Saturday, October 27, 2007

Aiken's 'Solitaire' Raises Roof

SOLITAIRE PERFORMANCE -- Clay Aiken sang "Solitaire" during the "Neil Sedaka: 50 Years of Hits" celebration Friday night. Bigappleforclay video screen cap by CAP121, enhanced by Sally.

At Neil Sedaka Tribute

'Solitaire' Soars Through Roof

According to fans, the roof of Avery Fisher Hall is now in dire need of repairs as crescendos and the climax of Clay Aiken's "Solitaire" performance virtually disengaged the ceiling at Neil Sedaka's 50th anniversary tribute Friday night.

Clay's amazing rendition was rewarded with the first of two non-Sedaka standing ovations, the other going to songstress Connie Francis.

A host of entertainers who have performed Sedaka's music during the past 50 years were invited to help commemorate the show biz milestone. Besides Francis, others included Natalie Cole, Paul Shaffer, Dion, Captain & Tennille, Renee Olstead, The Bad Plus, Lou Christie, Cousin Brucie Morrow, and David Foster.

Teasing the Aiken faithful in the audience, Foster announced, "When you write a great song, you can sing it a thousand different ways." CA fans screamed as Foster grinned and introduced an alternative jazz trio.

Admitting he had joked with the fans long enough, Foster began introducing the singer for real, stopped and said, "No need to go through all that -- Clay Aiken!!!"

Screen cap links to SOLITAIRE video on YouTube.

Written by Sedaka 35 years ago, the song that has become a signature for Clay demonstrated his beautiful baritone register and built to an overwhelming climax.

Fans stood as the singer started the "SOLITARRRRRRRRE" glory note; and by the time he had finished holding it, most in the audience were on their feet. As the song ended, practically the entire hall was standing for a sustained ovation.

With thanks to Bigappleforclay, here are Sendspace downloads of Clay's Clay's performance in mp3 and wmv formats:

Solitaire mp3 audio

Solitaire Small wmv video

PHOTO INTERLUDE: Featured are photos from Clay's performance during the tribute for Neil Sedaka. Included are clickables by Irishbookgal, 1, 3, and and 5; and Mustbeeme, 2 and 4.

Sedaka Sheds 'Solitaire' Tear

Reportedly, Sedaka became emotional during Clay's performance. As he left the stage, Clay walked by the piano and was high-fived by Foster, who had accompanied him. Despite his stunning performance, rumor among some in attendance was that Clay was suffering from strep throat.

There were many memorable moments as Neil Sedaka and "friends" sang hit after hit. From "Give Me One More Chance at the Midway," recorded by Peggy Lee and performed Friday night by Sedaka, to Connie Francis singing "Where the Boys Are" and dueting with the songwriter on "Stupid Cupid," this was a night to remember.

Recaps began pouring into CA message boards late Friday night and early Saturday. Parts of them are shared here:

Rafters Ring at Avery

Dancermom2: Clay rang the rafters at Avery Fisher Hall when he hit the note. He was in total danger of overpowering the microphone. He didn't utter a spoken word, and he didn't come back afterwards at the end for a duet or for the finale. But neither did Natalie Cole and Dion.

KSChristian4Clay: A few of my friends just called from New York City. They said that Clay won over more people tonight. Also, Neil only gave two people Standing O's tonight -- Connie Francis and Clay.

Clabydoll: Clay was phenomenal and stole the show. He nailed the glory note and the entire song. He sang with such passion I just wanted to cry and scream. And scream I did at the top of my lungs for him. I think this was his best glory note ever for Solitaire.

Mercedes: Clay sounded awesome and looked gorgeous. We were able to see Neil Sedaka and his family, and they only stood for Clay and Connie Francis.

Clayzedover: The buzz by the NJU as they were leaving the theater was all around. Two men and a woman who sat in the first or second row orchestra were talking about Clay as we stood waiting to make our way out.They had never heard Clay before, but they were definitely impressed.
The men said that note vibrated in their respective chests. They planned to see "Spamalot" this week; and when they heard that Clay would be joining the cast, they decided they would wait until next year.

'Solitaire' Clay's Song

Carol5230: Clay was amazing. He was spot on and nailed the note. The crowd went wild. "Solitaire" will always be Clay Aiken's song; no one but no one sings it like him. As soon as David Foster mentioned his name, half the theatre gave him a standing ovation."

Mom11: It was such a privilege to be there last night. Clay's voice, even when sick, does not just fill every crevice of a concert hall; it permeates every molecule. My friend, not a Clay fan, commented after his performance, "Has his voice gotten bigger?"

Playbiller: I am not a person who gets chills, but there was something about Clay giving his all to this version of Solitaire. Cousin Brucie came out after Clay just shaking his head and said something like, "Clay....whew!!!!!"

Raleighlady: As amazing as the video is, it truly does not convey even one tenth of how incredible and powerful the live performance was and the reaction of the audience. It was spectacular and I doubt that anybody left there last night without a totally new appreciation for Clay Aiken.

He is an absolute gift and last night was a triumph for him. He is only beginning to find his talent and I think we are going to be blown away by the Clay Aiken that emerges in the next couple of years. It's going to be an incredible ride and I'm hanging on for dear life.

Many thnx to the fans who attended the Lincoln Center event and promptly shared the evening's highlights with others around the globe. Don't you just living in the Digital Age?

Below is a clickable of the opening photo:

Enjoy the LA Auditions on AI Rewind 2 if you can tear yourself away from the new 'Solitaire' Clack. Have a wonderful weekend, Clay Nation!


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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Stephbridge here reading your "other blog". ;)

I love all of the comments made by the fans and the reactions of the others in the audience. I can't imagine how Neil couldn't have become emotional after that performance.

I can only imagine what it felt and sounded like at the Avery Fischer. That hall was meant to capture the power of his voice.

I'm going to be shaking my head until it falls off. Holy Cow!!