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Apr 4 04 3:46 PM
Apr 4 04 3:52 PM
Quote: Okay on to the main event LOL
Security began to get tighter and they decide to start checking everyone's tickets in our area--our group must have been bombarded by 3 different guards in the span of 10 minutes. Claybb and her sister didn't want me to leave them since we were having a nice chat so they vouched for me and told the security I was with them but that my ticket had to be buried in the bottom of my purse and did they want me to really look for it? Security let me stay LOL so I was next to Abi and Krista (SpazGirl) was on the other end by where he enters the stage for Kyrie. I think I took out Jane's ear (my cellcert friend) because he was literally a hand's reach from me when he sat on the stage. He paused in front of our group that was at the railing and then SITS down right in front of me. The people behind us start throwing things at him and one of the gifts landed on his lap and his facial expressions were priceless. I was having to duck myself in front of him to avoid being hit in the head by the flying items. There was about 5 of us right in arms vicinity that all had cellcerts going on and it was hard for him not to have seen us holding the phones up towards him.
He really played to the left side of the stage in front of where I was standing the entire night. I won't go into too much detail because everyone already knows the order of the songs and what he does in them but he did change up the notes and made up lyrics which the back-up singers followed him through. He even commented on how he messed up and they continued backing up him. AAL was amazing and I love his little hand gestures that he does when he sings. He talked about how he was here at the Pond back in August for the last AI tour and that it's nice to be back on his own tour and that it's nice to be back home...his second home that is. The crowd roared when he said that he considers Southern Ca his second home.
The cellphone before WYSYLM had the audience laughing when he was talking to Kim. He was having fun and jumping up and down on the catwalk when he was doing his "OMG, It's Clay Aiken" girly squeal. We were laughing when he picks up the phone and tells everyone to be quiet because he has to take care of business and take this call. He was teasing the gal whose phone he took before he talked to Kim. He was holding the phone and asks her if she's really talking on a cellphone when he's trying to sing for everyone in the audience. He kept asking her that before he talked to Kim. He kept telling Kim to "breath honey" and doing the breathing "Hee, heee, ho" to her. A really funny moment was when he was trying to find out where she was from and he kept saying, "Kim, where you from...Kim, it's not that hard of a question." and when she told him Texas, he tells her "We're in Ohio" and not in California and the audience was laughing so hard. He was DEFINITELY in a snarky mood last night and our section played into that later on in the show.
When he was introducing KLo, Angela, Jacob and Quiana all left the stage and he stood in front of my section and did the intro and was watching the audience's reaction after he began the song and then did "Ladies and Gentleman, Ms Kimberley Locke" and watched us all send up a major roar when KLo came onto the stage. She looked amazing but the white pants didn't do anything for her though. Whenever Kim was singing, Clay was just watching all of us watch her sing and the look of pure joy on his face summed it all up for us. I truly believe that he gave one of the best performances of WY because we were not just showering him with our love and affection--we were showering it on not just Kim but to everyone else on the stage last night. After the song, they hugged and Clay kept twirling her around and saying, "Doesn't she look amazing?" He asked her about her album and then told everyone that now they have to not only vote for 8 World Wonder but Solitaire as well now and then kissed her on the cheek.
Invisible was a major audience pleaser and Clay was definitely playing to us. He had us sing a lot of the song as he did some major shirt tugging and hopping back and forth on one leg in front of us. Our group started clapping our hands to the song in the air and he saw that and started clapping his hands with us which got the entire crowd to do that.
During the acoustic set, I turned and looked at all the BAF lights in the audience and began tearing up knowing there had to be at least 200-300 lights if not more in the audience last night. Clay saw the lights and even commented on a large number of them that was back in the nosebleed seats. He was teasing Angela about how her hair keeps changing everytime he sees her and she tells him that her hair from last night was her natural hair. The crowd was in full force singing along to MOAM and he looked really touched by all the lights going off and the audience singing it with him. It was a sight to see and he looked a little choked up. Our group decided to shout "We do" during the line in Carolina where he sings "Do you forgive me" and he heard us and they looked at our section. I think he knew we were planning on doing something during Doves because we were all whispering back and forth to each other when he was doing the beginning of Doves and he kept looking at us. After he took the jacket off, we all shouted, "Get him, Angela" to him at least twice so what does Angela do? Leads him right over to the front of where we're standing and does the entire dance right there. San Diego was definitely a bit hotter than last night's but there was some serious action going on. She even pulled him over to where she was standing (right in front of us) by his shirts and at one point..it's after their dance, he's dancing and being very animated and his layers are lifted and our group saw the undershirt he was wearing--which had everyone in our asking if they saw it as well.
"The Way" was amazing! He sat on the speaker on the stage in front of us for a lot of the song and saw us all singing along to it and enjoying it. He didn't do his normal speech about where the video ended up on TRL and how the album went triple platinum and about the single though.
Oh he did put out Cliff Magnus and a lot of the crew and the families of a lot of the band members and we all cheered for them.
Afterwards, Renee was talking to Jason--the band leader so I waited around for her and the rest of my group to join me and we call Morgan who's over at the M&G area so we rush over there to at least get her car keys if she's going backstage (because of the lights). AJ (one of the production guys) told her to talk to Joseph because Jerome knew about her and we all were trying to let them let this gal who flew all the way from New Zealand to meet Clay but Jerome never responded so we're going to try again on Monday for her. All the people associated with the show all tell Morgan the same thing when they find out she's the light lady. "You're raised $17,000 for the guy (Clay) and you haven't gotten to meet him yet?!"
Everyone was outside by the buses and Jacob, Quiana and Angela kept going inside and outside and talking to the fans but there were at least 300 people gathered. My group just decided to go get food instead of waiting since we knew he wouldn't be boarding the bus and would prolly head home with KLo via one of the underground exits...interestingly enough, I had a feeling that was just what happened because as I was exiting the parking lot, there was no security blocking the parking lot where the buses were sitting but there was about 6-7 of them that were standing by one of the gated underground exits and I had a feeling that was where they would sneak Clay from.
I met up with some of my friends and we all head over to Friday's where we were having fun (too much fun at times LOL) discussing what would happen in 50 years if Clay went on a farewell tour and about the urns and walkers and the wheelchairs. I think one of my friends is going to start a thread about it so you can all enjoy our wicked sense of humor we had at 1 in the morning. We all kept looking at Krispy Kreme to see if we saw any visitors stopping by. LOL
Apr 4 04 5:25 PM
Apr 4 04 6:30 PM
'Idols' are human, but louder
Though Clarkson's and Aiken's limitations are evident, screaming throngs adore the show.
By Richard Cromelin, Times Staff Writer
When you start out at overwrought, there's only one place to go into the rarified realm of unmitigated pop bombast, staked out by mighty-mite people's choice pop star Clay Aiken at the Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim on Saturday. What would you call it? ber-wrought? Ultra-wrought? Maybe there is no word for it.
In any case, it's what "American Idol" hath wrought. Aiken is the hit TV talent show's flagship star (even though he was not a winner, losing a close race to Ruben Studdard in the viewer voting last year), and he's the headliner on a national tour that pairs him with first-season champ Kelly Clarkson.
It's a dream team for "American Idol" fans, whose intimate observation of the contestants and participation in the outcome has given them a proprietary relationship with the performers. The Pond audience wasn't one to sit back and clap politely. They screamed and shouted and waved signs that said such things as "Taken With Aiken" and "Kelly Rocks."
Both artists played their determined roles, making sure to be appropriately modest and grateful. But while Clarkson was casual and down-to-earth in her opening set, Aiken fancied himself a more theatrical figure, role-playing to his songs' emotions with melodramatic pauses and heavy glances. If he had a mustache he would have been twirling it.
Striding to the stage from the rear of the arena while belting his version of Mr. Mister's 1985 hit "Kyrie," Aiken immediately set the tone for his hour-plus set, in which his songs mostly power ballads that sound designed for uplift scenes in "The Lion King" were spewed with a flat forcefulness that could pin you to the back of your seat if you weren't standing up waving a sign.
It was enough to make Celine Dion seem restrained. But at least Dion has the equipment to make her over-the-top approach technically impressive. Aiken's voice is thin and pinched, with uncertain pitch and little versatility, as one awkward attempt at soul-style embroidery showed on Saturday. His one tool is volume, an appropriate expression of the go-for-it theme that underlies every "American Idol" story line.
And of course the flaws and limitations are part of the appeal, the things that make him one of us even as we send him into career orbit with our votes.
The concert actually reversed the expectations created by their hit albums, Aiken's "Measure of a Man" and Clarkson's "Thankful." On record he at least sometimes seems a slightly eccentric character, while she comes off as a somewhat slick genre-hopper.
But on Saturday she was the one who was easygoing, even a little feisty as when she criticized the production on her recording "Beautiful Disaster" and proceeded to sing it with bare piano backing.
The giggling and the whooping between songs and the signing of autographs went a little over the top, and nothing she sang suggested she's more than a modest talent aglow in the fairy dust of "American Idol," but as its resident girl-next-door, the pop world could probably do worse.
Apr 4 04 7:31 PM
Quote:Brought a friend who didn't know who Clay Aiken was. She does now. She was impressed with his wholesomeness and energy. Give her a couple of weeks...
NOTE Have seen all concert Videos since Charlotte)
1. Clay rushed the entrance on Kyrie but sounded and looked great once he hit the stage.
2. Angela was amazing in her duet with Kelly and she looked t otally different than the Angela in WDC.
3. Jacob was also an amazing talent. Enjoyed his duet with Kelly.
4. WDC was way way toned down. I prefer the HOT version.
5. Quiana does a much better version on Without You. Kim's was o.k.
6. Crowd seemed very well balanced Kelly and Clay fans.
7. Clay sounded strong and hair great in the beginning but eventually fell.
8. Clay merchandise disappeared too quickly. All the programs were gone before the concert started. Only Kelly's were available.
9. We sat in the second row of Level 2 behind all the floor seats, our section was pretty quiet. I could hear and understand all of Clay's songs.
10. Kelly's set us toooooo loud and I couldn't understand any of her lyrics.
11. Security used the Wand and had us open handbags before entering the arena. But not very thorough.
12. Clay didn't seem very enthusiastic about this concert.
13. I agree with previous posts... those white pants did not compliment Kimberley's new thinner self...
14. The Beu sisters were fine. I expected to be bored. They were talented but We all were waiting for the MAIN EVENT.
15. To be honest.... I missed being on the FLOOR with the WILD ENTHUSIASTIC Clay fans. It isn't the same when you are in the QUIET ZONE.
16. It is not a good Idea to watch all the Videos before attending the Concert....
17. Pre-Concert Get-togethers add so much more to a Concert Experience. You fans bring so much positive energy to these Clay Concerts. Keep up with all the Pre-Concert meets.
18. Great turn-out to the Anaheim Pond. Lots of happy and supportive fans in Orange County...
19. I really appreciate ALL the backup singers. They are Wonderful and loaded with Talent.
20. Oh Kelly was very good... too bad about the Sound. Too loud and distorted
Apr 4 04 7:33 PM
Quote:It is now early Sunday evening, PST and I am just now sitting down in front of my computer, reading all of the fantastic reviews from the Anaheim Concert last night.
Actually, I too, was so blessed to have attended. With all of the months, and weeks of great anticipation for my concert date to finally arrive, and with all of the emotion I personally experienced last night, along with the daylight savings time change this morning, I am totally wiped out.
Many of you have covered each detail so well. I dont know if I can add much more to what has already been said, but I will just elaborate on some of the areas that really stood out to me.
First of all, I was so pleased to see O.C. give The Beau Sisters and Kelly Clarkson such a warm welcome, and embrace them with love and appreciation for their wonderful talents and contribution to this tour. I believe they really felt the love last night. They almost seemed surprised by it all.
The energy at the Pond was electrifying from the very start, to say the least. Even the ushers kept commenting on the magic in the air last night. After locating our seats, I went to purchase a program, and noticed the line was enormously long. They had already sold out of FOUR Clay program boxes, and had sold just eleven Kelly programs by the time I reached them.
There were a group of Jr. high girls, both Clay and Kelly fans, who didnt have enough money to purchase but two, so all of us standing there in line pulled our funds together, so that each of the girls could treasure both Clay and Kelly programs for themselves. Needless to say, they were all so thrilled.
Clay was absolutely amazing. He was at top voice, so strong and clear, so very much in control. You would think that someone sent out a memo or something prior to this concert, informing everyone that it was going to be a sing-along, because the audience sang along to practically every one of Clays songs.
My section sounded like a well rehearsed choir, especially during All About Love. I think because O.C. is a huge fan of Steven Curtis Chapman. He frequents our churches and music festivals quite often throughout the year, and we have enormous respect for this man. The fact that Clay would honor SCC, by singing one of his songs, only made our connection that much deeper. It was so beautiful, and might I say, powerful beyond description.
I know this has already been shared, but there were many of the band and crews friends and family members in attendance last night. Perhaps this also contributed to the high level of energy and expression projected. They all wanted to do their very best for them, and for us.
My group couldnt help but notice that there seemed to be an equal amount of men of all ages, and young guys in attendance last night. I had always heard that in most of the previous concerts, that the females outnumbered the males by ten-to-one. Not so last night. It was really great to witness. They held up signs for Kelly during her set, and they flipped the signs around, and had a different, very creative and supportive message for Clay during his set as well. It was really cool!
Clay was so cute in mentioning Angela and Quianas new hair styles. He said yesterday their hair was this long (spanning his fingers about seven inches, or so), and tonight its this long... using his hand in a wave to present the miraculous growth!. It was too funny. By the way, I thought their hair extensions looked really great!
Several of you stated how much more you liked Quianas voice in duet with Clay, rather than Kims. Because I havent had the privilege of hearing C&Qs voices in duet, I thought Kim sounded wonderful last night.
Kim may have been a little nervous, understandably so. This is probably the largest audience she has performed in front of since the AI2L Tour last summer. Even if she has performed in an audience of this size, I couldnt imagine the magnitude of energy being what it is when Clay is in the house! It is literally breathtaking.
I think more than anything, Clay was just so overjoyed to be on stage with Kim again, and they both radiantly beamed with excitement. They have a very special bond between them (that was evident last night), and because they have shared so much together from the very beginning of AI2. Seeing Kim sharing that stage, was like coming home for Clay. I'm sure it was a sweet comfort.
After Clay and Kelly had ended with Open Arms, and had exited the stage, the arena remained standing and applauding for almost four or five additional minutes, wishfully hoping to summons them back for an encore performance. Much to our dismay, that didnt happen. But we had such an enjoyable concert, more than I could have ever imagined. And to think, this is only the beginning of Clays very long, and magnificent career! God bless him real good.
Im going to take another nap now.
Love to all!
Apr 5 04 10:08 AM
Powerhouse duo show promise
Stepping away from their 'Idol' start, Kelly Clarkson and Clay Aiken display big potential at Pond concert.
By BEN WENER
The Orange County Register
Never let it be said that the typically tin-eared public can't spot a great voice when it wails gloriously at them.
Mind you, we're not so savvy at spotting much else in the way of genuine ability. Time and again we gleefully overlook mediocrity so long as it comes attached to a pretty face or a novel personality. Case in point: the curious popularity of current "American Idol" contestants John Stevens (catatonic crooner with zero rhythm) and Jon Peter Lewis (the spastic clown).
Or consider how it is that "Idol" reject William Hung, a talentless goof who even the tone-deaf realize cannot sing, has an album arriving in stores Tuesday, featuring his infamous version of Ricky Martin's "She Bangs."
So thank whatever musical gods were at work to help pop fans save face - by weeding through the dreck that fills each "Idol" contest to discover Kelly Clarkson and Clay Aiken. As the pair proved repeatedly during their sets Saturday night at Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim, they are powerhouse voices who deserve their devoted followings.
Yet, as with the mighty- piped Ruben Studdard (currently on his first solo tour) and better-than-third-place Kimberly Locke (who issues her full-length debut in May after topping the charts with the single "Eighth World Wonder" , Kelly and Clay are only now facing the true test: establishing themselves as bankable entertainment entities who can achieve longevity without "Idol" assistance.
Hence, the duo's aptly named Independent Tour, which stops again tonight at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Apart from Kelly dropping the show's name once and reviving "Stuff Like That" from her "Idol" appearances, everything we know and love/hate about the immensely popular Fox series was rightly absent. (For his part, Clay simply acknowledged that support from squealing, sign-toting, feverishly flashbulb-popping fans like those on hand is what brought him a career.)
Instead, this was just Kelly belting, Clay soaring, then the two together for a nicely harmonized duet on Journey's "Open Arms," all of it backed by a well-rehearsed band.
But, to steal Simon Cowell's favorite qualifier, if I'm being totally honest, I wasn't particularly moved by much of it.
No question both acts come across like seasoned pros and can top most contemporaries in the vocal department. Kelly, for instance, comes across like Christina Aguilera with more restraint, and she's skilled enough to fit her Texan holler into many styles - R&B-flavored pop, big ballads, torchy slink, even a saucy rethinking of Reba McIntire's "Why Haven't I Heard From You?"
Clay, of course, can effortlessly nail his attention-grabbing "glory notes," but he also has some dynamic capability. In other words, as shown in a pleasing segment of well- known material (Sting's "Fields of Gold," Leo Sayer's "When I Need You," James Taylor's "Carolina in My Mind" , he knows when to downplay his boom and hush.
That said, both sets were more interesting for the potential displayed by these overnight sensations than for the music they're currently making, which is largely bland and forgettable. For as much as they are indebted to the show and style that gave them a start, both clearly want to escape trappings designed to win them a teenage audience.
Barefoot and bubbly Kelly proved that desire right away by revealing guitar skills (she did some basic strumming for two cuts). Here, she seemed more inclined to follow in the footsteps of Jewel than to keep churning out more Aguilera knockoffs like "Miss Independent." (Another sign: She was more comfortable bouncing in a tank top and tattered jeans than strutting in a club- hottie get-up, the high heels of which lasted only one song.)
Goody-goody Clay - whose charm is infectious but whose zipper-studded outfit made him look as ridiculous as Ryan Seacrest - well, he clearly wants to rock out more. This night, he was surer on Beatlesque bits like "Perfect Day" and "No More Sad Songs" (strangely reminiscent of Radiohead's "Karma Police" ) than on fluff like "Invisible." And though some selections were vapid (Mr. Mister's "Kyrie" ) or misguided (a sexless take on Prince's "When Doves Cry" ) , his willingness to explore is commendable.
I still insist it's too soon to tell whether Kelly or Clay will blossom into interesting artists whose creative endeavors are worth noticing. Given that they didn't sell out the Pond and tickets for Staples are still available, this very well could be their zenith - their first and last "Idol"-less hurrah.
Or it could be the start of a promising future. Really, if William Hung can get 15 minutes, aren't Kelly and Clay worth at least a decade?
Apr 5 04 9:11 PM
Quote:Just got back from Anaheim. (Wife and I went to Disneyland Sunday.) I foolishly thought to catch up before posting. Haaaah! I feel like I'm danglin' by a rope at the back of a rocketship. I can't read fast enough for this board. But I wanted to throw in a couple of my concert observations before they are a concert behind.
First of all, very little helium voice. Great change from Vegas where it's all I heard. On the other hand, his voice was in better shape in Vegas. He struggled just a bit in Anaheim. Only noticed it in a couple of spots, but never noticed it in Vegas. I actually heard what I think was a flat note in ISY. I've never heard Clay miss a note like that before. 'course I have a couple of tin ears, so maybe it was a change-up that just didn't seem right to me. Also noticed that he left some of the high notes alone that he didn't hesitate on in Vegas.
*Waves to Vespa P* We (Wife and I) were within touching distance of you at the concert. Wish we'd known. I was directly behind the mother of the girl who wouldn't sit down. The girl was positioned to perfectly block my view of the catwalk. But, I had nice folks behind me, so didn't stand up to see over her, thus making them stand up to see over me.
It was so funny, we were almost at the top of the first section off the floor (221) and this girl would wave her arms wildly every time Clay's head turned in our direction, like she was trying to get his attention. I really wanted to tell her that she could see him because he had a spotlight on him, which effectively blinded him to the darkened audience, and her chances of him seeing her wave her arms were about a gazillion to one. I decided that after the catfight that Vespa P mentioned that I should probably just keep my mouth shut and let her flail away. Guess it could have been worse.
Klo- I'll admit I've been a big Klo fan from way back. I really felt she should have come in 2nd behind Clay. (I even thought Trenyce sang better than Rube.) I have been wanting to hear a real duet between these two for a long time. The short bit on the Christmas album was just that, way too short. Anyway, I feel vindicated for thinking they would sound great together. I prefer Klo to Quianna on WY. To me, her voice is just stronger, cleaner, and I just prefer it. I also have to 'slightly disagree' (TM asshat) about her outfit. The most flattering thing she could wear? Nope. But the colors went well together and probably looked real nice to anyone not in the front 1/4 of the arena, which is most of it. We weren't all that far away and I thought she looked v. nice. Loved the bright colors, they really stood out, which was probably the point.
If I didn't know better, I'd have thought Clay had a couple of drinks before the concert. We were just far enough away that I watched the jumbotron as much as the stage to catch the little nuances in expression, and the boy was absolutely giddy, especially in the first few songs. This is the most relaxed and having fun I've ever seen him on stage. Fun stuff to watch.
I have to admit that when they caught that smoldering glare at the end of ISY on the jumbotron, I laughed out loud. Not in a bad way, don't get me wrong, and I know that's not the emotion Clay was trying for at all. But I laughed for pure joy at seeing him bring such real emotion into a song. Hope nobody got scorched by those looks. I take a lot of pleasure in seeing Clay grow as a performer. Who among us when we watched AI2 would have ever dreamed he had that sort of thing in him? I certainly didn't.
Finally (I know, I know), I huge thank you to Salamander for the pre-concert dinner. It was great seeing some familiar faces and meeting many new ones. That was alot of fun. My last concert for now. Hoping he brings his summer concert out west.
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