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ClayManiacs.com  |  Archive  |  Jukebox Tour 2005  |  JUKEBOX TOUR MEDIA REVIEWS
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Author Topic: JUKEBOX TOUR MEDIA REVIEWS  (Read 3048 times)

Marilyn

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Re: JUKEBOX TOUR MEDIA REVIEWS
« Reply #15 on: October 26, 2014, 10:36:48 AM »

« Reply #15 on: August 15, 2005, 02:01:40 PM »
 
CLIO


Quote
Aiken croons and Claymates swoon at concert
FLINT JOURNAL REVIEW
CLIO
THE FLINT JOURNAL FIRST EDITION
Monday, August 15, 2005
By Misty R. Gower
mgower@flintjournal.com • 810.766.6338
Journal review

CLIO - In 2003, he captured the hearts of gals ages 7-70. In 2005, he's captured the soul of five decades of rock 'n' roll.

"American Idol" standout Clay Aiken brought his Jukebox Tour to the Clio Area Amphitheater on Saturday night, singing rapid-fire snippets of hits from the 1950s to '90s to a crowd of about 2,500 at the 3,100-seat venue.

Make that a crowd of about 2,475 women and 25 men, a lopsided fan base that didn't go unnoticed by Aiken.

"I know you've either been bribed, threatened or tortured to be here," he told the men in the audience.

From the time Aiken stepped onto the stage dressed as The Fonz, licking his thumbs and bumping a "malfunctioning" jukebox with his forearm, the Claymates were on their feet and screaming.

Fans sat silently only when Aiken belted out ballads, the only songs he sang in their entirety throughout a 21/2-hour show that felt like part Broadway musical and part rock 'n' roll history lesson.

Aiken - decked out in costumes from each era - introduced each decade of songs with a narration about what was going on in the world at the time and who touched the nation's hearts with their music.

Of course, the 26-year-old crooner wasn't shy to admit that his vast knowledge of each decade wasn't firsthand.

"Truth is, I was a fetus in the 1970s," he said to a roar of laughter.

Covering the 1950s and '60s during the first hour of the show, Aiken embraced the aw-shucks corny factor that made him a star on Season 2 of "Idol" - think judge Simon Cowell telling him to never dance again - and he ran with it, knowing that each shake of his tush and wink of an eye would send the crowd into a frenzy. A jump on the piano during "Great Balls of Fire" had women fanning themselves.

In addition to seeing Aiken's ever-improving dance skills and his ability to play the piano, fans got to hear quite the range in his voice, often amazing listeners with low tones that many didn't know he had.

He adapted well to the style and sound of each artist whose songs he sang, but in true "American Idol" fashion, he, well, made it his own.

He also unselfishly helped his fantastic band and three phenomenal backup singers make things their own, often singing backup for them.

But there was no doubt that Aiken was the heartthrob star of the show. His grinding dance with a backup singer during his version of Prince's "When Doves Cry" during the '80s segment had many swooning.

"This is too much for my heart," said Jean Roman, 65, of Toledo, who had never attended a concert until Aiken stole her heart on "Idol" in 2003. The Clio show was the third Aiken concert she had attended in a week.

It was Aiken's six-song set of his own works at the end of the show that garnered the biggest applause of the evening, proving that while he has built a 2005 tour around songs of the past, he's going to have plenty of fans in the future.

©FLINT JOURNAL
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Marilyn

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Re: JUKEBOX TOUR MEDIA REVIEWS
« Reply #16 on: October 26, 2014, 10:39:30 AM »
« Reply #16 on: August 16, 2005, 01:59:35 AM »
 
FRAZE PAVILION KETTERING OH

Quote
Claymates enjoy night with Aiken
By Kim Margolis
Dayton Daily News

He has an audience that ranges from preteens to older ladies, and Clay Aiken put together a concert for all of them.

For some, there was a little nostalgia; for others, a little schooling.

Aiken performed songs from the 1950s to the present for his Jukebox Tour. If you're a hater, you'd say Aiken was ready for his Las Vegas show.

If you just want to have fun with the kid who made good on American Idol, you would have had a ball at Aiken's Fraze Pavilion concert on Monday.

The show started with Aiken in a black leather jacket dressed as the slimmest Fonzie ever seen. The giant jukebox on stage was skipping. Like Arthur Fonzarelli, Aiken gave it a pop and the music started. Twistin' the Night Away, At the Hop and Johnny B Good kicked things off.

A salute to Elvis featured Aiken playing the piano and singing Love Me Tender. His Hound Dog, Jailhouse Rock and other upbeat Elvis tunes showed the admittedly awkward dancer testing his feet with Elvis' moves.

He struggled with hoarseness throughout the evening, likely due to the wet weather, but pulled out strong vocals for Unchained Melody and Solitaire. In fact, his most difficult times were when he was singing quiet or up-tempo, but when it came time to sing out strong, he pulled it off. He hit his stride with a restrained I Can't Make You Love Me.

A gracious headliner who often seems like he's having as much fun as a kid in a high school musical, Aiken shares the stage with his background singers, especially Angela Fisher, who put together a rousing version of Motown's Think.

There was a bit of personal drama as Aiken, whose persona is squeaky clean, had a sultry performance of When Doves Cry (yes, Prince!) with Fisher. Then during Sailing (a much better version than that of Christopher Cross), the pair got close again.

This is how rumors start.

Aiken pleased fans as he performed music of this decade: He sung his own songs, including two from his eventual next album. It wasn't his way of saying this decade is his; it was a way of honoring the rabid Claymates. 

©DAYTON DAILY NEWS

 
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Marilyn

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Re: JUKEBOX TOUR MEDIA REVIEWS
« Reply #17 on: October 26, 2014, 10:41:34 AM »
« Reply #17 on: August 21, 2005, 01:11:46 PM »

DARIEN LAKE AND WOLF TRAP


Quote
Clay Aiken's Jukebox Tour
by Linda Lanshe (2005/08/15)

Just who is Clay Aiken? Is he a ballad singer? Is he a pop singer? Can he rock out? That question was answered when I had the pleasure of attending two of Clay Aiken’s Jukebox Tour concerts, Darien Lakes, NY, and Wolftrap, VA.

I had watched a few videos from the Toms River, NJ, show so I knew what to expect, or at least I thought I did. But what I saw on that stage blew me away. Here’s a 26-year-old guy, just 2-1/2 years into his career, and the professionalism and complexity of his newest tour is that of a seasoned veteran.

Aiken covers the past 60 years of Rock N Roll, starting in the 50’s and ending in the future. I understand that he chose the songs based on Fred Bronson’s "Billboard Book of Number One Hits." Michael Orland, the Musical Director on American Idol arranged the songs with a cohesiveness that makes the entire concert flow effortlessly. The opening is rather simple, a lighted jukebox appears on stage, his band members nonchalantly walk out and asks the audience, "Should I put a quarter in it?"

"We Built this City on Rock ‘N Roll’." Aha! The Jukebox skips...

"On Rock ‘n Roll"

"On Rock ‘n Roll"

"On Rock ‘n Roll"

"On Rock ‘n Roll"

And out walks Aiken channeling the Fonz, dressed in a black leather jacket, black pants, escorting Laverne and Shirley, or perhaps the Pink Ladies, Angela and Quiana, his back-up vocalists. They pause at the jukebox, listen, then Aiken licks his fingers, stands next to the jukebox, up goes his arm, fist clenched, and POUNDS that jukebox into submission, letting it know who’s boss and the show begins.

The music hits you like a wall of sound, non stop, wave after wave of rock n roll, sung by a guy who maybe a lot of people didn’t know could sing rock n roll. Well, guess what? Aiken took the songs of the 50’s, revved them up and powered them out like a rebel with a cause, Aiken-style. Starting with Twistin the Night Away, to At the Hop, Johnny B. Goode, Rockin’ Robin, The Great Pretender, Mr. Sandman, That’ll Be the Day, Great Balls of Fire, and Rock n Roll is here to Stay, Aiken made his way through the 50’s as if he’s lived them. His Great Balls of Fire was sung atop the piano, with hip thrusts, on pointe, and was amazing to experience. I say experience, not watch, because one has to experience this performance to appreciate it, one can’t merely sit back and watch, it’s impossible, and Aiken won’t let you passively enjoy this show, he forces you to become as involved as he is.

The set quiets down as Aiken sings Unchained Melody, a hold-over from American Idol and a real crowd-pleaser, but he doesn’t let you get too settled in, oh, no, not Aiken. So what does he do? He takes on the King and he out-Elvised, Elvis. Sitting at the piano, Aiken accompanies himself singing Love Me Tender. Now, Love me Tender is a patented Elvis song, no one’s really ever covered that song, at least not on the radio that I remember, but does that stop Aiken from trying? The man’s got guts. His Elvis medley tackles a lot of Elvis’ major hits, the aforementioned Love me Tender, Hound Dog, Blue Suede Shoes, Don’t Be Cruel, Heartbreak Hotel, Jailhouse Rock, and the exquisite I Can’t Help Falling in Love With You, and ending with a full version of Suspicious Minds. I never would have thought that Clay Aiken would not only have tackled Elvis, but that he would channel Elvis so well. Aiken doesn’t imitate Elvis, Aiken becomes Elvis, Aiken out-sings Elvis, and Aiken makes you believe that he’s lived with those songs his entire life. Yeah, he’s that good.

Aiken continues with his version of Solitaire and makes his way through the 60’s, covering The Beatles, The Monkeys, The Turtles, and ends his first set singing a Motown medley. Then he lets us rest during a 20 minute intermission. We need it.

The second half of the concert isn’t as strong, in total, as the first half, but there are some gems that just won’t be ignored. Aiken’s 70’s set brings us audience interaction, some disco, some Bee Gees, the wonderful Bridge Over Troubled Water and a low-key, beautifully sung version of Manilow’s Mandy. My only fault with the 70’s set is that an entire segment of music was ignored. One critic asked in a review, “Didn’t Aiken ever own a Led Zeppelin album?” I also wonder why Aiken left out some of the most ground-breaking music of that era.

Prince’s When Doves Cry has to be mentioned even though Aiken already covered this song during his Independent Tour in the Spring of 2004. He and his back-up vocalists start the song off in choir robes, fooling the "Un-Clayed" in the audience that it was a religious or spiritual song, until those robes are ripped off and Aiken turns on the sensuality with back-up Angela Fisher, doing a bit of dirty dancing that have the women in the audience swooning, for want of a better word.

The 80’s set includes a terrific Rock with You by back-up Jacob Luttrell, who not only sings this song wonderfully, but dances and entertains us with Michael Jackson-esque moves that are a real crowd–pleaser. Aiken sings a powerful Alone by Heart, and ends the set with a softly sung, 4-part harmony on Christopher Cross’ Sailing.

The 90’s set surprises us, once again, with Aiken’s song choices. You Can’t Touch brings out Aiken’s rapier wit and personality, Black Velvet showcases Angela Fisher’s command of this song, and End of the Road is a masterpiece of soaring harmonies by all four singers. The next two songs are, perhaps, the most surprising, The Goo Goo Dolls Iris and Ricky Martin’s Livin' La Vida Loca. Both songs garner screams from the audience, yet Aiken does a fantastic job singing what could be outside his comfort level. This set ends with the haunting Bonnie Raitt song, I Can’t Make You Love Me. Aiken sits alone under a spotlight and plaintively sings the shiznitz out of this song, evoking a longing for a love that just won’t or can’t love you back. As the spotlight dies on Aiken, Quiana Parler quietly takes the stage for what could be a career-making performance of Whitney Houston’s I Will Always Love You. You can hear a pin drop during her rendition of this song and at the end, the crowd surges to its feet, giving her a well-deserved standing ovation.

As the show closes, Aiken sings a few of his songs from his multi-platinum album, 2003’s "Measure of a Man,"
 and introduces a few new songs. The crowd loves Back for More as evidenced by the head-bobbing and the fist pumping. The two new slow to mid-tempo songs he introduces are Just You and 1000 Days. These songs are perhaps a bit harder for the audience to get into, as they come after the crowd-pleasing Back for More, but Aiken, again, sings the shiznitz out of them. Aiken ends with his hit song, Invisible and the crowd soars to its feet, loving both the song and the singer.

Some observations about this show: The energy that Aiken brings into a venue is absolutely amazing. From young girls, to teens, to the twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, sixty, seventy and older-somethings, to husbands, to the families, Aiken brings something for everyone. The diversity of an Aiken crowd is truly a phenomenon in my concert going experience. Not only can Aiken sing, he nails his songs with passion and professionalism, yet not only does he have fun on stage, he makes his audience participate in the concert as if they were a part of the show. Aiken is not just a singer, not just a performer, but he is truly an entertainer. This show is the best of his short career and if this is any indication of what is yet to come, hold on to your hats because we ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

BEAVERS ON IDOL
 
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Marilyn

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Re: JUKEBOX TOUR MEDIA REVIEWS
« Reply #18 on: October 26, 2014, 10:46:56 AM »
« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2005, 01:17:51 PM »
 
INDIANA STATE FAIR

Quote
Aiken's 'Jukebox' covers the basics
By David Lindquist
david.lindquist@indystar.com

Clay Aiken is putting in the work that's likely needed to maintain his status as a star.

Although he has no recording to promote, the former "American Idol" runner-up sang dozens of hits from the rock 'n' roll era Thursday night at the Indiana State Fair.

Aiken's "Jukebox Tour" spotlights each decade from the 1950s to today, with his own material capping the 21/2-hour journey.

The concert scored points as a showcase for Aiken's durability and flexibility, not to mention as a bargain for his highly devoted fan base (about 60 songs for a $35 ticket).

Meanwhile, it raised questions about the public's taste in music. Why did some of these songs -- Heart's "Alone" and Petula Clark's "Downtown," for instance -- become chart-toppers?

For Aiken, "Jukebox" brings the risk of reinforcing an easy (and valid) criticism of "American Idol": Karaoke singers don't deserve to be celebrities.

At least his theatrical reworking of "When Doves Cry" added a gothic twist to Prince's original version. Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul surely would rave to see Aiken stretch out.

The show's art direction would have benefited from similar inventiveness, as the backdrop curtains designating each decade were a low-rent disappointment.

Wardrobe did its part, outfitting Aiken in a leather jacket, a leisure suit and a casual vest as the years rolled on.

But he looked or sounded his best when sporting a basic black suit and offering a string of Motown classics.

Supporting vocalists Quiana Parler, Angela Fisher and Jacob Luttrell helped approximate the sound of the Supremes, the Miracles and the Temptations.

Aiken himself brought the intensity and purpose to the Four Tops' "Reach Out (I'll Be There)."

If "Jukebox" were to be interpreted as a competition among eras and approaches, send the trophy to Berry Gordy at Hitsville, U.S.A.

After an intermission, Aiken meandered through the '70s, '80s and '90s. Momentum stalled during selections popularized by Barry Manilow and Christopher Cross.

Luttrell and Parler actually kept things lively thanks to spot-on tributes to Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston.

Finally, in an odd bit of 2005 fair trivia, Jerry Lee Lewis' "Great Balls of Fire" has been performed by three Grandstand headliners: Rascal Flatts, Garrison Keillor and Aiken.


INDYSTAR
 


 
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Marilyn

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Re: JUKEBOX TOUR MEDIA REVIEWS
« Reply #19 on: October 26, 2014, 10:49:11 AM »

« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2005, 01:21:24 PM »
 
TOLEDO ZOO

Quote
Guest Concert Review
By Sandra Elliott

A zoo might not sound like a promising concert setting, but the amphitheatre at Toledo’s zoo is one of the most beautiful venues I’ve ever been to. There are none of the smells you fear you might be subjected to, the sound quality is fantastic and the stage is ornate enough to compete with the performers for your attention. The floral landscaping alone is worth the trip. Add in perfect weather and Clay Aiken and you might as well be in heaven.

If you’ve only experienced ‘The Aiken’ via American Idol, his cheesy Christmas special, or a Kathy Griffin monologue, his live show is one colossal shock. He’s smart, sly, goofy, poignant, and sexy (yeah, you read that last word right.) And he doesn’t lip-synch once in two and half hours. He does pause for breath a few times, letting each of his three background singers take over lead vocals for one solo each. You won’t mind. The man isn’t afraid to surround himself with talent. The girls, Quiana Parlor and Angela Fisher, put Whitney Houston to shame—and I’m talking pre-Bobby-&-crack Whitney. He doesn’t worry about the competition because he doesn’t have to. As good as they are, he blows them off the stage without even trying. Live, with no studio augmentation of any kind, he actually sounds better than he does on CD. It’s jaw-dropping. Even given that voice, his interaction with the band and audience is the best part of the evening. The stage banter changes with every performance, but it’s always endearing and usually funny as hell.

On the ‘Jukebox Tour’ he does a set, one medley followed by one full song, for each decade in the rock era, plus one set each for Elvis and Motown. The songs are chosen to charm, rather than to represent a time or idea. The format exists solely as something to hang a lot of cover songs on because his new CD is not yet ready for release and he didn’t want to repeat the set list of his last tour. Since there’s no hope of the Claynation growing bored with him any time soon, perhaps he’s changed things up for sake of stoking his own interest.

In any case, Clay & Co. cover everything from Jerry Lee Lewis to the Goo Goo Dolls, accompanied by vintage clothing and dance styles. Yeah, he dances. Sometime between “Grease night” on Idol and the start of this tour, he has learned how to move and groove. Admittedly still a little stiff and goofy, his dancing will never again make anybody cringe for him. Smile, yes—even laugh out loud—but if you do it’ll be intentional on his part. Did I mention he’s funny? Because he is. Also, don’t be surprised if you spot more than a few women drooling. Did I mention he’s turning into quite the sexy beast? Because he is. They really ought to start selling bibs at the souvenir stand.

Ahhh… I had such a good time.

BROKERUNIVERSE
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Marilyn

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Re: JUKEBOX TOUR MEDIA REVIEWS
« Reply #20 on: October 26, 2014, 10:53:57 AM »

« Reply #20 on: August 26, 2005, 06:07:45 PM »
 
MOLSON AMPHITHEATER TORONTO

Quote
LIVE: Clay Aiken Turns On His Jukebox
Friday August 26, 2005 @ 05:30 PM
By: ChartAttack.com Staff

Molson Amphitheatre
Toronto, Ontario
August 25, 2005
By Brian Wong

It was only two years ago that Jesus-lovin' super-nerd Clay Aiken went from Raleigh, North Carolina-nobody to first runner-up on American Idol, then sold a kajillion copies of his 2003 debut, Measure Of A Man. Already, the 26-year-old singer looks poised for a Vegas stage next to La Celine.

Aiken isn't packing venues weeks in advance yet — only three-quarters of the Molson Amphitheatre's seats were occupied for his show, while geese frolicked in the lawns. But his current Jukebox tour, in which the singer aimed to cover pop hits of the last 50 years, would make a decent casino musical revue.

There were certainly enough middle-aged women to rival a Wayne Newton concert. And Aiken seemed to take the estrogen fest in stride.

"How many gentlemen are proud to be here tonight?" the chatty singer asked. "They're probably watching Canadian Idol or something."

When Aiken found a "gentleman" who admitted that he was dragged to the show by his wife and daughter, the singer stepped down into the stands to speak with him.

"You don't like me?" Aiken inquired. "I thought everyone in Canada would be nice."

If this singing thing doesn't work out, the guy has a pretty good career as a talk show host.

Or musicologist. As the astounding two-and-a-half-hour concert (plus 20 minute intermission) went through rock 'n' roll, schmaltzy pop and power balladry decade after decade, Aiken gave bite-size history lessons on the respective eras of music.

With a seven-piece band that included three back-up singers — Kiana Parlor, Angela Fisher and Jacob Luttrell, who all deservedly received lead solo time — the skinny Aiken with the musical-theatre-ready voice pulled out several medleys.

The '50s section included the chirpy "Rockin' Robin," the jolly swaggering "That'll Be The Day" and "Great Balls Of Fire," for which Aiken jumped on top of the grand piano.

An Elvis tribute (complete with stiff, pelvic thrusting) was followed by the bright '60s, represented by tunes like The Monkees' "Daydream Believer" and The Beatles' "Can't Buy Me Love," where the enthusiastic Aiken looked like a crazed bobble head.

He then asked the crowd about what impacted in Canada in the '70s and when one fan replied, "Trudeau-mania," the singer looked back at his band and shrugged his shoulders in bewilderment. The culture shock continued when he picked up a fan's poster that read 'Clay, you are an honourary Canadian,' and Aiken replied, "You spelled 'honourary' wrong."

The rest of the show was pretty much like Idol karaoke; many of the songs Aiken performed were showcased during the rounds of his Idol journey: the overblown, gospel-ish take on Simon and Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water," Heart's '80s power ballad "Alone," Barry Manilow's "Mandy" and Bonnie Raitt's "I Can't Make You Love Me."

It's those ballads, and his own material like "Invisible" and "The Way," where Aiken thrives. Whether or not you feel any affinity for him, his voice and ability to hold a note is undeniably strong — a case that's similar to that of Ms. Dion.

Of course, like Dion, a lot about Aiken is icky. There's that eerily sparkling stare, the flung vest during his take on Ricky Martin's "Livin' La Vida Loca," or the intimate caressing with his back-up singers during Prince's "When Doves Cry." A lot of it, however, ends up pretty funny when you see the geeky Aiken wooing his divas, Parlor and Fisher — two bodacious black women who could snap him like a twig.

But they wouldn't do that; even with cheesy medleys Aiken is just too cute — in a very weird sort of way.

©CHART ATTACK
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Marilyn

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Re: JUKEBOX TOUR MEDIA REVIEWS
« Reply #21 on: October 26, 2014, 10:57:16 AM »
« Reply #21 on: August 27, 2005, 12:20:10 AM »
 
MOLSON AMPHITHEATER TORONTO


Quote
Lounge star
Too much cheese spoils mostly competent Clay Aiken show
By JANE STEVENSON

THERE'S A showroom in Las Vegas with Clay Aiken's name on it.

At least judging from his medley-heavy and costume-friendly show last night at the Molson Amphitheatre.

Aiken's so-called Jukebox tour -- marking his first-ever solo concert in Toronto -- covered pop music from the '50s to the early 21st century.

And I do mean covered.

At last count, Aiken -- the second season runnerup of American Idol -- and his nine-piece band performed over 60 songs, mostly snippets mind you, although some got the full treatment.
 
It often felt like an exhaustive, decade-by-decade examination -- as the show dragged past the two-and-a-half hour mark including a 20 minute intermission -- when it had all the makings of what could have been a decent night of music.

While it's not my taste, Aiken does have a No. 1 album, 2003's Measure Of A Man, that he's numerously toured in support of in the U.S.

He said he felt compelled to do a different show this summer but I might have waited until his sophomore album was released.

The real revelation was Aiken himself, the self-professed nerd from Raleigh, N.C., who is quite charismatic in a live setting, friendly and funny and in complete control of both his band and the audience, while not at all willing to take himself too seriously.

When he introduced the Canadian executive producer of his next album, Jaymes Levy Foster (sister of David Foster) in the audience, he said of the delayed disc: "It's going to have Canadian flair to it when it comes out in 2025!"

Another funny bit saw him taking requests from the audience -- everything from Guns 'N Roses Sweet Child O' Mine to O Canada -- while fighting against the noise from competing fireworks courtesy of the CNE.

But the first clue the cheese was coming was the way the concert started: Three of Aiken's musicians asked for quarters to put in the small jukebox on stage.

Of all things, one of the worst songs in rock history, Starship's We Built This City, came blaring out and then started skipping crazily before a black leather jacket-clad Aiken appeared on stage and pounded the jukebox to make it stop.

From there it was non-stop '50s classics such as Twistin' The Night Away, Let's Go To The Hop, The Great Pretender, etc., plus the obligatory Elvis tribute.

A wardrobe was also dragged on stage so that Aiken could literally change clothes with each new decade of songs -- the white polyester suit for the '70s, spandex for the '80s.

Maybe Aiken's just pandering to his wide-ranging audience, given the cross section of women of all ages, families and the occasional couple -- one was celebrating their 25th anniversary and let him know it -- in the seats.

When he did stop long enough to deliver a song in its entirety -- Unchained Melody, Love Me Tender (which he performed solo on piano), Suspicious Minds, Solitaire, Mandy, Bridge Over Troubled Water, When Doves Cry, I Can't Make You Love Me, and his own hit Invisible -- he had the vocal goods.

And some much needed soul was injected into the evening by his two astonishing female backup singers who took over lead vocals on such standouts as Midnight Train To Georgia, Rescue Me, Think, I Feel The Earth Move, and I Will Always Love You.

Naturally, this review will not go over well with Aiken's devoted fanbase, apparently not as healthy in Toronto given the low-turnout, estimated at around 5,000 people making for the smallest audience I have seen at the amphitheatre this summer.

But I'm sure I'll hear from all those Claymates (females) and Claydawgs (males) -- and even Claynadians -- who feel their beloved Aiken can do no wrong.

I just think he can do much better.

©TORONTO SUN
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Re: JUKEBOX TOUR MEDIA REVIEWS
« Reply #22 on: October 26, 2014, 11:00:00 AM »
« Reply #22 on: August 27, 2005, 12:26:07 AM »
 
MOLSON AMPHITHEATER TORONTO


Quote
Ladies, you sir, here's Clay 
BYLINE: Vit wagner, Toronto Star

Time was when U.S. presidential elections defined the gender gap. That was before Clay Aiken came along.

And, if last night's performance by the former American Idol to a half-empty Molson Amphitheatre is anything to go by, Canadians are as divided as their southern counterparts where Claymania is concerned.

The show was part of Aiken's so-called Juke Box Tour, which saw the 27-year-old North Carolina native chronologically canvas hit songs from the past five decades. After a heavy emphasis on the 1950s and '60s, Aiken and his supporting cast broke for intermission.

"The best song so far tonight was 'Midnight Train to Georgia,'" a man sitting in the row behind pronounced to the woman beside him.

"But Clay didn't even sing that song," his companion protested.

"Precisely," the man retorted emphatically.

That particular song, presented during a tribute to Motown, had been ably executed by a backing singer doing her best Gladys Knight impersonation. And, yes, it was easily the high point of the evening to that point - which, all things considered, wasn't saying much.

Not since Matchbox Twenty visited the same venue a couple of years back has an Amphitheatre audience been so visibly divided along gender lines.

On one side, there were deliriously enthusiastic women, many of them the self-styled "Claymates" - or, on this occasion, "Claynadians" - who helped the singer's 2003 debut album, Measure of a Man, charge to the top of the charts. On the other, a much smaller contingent of men, most of whom were far more restrained, if not altogether befuddled.

None of this was lost on Aiken.

"Gentlemen don't like to be at the show for some reason," he announced.

The singer went so far as to comb the audience for proof of this assertion, eventually finding a Hamilton man who sheepishly allowed to having been dragged along by his wife and daughter.

The reasons behind the division are anyone's guess. Aiken's supposedly ambiguous sexual preferences have been a source of public speculation. Frankly, who cares? Plainly, he presented himself as straight on stage, demonstrably romancing his female accompanists at every opportunity.

Aiken's repertoire also leaned heavily toward swooning romantic balladry. In a medley-packed show littered with scores of songs, he managed to get to the end of the 1980s without so much as alluding to punk, new wave or Bob Dylan, preferring instead to make show-stopping meals out of "Sailing" by Christopher Cross, and "Mandy" by Barry Manilow.

Blame it on chromosomes - or anything other root cause you might want to identify - but by that point he had already lost me last night. 


©TORONTO STAR (registration required, but I wouldn't bother) 

 
 
 
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Re: JUKEBOX TOUR MEDIA REVIEWS
« Reply #23 on: October 26, 2014, 11:02:13 AM »
« Reply #23 on: August 30, 2005, 10:45:32 AM »
 
BOSTON


Quote
Clay Aiken tries to be an Idol to everyone
By Christopher John Treacy/ Music Review
Monday, August 29, 2005 - Updated: 12:35 AM EST

Just in time for Boston's "American Idol'' tryouts at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday, Clay Aiken's Jukebox Tour pulled into the Bank of America Pavilion to remind potential contestants of what's possible if you make it to the show's finals.

Rather than touting a new disc, Aiken's tour is in support of his miraculously extended 15 minutes of fame. And it's also a showcase for the vocalist's vivid imagination. In it, Aiken fancies himself a '50s teen heartthrob, the Elvis incarnate, a Motown star, a '70s soul singer, a choirboy with keen falsetto, a young Casey Kasem.  He does all this while being soundtracked by some of the biggest pop hits of the last 50 years; taken for what it is, the show is entertaining.

But despite an exhausting 100 songs (most in medley format) spread over a two-hour-plus show and presented in chronological order, he isn't all that well equipped to deliver from so many different musical corners. It was when he jumped on top of the piano during "Great Balls of Fire'' that the hilarity first hit home – Aiken's nondescript sexuality just doesn't have the necessary "balls of fire'' to pull off such a stunt. The same went for the Elvis tunes, the Bee-Gees' selections from the '70s, and an attempt at Prince's "When Doves Cry'' from the '80s. He saved a small offering of his own songs for the new millennium segment at the end.

It's the backup singers who really carry this charade. Angela Fisher, Quiana Parler and Jacob Luttrell provide amazing vocal support, without which Aiken would simply fall flat. Each was given their own individual chance to shine, particularly Parler during Gladys Knight's "Midnight Train To Georgia,'' misplaced in the '60s segment of the show despite it having been a hit in 1973.

Moving by decades up to present day, Clay Aiken bent over backward to show us all the things he does nicely. But "nicely'' is a bland word, and really he'd do much better to pick just one or two things he's extraordinarily good at and go from there. Preying on beloved pop hits is easily crowd-pleasing, but it doesn't add any personality to what was already a pretty bland offering. And someone really ought to have told him "Solitaire'' will always belong to Karen Carpenter
.

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Re: JUKEBOX TOUR MEDIA REVIEWS
« Reply #24 on: October 26, 2014, 11:04:57 AM »
« Reply #24 on: August 30, 2005, 10:47:44 AM »
 

MEADOWBROOK


Quote
Clay Aiken plays Gilford

GILFORD — Second season American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken both wooed and wowed a large crowd at Meadowbrook Musical Arts Center.

"He's a great entertainer. I was rooting for him all along," said Cheryl Moody of Farmington who attended Saturday's concert with her sister, Judi Aubert of Rochester. "I think he's just awesome. I just love his voice. If he comes back I'm going to bring my 10-year-old daughter," said Aubert.

Aiken's good looks coupled with his family values and charitable work was a common theme among concertgoers, predominantly 40-ish something women. "That's what I admire most. He is a good moral role model. Kids need that," said Frank Downing of Malden, Mass., who said he is a substitute teacher who works with autistic children.

Downing's wife, Fran, characterized herself as an avid "Claymate," the name taken by his most rabid fans saying she had tickets to attend Aiken's Sunday night concert in Boston. She has previously traveled to Indiana twice and once to Michigan to see his shows.

A 2004 Christmas album, "Merry Christmas With Love," followed Aikien's 2003 debut, "Measure Of A Man." "He has an amazing voice. One that comes along once in a millennium — the range, the volume and he call hold a note longer than anyone," she said of Aiken, 27, who hails from Raleigh, N.C. "And it's not just his singing. He connects with people and does a lot of work for charity," she continued.

"He was the best singer. He should have won (Idol)," asserted Rachel D'Onfro of Westminister, Mass. She said she saw Aiken's Christmas show last year. "He was my number one pick from the very beginning (of American Idol)," she said. D'Onfro said she's downloaded all of Aiken's songs, even an early demo album. "And I'm not even a Claymate. There are (fans) here from Hawaii," she said. Aiken started the night with a medley of 50s and 60s songs, doing some covers of such classic artists as Chubby Checker, Elvis Presley and the Everly Brothers classic "Unchained Melody."

Aiken is working with Canadian producer Jaymes Foster Levy on his sophomore effort, which he hopes to have out by next spring.

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Re: JUKEBOX TOUR MEDIA REVIEWS
« Reply #25 on: October 26, 2014, 11:07:51 AM »
 
Re: JUKEBOX TOUR MEDIA REVIEWS
« Reply #25 on: August 30, 2005, 10:49:59 AM »
 
BOSTON

Quote
Aiken sticks with stale 'Idol' formula

By Marc Hirsh, Globe Correspondent | August 30, 2005

If you were a newly autonomous artist, released from the contract foisted upon you by ''American Idol" and one of the few unqualified successes to come out of the Fox phenomenon, would you stage your summer tour as though it were an amusement park rock 'n' roll revue? Clay Aiken did, and his Jukebox Tour, which hit the Bank of America Pavilion on Sunday, showed all the imagination, professionalism, and depth of the cheesy group numbers performed on the show from which he's supposedly trying to distance himself.

The evening's tone was set at the start, as a jukebox played Starship's ''We Built This City," recently named the worst song ever by music magazine Blender. As the record started to skip, Aiken came out dressed as the Fonz and hit the jukebox, at which point a backdrop reading ''The '50s" unfurled and the band started up. Medley after medley followed, as Aiken (with substantial help from backup singers Quiana Parler, Angela Fisher, and Jacob Luttrell) sang the most recognizable parts of hits from the past six decades. Some strange moments resulted, as when Aiken sang in front of a backdrop reading ''ELVIS" in huge letters, prompting the question of who exactly the crowd was supposed to be applauding.

The Claymates had no doubt, screaming their devotion. One couple carried a sign informing the singer and the world that this was their 100th Aiken concert. Aiken acknowledged them and many others from the stage, showing an ease with audience interaction and stage patter, even when it was simplistic and moon-eyed commentary like, ''The music of the 1960s paints a portrait of lightheartedness and fun."

Aiken occasionally broke from the medley format to perform an entire song from start to finish, though ''Mandy," ''Solitaire," and a surprisingly pretty version of Christopher Cross's ''Sailing" were truer to his middle-of-the-road pop stylings than ''When Doves Cry." By the time he closed with six of his own songs -- and the Claymates responded as though ''Invisible" wasn't actually a creepy stalker anthem -- Aiken was left to sink or swim on his own merits. The rest of the show suggested that you can take the boy out of ''American Idol," but you can't take ''American Idol" out of the boy.

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Re: JUKEBOX TOUR MEDIA REVIEWS
« Reply #26 on: October 26, 2014, 11:09:44 AM »
lorraine
Enthusiastic
*****

« Reply #26 on: August 30, 2005, 01:01:34 PM »
 


PAMELA - WHY OR WHY DO THESE CRITICS CONTINUE TO FRUSTRATE ME SO.  DO THEY HAVE BLINDERS ON OR ARE THE DEAF.  O.K. I AM JUST VENTING BUT OUR HONEY DOESN'T DESERVE SUCH TERRIBLE REVIEWS
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Re: JUKEBOX TOUR MEDIA REVIEWS
« Reply #27 on: October 26, 2014, 11:12:13 AM »
Pamela
Assistant Webmaster
« Reply #27 on: August 31, 2005, 07:39:20 AM »
 
Lorraine, this one should make you feel better!

CHAMPLAIN VALLEY FAIR, VERMONT


Quote
After Dark: At play with Clay

Published: Wednesday, August 31, 2005
By Erica Jacobson
Free Press Staff Writer

ESSEX JUNCTION -- I ran into my first Claymates on Monday night as I walked past the green wooden doors that separated a Champlain Valley Fair parking lot from the backstage area at the grandstand.

Two women had waited outside the doors, trying for a glimpse of the night's headliner, Clay Aiken, a runner-up from reality show "American Idol." A third woman, 25-year-old Angel Smith of Baltimore stood off to the side holding a purse bearing Aiken's image and ticked off the states where she had seen the singer perform since the end of July. New York, Connecticut, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and, now, Vermont.

"I never used to travel before he came along," Smith said. "I've flown for my second time the other day because of Clay."

It was then, a scant 30 minutes before the spiky-haired singer took to the stage, that I realized that I had been living a lie.

Contrary to everything in my musical past and my planned future purchases (the "La Dolce Vita" soundtrack, the new Franz Ferdinand album), I really, really like Clay Aiken.

"It's his voice, his looks," Smith said, explaining her Aiken fascination. "He just gives you a look out in the crowd and your heart just stops.

"It's like a high school crush."

Aiken, I sense, knows this all too well. His truly enamored fans wear rhinestone pins proclaiming "I luv Clay" and carry cell phones that chirp Aiken's hit "Invisible" with every call. They follow him from venue to venue, crossing continents and, in some cases, oceans to swoon as Aiken croons for a few hours on stage.

What I discovered Monday night is it's hard to blame them, really.

Aiken is an entertainer. Whether he's playing to a half-full fairgrounds show in Vermont or sold-out casino shows in New Jersey, he's out to please. His voice skipped across the decades, at home belting out everything from a few lines of Bobby Day's "Rockin' Robin" to Prince's "When Doves Cry" in its entirety. As Aiken approached the '70s portion of his multi-decade review, he admitted things were about to get a little messy " 'cos this skinny white boy can't dance so well."

"These feet are too big to dance around so much," Aiken said in his North Carolinian drawl.

Unlike other personalities born out of the reality TV revolution, Aiken seems down-to-earth. A trio of North Carolina women who had won tickets -- both plane and concert -- to see Aiken fanned themselves with $6 souvenir Aiken fans and gushed about his down-home charm before the show. During the concert, Aiken didn't demand adulation from the crowd, it just happened.

He also acknowledged Monday night that there might be a few nonfans in the stands.

"There are also gentlemen in the audience who did not want to be here," Aiken told the crowd, asking women to point out the boyfriends, husbands and dates who had begrudgingly tagged along. "They would much rather be eating a corn dog."

Now, as a no-frills concert purist, I thought the jukebox format of the show was a little risky.

Make it too choppy and the songs become unrecognizable. Make it too drawn-out and it turns into little more than spending a night at a karaoke bar watching friends belt out drunken versions of Elton John's "Don't Go Breaking My Heart." Aiken managed a nice mix of hits, slow ballads as well as the occasional song sung entirely by one of his three back-up singers. And even Aiken's costume changes through the decades -- skinny tie with suit for the '60s, white leisure suit for the '70s -- weren't too excessive or frequent enough to confuse Aiken with a Ken doll.

As the last notes of "Invisible" echoed off the grandstand, I folded up my notebook and walked out to my car.

It wasn't supposed to be like this, I thought. I was supposed to see Aiken in concert, exorcise my infatuation and move on. Don't get me wrong, I'm not rushing out to buy his "Measure of a Man" CD. Whatever music of Aiken's I come to own will be between me and my iPod. I will say that I'm still wondering just where to get one of those handbags ... .

 ©BURLINGTON (VT) FREE PRESS
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Re: JUKEBOX TOUR MEDIA REVIEWS
« Reply #28 on: October 26, 2014, 11:14:46 AM »
claydevotee
Guest

« Reply #28 on: August 31, 2005, 04:26:59 PM »
 

Quote
PAMELA - WHY OR WHY DO THESE CRITICS CONTINUE TO FRUSTRATE ME SO.  DO THEY HAVE BLINDERS ON OR ARE THE DEAF.  O.K. I AM JUST VENTING BUT OUR HONEY DOESN'T DESERVE SUCH TERRIBLE REVIEWS
.         


LORRAINE:  As they say, "That's Show Biz!".  I'm sure Clay isn't that upset over those reviews.  He probably knew at the onset of the JBT that the critics would be accusing him of being nothing more than cheesy, dorky karaoke singer. I suspect he realizes that as long as he has his amazing fan base, he'll do just fine in spite of the nay-sayers!
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Re: JUKEBOX TOUR MEDIA REVIEWS
« Reply #29 on: October 26, 2014, 11:25:01 AM »
« Reply #29 on: September 01, 2005, 07:53:32 PM »
 
MERRILLVILLE

Quote
Clay Aiken’s tour strolls through decades     
Written by KELLY VON EBERS / Photos by BARRY BRECHEISEN     

They call themselves Claymates. They are the swarms, the masses, the women who save their vacation days to road trip from city to city catching every show imaginable and becoming no less enthusiastic with each passing song… they are the fans of nerd-gone-pop-star Clay Aiken, currently touring the States on his spanning the decades “Jukebox Tour.”
 
The summer tour, just over a month long, features upbeat medleys and jaw-dropping performances of hits from the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s, ’80’s and ’90s by Aiken and his overly talented backup singers Jacob Lutrell, Quiana Parler and Angela Fisher, all of whom have the potential to be successful solo recording artists.

Aiken came into the spotlight with the second season of American Idol, where he lost the “Idol” title in what was quite possibly the closest reality show race to date. Apparently, being the runner up isn’t so bad. Aiken’s debut album “Measure of a Man” soared to the top of the charts and become double-platinum, which is more than can be said for any other runner up on Idol, much less any winner. Not to mention landing on the cover of Rolling Stone that year three months ahead of the winner, Ruben Studdard.

As illustrated by the sold-out crowds throughout the tour, people of all ages will – and do – enjoy Aiken’s energetic yet intimate, empowering and humble performances. From my 9 year old “Clay rocks my world” little sister to my 70 year old “I came along for the ride” grandmother, the show truly has something for everyone and is a must see for anyone with an ear for music of any kind.

The show began with the hits of the 50’s, well before 26 year old Aiken’s time. Proving that even dorky guys can pull off a tight leather jacket if they twist and turn *just* right, Aiken took the audience back to the Elvis decade complete with a hip-shaking performance on top of the piano. The Motown classic 60’s had whispers of “She is the luckiest girl EVER” buzzing through the crowd as Aiken did some serious bumping and grinding with backup singers Quiana and Angela during Jackson Five hit “Candy Girl”. For someone who persistently reminded the audience that he can’t dance, Aiken sure kept the crowd on their feet love struck with his every move. (And guys, his fans are NOT just lonely women, there were males dancing with just as much enthusiasm as the rest of us). Aiken also performed Neil Sedaka’s “Solitare”, which he re-recorded and dedicated to his father on his debut album.

After a short intermission Aiken grooved into the 70’s with “Oh What a Night” and his own rendition of “Mandy”, made famous by his idol, Barry Manilow. Bringing back his days on Idol, Aiken treated the audience to “Bridge Over Troubled Water”, which he performed late in the competition, leaving the entire nation convinced we had a winner, but only giving him the second place title. Perhaps the most powerful performance of the night, 80’s hit “When Doves Cry” illustrated perfectly that Aiken can take a song from any genre and make it his own.

The most amusing costume change of all, Aiken’s crew was decked out in spandex, overly bright jackets, vests and half unbuckled supersized overalls for the ’90s. Attempting the “cabbage patch”, Aiken pointed out “this is what we call a conniption fit in the South!” With songs that took me back to the days of elementary school dances and a too close to the real thing for comfort version of “Livin’ La Vida Loca”, Aiken truly kept the audience engaged and entertained straight through the show.

Showing his recognition of their talent, Aiken was sure to share the spotlight with Angela, Quiana and Jacob, all of whom performed solo numbers. Aiken also performed songs from “Measure of a Man” as well as selections that may end up on his next album, set to go into production shortly.

For the entire 2 ½ hours of the show, never once did Aiken bore the audience, miss a note or fail to make a song seem as if it had never been performed better before. Criticized from day one for his style and appearance, Aiken has undoubtedly surpassed expectations and become more successful than anyone could have imagined. Still enjoying the success of “Measure of a Man”, Aiken has proved that “Idol” judge Simon Cowell was clearly wrong when he stated back in season two, “Clay, you don’t look like a pop star.”


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