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ClayManiacs.com  |  Archive  |  Solo Tour 2004  |  SOLO TOUR MEDIA - PREVIEWS, REVIEWS & MORE
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Author Topic: SOLO TOUR MEDIA - PREVIEWS, REVIEWS & MORE  (Read 12546 times)

Marilyn

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Re: SOLO TOUR MEDIA - PREVIEWS, REVIEWS & MORE
« Reply #30 on: June 27, 2010, 01:20:22 PM »
Pamela
Assistant Webmaster
MEDIA PREVIEWS & REVIEWS
« Reply #30 on: August 14, 2004, 08:40:50 AM » 

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SCENE PAVILION CLEVELAND OH PREVIEW
Quote
Aiken works to build career beyond 'Idol'
Tuesday, August 24, 2004
Gary Graff
Special to The Plain Dealer

Clay Aiken is one Idol who hasn't been idle.

The slender North Carolinian has been in constant motion since finishing as the runner- up in the second season of "American Idol" in May 2003 - a near photo finish with Ruben Studdard, the soulful Mutt to Aiken's emotive Jeff. Aiken has toured with the other "Idol" contestants and watched his first single, "This Is the Night"/"Bridge Over Troubled Water," top the charts and become the best-selling single since Elton John's 1997 "Candle in the Wind" remake.

Rolling Stone magazine put Aiken on its cover - even before Studdard - and all manner of other media latched onto the for mer special-education teacher from Raleigh, whom "Idol" made over from a bespectacled, self-declared geek to a confident heartthrob with a lusty legion of fans - Claymates - and scores of fawning Internet sites hopping on the Clay train. "I haven't exactly skimmed below any spotlights," Aiken, 25, says with a laugh.

Oh yeah - he made an album, too, which has only kept those spotlights burning brighter. "Measure of a Man," which came out in mid-October, logged two straight weeks at No. 1 and went platinum in its first month on sale. It's now moved nearly 3 million copies - the top-seller by an "Idol" contestant - and launched the hits "Invisible," "This Is the Night," "The Way" and "I Will Carry You."

And with the album's success, Aiken hopes that "Measure of a Man" - which was overseen by RCA Records chief Clive Davis and "Idol" creator Simon Fuller - has established him as a durable talent independent of the show, closer to inaugural "Idol" winner Kelly Clarkson than bust Justin Guarini, Aiken's direct predecessor.

"I don't want to be 'American Idol' runner-up Clay Aiken the rest of my life," he acknowledges. "I don't necessarily feel like I have something to prove. We just want to make sure that there's growth and there's change, and you'll hear that on the album.

"But it's also important that we don't alienate the people that watched ['American Idol'] and put me there. If it weren't for that show, I would not be in the place that I am now. It would be a mistake to forget that."

From the classroom to the TV cameras

Raised by his mother and grandmothers after his parents divorced, Aiken - who subsequently took his mother's maiden name - never craved a career as a singer, though he did sing in his church choir and in school-theater productions. Mostly he was happy to teach his grade school students and even planned to get a master's degree in administration.

That all changed when some of his students' parents, who had heard him sing, encouraged Aiken to try out for "American Idol." He stumbled his way through the audition process, finally getting a spot on the show via a wild card round for those who had been previously axed. There, as his appearance morphed, Aiken quietly won the support of the voting fans and the "Idol" judges - even acerbic Simon Crowell, who derisively dubbed Aiken's "This Is the Night" as "American Idol: The Musical."

"Y'know," Aiken says, "in all honesty I came into this whole experience not really expecting to ever be a recording artist or to have an album. It's not like I had some kind of grand vision for how my big recording career would pan out."

He does, however, bristle at those who want to position him and Studdard as rivals - and give Aiken the upper hand in the battle because of the Rolling Stone cover (the mag's best-selling issue of 2003) and the fact that the "This Is the Night" single far outsold Studdard's "Flying Without Wings"/"Superstar."

"Yeah, I sold more singles than Ruben did, but his single got more airplay than mine," Aiken notes. "It's not that either one of us beat the other on anything. He's great at what he's great at, and I'm good at what I'm good at. And we're not even competing in the marketplace, 'cause we have two completely different markets.

Not in competition with Ruben Studdard

"So it's almost a moot point, this competition thing. He and I are not competing with each other at all. We're friends. We support each other." More than that, even; Aiken would ask Studdard to knot his tie before going onstage during the "Idol" tour. "He can do that better than me, too," Aiken says.

Being the runner-up, however, did give Aiken a chance to finish "Measure of a Man" quicker than Studdard made his debut, "Soulful." Aiken says that "the basic feel is pretty much the same" as what he did on the "Idol" telecasts; "I like songs that need to be sung, that you have to emote on," he explains.

But, he says, "there's definitely been a progression. These songs are a little edgier. We've made them more radio-friendly. They're definitely more modern types of songs than I sang on the show, more modern than 'This Is the Night.' "

Aiken has a Christmas album slated for November, but he's really looking forward to getting into the studio again for his next album of pop songs - primarily to leave no doubt that he can succeed beyond the "Idol" aura.

"I don't think I have anything to prove at this point," Aiken says. "I hopefully won't have to prove anything. We just want to make sure that there's growth and there's change. I did that on ['Measure of a Man'], and I want to keep doing that on everything that I do."

CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER


SCENE PAVILION CLEVELAND OH REVIEW



Quote
Nice-guy Clay Aiken thrills his fans

Pop cover versions fill out nearly 2-hour show for Scene Pavilion crowd dominated by women.

Clay Aiken may not be the pop-culture phenomenon he was shortly after he was named runner-up in the second season of American Idol, but the faithful "Claymates" and their husbands/significant others and chaperones still love the nice boy from North Carolina enough to have sold out the Scene Pavilion on Tuesday night, and to scream at his every word in his nearly two-hour set.

The obvious question is how can a guy with only one album, clocking in at less than 80 minutes, perform for two hours?

The answer is that since he came from a glorified karaoke show, he was free to liberally pepper his set list with other folks' already-famous songs.

He entered from beneath the staircase in the middle of the stage, singing U2's Where the Streets Have No Name (without all the pathos that Bono gives it) to a positively giddy crowd of overwhelmingly female admirers. The count was so high that Scene Pavilion staff members were forced to transform a men's room into a women's room with the help of carefully applied neon orange duct tape.

Those women made sure that Aiken knew they love him, and he in turn made sure they knew that he appreciated their ardor, repeatedly thanking "the wonderful people who made all of this possible.''

Aiken's double-platinum debut, Measure of a Man, is full of pleasantly bland pop music, and that safe, family-friendly blandness is part of Aiken's allure.

"He's like a breath of fresh air,'' one fan said.

Presumably the covers were songs that Aiken loves and loves to sing, and his choices showed that he is definitely a fan of pop music. He applied his malleable tenor to Mr. Mister's Kyrie, Orleans' Still the One, and a medley of James Taylor tunes, including Fire and Rain, Sweet Baby James and How Sweet It is (To Be Loved By You).

If Aiken's nice-guy persona is a pose, he's darn good at it, because aside from his aw-shucks stage banter, he gave up stage time so that his five-piece band could turn Toto's Rosanna into solo spotlights. Aiken also introduced each band member and several members of his road crew (by name!) and brought fans onstage to dance and sing a duet with him.

For all his nice-guyness, Aiken is a shrewd performer. He closed the show with several songs from his CD, including the stalker anthem Invisible, the title track, Measure of a Man, and This Is the Night, and he knows what gets his fans' collective panties in a bunch.

So there were plenty of dramatic crescendos, and Aiken standing legs akimbo, arms spread wide, to elicit screams. Interestingly, many of the biggest screams came when he rubbed against one of his female backup singers.
AKRON BEACON JOURNAL (registration required)



Quote
Aiken show offers fans a man who measures up
Thursday, August 26, 2004
John Benson
Special to The Plain Dealer

Clay Aiken was anything but "Invisible" Tuesday night when the "American Idol II" runner-up crooned as the nearly sold-out Scene Pavilion swooned.

With more homemade signs than a PTA bake sale, the mostly female, sea-of-pink audience - a mother-and-daughter thing (with nonchalant Dad occasionally singing along) - got what it wanted: fun, by-the-numbers pop music with Clay leading the way.

For nearly two hours, including an intermission, the North Carolina native performed two-thirds of his triple-platinum debut "Measure of a Man," along with half a dozen cover songs and a momentum-killing James Taylor medley that left the youngsters in the audience learning how sweet it isn't when your favorite singer digresses into oldies music.

Not completely squeaky clean, Aiken was as wholesome as he was cool. He also possessed a relaxed stage presence that belied his relatively short-lived celebrity, which merely dates back to May of 2003, when he finished second to Ruben Studdard in the sophomore season of "American Idol." So cool was Aiken that on this hot and humid evening, the 25-year-old performer appeared to be the only one in the outdoor venue not breaking into a sweat.

Whereas "American Idol," for good or bad, is perhaps critically perceived as nothing more than a glorified karaoke contest, Aiken transcended this notion by turning in a pop performance of middle-of-the-road material that never offended.

As with other mega-selling pop stars such as Michael Bolton and Celine Dion, Aiken's material speaks to the heart. What it may lack in breaking new ground is justified by the overwhelming response provided by his fans. From the sincere "When You Say You Love Me" and the R&B-lite leanings of "I Survived You" to the breezy "Shine" and the anthemic "This is the Night," the singer sold the material with impunity.

Buoying his set perfectly were Aiken's numerous cover songs, including U2's "Where the Streets Have No Name," Mr. Mister's "Kyrie," Toto's "Rosanna" and Neil Sedaka's "Solitaire."

Not billed as a Christian artist, Aiken displayed his faith numerous times throughout the evening in subtle (wearing a WWJD bracelet) and not-so-subtle fashions (singing gospel song "You Were There" while dressed in reverent choir white). Perhaps answering the question of what would Jesus do if he were onstage, a benevolent Aiken invited two lucky audience members to sing and dance with his eight-piece band.

For the most part, Aiken's performance delivered what it promised: a derivatively wholesome "American Idol" celebration of music and overcoming great odds to achieve success. While losing the novelty moniker that currently shadows his career will be tough, Aiken effortlessly tackled a variety of material in a down-home fashion that confirmed that his vocal talents are definitely a cut above those of a karaoke singer.

Ultimately, the Darwinian nature of the recording industry with fleeting careers in pop music will be the "Measure of the Man." But on this night, Clay was everybody's idol.

Opening the show was pop singer Cherie, who was warmly received by the audience but appeared a bit stiff onstage. Supporting her recently released self-titled disc, the French performer offered up a set of adult contemporary songs that showcased the possibilities of her vocal talents.

CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER
ALWAYS AND FOREVER-UNCONDITIONALLY!!!

Marilyn

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Re: SOLO TOUR MEDIA - PREVIEWS, REVIEWS & MORE
« Reply #31 on: June 27, 2010, 01:26:17 PM »
Pamela
Assistant Webmaster
MEDIA PREVIEWS & REVIEWS
« Reply #31 on: August 14, 2004, 08:41:23 AM » 

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MINNESOTA STATE FAIR ST PAUL MN PREVIEW
Quote
He's just a dork … but don't tell his fans

BY ROSS RAIHALA
Pioneer Press

Clay Aiken is a dork.

Now, all you Claymates, don't start writing angry letters quite yet. "Dork" is Aiken's preferred term to describe himself.

"I'm just a dork," the "American Idol" runner-up said during a phone interview from a tour stop in Columbus, Ohio. "I'm a normal dork like everybody else. I'm like the guy next door."

More like the tremendously, almost inexplicably, famous and adored guy next door, but still, he's on to something. After three blockbuster seasons of the televised karaoke contest, Aiken — who performs live tonight at the Minnesota State Fair — has emerged as the most popular "American Idol" to date.

Despite coming in second to Ruben Studdard, the 25-year-old North Carolina native can already boast some impressive stats. His album, "Measure of a Man," entered the Billboard charts at No. 1, selling 613,000 copies in its first week — the biggest numbers for a debut record since Snoop Dogg's "Doggystyle" a decade earlier. Aiken's song "This Is the Night" was 2003's best-selling single.

And then there are Aiken's fans, the Claymates. Kids love him. Young women love him. Moms love him. Dogs love him. Young men love him — well, not so much.

How does Aiken account for such adoration?

"Oh, I don't know," he said with his high-pitched, snorty and, yes, dorky laugh. "I really don't know. I think it's just been a long time since there's been a celebrity who looked like me. There weren't any celebrities who acted like me and dressed like me. I think people can relate to me, because I'm just a dork."

But that's not stopping the man who topped the National League of Junior Cotillions' list of the "Best-Mannered People of 2003" from writing a book. Due in stores by Christmas, "Learning to Sing: Hearing the Music in Your Life" is filled with inspirational stories about chasing your dreams, achieving your goals and the like.

"I really haven't had a life yet, I'm only 25, so I don't have much to talk about yet," Aiken said. "But the book is an opportunity to share stories about things that have happened to me; it's about people who have helped make me who I am. It's about how I found my voice and the people who helped me do that."

In addition to writing his book, Aiken has a disc of holiday music in the pipeline and plans to release another new album in 2005.

What does Aiken do when he's not performing live, writing books, crooning carols or being an all-around polite, gracious and swell young man?

"Usually, I sleep," he said. "That's pretty much all I ever do. That and play with my dog, Raleigh. She's gotten used to life on the road."

Anything else?

"Not much, really. Sometimes if I'm bored, I'll Google my name and see what's going on," Aiken said. "See, I'm really a normal guy."

Yup, a dork. We've got that.

TWIN CITIES


MINNESOTA STATE FAIR ST PAUL MN REVIEW

Quote
A likable Clay Aiken brings freshness to the State Fair
Jon Bream,  Star Tribune
August 27, 2004 
   
Clay Aiken, "American Idol's" most enduring singing force, set two records Thursday night at the Minnesota State Fair:

• He was the first grandstand headliner in fair history named after two counties in Minnesota.

• He established a mark for the most tunes during which a big-name singer broke into laughter in mid-song -- three.

In all seriousness, Aiken set a standard for all idols -- American or just plain teen, performing with a freshness and enthusiasm that was so genuine that it made him so genuinely likable.

Aiken, 25, a former North Carolina special-ed teacher, was friendly, funny and spontaneous. Making his third local appearance in 13 months, he seemed much more comfortable onstage than in April at the Xcel Energy Center (the last show on his tour with "Idol" Kelly Clarkson) or in July 2003 (his first show ever, with the other finalists of the second season of "AI"). This time, he commanded the stage, moving without awkwardness or self-consciousness (though he admits he can't dance), singing eye-to-eye with his backup singers and making eye contact with his fans. Most of all, he was having fun -- and so were the 6,873 grandstand-goers, most of them female.

When he brought a young woman from the audience onstage to duet with him on "Without You," Aiken was flying without a net. The overly excited woman said she flew in that morning from Arizona for the show and she wondered whether her sister could video the duet even though the security guards had banned video cameras.

"Is there anything else I can do?" Aiken asked. "Make a list. ..." A music business major at a community college, she held her own vocally, as a giggly Aiken gazed into her eyes as they sang.

After the bundle of energy exited, the heartthrob said: "She flew in from Phoenix. I don't think she used a plane."

The drummer forgot to hit a rim shot.

Aiken didn't miss a step during his 80-minute performance, except when he inexplicably burst into giggles during "I Survived You," one of his many big, serious ballads. His theatrical voice is well-suited to the kind of Broadway pop he favors (think Barry Manilow-meets-Michael Crawford with a hint of Art Garfunkel), but the material from his best-selling CD, "Measure of a Man," is unremarkable, save for his hits "Invisible" and "Solitaire."

His covers -- oldies by Toto, U2, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor, Mr. Mister, Orleans -- were more an exercise in karaoke than imaginative interpretation. And his rendition of the Christian praise song "You Were There" was a heavy-handed detour.

Nonetheless, Aiken had the star quality, stage craft and unstoppable charm to transcend his material and to suggest that he will have opportunities to establish more records at the state fair and elsewhere.
MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE



Quote
Clay Aiken has unerring knack for selling a tune

BY ROSS RAIHALA
Pioneer Press

Clay Aiken wasn't about to let a little rain dampen his soft-rock party from kicking off the Minnesota State Fair Thursday night.

Between intermittent showers, the second-season "American Idol" runner-up belted out selections from his double-platinum debut "Measure of a Man" and well-chosen cover versions in front of a well-mannered, politely appreciative crowd of 6,873.

Barely a year into this whole showbiz thing and Aiken already possesses the assured demeanor of a seasoned veteran — when he opens his mouth to sing.

While not quite as technically adept as some of his "American Idol" co-stars, the 25-year-old has an unerring knack for selling a tune, whether it's one of the bloodlessly professional songs written for him ("I Survived You," "Perfect Day") or a light-rock radio staple like Toto's "Rosanna" or Mr. Mister's "Kyrie." This guy could sing the back of a milk carton and have the tweens melting in their miniskirts.

His banter between numbers, meanwhile, is Aiken's real secret weapon. He speaks in a sort of high-pitched, Southern squeal — punctuated by nasal giggles — that makes Aiken seem all the more, you know, normal. A major key to Aiken's success is approachability, or at least the illusion thereof, and he knows it.

Thus Aiken endlessly bantered with the audience between songs, telling lame jokes and chumming around with his bandmates and crew. Yet it all felt casual and genuine, rarely studied. His off-the-cuff responses to the overly excited young woman he pulled on stage for a quick duet even suggest a future in improv. To be sure, the kids ate up every word and even the most cynical audience members couldn't help but be at least occasionally charmed by the guy.

And if Aiken's chattiness wasn't enough, there were his eyes. Those eyes. Clearly the result of being a contestant on a televised talent show, Aiken was constantly aware every moment a camera was pointed in his general direction. And he worked it — flashing not so much bedroom eyes as perhaps family-room eyes.

See, another reason the squeaky clean Aiken has done so well is that he knows how to appeal to both young women and their moms. That's why he sang knockout versions of his own hits, like "This Is the Night" and "Invisible," while finding time to include such boomer-friendly diversions as a medley of James Taylor tunes. He even threw in a full-on contemporary Christian number, "You Were There," complete with a montage of biblical imagery that was far more Hallmark card than "The Passion of the Christ."

It's going to take a lot more than a cloudburst to stop this guy.

TWIN CITIES
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Marilyn

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Re: SOLO TOUR MEDIA - PREVIEWS, REVIEWS & MORE
« Reply #32 on: June 27, 2010, 01:30:55 PM »
Pamela
Assistant Webmaster
MEDIA PREVIEWS & REVIEWS
« Reply #32 on: August 14, 2004, 08:41:59 AM » 

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US CELLULAR CENTER MILWAUKEE WI REVIEW
Quote
Measure of a runner-up American Idol
Aiken bonds with crowd that already knows it loves him

By TIM CUPRISIN
Aug. 27, 2004

Clay Aiken was perfectly fine in his first Milwaukee concert appearance Friday night at the U.S. Cellular Arena.

The runner-up from the second season of Fox's "American Idol" had a good crowd for a 90-minute concert that benefited from a professional five-piece band and three powerful backup singers who filled the gaps in his understandably limited repertoire.

Aiken hasn't been performing long enough to do it alone, and he wisely let the singers take over, as in a set of James Taylor songs. He sang the lead on the opening song in the set, "Sweet Baby James," although his somewhat nasal voice didn't work well with the tune.

But it was the songs off his album that the enthusiastic audience came to hear, and they got good renditions of what they'll find on his CD, "Measure of a Man."

The 25-year-old Aiken was at his most effective and confident on "I Survived You" and the concert's climactic "Invisible," both off the album.

His lone encore number, "Solitaire," was an audience favorite as well. And his Christian song, "You Were There," complete with a dramatic video track on the screens at either side of the stage, momentarily created a revival atmosphere.

Aiken was substantially weaker in covers, like Toto's "Rosanna" and Orleans' "Still the One" and his opener, U2's "Where the Streets Have No Name."

Beyond the singing, Aiken bonded well with an audience that already loved him.

He was relaxed and conversational on stage and did a few bits that warmed up an already toasty crowd, including bringing one guy up to dance with a backup singer and getting a young woman from central Wisconsin - who showed where she was from by turning her hand into a map of Wisconsin - to sing a duet.

As for the crowd, there was the expected contingents of "Claymates," the tweens and teenage girls who got to know Aiken during his run on the second season of "American Idol." But there was also a sizable number of middle-aged women, showing that he's not necessarily the conventional pop idol that the show aims to create.

After 90 minutes of listening to Aiken, it's clear that he has a future in music, although it may not be as a pop star.

He has a personality and a stage presence - along with a singing style - that would serve him well on Broadway.

Right now, though, there's enough of an "American Idol" afterglow to keep him belting out pop tunes for at least a little while longer.

MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL
 
 
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Marilyn

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Re: SOLO TOUR MEDIA - PREVIEWS, REVIEWS & MORE
« Reply #33 on: June 27, 2010, 01:32:06 PM »
stellium
Guest
  IL. State Fair concert review
« Reply #33 on: August 14, 2004, 07:21:07 PM » 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Posted: Sat Aug 14, 2004 4:25 pm    Post subject: Illinois concert review     
 
This is the review this morning in the Springfield, Illinois, State Journal Register newspaper, by the same journalist who conducted Clay's great interview a few days ago about Kimberley cooking breakfast !

Clay Aiken delivers formidable performance at Grandstand

By NICK ROGERS
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT WRITER

If a man is measured by his generosity, Clay Aiken is one of the heftiest guys around.
Aiken is no vocal slouch; his trademark is a formidable vocal tone that belies his skinny stature. But he was more of a singing straight man Friday night, as Aiken created powerhouse four-part harmonies with his backup singers throughout his concert at the Illinois State Fair Grandstand.

A crowd of 5,171 watched Aiken and company roll through an 85-minute set of material from his "Measure of a Man" album and as eclectic a collection of covers as a pop singer can churn out.

The evening began on a wobbly note, with the pre-recorded shill for Disney (the tour sponsor and the studio for whom Aiken recorded "Proud of Your Boy" for an upcoming "Aladdin" DVD) and the unveiling of the same sort of set every pop concert has these days - two tiers of stage separated by a shiny metal staircase.

But instead of him running out and down the staircase, it lifted up to reveal Aiken, whose Bono bombast was credible on the show-opening cover of "Where the Streets Have No Name." Though some of Aiken's biggest fans weren't even born when that song was released, those screaming for him ate up the song, which came complete with a copy of the cascading light scheme U2 uses.

"We can smell the funnel cakes, the hot dogs," Aiken said of the state-fair venues he's played frequently on this tour. "But tonight we're smelling something a little different down here on the horse track. Maybe they left a little welcome gift for me."

Aiken conversed with the crowd many times during the night, pacing the stage with his hand in a pocket and putting forth a chummy Southern-buddy vibe. But a couple of interactive crowd-pleasing ideas backfired a bit.

He sought someone with "innovative dancing talent" to come on stage during "When You Say You Love Me." But the woman from Cape Girardeau, Mo., he brought up apparently didn't feel comfortable doing the eye-catching dance on stage that inspired him to lure her up there.

And the shyness of a 5-year-old girl whose prayer every night was to sing with Clay Aiken (and got her wish) made for prolonged silences, during which Aiken was patient and joking with her. When she started singing "Invisible," it was a cute moment - but that song, with its sanitized stalker lyrics underneath a sunny beat, is creepy enough when sung by an adult, let alone a small child.

Those were only slightly shaky moments, though, in a concert that was otherwise hugely enjoyable.

For starters, Aiken earned kudos for pulling some rarely heard '80s chestnuts out of the cover box.

He and backup singer Angela Fisher tore up the Aretha Franklin-George Michael duet "I Knew You Were Waiting For Me," which is a rarity even for 1980s flashback radio programs. And Aiken allowed his band mates to turn a spirited rendition of Toto's "Rosanna" into a remarkable jam session.

Plus, Aiken sort of resembles the singer for Mr. Mister, so why would he not do "Kyrie," let alone lend an admirably nerdy opening dance to it?

Aiken had tremendous backing power from Angela Fisher, Jacob Luttrell and Quiana Parler, with whom he created unshakable walls of sound all night. Watching the quartet perform was like a professional, wholly on-key version of a group-sing on "American Idol" - with no one preening to the camera in a plea for votes.

Along with the tribal-sounding "Kyrie," Aiken showcased Fisher, Luttrell and Parler on a medley of James Taylor covers - "Sweet Baby James," "How Sweet It Is," "Fire and Rain," "Your Smiling Face" and "You've Got a Friend."

Of Aiken's own material, standouts included "I Will Carry You," with an uplifting chorus that showed off Aiken's vocal power; "Invisible," which, despite the spooky lyrics, still has an undeniably catchy melody and vocal line; and "Solitaire," his encore number.

All in all, this was the rare show where the onstage dancing and interaction between singers and musicians felt like a genuine extension of the fun they were having. And it translated well enough to the crowd that everyone there became a "Claymate," if only for about 90 minutes.

Opening the show was French singer Cherie, whose wardrobe of a bandanna and oversized football jersey didn't seem to match her measured, precisely sung pop tunes.

Cherie's voice is good enough, without being overpowering, that only rarely did she reach for syllable-extending histrionics or warbling high pitches. The highlight of her set was "Older Than My Years," a tender ballad with coos and breathy pauses a la Celine Dion, without the dramatics.
**********
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Re: SOLO TOUR MEDIA - PREVIEWS, REVIEWS & MORE
« Reply #34 on: June 27, 2010, 01:33:02 PM »
stellium
Guest
  Letters published about Clay at IL. State Fair
« Reply #34 on: August 17, 2004, 07:53:25 AM » 

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Two letters appear in the Springfield State Journal Register letters to the editor section this morning, in the center with a picture of Clay singing in an intense moment with the microphone in front of the jumbo screen. One good, one not. (I believe this is important because this is the state paper with a huge circulation in Illinois.)
First, the negative..

FANS SHOULD HAVE 2ND CHANCE TO MEET AIKEN

"As I write this letter, my daughter, Erin T.........., is sitting in the Grandstand of the Illinois State Fair with a broken heart. She and her mother were lucky winners of tickets to a VIP party and backstage passes to meet Erin's idol, Clay Aiken. They arrived at the fairgrounds at the WDBR tent at 5:30 p.m. While they were there, a young lady in a wheelchair was awarded the same prize. Needless to say, she was elated. WDBR staff then escorted the lucky winners to the VIP party at the Grandstand.

When the group arrived, a gentleman from Fox 55 informed them that because of "security issues", none of them would be allowed backstage to meet Clay. He also told them that he had been there since 9 a.m. trying to iron things out. The decision not to let anyone meet the performer had been reached at 4:30 p.m.

My daughter was crushed. The blow could have been lessened if the individual from Fox would have contacted the WDBR people and informed the winners that, in fact, they would not be meeting with Mr. Aiken.
This was a once in a lifetime opportunity for my wife and daughter. I sincerely hope that the people from Fox 55 and WDBR make arrangements with the Clay Aiken tour management to make good on their promise to allow these winners the opportunity to meet him. Clay will be performing several more times before summer is over. It would be only fair if they provided these fans with another chance to meet with Clay."

Daniel Ten...........
Springfield

and the good ....

SEEING AIKEN PERFORM LIVE SURPASSED ALL ELSE

"I just had to give my opinion of the Clay Aiken concert on Friday night. I have rarely enjoyed a show as much as I did this one. As always, his voice was strong and held your attention. The review in the paper was mostly favorable; however, the reviewer felt he had to mention the not-so-good moments. The opening about the Disney Aladdin stuff was disappointing for the reviewer, but as Disney is the sponsor, it was most likely necessary.

I loved the fact that Clay, who has not been in the business for too long, wanted to involve the audience. The little girl was cute, and she will remember that moment for the rest of her life. I enjoyed his performance and found that hearing him in person was better than live television, even though the equipment at the fairgrounds probably could use some upgrading.

His voice was strong and true, and the backup singers, or should I say the singers who sang right along with him, were wonderful as well. I really enjoyed Clay's performance and would see him again and will look forward to what he does in the future."

Debbie Tur.........
Springfield


 I like the fact that the girl's father is blaming Fox 55 for this and not a word against Clay personally. The upset man  obviously is confused about the entire situation and at a loss why this decision was made.

The second letter is a general opinion of the fans around here who are not die-hard Clay fans but came to see him because they liked Clay on the Idol show.   They have not had the exposure to Clay's personality that we have had,  and just a few opportunities on TV shows and his records to get to know him better.   This live show helps introduce them to the personal side of Clay Aiken,  and I could tell in the audience how charmed and pleased everyone was with him Friday night,  in a crowd of 5171.
ALWAYS AND FOREVER-UNCONDITIONALLY!!!

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Re: SOLO TOUR MEDIA - PREVIEWS, REVIEWS & MORE
« Reply #35 on: June 27, 2010, 01:34:34 PM »
HavinaClayAffair
Letters published about Clay at IL. State Fair
« Reply #35 on: August 17, 2004, 08:01:24 AM » 

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Thanks Stellium!! I hope thay are able to meet Clay but we all know there seemed to be something going on that day that ended without a bass player. I wish them luck and hope the station has success is making those arrangements.

Lora-Ohio
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Re: SOLO TOUR MEDIA - PREVIEWS, REVIEWS & MORE
« Reply #36 on: June 27, 2010, 01:35:00 PM »
mrs. c.
Letters published about Clay at IL. State Fair
« Reply #36 on: August 17, 2004, 08:25:19 AM » 

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You know, Clay will make it right, he always does!!!!
ALWAYS AND FOREVER-UNCONDITIONALLY!!!

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Re: SOLO TOUR MEDIA - PREVIEWS, REVIEWS & MORE
« Reply #37 on: June 27, 2010, 01:35:23 PM »
clayfannj
Letters published about Clay at IL. State Fair
« Reply #37 on: August 17, 2004, 09:54:15 AM » 

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I am more concerned over the fact that the meet and greet had to be cancelled.... I hope there was no threat made to Clay.. If the security people felt the need for this session to be cancelled..THAT WAS OF PARAMOUNT IMPORT... AND THAT is what HAD to be done...  Although I don't like to disappoint a child either..the parents  of this child should be a little less self involved and perhaps look to see behind this uncommon request..  Life has disappointments...Perhaps that is what those parents should have explained to their..13 yr old  "crushed" child rather than whining to the newspaper..

    Clay's SAFETY  or a pre teen's not getting her way????


               DUH!!!!
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Re: SOLO TOUR MEDIA - PREVIEWS, REVIEWS & MORE
« Reply #38 on: June 27, 2010, 01:36:00 PM »
dudley5
Letters published about Clay at IL. State Fair
« Reply #38 on: August 17, 2004, 10:41:59 AM » 

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I AGREE WITH CLAYFANNJ.........CLAY HAS NEVER ALLOWED ANY OF THE MEET AND GREETS TO BE CANCELLED......THAT TELLS ME THAT SOMETHING WAS DEFINITLY WRONG WITH SECURITY THAT DAY......AND I BELIEVE THAT IS ALSO THE SAME NIGHT SOMEONE SAID WITHIN SECONDS AFTER HE FINISHED HE WAS ON THE BUS WITH A POLICE ESCORT LEAVING THE GROUNDS......

THIS IS A MEAN CRUEL WORLD WE ARE LIVING IN NOW......AND THEIR ARE NUT CASES RUNNING AROUND ALL OVER THE PLACE........CLAY IS GETTING BIGGER AND BIGGER EVERYDAY AND HIS SAFETY IS OF UPMOST IMPORTANCE.......EVERYONE WHO LOVES OUR CLAYTON SHOULD JUST BE GRATEFUL THAT JEROME....THE POLICE....AND EVERYONE THAT IS TAKING CARE OF CLAY WERE ON THEIR TOES THAT DAY........ AND EVERYDAY.
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Re: SOLO TOUR MEDIA - PREVIEWS, REVIEWS & MORE
« Reply #39 on: June 27, 2010, 01:36:42 PM »
Claymaniac2000
Clay's safety
« Reply #39 on: August 17, 2004, 11:44:27 AM » 

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As soon as I read that there was 15 state troopers there that night and that the bus had a police escort out of the stadium, I came to the conclusion that there had possibly been threats on Clay's life, and his safety is of paramount importance. I am sorry the M & G was cancelled but I am so glad that he has so many people looking out for his safety. Especially Jerome. I don't think anyone has ever had a better bodyguard. THANK YOU JEROME. WE ALL LOVE YOU FOR TAKING SUCH GOOD CARE OF OMC.
ALWAYS AND FOREVER-UNCONDITIONALLY!!!

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Re: SOLO TOUR MEDIA - PREVIEWS, REVIEWS & MORE
« Reply #40 on: June 27, 2010, 01:37:15 PM »
Clayforlife
Letters published about Clay at IL. State Fair
« Reply #40 on: August 17, 2004, 12:13:51 PM » 

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That is very sad for the girl that missed the opportunity to meet OMC when she had come so close.  If I put myself in her shoes, I would have been heartbroken too.  Having said that, though, I think that there was obviously something going on.  They worked all day trying to iron things out.  It scares me to think that this could actually happen more often.  Clay is a superstar now and while I think I speak for most of the fans, we would never cause any harm to Clay.  Having said that, I know there are some crazy people out there who for whatever reason would cause harm to Clay.  Celebrities live a different lifestyle whether they want to or not - including Clay.  It might explain why he chooses to stay away from the chaos that goes along with stardom and hang out at home or in his hotel room, where there is nothing to fear.  I do feel bad for the people who lost out on the chance to meet Clay, but perhaps if Clay gets wind of the the letter the girl's father wrote, he will do something to make it up to those fans.
 
 
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Re: SOLO TOUR MEDIA - PREVIEWS, REVIEWS & MORE
« Reply #41 on: June 27, 2010, 01:38:11 PM »
ClaysMelody
Guest
  Letters published about Clay at IL. State Fair
« Reply #41 on: August 17, 2004, 12:29:49 PM » 

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I totally agree with the fact that Clay would never,ever have cancelled a meet and greet unless it was absolutely necessary.  It has never happened before even during the IT when he was having trouble with his voice and couldn't even talk during the meet and greet.  He could have easily just let Kelly do it alone those nights.  But he didn't.
With everything that is going on in the world today people should understand the importance of security concerns.  I am sure that Clay probably did not even have part in the decission to cancell the meet and greet.  I can understand the little girl's disappointment, but parents - grow up!

Melody
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Re: SOLO TOUR MEDIA - PREVIEWS, REVIEWS & MORE
« Reply #42 on: June 27, 2010, 01:38:35 PM »
mrsaiken3504
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  Letters published about Clay at IL. State Fair
« Reply #42 on: August 17, 2004, 02:55:00 PM » 

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thanks for posting this- I feel really bad for the little girl and her mom- she was probably looking forward to it for a long time. We know Clay will fix it! He always does! Im just curious about what the "security" issues were.
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Re: SOLO TOUR MEDIA - PREVIEWS, REVIEWS & MORE
« Reply #43 on: June 27, 2010, 01:38:55 PM »
outthereforclay
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  Letters published about Clay at IL. State Fair
« Reply #43 on: August 17, 2004, 03:39:53 PM » 

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Clayforlife....your avatar mesmerizes me! I'm a "mouth" person and Clay's absolutely sends me to places I can't describe on this thread...

(post a lot, ok? : )
ALWAYS AND FOREVER-UNCONDITIONALLY!!!

Marilyn

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Re: SOLO TOUR MEDIA - PREVIEWS, REVIEWS & MORE
« Reply #44 on: June 27, 2010, 01:39:18 PM »
claysjoy
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  Letters published about Clay at IL. State Fair
« Reply #44 on: August 17, 2004, 03:50:51 PM » 

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I am heartbroken! ( I've been so busy, that I've been out of the loop lately. ) I know how upset everyone was not getting to meet him after planning on it, but along with everyone else, GET OVER IT!  There are thousands of us who want to meet him and don't.  but to think someone did something to cause that much security problems, makes me sick at my stomach.  I know that celebs have stalkers and such, but how could anyone harm CLAY?  It just does not make sense to me.  All the boy does is try to bring happiness to so many, it's like threatening Santa Claus.  This world is really sicker than I thought.  Man, I feel sorry for the person who thinks they can get away with hurting him.  Is that the kind of talk that makes one sound crazy?  I just know as devoted as us fans are, if someone hurt him, they might meet a few of the more rabid fans.  POOR CLAY, he is just a sweet innocent guy, trying to be there for us, and he gets his life taken away, having to hide from the world.  I wonder if he has any regrets yet?
ALWAYS AND FOREVER-UNCONDITIONALLY!!!

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