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ClayManiacs.com  |  Archive  |  JNT 2012  |  12/15/2012 ST. CHARLES, IL - ARCADA THEATER
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Author Topic: 12/15/2012 ST. CHARLES, IL - ARCADA THEATER  (Read 10589 times)

Marilyn

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Re: 12/15/2012 ST. CHARLES, IL - ARCADA THEATER
« Reply #135 on: December 16, 2012, 09:03:41 PM »
GBMIFAN

Just got home from St. Charles and loved Clay's voice last night and he did turn all the mishaps into comedy gold. I was sitting three tows from the stairs and the chain and it was hilarious what he said and did. I am not so sure that the security person knew how to take him.

This was my only concert after deciding on Friday morning(knowing that my Detroit show was cancelled) that I was going to make the trip over to St. Charles. I could not stand it that I was not going to see him.

I had a young girl next to me, maybe being about 25, who had not seen him since 2004. She said she has been attending alot of rock concerts lately but when she saw in the paper this week he was coming she wanted to see him. She could not talk anyone into coming with her so she called the venue and needed one ticket and they got her into row C. She drove the three hours to see him and got there just before 8 pm. She laughed all night and took many pictures on her phone. After the show was over I asked her how she liked it. She said he was amazing and did not regret coming. She was so cute and excited.
ALWAYS AND FOREVER-UNCONDITIONALLY!!!

Marilyn

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Re: 12/15/2012 ST. CHARLES, IL - ARCADA THEATER
« Reply #136 on: December 16, 2012, 09:14:38 PM »
LDYJOCELYN@CB

Hey gang -- I don't post here much but I gotta share the EEEEEE's for last night. For you see...my husband was the gentleman Clay talked to during the pre-"What Are You Doing New Year's Eve" banter. I had warned him ahead of time that Clay likes to pick on men in the first few rows. Since we were in row 3, my husband was an easy target. *g* Hubby told me later that he was trying to say "her" when he stumbled on his words and said "here," while pointing at me. And then, well then, Clay talked to me as well. My husband has seen Clay oodles of times, but he mostly goes to humor me. (His musical tastes range more from Steely Dan to The Who to George Jones). So, when Clay asked me if he was dragged, I was kinda hemming and hawing a bit as well. In essence, Clay was right when he said "oh, so he just drove then." Hee.

Sigh. Clay talked to me and my husband.

I haven't caught up here at all, but I gotta say that the show last night was a classic case of "when handed lemons, make lemonade." His humor on stage carried him through the entire night. I also enjoyed his sensitive side with his speech before "My Grown Up Christmas List", and vocally, he was spot on. I've seen Clay live for 10 years now, and to me, his voice has matured so very well.
ALWAYS AND FOREVER-UNCONDITIONALLY!!!

Marilyn

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Re: 12/15/2012 ST. CHARLES, IL - ARCADA THEATER
« Reply #137 on: December 16, 2012, 11:13:10 PM »
LUCKIEST1@CV

St. Charles recap (written earlier today)

Wow, talk about one extreme to the other. Shippensburg was the ultimate classy venue, plaques to commemorate everything donated by members of the public, gorgeous acoustics, mainly local audience, and ushers determined that we weren't going to use our cameras. Last nights venue was a dive. We arrived in time to drop Claymatron off for her m&g about 4:45. There was no real parking lot. We illegally parked in a lot across the street, and hoped it was late enough on a Saturday that we wouldn't be ticketed. The Arcada theatre is an antiquated building, apparently built in 1926. There was a man pulling a trolley piled with dirty, dusty old pieces of...something. The girl in the box office was in and out, joking with the guy about taking it down the stairs, and he said something to us about if we heard a crash come rescue him. It was apparently elevator equipment. You couldn't have paid me enough to ride any elevator in that place!

Anyways, once the m&gers went in, we hung around the hallway waiting. We could see Ben and the orchestra rehearsing through the open door. I am not kidding when I say there was absolutely no security anywhere. Anyone could have wandered on in. But I didn't, and eventually someone thought to shut the door before Clay started rehearsing. We heard parts of Emmanuel clear as a bell. Then we realized the sound was even better in the stairwell that lead up to the balcony. That was wide open and available to anyone to climb. So I did. I peeked over the back barrier and caught a glimpse of Clay singing "The First Noel" in a blue hoodie and sweat pants. But then he stopped and I scooted back down the stairs because I didn't want to get in trouble. Not by the non existent security, but by Clay or one of his team. So we sat on the stairs and used the Starbucks wifi until Claymatron came out.

There were 6 of us for dinner - me, my daughter, cindilu2, Claymatron, disneykid, & her husband. We knew the doors opened at 7 but let's just say we weren't in a great rush to get back. We figured it'd be a zoo, but we were kind of concerned about parking. We had a great dinner at the Olive Garden, and Claymatron regaled us with the details of her m&g, before we found a parking spot in front of a local business that was closed for the evening. We passed Clay's bus in one of the other lots, and wondered if he was still in there. It's neat how a couple of sections of it seem to pop out...wonder if those are the sleeping areas? Anyways, we got inside the Arcada and it was like a family reunion.

The elderly staff didn't seem to care if you had a ticket in hand, or what your ticket actually might have said. A far cry from the online ticketing system that said that if you printed your ticket a second time, the first print wouldn't work. Work with what? Nothing was scanned. We went looking for our row 3 seats, only to find that they had no rows in front of them, but they did have a humungus Wurlitzer type organ blocking the view of the stage. The usher assured us that it would sink into the floor at show time. And then we would effectively be first row! Are you kidding me? That was totally unexpected! And lo and behold, seat mates were ldyjocelyn & her husband. Who knew?

Our section was made up of an assortment of old dining room chairs marked with hand written numbers. The theatre was decorated with Christmas lights, but it was kind of strange with the Italian style decor. Dean Martin was singing about the moon in June and a big pizza pie and it was just all so comical. An ancient man came and sat at the organ and started playing indecipherable music about 2 feet in front of our faces. This went on for far too long and I remember saying I hoped Clay wasn't beating up a coke machine or something back stage, because they started making announcements that there were technical difficulities delaying the start of the show. The MC guy was very friendly, but he was full of shit too. No way this theatre was state of the art or had housed so many televised specials recently. I mean, I think it's great if you want to take a historic building and revamp it and upgrade it and make it state of the art, but this one wasn't anything like that. It was an old theatre than should probably have been condemned.

Finally they lowered the organ into the floor, but the old man was still in it! And then another old man came over and told him to stop playing, time to close up. So the organ playing man nimbly leapt out of the pit in the floor, and they covered it all up with some black boards that had "no step" lettered on them. I wondered if Clay might say something about them during the show but he didn't. If he had been able to step on them he would have been close enough for us to touch. After quite a bit more of Dean martin's music, they finally lowered the lights and Clay walked out on stage, making his funny faces and playing up the schtick before "All Is Well". When he went off to get the tape recorder, he exiting our side, but came back on the other side, making a big show of pushing the curtain out of the way to get back to centre stage. He was so close I could see the make up on his face, and his throat thrumming with the notes he was singing. I can't even imagine being in the real first row, you would be at eye level with his shoes and looking up his nose. I don't think there was a better seat in the house than ours this time around. But maybe I'm just biased.

Clay let us know immediately that his monitors weren't working. He kept putting his mike down to them to get the feedback, in hopes that maybe it would wake someone up backstage to fix it. He called it the Fisher Price theatre and said that if we saw him drop the mike and run, we should get the hell out of there. He kept catching Ben's eye and the two of them were cracking up. He made countless references to the building and made it pretty clear how bad it was, but then he would put an exaggerated grin on and say "it's Christmas!" and crack up again. He singled ldyjocelyn's husband out early on, which we figured he would, and it was quite disconcerting since I was about 2 inches to his right, having Clay's scrutiny in our direction. I was terrified he might ask me something because I doubt I would have been able to find my voice to answer him, but thankfully he never did. I was in 7th heaven all night watching his feet, his hands, his throat, his sparkly eyes...omg, just being so close after so many tours of being in the mid-section of the venue was a delight. His voice was stellar but the sound system left something to be desired. He made lemonade the whole night, turning the interesting surroundings and glitches into comedic fodder.

The bit about the chain on the stairs had the tears running down my face, it was so funny. He asked big burly security man, who was standing there all night doing nothing, what it was supposed to protect him from, ants? Ha ha ha, thank goodness there were no crazy fans trying to storm the stage because Clay would have been toast. God, when I think back to tours of yesteryear.....and then the sound system became possessed and wouldn't stop humming and I thought Clay was going to lose it for a few minutes. He mouthed "frell" in one sentence, tried to speak without a mic but was overpowered by the buzzing, and finally walked off the stage and unplugged the damned mic himself, before his tour manager came and handed him another one that actuallly worked.

He was really heartfelt when he started talking about the senseless shootings in Conneticut, and you could see his hands subtly shaking and the tears in his eyes as he started singing "My Grown Up Christmas List" after the minute of silence. I loved that he intentionally changed the lyrics to "a human soul" to fit the occasion. And then he brought the show back up again with some humourous banter before launching into "Don't Save It All For Christmas Day". I was hoping he'd come back over to us to sing the glory note and he positioned himself perfectly in between the two feedback speakers so I could see his feet just in time. Wheeeee! So powerful, he drags it right from his toes, he does. And then he went off stage and we made a lot of noise until he came back through the centre of the curtain, hesitated a minute, and chose to go to the opposite side for the encore. But I was thrilled for my daughter & Claymatron, who were sitting in 5th row and got a perfect view for the whole song. He didn't go up the aisle because apparently it was blocked, so he stood there and then walked to the left exit. My daughter took video with her iPhone that is pretty good so I will get that uploaded to the vault or youtube. She goes by crimsonice.

After the concert we went back to the hotel and sat in the lounge with disneykid and her husband and relived our experience. He had attended the Clay & Ruben tour a couple of years ago, so this wasn't his first experience. We laughed our asses off thinking back on the banter and the venue and read a bit of what people were posting online, before heading off to bed. And then this morning were were laughing & crying at some of the red reports that really captured the essence of the theatre last night. I am so glad that there were so many clack gatherers in attendance, and that there were no worries about cameras. This is one for the history books! It was so bad and yet Clay made it so good. Oh, and i forgot to mention the toy drive! We bought toys at Target prior to the show and the man accepting them was so overwhelmed with the generosity of Clay's fans, he said he wished they could have him back every night. There were huge piles of toys in the entrance way. Ha ha I don't think Clay will ever return to that venue. Even if they would take him back after all his well deserved comments from the stage! I look forward to what he might say about it tonight in Milwaukee. Hope the cell cert is clearer there!

Sadly, we are already on the road home, as I type this into notepad on cindilu2's little netbook. We had 2 fantastic concert experiences this time around, and as much as I wish they wouldn't have cancelled Detroit (especially for those fans who couldn't get to another one) perhaps it wasn't meant to be. It would have been tough for Clay to put on a jovial show that day. Although I have no doubt he would have managed, because he's just that awesome. I love him.
ALWAYS AND FOREVER-UNCONDITIONALLY!!!

Marilyn

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Re: 12/15/2012 ST. CHARLES, IL - ARCADA THEATER
« Reply #138 on: December 18, 2012, 01:44:38 AM »
CLAYMATRON@CV M&g

This meet & greet was quite different from my first one, but it was very special nevertheless. There were 9 of us..2 ladies who had missed their M & G when the Detroit concert was cancelled, 2 ebay winners and the 5 of us OFC winners. As Pink Armchair posted in her recap, Seema, the tour manager, directed us to the back of the theater and we watched the orchestra do some sound checks with Ben, then Clay came out and started to sing bits and pieces of his songs. After awhile he made his way up the stairs to us. He was wearing a navy UCONN hoodie and grey track pants and his hair was clean but combed straight back. He already had his makeup on, but his hair wasn't "stage" ready, if you know what I mean. I can't remember the order in which he did things but I think he asked us each our names first and walked back in the reverse order and asked where we were from. He seemed to be taking stock of how far each of us had travelled as he made little comments along the way. (ie with me he said "That's quite far") He then went over to Seema, and got a handful of Sharpies and a pen from her. Asked if anyone had brought a book for him to sign, one person did, I think, (MOButtercup, was that you?) and he signed that first with the pen, then made his way down the line signing various things for people with the Sharpies. During this time a couple of men, who we later found out were the theater owners (although they looked like used car salesmen, as someone aptly described them, LOL), came into the area and spoke to Clay. I couldn't hear their conversation, but Clay told them he'd be with them shortly and they went out the door. Clay then turned to us and commented in a stage whisper that the venue was "horrible". I couldn't hear everything he said, but I know I asked, jokingly, if there were plaques in the bathroom, like at Shippensburg, and he said he hated to think what was in the bathroom!!! Ha ha! He then mentioned that he had a choice of what backdrop they would use (rolled his eyes) and pointed to the one behind the orchestra and mentioned that it looked like a painter's dropcloth, but it was either that or a red velvetish one...and he'd let us choose. We went with the red velvet, obviously, and he agreed that it was the lesser of two evils. We couldn't see it up close, but it looked OK from that distance. He was very funny and animated about the whole thing, even at that point, but we could tell he was a little distracted and concerned about the quality of his concert at this venue. Anyway, he then asked Seema to set up for the photos in three groups. He told us OFC winners to stand in two rows and pointed to the spots, and then he took the ebay winners first - one of him with both, and one with him each individually, then the Detroit girls got one with him and the two of them. and then he headed up to us and rearranged us (a la teacher, Clay), as none of us had any idea what he meant. Two stood in front, in one row of the theater, and three stood in the next row down with Clay. I'm pretty sure I was standing next to him, but I honestly can't remember anything except that he had his arm around my shoulder and patted me when the photo taking was over. Then he thanked us and was gone.

It was amazing, I'm sure I'm forgetting details, but every one of us may have taken something different from the experience, this is my take. Trust me...The Aiken Fog is not a misnomer!
ALWAYS AND FOREVER-UNCONDITIONALLY!!!

Marilyn

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Re: 12/15/2012 ST. CHARLES, IL - ARCADA THEATER
« Reply #139 on: December 18, 2012, 01:48:28 AM »
MOBUTTERCUP@CV M&G

I think you hit it square on the head lady! Yes, I was the one with a book. I have an older one that I've read repeatedly but took a new one with me that a wonderful friend sent to me. I thought he looked adorable and the whitish backdrop literally looked like a drop cloth! LOL I agree that the owners looked like anything but a venue owner. But Clay, being the gentleman that I think he is, was very kind and never mentioned how crappy the venue was until he left the room. Also, Clay's feet kept getting stuck to the floor! LOL He was doing what I call the "spider dance" He was acting like he was stuck in tar or gum...it was hilarious...wrong but hilarious. (btw...later in the evening, I nearly fell b/c my foot got literally stuck to the floor and when I started to walk away, my shoe did not want to come with me...can we say ankle strap!lol) I think Clay was definitely distracted b/c the monitors weren't working (and they didn't during the concert either...he was going off house feedback...not easy but he made it look easy and performed to perfection) I was afraid I'd pass smooth out...at one point when he was walking back to us, I leaned over to PinkArmchair and told her b/c I could barely breath. I know it sounds silly but I'm easily intimidated! LOL As for the Aiken Fog...how do you all think I drove 11 hours home after the concert last night!? I'm still up...never have slept yet.
ALWAYS AND FOREVER-UNCONDITIONALLY!!!

Marilyn

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Re: 12/15/2012 ST. CHARLES, IL - ARCADA THEATER
« Reply #140 on: December 18, 2012, 09:08:55 PM »
Pre-"Don't Save It All For Christmas Day" Banter.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7bBjL1vNe8...nWU&index=1

"Don't Save It All For Christmas Day."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QH4CqUtDkEA...nWU&index=2

"All Year Long."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DbAIOmVtEW4...nWU&index=3

Tribute To Shooting Victims, Pre-"My Grown Up Christmas List."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsjmSxb1yeU...eature=youtu.be

"My Grown Up Christmas List."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OI7fgyFJ64

"Remember The Lyrics" Contest.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igKLnxpNI4A

All Scarlett links can travel.

ALWAYS AND FOREVER-UNCONDITIONALLY!!!

Marilyn

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Re: 12/15/2012 ST. CHARLES, IL - ARCADA THEATER
« Reply #141 on: December 19, 2012, 03:50:35 AM »
ZARAONE @CH

I was lucky enough to have my first every M&G (after 32 concerts!) tonight in St. Charles. Clay was luminously beautiful and sweet as sugar. I had him sign a picture that my son drew in the 2nd grade, of a “Clay Acken Consrt” complete with stick people fans and a stick person Clay with spikey hair. I told Clay my son is now 14 and he said that made him depressed. *g* Clay was as sweet as could be and I think my prevailing memory will be of his giving instructions on how to line up for the group photo and then as he moved over to do a photo of another group, immediately forgetting everything he said and shuffling around aimlessly until he lined us all up. Priceless.
ALWAYS AND FOREVER-UNCONDITIONALLY!!!

Marilyn

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Re: 12/15/2012 ST. CHARLES, IL - ARCADA THEATER
« Reply #142 on: December 20, 2012, 07:19:40 AM »
ALWAYS AND FOREVER-UNCONDITIONALLY!!!

Marilyn

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Re: 12/15/2012 ST. CHARLES, IL - ARCADA THEATER
« Reply #143 on: December 21, 2012, 11:01:50 PM »
 ("zara one") AT CH
After my M&G (way up there among the coolest things I have ever done) and concert in St. Charles last week, I've been trying with only moderate success to put my thoughts together because I feel like we are seeing a different Clay on this tour.

I don't think I'm alone in having had moments where I felt Clay was ambivalent at best, sometimes even somewhat resentful about his career and where his post-AI life had taken him and while understandable, as a fan that has been disconcerting. We've had such fun the past almost-10 years and I know I wouldn't want it to end. But on the other hand it wouldn't be much fun following someone so burnt out on their career that they clearly weren't enjoying themselves either.

I'm not too worried about that anymore. If I had to pick one word to describe Clay and this tour, it would be this: Joy. He exudes it. I don't know when I have seen him, in recent years, so clearly elated to be on stage and to be enjoying each show so much. Even with all the crazy, annoying things that happened in St. Charles, he didn't let it affect the quality of the entertainment he was putting forth; in fact, he just got more entertaining, lol.

I don't know what has happened, but I don't think I've ever seen Clay this generous as a performer or this appreciative of his audience. I've been touched by the affectionate manner in which he's treated fans this tour. At the end of our M&G after the photo was taken, he rubbed/patted my shoulder and the shoulder of the lady (waves to Claymatron!) on the other side and I thought that was such a kind, sweet gesture. He clearly was touched by the story of the fan from Japan and he's had such kind things to say about the fans. At the St. Charles show he thanked the fans for "taking him in" and I thought that was so sweet.

I get choked up every time I hear him sing "Don't Save It All For Christmas Day" as I start thinking about everything we would have missed these last 10 years, the friendships and the craziness and the ups and downs but mostly just the sheer joy of being a Clay Aiken fan. I got the feeling that he felt the same. I think he's thankful for us, and I know I am thankful for him
ALWAYS AND FOREVER-UNCONDITIONALLY!!!

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