Saturday, July 24, 2010

Clay Aiken-Ruben Studdard Show Sizzles

Clay Aiken dazzles in Timeless Tour concert. (Photo by ashtash24)

Musicians Hot in Asheville Opener

Curtain Rises on Timeless Tour

ASHEVILLE, NC -- On one of the hottest summer evenings of the season, Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard sang, danced, and bantered their way through a very entertaining show at Biltmore Estate Friday, opening event of the 17-city Timeless Tour.

The next three shows are in air-conditioned Florida venues -- 8 p.m. Saturday, The Florida Theatre, Jacksonville; 3 p.m. Sunday, King Center for the Performing Arts, Melbourne; and 8 p.m. Monday, Florida Theatre, Clearwater.

Fans on the south terrace of Biltmore Estate gave the reunion concert of American Idol 2's top two contestants a hearty thumbs up and shared the show with friends back home via cell phones, message board reports, and video/audio/photographic rewinds known throughout the Clay Nation as "clack."

Interspersed with these initial Asheville recaps are clickable photos that capture some of the evening's magic provided by Clay and Ruben, backup singers Quiana Parler and Casey Thompson, and a band that was as hot as the summer temps.

Two Hours Filled with Fun, Music

Brightstar: Wow, wow, wow! Back from the concert. That may be the most fun I've ever had in a two-hour stretch! So much laughter and fun and silliness and absolutely awesome music sung by such talented singers, served with lots of teasing, considerable respect, and tons and tons of love.

Amazing! They were both in great voice and looked wonderful. There were so many songs packed in, yet the time flew by. I bet I don't remember a tenth of it now. All I want to do is see it again immediately.

DH went with me, and he really, really enjoyed the show. He asked if there were another one nearby; he'd like to see it again. Unfortunately, there's not one close at all (though I'm going up north for some more in August).

Those two men put their heart and soul into this show, and they sang and danced their asses off (almost literally, since Clay could hardly keep his pants up). They have to be totally and completely exhausted tonight (and dehydrated too), but I hope they are proud of their accomplishment.

I have no doubt it will change and evolve as time goes by, tighten up here and there, change up the banter now and then, and I can't wait to see the version they give in a few weeks. Once is never enough. Or twice. Or three times. Or a dozen.

One of the hottest days of the year. Sun and sweat and unforgiving heat. Yet I could focus on nothing but the stage, and the heat disappeared for me when the show began. That's magic.

Two unlikely stars, talented men, forever friends. I'm so lucky to have been there.

Photo credits: Irishbookgal, 1; ashtash24, 2, 4; farouche, 3; Hotclay, 5.

Final Song Sums Up Show

artz11: I'm just in from the concert and all I can say is BRILLIANT. Ruben is wonderful in every aspect of this show, and Clay's signature is all over it. Clay was bubbly, happy, and as welcoming as he always is.

"I've Had The Time of my Life" was the last song. They both sang it with full smiles and fun. On the phrase 'and I owe it all to you,' Clay swept the audience with his hand. Clay and Ruben's years of experience are very evident. Big difference from the JBT. The energy level is amazing.

Clay's "Mandy" was beautiful. I closed my eyes and floated away. Casey's voice has a beautiful full tone, and she's going to be a good fit. I'm so thankful that I will get to see this again.

claynicianTB: I just got home from the show, and the night was incredible. It was awesome to see Clay back with a band and entertaining like no body's business. Ruben's voice was also gorgeous. and he was very funny, even off-the-cuff. Both girls sounded awesome.
All the musicians were top-notch. Great guitar and keyboard solos, and Felix was a hoot on drums again. So glad to see him back!

This was my only show. I definitely see opportunity for improvement as time goes along, so I'll be watching future clack to see the progression. Such a fun concert. There was so much energy on stage, almost non-stop, you didn't dare look away!

clem231: Those two are amazing together. I smiled from the time they hit the stage until my head hit the pillow. In fact, I'm still smiling.
Forget Sonny and Cher.
Forget Bert and Ernie.
Forget Burns and Allen.
It's the Clay and Ruben Show!!!

tnmtmama: From the comments I heard all around before and after the show, there were a lot of NJU fans there who had not seen Clay or Rube since Idol, and they were really impressed with both of them.
Some of the comments: "Wasn't he the skinny, nerdy one?" ..."Boy, those guys can sing." ... "They have really cute personalities together." I think it was geneous to do this show in this format, and I think it may bring them both a whole new set of fans.

Photo credits: toni7babe, 1, 3; Irishbookgal, 2; farouche, 4, 5.

Ruben, Clay Spin Magical Evening

aikim: Best show ever! Ruben and Clay are magic together. I have never seen Ruben so animated or funny, and the man can move! Clay was all over the place; the man can dance! There were plenty of men in the audience, and they were laughing and enjoying the show.

FearofH2O: I laughed for the whole show. Clay was doing some incredible moves. He can dance. Of course he and Ruben did some really funny moves, like trying to do a chest bump but missing. I thought I would die laughing. The clawing movements they did during Eye of the Tiger funny funny stuff.

Do I dare talk about Clay wearing Hammer pants and doing the Hammer dance. OMG! Looking around I saw smiles on everyone's face. There were quite a few men at least more than usual and the ones I saw seemed to enjoy the show.

jmh123: The show was fantastic but it's hard to name all the songs because the medleys were much longer than the JBT. The banter was just hilarious--we smiled and laughed until our faces hurt, and we are still smiling.
The last song was "Time of Your Life," and Clay acted like Ruben was doing it without letting him know they were going to, but that's BS. Anyway, they sounded fantastic together.

They started with Ruben singing Flying Without Wings and then Clay interrupted and sang This is the Night", and they kept interrupting each other. At the end Clay sat on Ruben's lap and then Ruben dumped him on the floor.

The audience was having lots of fun and dancing and laughing and clapping. I wish everyone could have been there.

BONILEE: Just got back in from the concert! It was totally AMAZING! It is my favorite after the Jukebox Tour!

Clay was so on tonight! The man is a true comedian! We never stopped laughing! I didn't want it to end. He literally danced himself in to a sweat! That boy can dance! His voice was in fine form and he sang some really rockin' songs -- "More Than a Feeling," "Eye of the Tiger."

I am telling you, folks, THIS WAS THE NIGHT! I was so sad when it ended. If you can possibly get yourself to the show, it is a must see! Just wonderful!!!

Photo credits: shutterbuglady, 1, 2, 3; Irishbookgal, 4, 5

Concert Set List Covers Decades

There was no printed program; but by the end of this weekend, a set list will emerge. In a concert some fans have lovingly labeled "Jukebox 2," the music covered several decades, opening with an AI duel between Ruben ("Flying Without Wings") and Clay ("This Is the Night").

The medley march through decades of pop music included an estimated 80 songs in two hours, some of which were "Suspicious Minds," "Going Out of My Head," "Can't Hurry Love," "Crying," "Soul Man," "Sugar, Sugar," "Harper Valley PTA," "Ain't No Mountain High Enough." "Natural Woman," and "Still the One."

Ruben's Marvin Gaye tribute ("What's Goin' On," "Mercy, Mercy Me") was followed by songs from the 70s -- "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now," "Oh What a Night, "Oh Girl," "On the Radio," "Turn the Beat Around."

Next came Boston's "More Than a Feeling," "September," "Mandy" (Clay), "Superstar" (Ruben), "I'm Every Woman" (Quiana), "Stay with me Tonight."

The show shifted to the 80s with "Eye of the Tiger," "Rhythm of the Night," "Glory of Love," "Shout! Tears for Fears," "Africa," "I Can't Fight This Feeling Anymore," "All Night Long." "Alone, "Carribean Queen," "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now," and "Footloose."

That's a partial of the first hour, in which the repartee between two very good friends was as much fun as listening to them sing. All in all, a magical evening of entertainment -- even via cellstream!

Meanwhile, the clack runneth over at Clack Unlimited. Currently represented in the Timeless Tour/Asheville section are audio/video files by deborah760, farouche, LauraQ, Scarlett, and toni7babe.

Early fan suggestions for "must see videos" include "Hot as Hades," "Clay Dancing," "Mandy," and "Pastor Studdard" (Farouche); "Stool Banter," "Eye of the Tiger," and "Africa," (Scarlett); "September" and "Time of My Life (toni7babe).

Have a wonderful weekend, Clay Nation!


Thank you for your blog comments and props for the contributing artists. To leave a remark, scroll to the bottom of that section, click on the "Post a Comment" link, and write in the box provided.

Visitors have arrived at this site from 153 countries. Many thnx for stopping by today! - Caro


claysweetea said...

What a great blog about a fantastic opening concert to the tour last night at Biltmore. Yep, Clay's signature was all over this show. Great Clack! Thanks again. This tour is going to be fun!

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, Dianne, it sounds glorious. I can't wait. How I wish you were going. You're probably his most ardent fan.

The only thing bad about a Clay Aiken concert, is when it's all over. I usually leave with tears in my eyes, because I want it to go on forever.

I love that you put in all the comments from those that saw it. It's finally real. Lois

SueReu said...

I cannot WAIT for Reno!! one week from TODAY (which is July 24th) - I am, however, trying to figure out how to get to Snoqualmie (it is a MUST)

Thanks for the great pictures, the wonderful recaps and links to some amazing video!

Have a great weekend

Anonymous said...

WOW! Thank you so much Caro for bringing over these recaps and lovely pics so soon. I'm so pleased that I've managed to secure seats for 3 of the concerts. Can't wait to see Clay live. The magic is certainly in the air :) Now I'm enjoying the concert through clacks. What FUN!!!


Sandi said...

I wish they'd come closer to me so I could have been there. Great blog Caro.

LoriF said...

Can't wait until they hit Windsor, ON!

IamMesmerized said...

Great blog Caro. The excitement is building and I can't wait until my concerts starting on the 5th.

Sounds like this one is going to be more fun than all the ones that went before.

Anonymous said...

OMG... the Stool banter is side-splitting funny! I cannot wait till Reno. Wonder if I can make a couple more shows???


Anonymous said...

Thanks so much Caro for posting this wonderful blog. I am so excited to be able to watch this amazing ride that Clay is on. I missed all the earlier concerts and excitement from his AI days. So glad I am here and thankful to you and all the others giving us all the updates and clack on the concert tour!!!

Can't wait for Reno. My very first Clay concert and there will be lots of clayfog!!!

Jannet said...

What a great blog Caro! So much great info! You did such a great job summarizing everything! After watching the clack from last night I think I may be back!

Sandy said...

This concert is everything I had hoped it would be! I just knew the chemistry would work between these two best friends! Summertime is all about having a fun time and these two sure know how to deliver the best of both...lots of laughs and suberb singing! I am so looking forward to August 12th!

Have a great weekend!


ImGranny said...

How exciting last night was - the first concert of the tour. What fun those guys had on stage together! Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard are adorable together.

It's been a long dry spell since we saw Clay in concert. Now I can't get enough of him!

Anonymous said...

Thanks!! so much for the info, have to check into it all ! Hope U r having a good wk. end! D. in Wi.

rainalice said...

Thanks for the updates. I knew these two wonderful guys would look and sound terrific. Wish I was there. Is Clay's bodyguard Jerome travelling with him this time, isn't he part of the family?

Yvonne said...

aloha,my boyfriend charles,is your sound enginer,foe this tour,hes the best in,maui,and keep on trucking,enjoy it all,inbrace it,sing it,and all be well,and alha to my boyfriend charles,from yvonne swiston.aloha>

MissSally said...

Caro, thank you so much for this awesome blog, and especially for the pics & clack links; especially for those of us who can't attend any T & T shows.
What would we ever do without you????

Anonymous said...

Puteri, Jakarta, Indonesia.
Thanks a lot Caro for the complete news... you really help me felt all the excitment in the concert. For the time being, I just satisfy myself with the clacks then :)
thanks once again