it is giddy and heady; but more than that, it is urgent. That is the word that comes to me over and over. I can't explain it or understand it. I can only surrender to it.
There is a whole untold story about today; I won't go into it now except to say that after 6 hours of tedious and occasionally disturbing placesitting at the venue, we finally scored aisle seats in rows 3 and 4 next to the catwalk, on the grindage side (despite the absence of grindage), which means that all of us in those seats piled into the aisle next to the catwalk and experienced Clay intimately. The security was in full force; there were many times more individual security persons placed around the perimeters than ever before. Jerome personally greeted and consulted with most of the security people in our immediate area; we assume this happened throughout the venue. There were security personnel on both sides of the barrier -- between Clay and the "fence," and also between the "fence" and the fans. And the security were hypervigilant about everything: hats, signs, gifts, and especially cameras. There were posted notices at all entrance doors that only disposable cameras were allowed, and that digital cameras and video or audio recording equipment would be confiscated. And it was. Security was all over cameras like measlepox. morningstar and I managed to get a couple of bootleg digicam photos each but they meant business.
I presume this is because Disney or Buena Vista or whoever is pulling the (purse)strings doesn't want uninhibited access to bootlegs for all the fans. Our days of unlimited clack may be behind us, at least in the concert venue, at least in THIS concert series. Too early to tell, I guess.
Clay is so amazing. Everything about this concert was stepped up several notches. First of all, HE WAS FANTASTIC. From the moment he appeared on the stage -- arising from the depths of his beautifully constructed set -- he had total command. He was joyful, uninhibited, self-confident, 100% present, natural, self-possessed, and lethally sexy. For two and a half hours we were masterfully brought to the brink of orgasm, only to be satisfied, spent and brought to the brink of another. It was definitely sophisticated and superlative.
We have known for a very long time that he has a generosity of spirit and heart that surpasses normalcy. That was never more evident than in his first solo tour. We saw it with Ruben, we saw it with Kelly, and now that he is beholden to no one, we saw it with his own support players. He gave over two entire pieces of his program to his back-ups and band. In the James Taylor set he announced he would be singing back-up to the back-ups.... and then he did so, in a way that was so beautifully humble and at the same time skilled that he made them look every bit as good as he makes himself look. Ditto in Totos Rosanna, when he actually left the stage so that the band could take full credit for its virtuosity (and so he could do one of FIVE I think costume changes!) (Maybe only four.) Im going to stop here because KAndre has just come in and Ill let her pick up the story from here. Actually, Im going to post this part so that anybody still up and giddy can have this much while KAndre composes her thoughts. And Im going to take a nap while she does! cms and I have gone some ridiculous number of hours without any sleep at all.. were both pretty toasted. To be continued . and we will try to upload some photos tomorrow.
Jul 12 04 11:24 AM
Quote:Ahem. Well, isn't this perfectly lovely for my 1,000th post! I have composed some of my thoughts on tonight's concert which was perfection in so many ways and will probably lead to much, much discussion in Clay's fandom.
Cherie is talented and sings well. She is an excellent opening act. I don't remember the names of any of her songs.
Clay, Clay, Clay. Well, on the last thread, a meer posted about how she missed that spiky head rising through the floor? Well, it's baaaaaack! The smoke streams out, the second flight of stairs (which are lined in white lights) lifts, and this supremely confident man appears to claim the place that is his - in front of an audience of his fans. Striped shirt based in red. Red ties. Jeans. Baby mullet. So gorgeous. He starts singing. The meers around me so insane. I don't go insane, because I've never cared for U2 and so don't know the song. I now love Clay's version. He is incandescent. Honestly, he is just lit up with the joy of performing. He lights us up too. He swings into Shine. The crowd is screaming hysterically. He walks to the catwalk and mentions the leis he receives for every concert. He has decided to give one to a fan at each concert. There will be different criteria for each concert. He has decided tonight is for the best dancer. The meers all stare at each other and as he begins singing WYSYLM, begin dancing our asses off. Everyone is dancing. He points to the girl right in front of me, young, shapely, dances almost as well as I. He selects her. She goes on stage and demonstrates her dancing. He gives her the lei, hugs her, sings a little to her, kisses her on the cheek. She is THRILLED. We take pictures of her and get permission to post. He sings IWCY. He sounds @#%$ FANTASTIC. Just totally FANTASTIC. He is totally into it. He mentions that he sang the next song in the Independent Tour and swings into Kyrie. He rocks the house with that. And then with NMSS. All the while flirting with the audience, @#%$ with the audience, dancing in joy. Mentions the acoustic set. Says he's gonna do something similiar with one of his favorite artists. Mentions his great backup singers. Says he will do some backup for them. Says backup is hard and if there are any missed notes, they are his. Starts out on a stool at the end of the catwalk near the main stage softly singing Sweet Baby James. He sounds so good. Then he moves to audiences' attention to Angela, who's about three feet to the right of him and she just kills on How Sweet It Is and Clay does beautiful backup. Jacob, who is maybe 5 feet to the left and behind Clay on another stool, rips into Fire and Rain and the man is mad talented - and Clay is still adding beautiful harmonies in the background; Quiana takes on Smiling Face from the top of the stairs and is just wow; Clay and Angela then approach each other singing You've Got a Friend and eventually Clay holds Angela's hand; Quiana and Jacob take on the second verse while Quiana comes downstairs to join Jacob. The final harmonies in the end are incredible. He then sings MOAM and it is clear that he just loves this song. Loves it. Loves singing it. To close out the set, he does RTM because he loves us. He explains that there is gonna be a 15 minute intermission and not to leave. We laugh at him. During the intermission, while the client is dissection the results of the high-grade clack hit we just got, the video screen starts to show the commercial of POYB, and Disney Hands and the BAF. It is so obviously professional and good! The audience screams at that too. We see the musicians returning so we know Clay will soon be back and he comes out belting PD. In a different outfit too! PD is perfect.
This is the best part of the concert. He sings the most beautifully impassioned version of ISY I have seen. I loved every second of it. I also notice Jacob holding the long note with Clay. I wave at Jacob. Clay finished the song and says it is his favorite (this is clearly a sign that we have a connection). He comes to the catwalk says, a little something has been going on with me and Jacob AND POINTS TO ME. EEEEEEE! HE SAYS, THIS YOUNG LADY NOTICED IT. C'MON UP TO THE FRONT HERE. CAN YOU TELL ME WHAT IT IS? I delicately commented that there seemed to be a little competion on the held note. CLAY SAID TO ME, YOU'RE RIGHT, WHAT'S YOUR NAME? I said Karen. . CLAY SAID TO ME, WHERE'RE YOU FROM? I said Houston and smiled and only adjusted my cleavage because it was uncomfortable. . CLAY SAID TO ME, YOU CAME ALL THE WAY FROM HOUSTON, TEXAS TO SEE ME IN CONCERT? I said, yes, it was worth it. . CLAY SAID TO ME, THANK YOU. I smiled, HE SMILED AT ME.
Parenthetical comment: Clay Looked Me In the Eye and Said My Name. The Next Step is for Clay To Shut His Eyes While Screaming My Name. Baby Steps.
Clay told us he hadn't planned on singing this one but to join in and swung into AAL. He did introduced the band members and kicked into Rosanna, and let the band show their skills while he changed.
This gets into to only possibly iffy part of the concert. I didnt have a problem with it, but theres a possibility some people are. The song, You Were There, is typical contemporary Christian, and especially toward the end, he was rocking it out. The staging was, IMO, over the top when everything was put together. The backups changed outfits to all white, Angela and Quiana were at the top of the second flight, to the left and right and Jacob was centered lower down, making a frame for Clay as he was raised through the top of the flight of stair with a gorgeous white suit and tie, and a bright spot behind him. He was broadly gesturing but not moving much. The video screens on either side of the stage were showing at fairly neutral images that became Christian images and then strongly Christian images. I liked the song, the staging really didnt thrill me, but most of the audience strongly liked it.
He changed outfits again and appeared at the top of the stairs to comment on what an amazing year this has been and how it was all due to us. And to the strains of TITN, a montage rolled across the video screens, started with baby pictures of Clay, then his audition in Atlanta, the Anomaly, the talk shows, the entertainment shows, the awards, the magazine covers and the last video was of the Fans Choice Award.
He said the last song we knew, talked about how we made Invisible popular and told us to sing along. At the end, they turned off the stage lights. We screamed for Clay. He appeared at the top of the stairs and sang Solitaire. Then the house lights came up.
I am happy but tired. Am going to bed. Will post the tales of my travels on Saturday when I finally get home.
I'M HOME YOU LUCKY MEERS!
And of course I had to read twenty frickin' pages! Ah, Clackhouse, Clackhouse...I knew it would be like this.
On the concert (and the topic du jour) I see I didn't make this clear from my recap and want to rectify this now. I enjoyed EVERY.SINGLE.MINUTE of this concert. I feel I have literally been privileged to watch the evolution of a performer and a pop star before my eyes. A theme to the show? I don't think there were, besides what some other meer was says about him bringing back the good part of the 80's. The first set? was fantasic. The second set? Was fantasic. The JT portion? If you want to hear good singing, this is for you. Why did he include AAL? Because it was fun, and uptempo and frankly he likes it, he made me like it, he made the audience like it. WYWT? He sang the @#%$ out of the song. I loved his singing, just didn't care for the Elmer Gantry impersonation; no more, no less; he wasn't preaching to me. He was making a joyful noise to the Lord. And I got to listen in. For me, it detracted not one whit, but in the back of my mind, I knew lots and lots of discussion would ensue. And in the freakishly detailed post sausi deleted for us (waves at sausi); we all agreed, subtle doesn't seem to be in the Clayton's repetoire. From what I seen of his public persona, he just ain't. The grindage with WDC isn't subtle, the staging with WYWT isn't subtle, his freakish fondness for white (and if I were Angela and Quiana, I would kick his ass for that alone - IMO only Clay and Jacob - those skinny bastards - looked good in it)
It may sound sort of strange but to me at least, even though the set up for WYT was over-the-top, it was NOT the "centerpiece" of the 2nd set and I apologize if I gave that impression. The second set is so much more...choatic...than the first set...lots of costume changes...lots of tempo changes...WYT was one vignette of many. For me, the centerpiece of the show was Solitaire. He was at the top of the stage, to the right; no backup singers to be seen - a spotlight focused on him alone; the band in the darkness - and Clay singing to us. Besides, he held my hand, said my name and looooooves me! Perfect concert. Wait. Not perfect. Too many beyotches squealing loudly at the wrong @#%$ time. SHUT THE F**K UP!
Oh yeah, was it you couchtomato, that though WYSYLM was more funky? It was because he was making us all dance like the puppets we were. And yes, we all danced because he told us to.
I will tell you people about my adventures in travelling to see Clay tomorrow. I am so f**king jealous that y'all finally got a good cellcert and I couldn't hear it! Stupid AirTran.
Jul 12 04 11:25 AM
Quote:Almost coherent comments on last night's show --
Clay so loves being up on that stage performing. His energy was amazing. He used the whole set and didn't favor one side more than the other from what I could see. Some video stuff worked better than others -- my personal favorite was the multiple Clay shots on some of the screens -- I counted as many as four ever diminishing ones at one point.
His voice was in great shape -- definite benefit of the first concert. Hearing RTM, TITN, and Solitaire all in one night made that very clear. The emotion in ISY was as intense as ever, even tho it was performed further back on the stage than IT's catwalk performance (RTM got that staging).
I enjoyed the James Taylor staging and the backup singers' featured performances very much. They have great voices. Clay's facial expressions and movements throughout the medley were also fun to watch -- no matter who's singing, boy knows how to keep the attention on him. Featuring the backup singers on this medley and the band on Rosanna (which was done in part to allow him time for a costume change) enhanced the show for me, rather than detracting from it. I love seeing the camaraderie that's grown onstage since the beginning of IT and allowing talented professionals a small piece of the show in which to shine individually has to help build that feeling -- which in turn will help kick the entire show up notches as the tour progresses. (And no songs were interrupted for introducing the band.)
The passion Clay brings to his performances of religious music has always made the songs sound even better to me, and last night's were no exception. I'm not sure that the costuming, staging, and video accompaniment were essential to get that passion across -- I think the excellent vocals alone would have done it -- but parts of it were very beautiful. Parts came across as preachy in a Jim Bakker kind of way -- for me, mainly the white suit on an even more elevated platform at the top of the stage. But I agree that this song was the "risk" for this tour in the way that WDC was for the last -- and I always admire risk-taking.
The program is an absolute must purchase at $15.00. (Bring cash for purchases, because GF didn't take plastic and I'm sure at least some others won't.) Seriously beautiful pictures on every single page. T-shirts come in all shapes and sizes and pictures and colors -- highest price I saw for one was $33, but one might have been $42. Button set was $15.00. There was a red thong for sale for $15.00 (Clay's name but not face) right next to a baseball cap with that new CA logo (no price on it that I could see.)
Overall, I loved a lot of pieces of the concert. The surprise of not knowing what comes next at a first concert of the tour was still there and still brings its own energy. But maybe there's only a first "first concert" -- I enjoyed Grand Forks, but it hasn't replaced IT's Charlotte concert in my heart.
Jul 12 04 11:50 AM
Quote:GRAND FORKS CELLCERT RECAP
THE TOUR HAS STARTED!!!!!!!!What will he sing? What will he wear? What will he do? and the most important question of all... WILL THERE BE ANY SURVIVORS??????????? Let the fun and the tour begin! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE - I'M HERE!!!! I'm dragging in my fluffy chair and all my snacks for the summer - ready for the cellcerts - ready for Clay, Clay, Clay!! Are we all just a little excited!!! LOL I have not accomplished one thing today!!( I KNOW!! CLAY on the BRAINITIS) Congrats Clay on your first solo tour... we your fans are waiting anxiously.This is an exciting time for you and for us. We all have been waiting for this for a very long time.
Go for it!!!!..... Okay.Must remember to breathe!!! In... Out.... In.... Out.....I was having a crappy day at work till I remembered about opening nite-CELLCERT TIME!!!!! Go Clayby baby!!..I'm so excited I can hardly sit still...Now bring on that sexy green-eyed hunk.. WE WANT CLAY!!!!WE WANT CLAY!!! Someone said on the Street that there IS NEW MERCHANDISESO GET THOSE WALLETS READY LADIES!Tighten your seat belt...Clay is in the house!! I AM SOOOOOOOOOOO EXCITED AND I JUST CANT HIDE IT........I'M ABOUT TO LOSE CONTROL AND I THINK I LIKE IT!!!!!!!!!!
REPORT: Cherie comes on (probably for 30 min 45 min then 15 minutes to set up the show. Then Clay is on for 40 min. A 15 min break then 40 more minutes!!!!!! Omg im freaking out!! Supper is on the stove if anyone wants to eat. I certainly don't because I'm just too ding dang excited!! I've even avoided anything to drink for the past few hours so I won't have to be running to the bathroom. Would you say I have a problem? Yes, I do, and I'm NOT ashamed!..... I made enough for an army to have dinner and snacks later. Can you tell I didn't want anyone in the family to bug me about food tonight? Isn't it cool that everyone gets their chores done, family fed and all things squared away so we can enjoy the cellcerts... I need to feed and water the family, then I'll be back for the duration!!!! Sell you all soon!!! A second Summer of Clay is about to begin!!
Bring it on, Clay Baby! GO CLAY!!!! I've even got my "Fresh Laundry" and "Cinnamon" candles burning just to set the mood... Did I mention that I CAN'T WAIT!!!! Everyone's going to be hyperventilating long before then!! Get your paper bags right nowWhen God created Clay Aiken He was just showing off. I am so excited.......I could just sing and dance....I actually got someone to work for me tonight, just so I could attend the cellcert....Iah, Happy times are here agian.! Woo HooWAHOOOO! ..YIPEEEE !! YAHOOOOIE!!!!!! HOT DIGGITTY!!!!! TICKITY BOO!!!! WELL, I AM JUST SO DING DANG EXCITED TO BE PART OF ANOTHER LAUGHTER -FILLED LOVE-IN FOR MR.SEXYPANTS!!! IT HAS BEEN FAR TOOOO LONG!!!!!! Now , how many of you have paramedics, your heart monitors, and any breathing aparatis ? WE WILL NEED THEM !! I'm about ready to jump out of my skin - but gotta keep it to a minimum when hubby gets home.
ROCK THE HOUSE CLAYBEE !!!!!!!!!!!!!...I've got my NITRO handy (I not kidding either) and I'm willing to share if someone needs a jolt. I will be getting my JOLTS from MR.HANDSOMEHUNKOFHEAPINHORNYMONES to-night!Got my Krispy Kremes and I'm ready for marathon reading of all you extremely fun and funny posters. Bless all who are providing the details. We LOVE you!!!!!! Anybody want to take a guess as to how many pages tonight. I say 63, depending on how quickly we find out what he's wearing and singing cause those questions are always good for at least 50 posts, then there is the sideburn issue, the stubble issue, and please please please the accidental skin peeking out issue. Ohhhh... accidental skin... I WILL DIE. Lol*sings high note* laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!! I'm so excited, it's weird!!! I'm GIIIIDDDDYYYYYDOES ANYBODY KNOW IF THE WIND IS BLOWING TONIGHT?? It wouldn't take much - just a slight breeze!!! I hope so! Or else, do you think they'd mind if someone in the front row brought a fan? LOL! (QUICK! Its not to late for someone on the front row to run to Wal-mart!)... My friend and I are planning on bringing a leaf blower to our concert on Saturday!! Oh, no need for wind...the blowing of the Claymates will work just fine! Maybe he will wear a KILT. a KILT????....That could be where the accidental skin thing comes in ..I bet he has some uniquely Clay shirt and a Kilt from Ireland. Do they wear kilts? LOL!!! Irish don't wear kilts! That's Scotland.
Is he singing WYSYLM? Got to laugh..he going to keep doing that one until he remembers the words. Good luck to all of us staying in here and here's to NO CRASH!!!...AND, CLAY, WE LOVE YOU, YOU GORGEOUS BABY FACED, SEXY HAIR AT THE NAPE OF THE NECK, SHELL PINK LIPPED, GREEN EYED, DROP DEAD GORGEOUS 6 FOOT 1 INCH HUNK OF MAN WITH THE MOST BEAUTIFUL VOICE IN THE WORLD. I'M BEGGING FOR THE FEDORA. PLEASE?! PLEASE!!!!???
REPORT: There will be smoke and special lighting, and 40 mins Clay, intermission, then 40 mins Clay and ONE ENCORE!!!!!! I'm guessing he'll wear jeans for 1/2 and be a little dressier (maybe for TITN and Solitaire) for the other 1/2. I'm going to say 3 wardrobe changes....My guess is one suit-like outfit. Two with jeans. One with a green shirt (maybe it's just wishful thinking on my part). The other with gray. One hat with the gray shirt. And I'm going to go with black shoes and a pair of tennis shoes. And his hair will be all flatironed. Can't. Breathe. Grinning. Misty-eyed... EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!! I was a BIG fan of the stubbly beard. Ditto. Maybe he's too nervous to shave -- afraid he'll nick himself. OH MY GOSH .please Clay..wear those Wango Tango jeans....gulp..low riders..... Yes, wear those jeans with the TITN video green tshirt and I will die a happy Claymate.Reading description of Clay's current outfit and frantically fans self I want ANY jeans.Jeans are my absolute favorite!!!! i would LOVE to see the ones from Ryan's show I like the 15 minute intermission it will give me time to get up off the floorI think that planned that 15 minute intermission, just for that exact reason! So we're all in agreement with jeans (tight ones) and a little wind in the arena would be to die for!!!! Pants, In order of preference:
Ryan (On Air)
No wait, Kilt should be on top. ROTFLOL!!!!!!....It Better be on the bottom..LMAO!!!!... Clay can wear a kilt however he wants.But I don't think he could kneebend very well with a kilt.. Well he could, I'm just not sure we could share the videos here. What if Clay sung Touch while wearing a KILT?!?!?!?!?!..... ACTUALLY ......I WOULD EEEEEEEEEEEEEE KINDA LOVE TO DO THE DOVES DANCE WITH CLAY WHILE HE WAS WEARING A KILT???? (now THAT would make MORE than just doves cry!!!) I'm sure he could still do knee bends because we all know he would have about 15 different layers of clothes on under it.
Has anyone seen the Clay ambulance yet? If anyone sees the Clay ambulance, send it over here. I need my blood pressure checked. (Get in line!!) .We have waited forever for this and this is the night. OK, I am feeling a little sentimental. Sharing these cellcerts with the best fans in the world is just awesome..what a journey Clay continues to take us on...He is just gonna ROCK! ...Can someone summarize the first fifteen pages for me? (YESCLAY!!! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!) ANYONE ELSE HAVE THE HEEEEBEEE JEEEEBEEEE'S BESIDES ME?????? Yes, YES, YES!!! I'm a nervous wreck!!!!! Why??? I'm not even there - I'm at home on a message board for goodness sakes!!! *drums fingers on desk* *twiddles thumbs* *hums invisible* COME ON!! CLAY GET UR GORGEOUS TUSH UP ON THAT STAGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HOW MUCH LONGER????????????? I don't get to go to a concert this time around.. ..me either - sigh - BUT, I'VE TAKEN UP RESIDENCE IN THE CELLCERT FORUM FOR THE SUMMER!! Who do you think is more nervous--us or Clay? WELCOME HOME YOUR ROYAL CLAYNESS!!! YOU CLAYLICIOUS THANG YOU !! WE MISSED YOU!!!....Got your thud mats and drool buckets (and depends) ready? I SHORE DOES!!! I AIN'T MOVING ME BUTTOCKS!!
AT LAST - SO BEGINS THE SUMMER OF 2004 !!! HEEEE BEEEEE JEEBERS ARE GETTING ME GOOD NOW.. I am SO heeee beeee jeeeeeberrrred (gosh..does it hurt??)..752 people on the board and the concert hasn't started. Are we over the edge or what ??? (Honey, we passed OVER THE EDGE with the last tour)..Holy moly--have we been Clay-concert deprived, or what?? (Those Kimmel, GMA and DC appearances were just teases !!) Hehehe do ya think if Clay were backstage reading our excitement right now he would be just a llliittllleee bit skeered of us!!! Oh Clay honey, we wouldn't hurt you!!... I tried SO hard to stay virginal, but I couldn't help it! I couldn't stay away! ( Yet another virginal sacrifice to our Idol) How hard did you try ??? You didnt even make intermission !!!!!!!!! LOL!!!! Clay says that he had a BIG surprise in store for all of us at the concertoooo! ooo! I like surprises! Maybe he'll come come shirtless, in a kilt and sing touch!!! LOL!
850 people are on right now. W-O-W. This place is PACKED!!...Down in front. Put down that ding dang sign! I can't see!!!!! CAN YOU ALL BELIEVE THE CONCERT IS ALREADY STARTING AND WE STILL DON'T KNOW WHAT THE NAME OF THE TOUR IS???!!!!! LOL. That's too funny!.. CLAY MERCAHNDISE!!! There's no 19E logo on ANYTHING!! WOO HOO!!!!!!!!!! All new merchandise. New program with Great Pics! Lots of posed pics and several with Raleigh (the puppy). And best of all, there's no 19E logo on ANYTHING!! THERE MAY BE TOO New pictures!! AND NO 19 LOGO ANYWHERE! the shirts are unbelievable, gorgeous, incredible! $30 and up.OMG.....MUST SEE SHIRTS......MUST HAVE SHIRTS.....MUST WEAR SHIRTS.....MUST KISS SHIRTS..... SOMEONE PLEASE SLAP ME AND MAKE ME STOP!!! COME ON CLAYBY BEHBAY!! WE IS READY FOR YA!! . Across bottom of pages of programs are words to MOAM. All new pics. One pic is a tee or sweatshirt with a target on it, different colored circles - not strips. Pics are all new and to die for..
I AM READY TO BECOME ONE WITH "THE CLORG" May the CLORG be with you. I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE! BRING ON THE CLAYTON! (Cellmates start chanting.) CLORG Clay + BORG = CLORG Borg being from Star Trek. They were a species of people who were linked together as a collective. They thought with one mind. We are like a Clay collective. Of one mind when it comes to THE CLAYTONIt has GOT to be ALMOST TIME!!!! Maybe we could throw the beach ball around while we wait - O.K.....we need to stagger potty breaks beginning now....if we were to all flush at once.....well, broken pipes across America...Those with last names beginning with A-G first!... OMG this thing is slow tonight. Can you imagine what those lucky, lucky people in ND are feeling right now???... Had to practically rip the phone out of my husband's hand. Gee, I know he hasn't talked to his sister in three months and it is her birthday, but I NEED THE PHONE LINE!!! (How inconsiderate of him!!!) Let the THUDDING begin!!!!!!!!
REPORT: Clay is eating a burger, and is VERY NERVOUS!! Awwww! Well, at least we know he's getting some food! It's his first solo tour, headlining by himself. Of course he's going to be nervous....but he's going to be amazing as well NERVOUS!!! Honey!! It's okay!! We're here for you!!! We love you!!!.... This wait is worst than GMA and ES put together! and I slept on the streets of NY! I was more patient then I am now - Well, I think I was - Oh, I'm always impatient when Clay's involved .Clay don't be nervous we are nervous enough for you! .Giving Birth was easier than this... (well, maybe not easier.but FASTER!!!) So, the baby is nervous. Hope he doesn't hurl across the stage like I know I would. (Ewwww thanks for THAT visual) CLAYMATES EVERYWHERE ARE GATHERED - NERVOUS - PACING - AND OH SOOOOOOOO READY!!! Another report: CHERIE IS DONE, SETTING UP MIC STANDS; THREE LEVEL STAGE; ONE AT THE BEGINNING OF CATWALK, STAINLESS STEEL WITH STAIRS ..PEOPLEWE HAVE CATWALK!!!!!... (Cartwheels, back flips by cellmates) CATWALK????? Thank you JESUS!!!! Unveiling set now. It's really high. First level is 5 steps, next level is 10 steps, podiums on each side of it. Drums and are elevated; keyboards on a side. Miss North Dakota was at the preparty. She was also in the M&G. She said she met Clay at Miss America. (Hmmmm. Get shuttle out of dry dock!!)
IS HE HERE YET, IS HE HERE YET, IS HE HERE YET?? No He Isn't....No He Isn't....No He Isn't..... This is moving slower than a walk with a worm. Help! CAN NOT WAIT ANY LONGER!!!!!!!!! If we're THIS excited HERE... can you IMAGINE at the Venue?! AHHHHHH!!!... It's almost time! Cherie finished, she was good.BAND COMING OUT NOW. BRING ON THE THUDMUFFIN!!!!!!!!!!!!
HEEEEEs HEEEERRREEE!! HE OPENS WITH U2 - WHERE THE STREETS HAVE NO NAME... FABULOUS! 2nd song is Shine!!!!. OUTFIT: Black shirt red tie; according to CH...jeans, black shirt, red tie. ...Now WYSYLM (did he forget any words??) HELLO NORTH DAKOTA - HOW YOU DOING TONIGHT!!! WOOHOO!!! A new outfit!!! (Cellmates do New Outfit Dance, not to be confused with New Song Dance) Sitting on steps..(GAWD.love me some sittin Clay) Spotlight just on him! Saying how the show is quite a bit different this time.someone screams I LOVE YOU from audienceClay says I LOVE YOU TOO!... Talking about fan in Hawaii. Made him leis, got one every show. SCREAMING!..... KYRIE! WOOHOO!!! I already ate an entire bag of tortilla chips..*whispering* "water, water"...dont' want to miss a thing having to do with the Clayton.....don't want to go for water....(you may be first cellmate to die of dehydration at a cert) Do we love him, or what???? Red tie, jeans....are they the "Jeans from God"? (uh GOD ya know we are just messin with yaright?????) NO MORE SAD SONGS!!! Dont worry Clay honey...we arent sad tonite...!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We won't make it through this tour...............nope we are all gonna be toast!!!! (If we were French, like Cherie, would we be burnt croissants??)
Ahhhhhthe lament of the SLOW BOARD: Forget Chinese water torture. Forget bamboo shoot under the nails. This dial-up connection and a slow board is worse than torture. I am dying a slow death here. I think page cannot be displayed is going to be my epitath. LOL!!! ( here lies _______....may she rest in peaceher post made it to heaven before she did) I could walk to North Dakota and back and find out what the set list is before a new page refreshes!!! Just in case anyone is wondering why the board is running slowly..... there are currently 1157 people signed on and it keeps going up! OOOH MY GOODNESS !!! WE WILL CRASH YET! SOUNDS LIKE OUR STUDMUFFIN IS BRINGING THE HOUSE DOWN !! Well we ARE the place to be, aren't we!!?? (YEESSSS!!! Scream the cellmates at the top of their collective lungs!) Yes, what kind of reception is he getting? How loud are the screams?? Can you even hear Clay over the screams? Are there lots of signs around? How full is the venue???? DETAILS PEOPLE!!! (My, my, my, we are a TAD impatient! Dont get your knickers in a Knot!! ) I like the 15 minute intermission it will give me time to get up off the floor I think that planned that 15 minute intermission, just for that exact reason!
(BACK to regularly scheduled concert) CLAY: Drinks waterTrying something new. Says back up singers so talented, Angela, Jacob and Quiana are gonna join him singing Tribute to JAMES TAYLOR!! OMG!! OMG!!! (Cellmates over 40 have a melt down.younger ones are like, ya know, like, thats coollikeuh... who IS he????) "Sweet Baby James"!!!... SWEET BABY JAMES!!!!!!!!!!!!!! sing it Clay baby, sing it!!!!!!!!!!!!! Good Night, you Moon Light Ladies ( OMG!!! SWEET BABY CLAY!!!) Now FIRE AND RAIN!! HOLY MOTHER OF THUD!!!!!! Ive seen fire and Ive seen rain, Ive seen sunny days that I thought would never end but I always thought that Id see you .again.) THAT boy sure knows how to pick his songs.....(AMEN!!!) .Major Screaming!!... You've Got A Friend..You've Got a Friend?????!!!!!! Beautiful with the girls!!! When you're down and troubled, And you need a helping hand, And nothing nothing is going right...Just call my name and think of me. And soon I will be there, To brighten up even the darkest night... You just call out my name, And you know, wherever I am, Ill come ruuunninnto see you again" Omigosh. I am sitting hear crying thinking about him singing You've Got A Friend. I am going to be a mess during this section of the concert. I can't wait! You've Got A Friend!!!! OMG, what an amazing song! I love that song with a passion ( us oldies are holdin back the tears!!) Now MOAM!! Sounds GREAT!!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH SWEETNESS!! BEAUTIFUL!! Full version of Measure of a Man!!!! Wonderful!!! Ending awesome! with Jacob playing sax(NO!!!! GET OUT!!!!) Crowd Screaming!! .Introducing backup singers now Getting ready for a break but first, gonna do one more for you....Run to Me.....OMG!!!!! I cannot believe it........GAH!!!!!! MAJOR screams, whistles.End. Of. Catwalk.(three most beautiful words in English language to a Claymate) OMG!!! Clay is having people DANCE WITH HIM!!!!!!..WHHAAATTTT???? Omg, omg, omg, omg........*THUD* Im done for!!!.... Danced with a girl named Dorothy, 15There's gonna be a different contest every showHUH???? (Where are our fact checkers??? PPPFFFTTT!!) Lots of organized signs. No digital camera allowed, but some sneaked in (thank GOD!!) Think it's a fan contest, that's how the girl got to dance with him. I wanna dance with Clay!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (where do I sign up???)
Heres the set list for the first set:
1. Where the Streets Have No Name
7. James Taylor Tribute! OMG! Sweet Baby James, How Sweet It Is, Fire and Rain (Yesssss!) ,Youve Got A Friend, Whenever I See Your Smiling Face (is this confirmed?)
8. MOAM (with Jacob on sax?!)
9. RTM!!!!!!!!! (the return of)
Note: It sounds like Jacob and Quiana may have sung a couple of the songs.
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE LET THERE BE CLACK! Black, maroon, red striped shirt, burgundy tie. Jeans that fit. Black shoes (maybe sneakers), diagonal white or silver stripes. Sideburns. Very on.THUD.THUD I am so excited!! I love the song selection so far. This is going to be a HOT summer!!! This is a workout!!!!!!!!!!! (Aerobic Cellcerting!! Sure get my HEART Pumping!!) MORE REPORTS: HE'S HAVING A BALL; CATWALK IS FENCED OFF (whah, whah) LIGHT SHOW, LIGHTS UNDER THE RISERS, HAIR IS PERFECT (Oh BABY!) INDEPENDENT TOUR WAS NOTHING COMPARED TO THIS!! "CLARAMEDICS ARE THERE- FAN GROUP DRESSED AS PARAMEDICS WITH ARRIVED IN A CLAMBULANCE ( what will his extremely enthusiastic fans come up with next? Skydiving into venue???) JACOB PLAYED ALTO SAX (woohoo!) DRUMMER IS NOT TOO LOUD(thank you, Lord)SECURITY TRIED TO CONFISCATE DIGITAL CAMERAS, THEY PUT THEM IN THE CAR INSTEAD, NO FLASH ALLOWED (boohoo!) LIGHTING IS EXCELLENT ON CLAY'S SET; NO PROBLEMS WITH VOICE, STARTED ON TIME; SOMEONE TALKED TO A CREWMEMBER AT TARGET. THEY WERE OUT BUYING MAKE-UP FOR CLAY!!! Has an X-shaped set. Back-up singers: Quiana and Angela wearing diagonal shawl outfits with fringe. Quiana in pink. Angela in blue. Jacob in jeans and a khaki green polo shirt.
STARTING AGAIN! POYB VIDEO IS ON!!! YEEHAH!!! DISNEY IS SPONSORING A TOUR VIDEO FOR THE CONCERT! I REPEAT! TOUR DVD/VIDEO! PERFECT DAY!!! (It sure has been!!) Reported he entered from a lighted staircase - sounds like it came up from under the stage - but a lighted staircase that rose up somehow.Now I Survived You!!!!! ISY!! Up on steps! Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!! A tour dvd!!! Catwalk must come out 7 rows..Crowd barely surviving there!! THUD!! Held beginiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnggggggsss on ISY reeeeeeeeeally long!!! WOW!! Longgggggg pause at the end of ISY! "Just beautiful, just beautiful!" Going for a cell phone now! Lucky person on other end! He's laughing alot with them on the phone!! Points to someone and asked "where's your phone?"(Snarky Clay!) Talking to someone in Knoxville"This is Clay Aiken, Alice." (the 4 most beautiful words you could hear on your phoneif your name was Alice) OOORRR.maybe it was ALEX.????
AAL!!! "Sing along with me" AAL Perfect Day, Perfect Night, Perfect Clay........I am in Heaven Now Band introductions "Rosanna" by Toto!!!! REEEAALLY?? (The man was barely born in the 80s!!!! ) He just changed into all white suit and came up behind the stage(OMG!!! THE ICE CREAM MAN RETURNETHcreamsicles anyone???) Singing a slow song with a piano now.(white suit, slow song, piano.he is trying to KILL US ALL!!!) NextJars of Clay song - 5 Candles(If You Were There).. Cont. Christian song .
THIS IS THE NIGHT!!!!!! Really belting it out!! WOO HOO! AUDIENCE WAS SINGING ALONG WITH TITN AT THE END - IT WAS BEAUTIFUL!!! HE'S ASKING IF WE'LL ALLOW HIM TO DO THIS FOR AS LONG AS HE CAN. THIS IS THE LAST SONG - HE SAYS WE MADE IT POPULAR! INVISIBLE!!! OH MAH STARS AHM GONNA THUD! Invisible over - tons of screams - ENCORE TIME! SOLITAIRE!!! FABULOUS GLORY NOTE - SOUNDED GREAT! Encore: Solitaire OMG!!!!!!! I'm gonna totally be a puddle of goo at my concerts. This is an awesome setlist for Clay. Wow!!!!!! I have died and gone to Claheaven! THANK YOU CLAY!! THANK YOU CLAY!!!
Set list for the first set:
1. Where the Streets Have No Name
7. James Taylor Tribute-
Sweet Baby James, How Sweet It Is, Fire and Rain,Youve Got A Friend, Whenever I See Your Smiling Face
Second Set List:
1. Perfect Day
2. I Survived You
3. All About Love
5. You Were There
8. ENCORE: Solitaire
Wow!!!! Clay sings 20 songs and then ends with a powerhouse like Soltaire. He is beyond words. HOLY MOLY!!! Magic comes to Disney and we call him CLAY! Way to go, Clay!!! 1 down, 49 to go.... WALMART TIME TO RESTOCK SOLITAIRE!! It's obvious to me that they still don't have the Claymates figured out yet! Like, ah, what Clay fan would pass up a DVD of a Clay Aiken concert just because we can download it on the internet? I'll take 2 please! Shoot! I'll take 3...Pre-pay TODAY, and all on a non-refundable basis too!! ARE YOU LISTENING DISNEY??????? Sounds like "The Exuberant Clay Aiken" was rockin' the house tonight!!!!! Where Mr. Aiken goes, I go(we all go.THUD)
Ooh Maah Goodness.its overwe know the song set, the stage, the outfitsTHIS is the concert CLAY wants to give to US!!!! OMG, Clay, it is too wonderful for words it is rockin , and sweet, and beautiful, just like you. WE LOVE YOU, CLAY AIKEN, AND WE MEAN IT!!! We hope you want to do this for a LONG LONG time. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
TWO THUMBS, ARMS UP, STANDING IN A CHAIR, for the cellcert tonight!
If this were a movie, it would be Put a Grand Fork in ME, I am DONE!
Jul 12 04 11:52 AM
Jul 12 04 1:07 PM
Quote:OK, I just spent the last hour on a huuuge recap of GF, and it disappeared. I'll just go for the highlights.
More than anything last night, I thought that Clay was trying on different personas. I saw an incredibly gifted, talented artist who was is evolving at an incredible rate and is not quite sure which direction this evolution is taking him. One thing was clear to me, though - he has, in a sense, outgrown the material on MOAM. It seemed to me that he and the band were wanting to go places that many of those songs couldn't take them. WTSHNN, Kyrie, and Rosanna, Solitaire and the JT medley proved that to me. I think the only song that "stood up" to these was MOAM. Now, I love Clay's CD, so I was a bit surprised by my reaction.
I wanted to agree with Toffee from p. 18. I think he took a risk with covering a U2 song. I recall the interview he did for Canadian Idol last year, when he told Ryan Malcolm that his choice of "One" for the semifinal rounds was really brave - well, I think inviting comparison to one of the iconic figures of rock, Bono, is equally risky as his take on WDC.
As for YWT, I wasn't offended, but my eyes rolled a little. Like MrsR so astutely observed, it was tacky religious cheese. I thought the song, while well-sung, was trite. It didn't ruin the concert for me by any stretch, but this was a choice Clay made that did not really work for me. Like I said, I think this was one of the several personas he was trying out.
For me, I can see why many (including me), had the feeling they were being preached to. Clay was literally on a pulpit, raised a couple of feet above the uppermost part of the stage. Again, it didn't bother me (and I'm kind of surprised that it didn't), but it didn't work for me either.
If I had to take a guess at Clay's musical direction, I would have to say that he is headed towrd 80's rock style. I think this music suits him (lots of wailing), and he seems to love singing these types of songs (Kyrie, Rosanna, WTSHNN). Oh, and the JT medley was gorgeously staged. Even though Clay was singing backup, he was still the centre of attention.
I expressed myself so much better in my now-lost post - crap! I just wanted to give a quick shout-out to the Dirrrty Dozen, and hopefully everyone got to their respective destinations safely!
Jul 12 04 1:08 PM
Quote:Well that was fun. I don't think I will EVER miss opening night of a Clay Aiken tour again!
I wont do a long recap becoss that's why I talked KAndre and Sausalito into rooming with me. They are very good at that writing stuff and I am obviously not.
My favorite moments of the actual concert were the JT set and Clay's entrance from under his spaceship-like staircase. Oh and there was that moment he was talking to KAndre while she was standing right next to me. This gave me a wonderful opportunity to stare into those beautiful green eyes...gah! It's hard to pick just one moment that was best. Everything was amazing! Everything! Amazing!
The IT was good, but isn't even the same ballpark. I now know with 100% certainty, Clay Aiken really loves his job and really loves us too.
Didi46 -- Sorry about all that screaming in your ear over the phone. I tried to remind myself not to behave like a crazed fan, but when he came onto that stage I lost all self control. He was so beautiful and sounded amazing.
I guess I wont ever be reporting for cellcert radio...hee!
The camera restriction was heartbreaking. The lighting was great for picture taking. Many meers successfully snuck in there digital cameras, but the camera police were patrolling with a vengeance. Notacanuck and I ran out during Cherri's (<--what ever her name is?) set for disposable cameras. I took 81 photos with three crappy cameras. Please pray with me that some of these come out good. I will post the best of the lot when I get them back.
The Tour Program -- This is the most beautiful piece of (non audio) clack I have ever owned.
When you attend your concert don't forget the cash. All the merchandise booths were CASH ONLY! I had a mountain of merchandise I was going to charge, it was reduced to three items because I did not have enough cash.
As usual it was fun meeting meerkats from around the country. *waves to the Dirrrty Dozen*
This was the best Clay adventure I've ever taken. It actually topped my AMA/Nick at Nite adventure. I felt so much love during that concert from the fans to Clay and from him back to us. I hope each one of you have this same experience with your concerts. He was so happy and filled with energy and joy. I couldn't help but fall in love with him all over again.
Sausalito -- Thanks for being the bestest concert/traveling buddy on earth!
KAndre -- Thanks for being the funniest person I have ever met!
Ralph Engelsted Arena -- Has the BEST staff of any arena out there. Without them I wouldn't have witnessed backstage natural Clay or had amazing catwalk seats. Hockeydonna was right about this being a beautiful arena, from the floors to ceiling to staff...just amazing.
Oh, and I didn't see any talk about the shoes? Good Year/Adidas? I love Adidas running shoes but had no idea they made Good Year shoes?? I thought they only made tires?
HERE is a photo of a similar shoe. I couldn't find the exact shoe. I took a photo of his shoes and will post it IF they come out. Good Year shoes? Cracks me up.
eta -- Invisible926 thanks for making my photo of the program cover into that gorgeous banner. I feel proud I could actually contribute something useful to the CH.
I Love Clay Aiken [tm stichie]
Jul 12 04 1:12 PM
Quote:At the Ralph...
We go up to the club where we're eating. It's got a great view of the arena. CMS did good! But it's the behind-stage end, so we sip our beer cheese soup, listen to the sound check (Cherie), and watch the backsage goings-on. There's quite a rack of clothing... are we gonna get more than 1 outfit? Squeeeee!!!!! [Note to self: acquire remote-controlled video camera so that next time I'm in a similar situation, I can "forget" the camera which happens to be strategically positioned to catch the wardrobe changes.]
I want to see what's going on. The arena coordinator has said that it's proably alright for us to watch as long as we're discrete. I go exploring and end up stage-side in the second tier. Soon others join me.
Here's a view of the empty arena. See the 4 rows of seats next to the catwalk? Sausalito, Kandre, Notacanuk, Clays Morningstar and I were in the 3rd and 4th rows right next to the catwalk. When Sausi showed me the seats, I almost wet myself. A thousand thanks to Sausi and CM for enduring the Clambulance crew to get those fabulous seats!
So were listening to Cherie, and she's quite good, but the soundcheck went on forever. Cherie's soundcheck. Yes, I take terrible photos. Shut Up.
Then we get evicted from our perch. The coordinator is in trouble for letting us watch the soundcheck. Sh*tSh*tSh*tSh*tSh*t!!!!! As it happens, tho, Clay does not do a soundcheck, so it's not as if we missed seeing him.
They've opened the doors, so we go down to get merchandise. It is so amazingly superior to the IT merch that I thank God that Clay now seems to have professionals working for him. The program is to die for.
First, Clay was comfortable from the getgo and totally in his element. If there were any first night nerves, he hid them well.
And for those that missed the grindage, that man does not need grindage. He.is.just.sexy. I was standing right next to Kandre when he was talking to her (no, she did not brainwash me into saying that), and got to look right into his eyes. He is simply magic.
Clothes: I love me some way-out clothes. As long as the pants fit reasonably well, I'll enjoy whatever exotic combinations he chooses to wear.
For the music, I'm only gonna comment on what stood out for me.
SWNN - Love U2, love that Clay loves them.
Shiiine! One of my favorites.
James Taylor medley - First, I love James Taylor and Clay has the perfect voice for his songs. Second, I loved, loved, loved that Clay shared the lead vocals with the backup singers. They ARE good, and deserve it, and I loved hearing Clay do harmony.
Run to me... I'm so glad I got to hear it live. It's my favorite song on the album.
Alladin/Disney Hands/BAF video. Just like when I saw the merchandise, this made me glad that Clay is now working with real professionals. He deserves the best and it looks like these people want to provide it for him.
TiTN video. Again, professional feeling. It was good to see a recap (although I agree that Aflack would have done better *g*). And Clay made it clear that this wasn't about what he'd accomplished, but what we made it possible for him to accomplish. This was his thanks to his fans.
OK, I've saved the worst for last: YWT. Yes, I'm going to bring this up again because it really bothered me.
First, let me say that Clay sang the song with beauty and passion. Had it not been staged as it was, I feel that for me, this song would have been one of the highlights of the night. It was the presentation that disturbed me. And not because I felt excluded or preached to. It was simply embarassing. I've read everyone's comments today, and thought about my own feelings, and I have to say that I stick with my first reaction: I thought he was more sophisticated than this.
Imagine, if you will, that SNL or 2nd city wanted to do a wicked parody of Clay Aiken. They could just use the staging of this song. It was chiched, it was over the top. It did not communicate true regligious feeling, but rather all of the trite trappings of televangelism.
No, this was not a dealbreaker for me by any means. I was just disappointed and embarassed for him. (Yes, I know he could give a sh*t.) Did it ruin an otherwise fantastic show? By no means.
I'm so glad I got to experience Clay's first stop on his first solo tour!
Jul 12 04 1:33 PM
Quote:I dont think yall want me to tell the tale of driving from Bismarck to Grand Forks after hearing KAndres amazing adventure. For one thing, Im in a grey minivan and I pretty much set the cruise control to just under 5 miles over the speed limit. Cops dont pull you over for that infraction plus nobody really got in my way. Thats the nice part of living in a sparsely populated state. Its also great when the weather turns nasty and youre driving in a deluge.
Great thanks to CMS and Sausalito for the great seat; 3rd seat, 3rd row off the catwalk. I bought the black Invisible shirt and the beautiful program, settled into my seat, pulled out my newly purchased point & shoot camera fiddled with it, when I was tapped on the shoulder and told to leave the arena and put the camera in the car. Busted. So CMS and I went to find disposables. So I missed most of Cheries set I came in about 2 songs left to go. Pretty girl, nice voice, hard to hear her over the band, Shania kick-out in ridiculous heels, low-rise jeans, no hips. I dont know if I really like her or not, but Im glad the opener wasnt the Beu Sisters. (dont bash me the sisters were OK, but their act wore pretty thin after the first 2 songs).
The crowd: The box-office lady told us that while they were selling seats in the upper section of the arena, they were going to move the people down to the lower level. With half-house configuration, it didnt seem full although the box office lady was pleased with the number of seats they sold. There was a good mix of generations in the crowd, but it was a typical North Dakota crowd most everyone around here is of German or Scandinavian stock and many are Lutherans; if any of you are familiar with writings of Garrison Keiller and the tales of Lake Wobegon, those stories fit this area too. I thought the crowd was enthusiastic, but not overly demonstrative in their appreciation. No one rushed the stage, or even crowded the front except those of us who had seats in the front. People stayed in their space. I think Clays going to have a lot of fun making fun of stoic North Dakotans as he moves along in his Not A Tour.
The set: When the stage was revealed (a black curtain draped the front when Cherie was singing), the gasp from the crowd was audible. There were four Jumbotron screens (2 large ones on each wing, 2 smaller ones next to the center stairs), the set was an X-formation with 3 levels. It looked like he spent money on staging. I liked the lighting, thought it was more fluid and enhanced the show tremendously. Clay made great use of the stage, moving from center to the catwalk, to each side of the show, to the upper towers very dynamic considering that he really didnt dance much. He got the audience to do it for him.
The star: Clay was beautiful, dynamic, utterly charming, and a fantastic entertainer. He got the audience involved in the show early by moving WYSYLM to the 3rd slot of the show and inviting everyone in the auditorium to dance to win a prize (a lei). He also talked to the audience often, moved around a lot, engaged people in the upper levels, and was just thoroughly winning.
The songs: I didnt like every song he sang, thought that the first set had an energy and intensity that was amazing; the 2nd set was more disjointed - it needs something more. He said that they hadnt planned on including AAL, but as the song had gotten a great response from the IT, he thought it would be great to sing on this tour as well. I dont think I quite believe him; methinks he needed another up-tempo song to add to the set and they already knew the song. Too bad as I think he should have gone with another up-tempo rock song (driving home yesterday I heard INXS What You Need that would have been an amazing song for him to cover). I thought Totos Rosanna was an odd choice to showcase the band (that song is old to me and I dont think it stands up very well over time). And while Jacob is a fine singer and a good sax player, improv is not his thing.
You Were There I wasnt familiar with the song and thought at first it was a new tune in contention for the Son of MOAM album. I didnt catch the religious theme of the song right away as I didnt hear the words clearly, so the video actually helped me figure out what he was singing about. The video was very abstract, with repeated imageries of pages of a book bathed in golden light with the word Anno floating across the screen. Rolling clouds, stain glass imagery, the floating crosses also glowed with golden light and was visually subtle, if you can imagine. In total, I found the vocals, the video and the music brilliant. It was sensational. I didnt think about what Clay was trying to say to me it really didnt cross my mind to analyze it to that degree I appreciated the performance and felt that once again, Clay Aiken can indeed sing anything.
I did give Clay a t-shirt, a buffalo pin, and a Native American Chippewa dreamcatcher as mementos of his North Dakota visit. I wonder if he liked them. I was planning on returning home yesterday, but Clayfan64000 twisted my arm about Sioux Falls. It was like so many of you have said, once isnt enough hes such an amazing performer I had to go see him again, particularly as he was so close to me geographically. So impulsively, I said yes and drove the 5 hours south to Sioux Falls. Without knowing where the arena was and without knowing where to meet up with my fellow Chers. And without a ticket. But thats another recap to come.
Jul 12 04 1:35 PM
Quote:Grand Forks, The Security Adventure
We were in the center section, rows 3 & 4 next to the catwalk, on the left (grindage) side. There was about 2 feet from the inside aisle seat to a fence about 4' high, and another 2 feet to the edge of the catwalk. Ditto along the front of the stage, except a total of probably 6 feet from front row to the stage.
In our section -- the inverted L that was made up of left section front row (long end of L) down to end of catwalk (short end of L), there were FIVE security guards. Three were positioned along the front row, two in front of the fence and one behind the fence. A fourth (woman, photo in my pictures uploaded above) was positioned at the corner and she traversed the catwalk. There was another male guard posted at the bottom of the catwalk. There were similar guards on the other side of the catwalk. They communicated with each other through hand signal, eye signal, and I think they had walkie talkies or earpiece radios.
Because we were in the venue long before the doors were opened, we "smuggled" in our digicams in purses, backpacks, etc. The signs taped to all entrance doors warned that digital cameras and video/audio equipment would be confiscated and that disposable cameras with flash were ALL that would be allowed. These signs got posted somewhere around noon because they weren't there when we first got to the venue but they were there when I returned to trade off with cms. Arrogant me, I figured we'd find a way around it and didn't stress much.
Just before Cherie's set started, notacanuck and I started readying our cameras. Discreetly, of course. Bam! nac was busted flat before she got the dingdang thing up to her eye. Choices: Give it up to Ms. Security Guard, take it to the car. She said,
"I'll just put it away." Nope. Choices repeated. Clearly she wasn't going to be able to bluff her way through. Meanwhile, I'm palming my camera and hoping for the best until I can finagle it back into my purse.
The guards watched their own sections like hawks and also had hairy eyeballs left over to scan other sections and signal to the assigned security. I watched the guys on the other side signal to our lady, and vice versa.
They were also pretty relentless with gifts, etc. Two young girls in Row 5, center (in front of the catwalk) squished in with us on the side, wearing Krispy Kreme paper hats and waving big wads of flowers at Clay. They were obnoxious, but hey, they really were 13 so we cut them some slack (except for the squeezing-in-front part; we cut them NO slack there). They got slapped down a few times for waving their flowers too high (extending straight out in a nonwaving motion was apparently okay; raising up and waggling was not -- sorry, rattboi). Near the end of the first act they gave up and laid their flowers on the edge of the catwalk. Zoom! Ms. Security snatched them up and they disappeared somewhere NOT near Clay. The girls replaced flower waggling with sign waggling. ZoomZoom! Signs got smacked down but good. At the top of the second act the girls were told to take their Krispy Kreme hats off! Not sure what that was about but they were plenty defeated by the end of the night. They were examples of fans who appeared to care more about getting noticed by Clay than about enjoying (or even listening to) the concert, so I'm sure a disappointing end for them. (Hee! Yes, I'm a heartless bitch. What?)
Near the end of the 2nd act, when we were all out of crappy disposable cameras, we started sneaking photos with our digicams. Smackdown! Ms. Security at this point was quite fond of us (since we were behaving like actual adults) and didn't threaten to confiscate, but she did tell us in no uncertain terms that we COULD NOT take digi pics (and there was a clear "and don't push your luck" tone to her voice).
Seems to me someone sitting a few rows back. not on an end, might not be so closely scrutinized. I didn't look around to see what was going on in back of me. And clearly some folks are getting pics and video. Hooray! Maybe it will lighten up as the tour progresses. We can only hope for that, and for continued cooperation in ClayNation.
If you're going to take disposable cameras, here are some helpful hints:
1) Take ONE MORE camera than you think you'll need. We had two each and wanted three each.
2) If you are sitting with others and essentially are going to get the same shots, alternate by song or set. Saves film and one of you gets to enjoy the song instead of squinting through those insane viewfinders.
3) Leave the flash off and only take pictures when Clay is well-lit. Most of the graininess and grayness in my pictures is in the flash pics. I did some enhancing (deepening contrast and color saturation, and definitely cropping/enlarging) and some turned out okay.
More Thoughts on Grand Forks, Including the AmbuChicks and, Ahem, Other Ardent Fans
Sorry to post-whore, but maybe it will take me so long to write this that it will at least be on the next page.
When we left off on Grand Forks Cloncert Day, cms and I had wandered over to The Ralph in search of upgrades. When we got there, at 10:01 give or take a minute, (box office opened at 10) there were four women in burgundy scrubs and tennis shoes with EMT lanyards, patches, etc. sitting on the window sills next to the one window in the box office that was open. We were motioned through by them and approached the box office, where the Bored Girl (previously reported on) was Not Much Help. We went next door to B&N to pee, talked it over for a while, and decided we really needed to hang out there instead of phoning in for updates. So we bought coffee/chai and mystery novels and headed back.
Once there, we discovered that the EMT ladies were fans after all. They'd been joined by a fifth woman, who sat behind them in line, and we sat behind her. The fifth woman had a book bag screened with the EW cover and autographed by Clay. It was stuffed with magazines which she offered to share with us. I asked her how she got her bag autographed and she told me a story (which some of you will probably remember from the boards, it made the rounds here) about the Indy Jingle Balls and how she ran into Clay in the elevator of his hotel and how even though he was sick and exhausted he was gracious enough to give hugs, photo ops and autographs to her and her friends. This woman (can't remember what she said her screen name was!) lurks here at the CH and cms and I were both surprised that she actually recognized our names and remembered some details about our posts. Since neither of us are all that frequent posters, we found that somewhat amazing.
There was also a woman and her 12-year-old granddaughter (who was just darling) and two friends who ended up in line ahead of us somehow, so we were numbers 9-13 for our upgrades (we were also upgrading KAndre and buying first tix for 14clay and notacanuck.) To my butt-numbing surprise, no one else was in line behind us! Out of all the Grand Forks debut concert goers, there were only 10 who actually showed up at the venue and camped out for better seats.
The Ambulance Ladies were pretty interesting. They are all from a board that was created by one of them that sounded like it is Christian in orientation. I think she said it has about 40 posters, all of whom are active, and they spend most of their time in IM and chat. Like so many of us in the internet fandom, they've become close friends even though most of them haven't met. They did some sort of stunt during the IT and decided to raise their own bar for the solo tour. So they came up with the idea of the Clambulance to provide services to all those who are overcome by Clay at the Cloncert. There is Cloxygen, mediClaytion, help for those with Obsessive Claypulsive Disorder, and they call themselves the EMT THUD (which is an acronym for something I can't remember). They rented an SUV which they postered with Clambulance insignia. They had been on a radio show that morning. My impression was that they were prepared to actually dispense mediClaytion and Cloxygen and to check pounding pulses and heartrates with their stethoscopes. Several times in the several hours one or more of them went outside to speak with the occasional tourist or student who stopped by the Clambulance. They apparently had an actual dummy in the back hooked up to Cloxygen with an intricate backstory of how she collapsed at GMA when Clay sang IWCY (and presumably had been strapped to a gurney, on Cloxygen, ever since).
They scored the four front-rows on the grindage side. The fifth woman took the second row seat next to the catwalk on the grindage side. The grandma and granddaughter and her two friends took 2nd & 3rd row next to the catwalk on the nongrindage side. That left us with rows 3 & 4 on the grindage side, next to the catwalk. We were v.v. happy!!
Sherry, the box office manager for The Ralph, could not have been sweeter or more attentive or helpful. She was really invested in helping us get what we wanted and making sure we were personally serviced (don't we wish!) cms called in a panic just as it was my turn to get seats, telling me she had left our tickts at home and it was imperative that I not fail in my mission. I assured her I was just about ready to score some excellent seats and not to worry. I called her back a few minutes later and told her to saddle up Buttercup and come get me, and to stop for flowers for Sherry on the way.
As far as I know, we were the only ones who did that. CH rules, y'all.
Impressions from lurking for several hours with intense Clay fans:
1) The Clackhouse most definitely has a rep as the "bad girls" of the fandom BUT I heard constant references to "clack" and "meerkats," etc.
2) It was charming and delightful to be around and talk with an actual 12-year-old. She was very cute and very age-appropriate.
3) I found myself bored with the constant background chatter of Clobsession, whether it was role-played (AmbuChicks) or not. Was glad to have a novel.
The context of the past several pages, about the intensity of fandom dying down and restoration of real life coming back into balance, rings true for me as well in the context of this experience. First, the fact that there were so few of us painted in strong colors the NONintensity of my fandom, at least on an attention-seeking level. When the venue manager came out I truly had no interest whatsoever in saying anything to him other than to tell him what a beautiful venue it was and to tell him I was glad to be here. It didn't occur to me to (e.g.) ask what Clay was having for dinner (a veggieburger) and then attempt to engage him in a q/a session about Clay.
I have long been fascinated by what about Clay inspires such intensity. Part of it, purely, is The VOX and The Man. But I also think many of us project onto Clay something that is unique to our own psyches and selves. In my case, I am absolutely fascinated and turned on by the opportunity to watch someone actualize his potential. Potentiality is a subject that has been close to my own heart and soul and psyche all of my life, and I've had my own struggles and challenges and triumphs with it. To recognize one who is in right relationship with potential and watch him make choices and decisions that actualize it is endlessly fascinating to me. Others have other answers to this question -- cms and I debated it nonstop for about 250 miles -- and it will evolve over time for each of us.
I'm just glad there's a change in the air. There's certainly a change with Clay -- I can't tell you order of songs or what he was wearing or small details. What I can give you is an impressionistic wash from the third row center, and that is that this is a man who is confident, stunningly sexy, relaxed, happy, joyous, professional, drop-dead gorgeous, witty, smart and in perfect voice. It didn't occur to me to be disappointed. Part of that, of course, is that I didn't know what was coming next, and the "SOMOAM" song or the Prince equivalent could have been just around the corner. I was tha-rilled when he started out with SHNN as anything by U2 is a'ight by me, and when he launched into a bunch of MOAM stuff it was familiar, fun, and (in the case of Shine) fresh and exciting. The JT set was pure aural and visual and emotional bliss, and I just could not have been happier or more proud of our boy.
I hadn't a clue what the religious song was all about (still don't know the name of it) and just relaxed into the beauty of his voice. Eventually the Biblical images (and KAndre saying "It's Contemporary Christian!" in my ear, which was actually for the cellcert) made me think -- "Oh -- it's Contemporary Christian -- darn it" but that passed through as the flicker that it was and I went back to luxuriating in The Vox and The Man and the fact that I was having a peak experience, traveling hundreds of miles and going dozens of hours with no sleep to spend THIS moment with THESE friends in the presence of THIS man who is singing THIS song and I am deliciously happy to be here, living this moment fully, releasing it to the next moment, and the one after that, and the one after that.
I think I can understand those who are disappointed that there isn't a big new breakout song or statement in this tour but I see it differently. We may not have a breakout song or statement but what we do have is a breakout star -- a man who has grown up before our eyes, who is exactly himself and no one else, who has struggled and doubted and who has felt lonely and who has probably wept for the life he left behind -- who is now striding confidently into the reality he is co-creating on the solid foundation of our love and devotion. As he normalizes and accepts that this is his true passion and purpose (for now, and for the foreseeable future) I am glad to see that we can normalize and accept too. I'm proud to claim the CH as my tribe in ClayNation, and I'm grateful for the Clack Warriors who risk life/limb/camera to bring it home for the rest of us. And I wanna go to more concerts!!!
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