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ClayManiacs.com  |  Archive  |  Tried and True Tour 2011  |  TRIED AND TRUE TOUR REVIEWS
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Author Topic: TRIED AND TRUE TOUR REVIEWS  (Read 3321 times)

Marilyn

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TRIED AND TRUE TOUR REVIEWS
« on: February 13, 2011, 03:59:03 PM »
#2 – That Clay Aiken Can Really Sing
Okay, I know I have just made myself about 110% less cool for saying so – but the guy has some pipes.  I’m visiting my parents in Florida this week and last night we went to his show (did my coolness just drop another 30%?).  It wasn’t my first choice for entertainment and I might literally have been the youngest person there (other than Clay and the band) but I have to admit I enjoyed it.  Clay could have chosen a different outfit – the sweater was not flattering – and I wasn’t really digging the medley of current pop hits in the big band style, but when he sang the oldies – as they were meant to be sung, he was really good. And most of all I appreciated the fact that he didn’t take himself too seriously.



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Marilyn

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Re: TRIED AND TRUE TOUR REVIEWS
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2011, 01:55:41 PM »
person just tweeted the link to his blog

A Foodies Life

 
February 21, 2011
Clay Aiken in Waterbury, Ct.
I was on the phone with a friend of mine last Friday whom I hadn’t seen in awhile. We had planned on getting together on Sunday. We decided that instead of just hanging out and drinking wine, what we normally do, we should go on an adventure. So I tasked myself with looking up concerts or anything that we could do that would be fun. I looked on pollstar.com and found that Clay Aiken was playing in Waterbury, Ct., about an hour and a half from where we live. I called her and asked if she wanted to go, she said ‘yes’ so I purchased the tickets. No I know what you all are saying, Clay Aiken? Really? If I was in the middle of a crowded room I don’t know that I would scream “I love Clay Aiken.” Ok, I know that I wouldn’t but that’s just because I’m generally pretty shy in big crowds. Secretly, I’ve loved Clay Aiken since he was on American Idol. He’s living the dream, singing on stage, broadway etc. When I was young I have to say that I dreamed of doing the same thing. Anyway, so we made plans to meet and park my friends car where I work on Sunday afternoon and go exploring Waterbury, Ct.
About 3pm we started on our journey. It was a cold but sunny New England day, snow was on the horizon but the forecasters all said it wouldn't arrive until after midnight. We drove down beautiful route 8 through the berkshire’s and into Connecticut. It was a perfect day for a ride. Then we got to Waterbury. I was expecting a beautiful Connecticut town, but I was disappointed. Driving through town I slid on a patch of black ice with cars in front and behind me, narrowly escaping hitting the other cars. It made me immediately want to flee Waterbury, so we did for a little while. We drove around searching for a restaurant that wasn’t there. We couldn’t find anything on the road where we wanted to eat. Finally, after an hour of driving around we decided that we would park by the theatre and try to get dinner close to there. Surely, there had to be a restaurant close by, right? We asked the parking attendant who said that right next to the theatre there was a restaurant that made the best burgers, or our other choice was a fancy expensive restaurant just up the hill. We went to the restaurant, it was about 4:50pm and the sign said it was closed. I figured it being Sunday we might not find anything. We decided to go to the theatre and get our tickets, maybe the box office would have a suggestion. They suggested the restaurant up the hill but said it would be pricey. We walked out the theatre, past the first restaurant and they had just flipped their open sign. We walked inside to a place that looked like it could have been a nice pub/bistro. Deciding to sit at the bar we ordered our drinks. I ordered a rum and diet coke and my friend ordered a martini. The bartender poured my friends martini and went to help other customers. Floating on the top of her martini she noticed a speck of something ash looking, so she asked the bartender over to make another one. We perused the menu which was full of sandwiches, nachos, wraps, burgers and that kind of light fare. I had all ready decided that I wanted a burger, which is what we both decided on. We watched other people come in, some appeared to be Clay Aiken fans, maybe from the fan club, and some townies or regulars. It was a great dichotomy of people.
We had both ordered bacon cheeseburgers, not saying anything about cheese choice, one burger came with american cheese and one came with cheddar. After touching her burger my friend looked over to me and said ‘the bacon is ice cold.’ I felt mine, it was like they had taken cooked bacon out of a freezer package and added it to the burger, I’m sure they had. We sent the burgers back, and they fixed them for us. We ate our burgers, unconsciously adding salt to them and then a few minutes later I looked at the salt shaker and there were black specks in it. When we asked one of the bartenders, who we learned was one of the owners kids, he said it was ‘black rice.’ My friend and I both looked at each other and laughed. We chalked the meal up to experience. I always find it a shame that people can run a place like that next to a theatre where they probably don’t count on repeat business and get away with it. It’s the same way everywhere though. People that don’t have to worry about repeat customers get away with almost anything. The place was full, even with the groups of people that walked out because of the service. I couldn’t help but think that Gordon Ramsey and a film crew from “Kitchen Nightmare’s” were about to walk through the door.
After two hours of drinking and eating we went over to The Palace Theatre next door to see Clay Aiken perform. When we entered even the lobby of the theatre my mood was transformed by the beauty of the space. We later found out that they had recently renovated the theatre and it was stunning. The crowd for a Clay Aiken was a little different than I was used to. After we sat down in our seats this usher brought these older ladies to the seats in front of us and I heard him say ‘Ok ladies, you are not allowed to throw your panties.’ The concert started right on time. The lights in the theatre went out, music started to play and we heard his beautiful signature voice. The night was an evening of oldies supporting his most recent album “Tried and True.” Clay sang songs like “Buttercup”, “Mack the Knife”, and others. Even though he was feeling under the weather his voice sounded better than ever. While I was struck by his voice and the simplicity of the staging I was even more impressed with his personality. He joked the whole evening about his music, the fact that most men are forced to come to his concerts. At one point someone in the audience said something about wanting to meet him and he said “Join the fan club, I can be bought”.
He went on a long rant about the music industry and how it’s really a producing game now. Producers can make anyone sound good. To prove his point he got the lyrics to a song and just read them, then the musical director digitized it to make it sound different. He said that every night the band picked a new song that they wanted to hear him ‘read’. He never know’s what the song was until right before he does it. The musical director handed him the lyrics to “I Kissed a Girl”. He performed it and at the end of the song a girl from the balcony yelled “Maybe you should give it a try.” He walked over to the side of the balcony she was on and said ‘if you jump down here I’ll give it a try.’ Mr. Aiken finished the evening with his version of ‘Unchained Melody’ and then for his encore sang ‘In My Life’. A perfect way to end the evening sitting next to a great friend. If you ever get a chance go see Clay Aiken in concert. He’s not showy, there is no pretense, he just is who is he is. There is something to be said for that.



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Marilyn

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Re: TRIED AND TRUE TOUR REVIEWS
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2011, 10:46:48 AM »
Review: Aiken gives classics their due

By Amy Clarke • Staff writer • Published: February 25. 2011 2:00AM

NOTE- THIS SITE REQUIRES A LOG IN, BUT SOMEONE FROM CV BROUGHT THE WHOLE REVIEW-SO HERE IT IS

There are few souls in this wide world who can pull off Joni Mitchell and the Righteous Brothers back-to-back. Clay Aiken proved he was one of them Thursday night at the Peace Center.

It was a simply presented show featuring little more than Aiken, a handful of talented musicians and soulful backup singer Quiana Parler, but it was more than enough to highlight the “American Idol” alum’s startlingly powerful voice.

Aiken, who is touring following the release of his new album “Tried and True,” sang mostly songs from that album – the well-traveled and much beloved classic love songs of the ’50s and ’60s.

Thanks to Aiken’s respectful and yet personal treatment of long-cherished songs, including the finale featuring The Beatles’ “In My Life,” no one left the show without humming a new favorite old song.

As a nod to the fans who have followed his pop career for years, he also offered a slightly odd medley of some of his better-known songs, including “Measure of a Man” and “Invisible,” arranged to sound more like the jazzy classics of the rest of the show.

But it was those classics, like Andy Williams’ “Love Story,” Johnny Mathis’ “Misty” and the aforementioned “Both Sides Now” and “Unchained Melody” that allowed Aiken to really shine, showing off his range and impressive vocal power, much to the audience’s delight and amazement.

Upbeat selections like “Suspicious Minds” (Elvis Presley) and “Build Me Up Buttercup” (The Foundations) livened up the show, as did Aiken’s lighthearted banter and occasional antics.

An Auto-Tune stunt gave Aiken a comedic soapbox from which to lambaste contemporary pop music for its dearth of talented singers. And renditions of Connie Francis’ melancholy hit “Who’s Sorry Now” in funk, Celtic and marching styles reaped plenty of laughs.


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Marilyn

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Re: TRIED AND TRUE TOUR REVIEWS
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2011, 02:22:42 AM »
Clay Aiken sings, talks smack on Ke$ha in Mesa


Clay Aiken has built himself a loyal fan base, and he clearly knows it.

When the North Carolina native arrived onstage at the Mesa Arts Center Thursday as part of his Tried and True tour, the crowd welcomed him with open arms.

But while the show certainly had some great crowd interaction and a fun, upbeat feel, the lack of original songs and some slow transitions seemed to keep the crowd of so-called "claymates" somewhat subdued. In the end, the show still came out as mostly a success, if only because Aiken's charismatic personality outweighed his performance.

From the very beginning, it seemed clear that Aiken knew he was playing to a crowd of diehard fans, even before he mentioned meeting a girl at the show that had two tattoos of his autograph and a tongue stud featuring a picture of Aiken's face.

The night began with a dark stage, a few dramatic piano chords and plenty of swelling strings, before Aiken's clear tenor voice cut through. As the curtain rose, the spotlights found Aiken belting out the dramatic "(Where Do I Begin?) Love Story," and just seeing the crowd react to the sight of Aiken is enough to make you wonder how he ever ended up in second place on "American Idol."

Joined by a swinging jazz quartet, Aiken tore into songs from his latest album, 2010's "Tried and True," a collection of popular songs and standards from the 1950s and 60s. Snapping along in true rat pack fashion, Aiken made his way through tunes such as ""Mack the Knife" and "There's a Kind of Hush," smiling all the while.

"It's so warm in here tonight, and I've got this little sweater action going on and it is just not working for me," said Aiken as grinned into the crowd, before someone in the crowd shouted "Take it off!,"

"That's disgusting, how old are you?" Aiken responded in mock horror. "I will take off this tie though, because it bunches up in the front and makes me look three months pregnant."

Aiken is a natural performer, so comfortable onstage that his banter became a conversation with the crowd, often causing the theater to erupt with laughter.

The show took a while to find its groove however, as Aiken stuck too close to his new material, explaining that his older tunes wouldn't fit into the big band style he was experimenting with on this tour. While it's certainly fair for an artist to want to move into new territory, the crowd was clearly eager to hear some of his familiar work, including the songs from his multi-platinum debut, 2003's "Measure of a Man."

Aiken came off as eager to distance himself from his older work, even going so far as to tell a detailed story about how he can't remember the titles, let alone the words, to many of those songs. He did give the crowd a taste of the older tunes however, playing a quick medley of songs including "This is the Night," "A Thousand Days" and "Invisible."

Aiken and his band reworked the songs into big band numbers, but from the roar of the crowd each time he switched tunes, it was clear that fans were hoping for a bit more than a few lines from each.

Aiken's regular touring partner and singer Quiana Parler soon arrived onstage, leading the band through the Gershwin classic, "A Foggy Day."

"People just don't sing like that on the radio anymore," Aiken said following the performance. He then went on to say that many pop stars don't even have to sing anymore, namedropping Ke$ha as an example.

After demonstrating that he could just speak the words to Chris Brown's "Forever" and let the autotuner do all the work for him, Aiken and Parler proved they really knew how to carry a tune with renditions of Elvis' "Suspicious Minds" and the Foundation's "Build Me Up Buttercup," followed by a showstopping version of "Moon River."

For his version of the 1923 classic "Who's Sorry Now?," Aiken invited the crowd to suggest unusual musical genres, promising that band could play the song in any style. The talented group of musicians lived up to the challenge, turning the tune into a boogie-woogie, a lullaby, a mariachi tune and a klezmer.

They even nailed a "beatbox" version of the tune, which found Aiken doing a crotch grabbing dance and mock-rapping, a sight so hilarious it made a young girl sitting near me laugh so hard she nearly fell out her chair.

After giving his band a lengthy introduction, Aiken unleashed his dramatic rendition of "Unchained Melody." Though his voice strained to hit a few of the notes, Aiken's passionate rendition of the song earned him a standing ovation.

Through his inviting personality and laid-back charm, Aiken easily won over the crowd Thursday night, even if he only sang old pop tunes. It doesn't seem to matter at this point, because as Aiken's himself put it, he's now the leader of a "cult." His fans seem as though they'll follow wherever he leads. There was even a woman in the crowd who had been to every show on his tour.

And though Aiken might be fully aware of his fan's dedication, that doesn't mean he's taking it for granted.

"When this started with 'Idol,' I figured I'd maybe do one album and it would all be over in a year," said Aiken, before closing the night with a tender version of the Beatles' "In My Life." "But it's been more than eight years now, and I want to thank everyone of you for letting me take this ride."




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Marilyn

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Re: TRIED AND TRUE TOUR REVIEWS
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2011, 03:09:14 AM »
Concert: Houston TX/Jones Hall
Concert Date: February 14, 2011
Reviewed By: Houston Press

Clay Aiken
Jones Hall
February 14, 2011

While most people celebrated Valentine's Day last night, we headed to Jones Hall to see former American Idol contestant Clay Aiken. While it wasn't necessarily our ideal way to spend the most romantic of all holidays, we'd by lying if we said we weren't a little curious how this Valentine's Day-themed performance would map out.

Aiken is currently touring in support of his fifth album Tried and True, a tribute to the singer's favorite songs of the 1950's and '60s, including his take on songs by such artists as Elvis Presley and Louis Armstrong.

Aiken's backing band took the stage first, delving into a medley overture as a bright light dramatically shone on a solitary mike stand in the stage's empty center. Aiken joined his band, his familiar baby-faced profile slowly illuminated by the light as the crowd cheered, some even standing, to offer the singer a warm Houston welcome.

?Those audience members clutching their complementary Houston Symphony programs were likely confused at first, as Aiken's dapper suit-and-tie promo photo in the magazine was a bit misleading; the singer strolled onstage looking like the same 25-year-old kid we met on American Idol. Unlike his snazzy Rat Pack press photo, Aiken sported jeans and worn-in boots as he walked onto the spacious Jones Hall stage.

He appeared stiff and awkward right off the bat, beginning his set with the odd opening choice of the Love Story theme, a slow, moody song that only added to the singer's evidently discomfited stage presence.

Luckily, he abandoned his mike after two songs; the Frankie Valli classic "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" also livened the mood considerably, as he sauntered the stage, appearing more comfortable as the set progressed.

Acknowledging the high number of men in the audience, Aiken joked, "How many gentlemen were either threatened or bribed to be here tonight?" Thankfully, the singer was beginning to temper his choice of slow grooves with some stabs at humor.

Aiken approached a poster-toting fan seated in the front row; she and her mother had traveled from Abilene to see his performance and she was beside herself with excitement as the singer kneeled down to introduce himself and joke with her, even taking her cell phone's video camera and recording himself wishing her a "Happy Valentine's Day."

The audience seemed to appreciate Aiken's between-song banter, but unfortunately the songs would have fit all too comfortably in a cruise-ship lounge. "Moon River," "Suspicious Minds," and Aiken's several awkward attempts at mid-song humor were stale - for example, Aiken's messy pop medley of Britney Spears' "Baby One More Time," the New Kids on the Block's "The Right Stuff," the Footloose theme, and his own "Invisible."

Charleston-based vocalist and fellow former American Idol contestant Quiana Parler joined Aiken onstage for songs like The Foundations' "Build Me Up Buttercup" and Connie Francis' "Who's Sorry Now," for which Aiken asked the audience to suggest a style in which they'd perform the song. He settled on the suggested styles of calypso and grunge, each of which produced bouts of laughter from the crowd.

Parler added a welcome dose of sass to the show; her energy was infectious, as she danced and clapped her way through each song. The singers' duet of the Roy Orbison masterpiece "Crying" was a poignant crowd-pleaser, Parler's strong vocals complimenting Aiken's soulful tenor voice.

But the evening's certain highlight was Aiken's cover of the Righteous Brothers classic "Unchained Melody." The song, already immeasurably moving to begin with, was tastefully arranged and showcased Aiken's wide vocal range.


?As he sang, the naturally romantic magic of the song charmed the crowd: Aftermath noticed couples entwining hands, scooting closer to one another as they listened. Many seasoned couples endearingly sang along with the words.

To say it was unfortunate that this wasn't the singer's choice of closing song is an understatement, as it was surely the highlight of his set. Instead, Aiken trekked on, adding his covers of the beloved Beatles classic "In My Life" and closer, the Carpenters tune "Solitaire," which Aiken covered on his 2003's Measure of a Man.

After admitting his choice of closer was "extremely inappropriate" for Valentine's Day, the lights turned on, and the singer was gone, without a "thank you" or "good-bye," but the crowd didn't seem to mind - many even rose from their seats and saluted the singer with a standing ovation.

Aftermath always hopes to take away some piece of wisdom from shows. Last night, as we admittedly wondered about Aiken's appeal, we learned that he is an Old Soul; he sings these classics with emotion and has a clear personal passion for each song. Evidently, there is a market for that, as many audience members exited the theater with beaming smiles.

Clay Aiken is not for everyone; but he's clearly found a crowd-pleasing calling in Golden Age classics.


Personal Bias: Aiken's set could have benefited from a simple reworking of the set list order.

The Crowd: twentysomething American Idol fans in the front row and sweet fiftysomething couples celebrating Valentine's Day.

Overheard In the Crowd: Not a word during the show - a nice change from our frequent coverage of rock shows.

Random Notebook Dump: I still hear only Al Hibbler's voice when hearing "Unchained Melody..." but while simultaneously recalling sensual pottery-making a la Ghost.
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