Monday, February 28, 2011

Clay Aiken & Co. Present Versatile Show in PA

Expandable photo by farouche from Sunday's Tried & True Concert.

Glenside Tried & True Concert

Show Spotlights Vocals, Humor

The versatility of Clay Aiken and his back-up musicians was on sparkling display at the Glenside, PA, Tried & True Concert in the Keswick Theatre Sunday night.

Magnificent vocals from the powerful to the delicately etched, the singer's humor and quick wit shared more each performance with the similar good temperament of his musicians, and a "stump the band" segment that retains a near-perfect score for the tour were all part of another entertaining show along the T&T trail.

The talented musicians accompanying Clay on the 22-city tour include Quiana Parler, vocalist; Ben Cohn, keyboards/arranger; Adam Fallen, guitar; Del Atkins, bass; and Felix Pollard, drums.

Since I have young musicians anticipating afternoon lessons, this blog will no doubt be of the progressive variety; so check back. Below are glimpses of Sunday night's performance from fan recaps, photos, and videos.

C finger: This evening was just splendid. Clay is a superstar. My husband commented on how easy and relaxed he is on stage; how quick witted he is, how beautifully he sings,; how wonderful the arrangements are; how talented Quiana is.
A woman, probably in her 80s, sat behind us; and we had a conversation with her. I don't know if she is a NJU or relative of a fan, but she was a lovely, delightful woman.

As Clay was singing I heard her say to the person she was with, "Oh, this takes me back to my youth." Then when he would start a song she was familiar with she would sigh or say "ohhhh" or gasp. She had a great time.

Clay said at one point that he was losing his voice and had a couple of problems. But he sang through it, around it and was as always, my absolutely favorite Singer Man. No one like him!

The photo interlude below contains four expandable pictures by farouche surrounding a graphic by cameocat.

casso: What an overly super-talented, a growl in the voice, caring and loving man we are following! His change up with emotions from one song or banter to another are truly outstanding.

Met two NJU men at the ticket window who won tickets for another show and asked if they had ever been to a Clay concert and they said this was their first. They said they LOVE his music and will be attending more.

I HAD THE TIME OF MY LIFE once again thanks to Clay and Company!

WSN Segment Yields Variety in PA

Among the genres covered in the Glenside 'Who's Sorry Now' segment were yodeling, Argentine tango, and scat singing.

The videos by farouche, canfly172, and jars9203 below also include band intros, torn pants/clack banter, and the songs 'In My Life' and 'Both Sides Now.'

'Whose Sorry Now' Tango, Scat Segments
View video by farouche full screen at YouTube.

'Who's Sorry Now' request medley, pants banter.
View video by canfly172 full screen at YouTube.

Clack banter with Scarlett and 'In My Life.'
Video by canfly172 can be viewed full screen at YouTube.

Clay performs 'Both Sides Now' in Glenside.
Video by jars9203 can be viewed full screen at YouTube.

Have an awesome week, Clay Nation! The remaining tour schedule was printed in the previous Carolina entry. See you in Cincinnati Tuesday!


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Clay Aiken, Tried & True Troupe Rock Out in Westbury

Clay Aiken in concert at Westbury, NY. Photo by Asolo.

To Delight of Fans, NJU Crowd

Clay Aiken & Co. Put on a Show

Word is getting out -- that Clay Aiken sure does put on a show! And he can sing, too!

Saturday night Clay Aiken & the Tried & True Tour troupe entertained a theater equally filled with fans and the Not.Just.Us crowd (casual/new fans) in the NYCB Theatre at Westbury. It wasn't long before a stream of fan recaps, photos, and videos began rewinding the show online.

CrazyAboutClay: Wonderful concert last night! I was surrounded by NJU, and this is what they had to say: "He's so funny!" ... "He's so adorable!"
"You know, anybody can have a great voice and go up on stage and sing, but it takes a real talent to be that personable on stage."

In response to Clay stating that people are following along and listening in at home ..."Really??? Wow, that's incredible! That's great!"

I was sitting next to a couple who had never seen Clay before in concert. I thought the man was going to bust a gut laughing. There was also a group of teenage girls in front of me that were having the time of their lives.

It was a great experience to see so many NJU having such a great time.

libra1014: During "Both Sides Now" and "In My Life," you could have heard a pin drop. The band played softly, and the entire room was riveted to Clay's voice. I can't say enough about how beautiful he sounded. I'm sure there were a lot of fans there, but I think just as many NJU.
A NJU across the aisle guy (AAG) looked to be about 50-60 yrs old and was very funny talking with a bunch of guys in the row in front of him. Before the show started, I was wondering if Clay would be able to reach these guys

So when AAG started to leap out of his chair and clap and holler, I was thrilled. "Where Do I Begin, Love Story Theme" smacked all of them in the face right at the start with that voice.

I know it smacked me! I think the song sounds good on the video, but it is unreal live.

The photo interlude below features expandable Westbury concert pictures by mustbeeme, 1, 2, 5; and Asolo, 3, 4.

Asolo: I luckily snagged a second row seat as soon as the Westbury box office opened Saturday. Next to me was a couple who had never seen Clay perform before.
They were Westbury VIP Members who were able to buy the tickets in advance of the regular ticket buyers. They explained that we were sitting in the VIP section, and that would be why those seats were never sold to the public. My seat became available last minute.

The couple only knew Clay from AI and had no idea what to expect. They loved him! The man never stopped laughing at the banter, and they both looked entranced by Clay.

Afterwards, the woman told me she was so surprised that he was so entertaining, he had a wonderful voice, and they were so glad to have come.

Overheard by a CA fan's husband was a an older NJU talking on his phone: "That guy can really sing. He did some songs from the 50s and 60s, and he sang 'Unchained Melody' great!"

Expandable photo by cameocat from Westbury, NY, show.

Videos Provide Concert Glimpses

Below are five videos from the Waterbury show. Taped by Scarlett, these and other clips can be viewed at the Wowzers4Clay Channel on YouTube. You can download them here.

Also, check Shanapup Channel for videos by adrienne1954.
Latest YouTube uploads will appear at the top of the right column of the respective channels.

Jazzy/Big Band Medley of Clay's earlier hits.
Link to YouTube to view video by Scarlett full screen.

Even a sound glitch doesn't stop Suspicious Minds.
View video by Scarlett full screen at YouTube.

Clay sings the beautiful 'Both Sides Now.'
For full screen view, link to YouTube.

Clay receives tutorial on fan cellcerts.
To view full screen, link to Wowzers4Clay Channel on YouTube.

Singer dedicates 'In My Life' to fans everywhere.
View video by Scarlett full screen at YouTube here.

The Tried & True Tour heads to Glenside, PA, for a Sunday evening performance in the Keswick Theatre. Below are the remaining nine concerts of the 22-city tour supporting the Decca Tried & True release:
2.27.11 Glenside, PA Keswick Theatre, 7:30 pm
3.01.11 Cincinnati, OH Taft Theatre, 7:30 pm
3.02.11 Fort Wayne, IN Embassy Theatre, 7:30 pm
3.04.11 Waukegan, IN Genesse Theatre, 8 pm
3.05.11 Minneapolis, MN State Theatre, 8 pm
3.07.11 Memphis, TN Minglewood Hall, 8 pm
3.08.11 Grand Prairie, TX Verizon Theatre At Grand Prairie, 7:30 pm
3.10.11 Mesa, AZ Mesa Arts Center, 8 pm
3.12.11 San Francisco, CA The Warfield, 8 pm

Have an awesome week, Clay Nation! Catch you at the Keswick!


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Clay Aiken Vocals, Humor Shine in Greenville Show

Clay Aiken's vocals impressive in Greenville Tried & True Concert.
Click to expand photo by Brightstar.

One for the Books!

Greenville Concert Thrills Crowd

Clay Aiken's Tried & True tour concert at Greenville's Peace Center Thursday was another evening of unbelievable vocals and unhinged humor as the singer and his backup musicians put on a show that may just be one for the books.

The evening was adeptly summarized by always and forever in two brief sentences: Clay's voice has never been better, and his banter was priceless. He is simply and wonderfully THE BEST!

Like fans, Amy Clarke, reviewer from The Greenville News online, gave Clay & Co. props in her critique:
Aiken Gives Classics Their Due.
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.

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. [snip]

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.

Clay sings signature version of 'Unchained Melody.'
View video by Scarlett full screen at YouTube.

Fans Rewind Fun-Filled Concert

Fan reports make one want to rewind the clock and join them for a replay of the Peace Center concert. Interspersed between the recaps are videos and photos from the Greenville show.

Brightstar: This was the funniest concert I've attended this tour. Clay was so animated and funny and beautiful. Quiana absolutely outdid herself -- sang fabulously and was sooooo funny.
Someone mentioned tonight how quiet and almost shy she used to be, and now she is a wonderful comedic partner for Clay. At times, she even plays the main comedic role and Clay plays the "straight man."

No matter how many times I hear Clay, I still marvel at the beauty, richness, and power of his voice, and the ease with which he goes from power ballad to tender, gentle melodies, from belting to caressing a song with tender nuance. Such talent and skill is rare indeed.

The interaction with Scarlett was hilarious, and the fact that most of us knew her seemed to blow his mind. We are quite the fandom, aren't we?

Clay 'hires' Scarlett, chats with cellcert recipient.
View video full screen at YouTube.

Longtime members of "the cult" will remember the singer's August 2007 encounter with Scarlett's camera during the Soft Rock Hard Place Fort Myers Concert when the singer took his own clack.

Newcomers can review the special SRHP tour moment that has become part of CA fandom lore in a YouTube video and in this blog.

: If you haven't seen the clack of the audience "outing" Scarlett, it is one of those priceless moments in the fandom. Clay called her out, then said, "Maybe we should just hire her to take all the videos." We responded with a resounding "yes!"
Then he asked, "Do you know her?" Again a "yes!" And again after banter with her, he asked us, "What's her name?" We all answered, "Scarlett!" His response was again priceless, as you will see.

His voice was stellar; he looked as if he was enjoying everything he sang and the banter. He and Quiana nailed each one to the max. I am loving Quiana more and more; it's like watching Laurel and Hardy up there!

The expandable photos below are by Brightstar, 1, 3; KarenEh, 2, 4; and Claythleena, 5.

luckiest1: Seeing "Crying" and "Unchained Melody" from the 5th row was amazing. And then no curtain; he just grabbed the stool and started into "Both Sides Now" (which was gorgeous, beautiful change ups).
Then the phone and camera banter which was freaking hysterical! I hope Scarlett isn't too mad at everyone for outing her to him. LOL, it was quite the thing.

And poor Lisa on the phone didn't know she was being broadcast to the whole theatre.

Clay & Co. perform 'Whose Sorry Now' Celtic style.
View video by Scarlett full screen at YouTube.

"Who's Sorry Now" was performed in four audience-suggested genres -- blues, Sousa march, "funkadelic," and the Celtic shown above. The auto-tune segment featured Clay "singing" Justin Bieber's "Baby."

terter4aiken: What a great show in Greenville! Clay was a riot with his lucky charms and singing Justin Bieber's "Baby"!
There were quite a few people waiting at the bus and we were rewarded very handsomely for our good behavior and patience.

He came out in jeans and the white Rutgers hoodie with his hair all tousled. He gave us all a quick "thanks for coming out guys" and a nice warm handshake.

Sceen cap of Quiana Parler links to the 'Crying' duet with Clay.

There are many excellent videos from the Greenville T&T Concert at YouTube. You can view Scarlett's clips at the Wowzers4Clay Channel.

This weekend's Tried & True tour concerts are slated for Westbury, NY, 8 pm Saturday, NYCB Theatre at Westbury, and Glenside, PA, 7:30 pm Sunday, Keswick Theatre.

Have a wonderful weekend! See you after Westbury!


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Carolinas Greet Clay Aiken for Tried & True Concerts

Clay Aiken performs for a "hometown" crowd in Charlotte.

Family, Friends, Fans

Charlotte Welcomes Clay Home

The welcome mat was out in style Wednesday night as North Carolina embraced Clay Aiken and the Tried & True troupe for a hometown performance in Charlotte's Blumenthal Center. In the audience were fans, family members, and longtime friends of the singer.

A 2003 graduate of UNC-Charlotte, Clay made his home there during his college years; but the city is also where he first auditioned for American Idol. He was initially beaten by his backup singer Quiana Parler and had to try again in Atlanta.

Among those in the audience were his mother, grandmother, and Diane Bubel with whom he co-founded the National Inclusion Project in 2003.

Clack, Cellcerts Concert Shtick

Even though cellcerts and clack have become an intricate part of Clay's concert shtick, ushers did not receive the memo and there was an unbelievable clampdown on photographers and videographers.

Scarlett, who has videoed much of the tour and has become part of the nightly banter, only came away with parts of the Charlotte event.

In her recap, luckiest 1, described the final number which, thanks to Scarlett, fans can replay via video clack.

Crying and Unchained Melody were magnificent tonight. Spot on, gorgeous notes he hit. He joked around a bit when he came back for the encore, even while the band kept playing the intro to "Both Sides Now." Then all went silent during the song, which he seems to feel more and more each time he sings it. He remarked that they are his favorite lyrics.

He talked about clack before "In My Life." He talked a lot about Charlotte and AI and tonight.

Before "In My Life" -- after he had told us how much he loves and appreciates us -- he plugged Greenville quite a few times and said that if you aren't in Greenville tomorrow night, you are out of the will.

Here are Scarlett's videos of "In My Life," beginning with the banter that precedes the song. Check the Wowzers4Clay YouTube Channel for new postings. Download audio/video files here.

Pre 'In My Life' banter during Charlotte T&T Show.
Video by Scarlett can be viewed full screen at YouTube.

Clay sings 'In My Life' to close Charlotte Concert.
View video by Scarlett full screen at YouTube.

Brightstar: Back from the concert. GAH, I just love this tour! He gets more and more beautiful and so do the songs.
It was the first time I heard "Both Sides Now" on tour, and it was incredibly beautiful. Gentle, tender, poignant, lovely. He was funny, gorgeous, and oh so entertaining. I think he's loving this tour, too.

ncgran4clay: The concert last night was awesome. He is just so in his element on that stage. His voice was out of this world good, and his humor kept us in stitches.

I took a good friend who is a casual fan, and she loved the show. Raved in the car all the way home. One thing my friend said I loved was, "He reminds me of Johnny Carson; he can turn anything into humor."

This show is just soooo good. The mix up of songs, everything. The man surely knows how to plan a tour to keep the show fresh and fun.

It was my last show of the tour, but oh what fun it has been!

Below are three screen caps from Scarlett's videos, including Clay's imitation of fans "typing every word I say on the Internet," and a photo of the marquee at the Belk Theatre by chel4clay.

Chel4Clay summed up the whole evening in a post on Facebook: Clay was -- no words to describe -- the best ever live!

Tonight it's on to Greenville, SC, for a 7:30 pm concert in The Peace Center. Other weekend performances include Westbury, NY, 8 pm Saturday, NYCB Theatre at Westbury, and Glenside, PA, 7:30 pm Sunday, Keswick Theatre.

Have an awesome weekend, Clay Nation!


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Clay Aiken Tried & True Concert a Showcase of Talent

Clay Aiken takes Tried & True Tour to Towson, MD.
Expandable photo by farouche.

Concert Varied, Up Close, Personal

Aiken More Than Amazing Voice

I enjoyed Clay Aiken's Tried & True Concert in Baltimore by way of a very clear cellcert Tuesday night, and there is nothing I could add to the fabulous review posted by Gloria Dietz of The Examiner.

Finally, a reviewer gets what CA fans have known for eight years. The headline -- Clay Aiken concert review: he is more than an amazing voice -- is just the beginning. Below are the opening graphs, but link to the entire article:
Clay Aiken knows how to entertain a crowd. He performed without an intermission for close to 2 hours at Goucher College in Towson. The venue was small and the seats were elevated with plenty of leg room, so there wasn’t a bad seat in the house.

This concert was as up close and personal as you can get. Clay commands the stage and this was like we were all one big happy family. He doesn’t just stand there and sing – he puts on a show that has lots of variety.

One thing in particular that is a real eye opener is that Clay lets his back-up singer and band members shine by putting the spotlight on them throughout the show. His bass player was able to tell a joke, he showcases their talent with their instruments and he banters with them as well as the audience.

The songs from his latest CD may have been from the 50’s and 60’s, but don’t let that fool you into thinking this was a boring or formal concert; his fans ranged from age 13 to 94.

Clay manages to outdo himself with every show he puts on. This concert was very casual with lots of humor and surprise acts along the way. His camaraderie with the audience is priceless, but his voice is astounding.

I first viewed these photos on my new iPhone in a doctor's waiting room this morning. They are much better full size. Link to The Baltimore Sun for the show.

Clay Aiken sings 'Something About Us' in Baltimore.
Link to YouTube to view video by Scarlett full screen.

Clay chats with two birthday "girls" in Baltimore.
View video by Scarlett full screen at YouTube.

Dim lighting perfect for Clay's rendition of 'Misty.'
View Scarlett's video full screen at YouTube.

Download these and other concert videos by Scarlett at her Baltimore link. More will be added, so remember to check back later.

Baltimore Set List

Where Do I Begin: Love Story Theme

Mack The Knife

There's A Kind Of Hush

Moon River
It's Impossible
Jazzy Medley (The Way, This Is the Night, On My Way Here, Measure of a Man, A Thousand Days, Open Arms, Invisible)
Something About Us
Foggy Town In London Town (Quiana)

Auto Tune (I Got A Feelin')
Suspicious Minds

Build Me Up Buttercup

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

Who's Sorry Now (Motown, Acoustic, A Capella, Ragtime)
It's Only Make Believe

Can't Take My Eyes Off
Cry Me A River (Quiana)

Unchained Melody
Both Sides Now

In My Life

Below are five expandable Towson concert photos by farouche.

The Tried & True Tour continues in Charlotte, NC, at 7:30 pm tonight. Clay appeared on Charlotte Today this morning. See you after the show!

Have a great time, all!


Monday, February 21, 2011

Clay Aiken & Co. Present 'Best Show Ever'

Clay Aiken's Tried & True concerts are a hit.
Expandable screen cap by Scarlett. (See two more in blog).

Fans Praise Tried & True Show

Waterbury Takes Bar Even Higher

Clay Aiken & Co. pulled out all the stops in Waterbury, CT, and presented another "best show ever" as the singer and five backup musicians wound down a five-day leg of the Tried & True Tour.

In addition to songs from his Tried & True Decca release, concert goers have been charmed with the big band/jazz arrangements of the singer's hits from earlier albums: Measure of a Man, A Thousand Different Ways, and On My Way Here.

Like many Americans, the musicians have Presidents Day off before resuming this week's concerts in Baltimore, MD, 7:30 pm Tuesday, Kraushaar Auditorium; Charlotte, NC, 7:30 pm Wednesday, Blumenthal Center; Greenville, SC, 7:30 pm Thursday, The Peace Center; Westbury, NY, 8 pm Saturday, NYCB Theatre at Westbury; and Glenside, PA, 7:30 pm Sunday, Keswick Theatre.

Charlotte will mark the midway point in the 22-city tour, which will wind its way through the Midwest and western states, closing in San Francisco on March 12. For a complete listing with venue links, see the 1/11
Carolina blog entry.

Clay & Co. swing with jazzy medley of previous hits.
View big band video by Scarlett full screen at YouTube.
Watch Clay's intro to the medley here.

Jazz Medley Sets Tone for Show

According to many, the new jazzy arrangement of old CA hits set the tone. Thank you to the fans who have shared their concert experiences here.

Emerson: I loved, loved, loved the show! When he did that jazzy arrangement, I was in "Clay heaven," and I knew that we were in for a very special night.
He looked so amazingly good. What I really was impressed by was how much fun he seemed to be having. For all the LOL moments he gave me, it was nice to see him in fits of laughter at times throughout the show. When he talked about his fans and how much they meant to him, I was a bit misty-eyed.

If you are a Clay fan, you have to see this concert live if at all humanly possible. The clack is wonderful but, the live performance is just something that words are not enough to describe!

Call me one over-the-moon and blissfully satisfied Claymate!

Clay and Quiana sing 'Crying' duet in Waterbury.
Link to YouTube for full screen view of video by Scarlett.

Clay, Quiana 'Kill' on 'Crying'

A nightly hit on the tour is the T&T "Crying" duet performed by Clay and Quiana Parler. Like all of the featured videos by Scarlett, the above rendition can be downloaded at her Waterbury doc. NOTE: Be sure to include the hilarious intro for the jazzy medley.

"Crying" has proved a nightly fan favorite on the T&T Tour, and Waterbury was no exception.

Rhode Island Fan: What a wonderful night! Clay Aiken in his element, at his best with an audience that loved him. It doesn't get much better than that.
The show really was my favorite out of all of his tours. The intimate setting is perfect for him. He owned us all from the minute the curtain went up until the sign language "thank you" he gave us when he finished "In My Life."

One girl talked on the way out. She had lost track of him, loved it, and said she didn't realize he could be so funny. She won't be missing his concerts any more.

His speaking voice was a bit husky, but his singing was flawless. He didn't hold back. I noticed that especially on "Crying."

My friends who have been to three or four shows felt this one was the best so far. I had worried that five nights in a row would do him in, but he was spot on. The banter was hilarious; it's amazing how he can go from silly to sublime in a split second.

Incredible rendition of 'Love Story' opens show.
View Waterbury video full screen at YouTube.

Recaps Describe Diversified Audience

According to fan reports, the Waterbury crowd was diversified and very energetic, matching the variety of the evening's set list.

Angelclay: The concert tonight was wonderful with a very diversified, energetic crowd -- many men, (Clay counted 10 in front row), many young girls, and even some younger kids.
For the genres of music, they did Irish dance, hip hop, and grunge. Hip hop was hilarious with Clay holding his jeans and hopping around. His grunge singing was pretty spot on.

This was one of the best Clay concerts I have been to. He was spot on, gorgeous voice, witty, and funny,

Clay called out some certers and video takers, but said he didn't mind them at all. Before he sang IML, he thanked all those who have been there from the beginning and those who come to one show or 10 shows. At the end of IML, he did his trademark signing of "thank you."

Waterbury, CT, Set List
Theme from Love Story
Mack the Knife

There’s a Kind of Hush
What Kind of Fool Am I?
Breaking Up is Hard to Do

Big Band Medley: The Way, This is the Night, Measure of a Man, On My Way Here, A Thousand Days, These Open Arms, Invisible
Something About Us
Foggy Day in London Town (Quiana)

Banter - Auto-tune: Suspicious Minds, I Kissed a Girl
Suspicious Minds
Build Me Up Buttercup
You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me
Moon River

Who's Sorry Now - Irish, hip hop, punk/grunge genres (Clay and Quiana)
It’s Only Make Believe
Can’t Take My Eyes Off You
Cry Me a River (Quiana)
Crying (Clay and Quiana)

Unchained Melody

Both Sides Now
In My Life

Expandable screen caps from videos by Scarlett.

Have a wonderful week, Clay Nation! See you after Baltimore!


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Clay Aiken Tour Scores New Highs in Cleveland

Where do I begin? ... Theme from Love Story.
View Cleveland video by Scarlett full screen at YouTube.

Tried & True Troupe Thrills

Cleveland Concert Raises the Bar

Tried & True audiences thought Clay Aiken & Co. reached the pinnacle with the Pittsburgh performance, but Cleveland reports from Saturday's show prove this concert tour just keeps getting better each night.

From the famous "Invisible" shirt tug dating back to the American Idol 2 Tour to exquisite vocals by Clay and his singing partner, Quiana Parler, to the varied "stump the band" stylings for "Who's Sorry Now" (Bhangra, Latin, and opera in Cleveland), the talented musicians are presenting an entertaining show at every stop.

Instrumentalists include Ben Cohn, conductor/arranger/keyboards; Adam Fallen, guitar; Del Atkins, bass; and Felix Pollard, drums.

Concert Recaps Fill in Blanks

Like countless fans connected to the concert via Cyberspace, I was on the receiving end of a cellcert Saturday night. Separated by expandable photos by cindilu2, these recaps from fans in the Palace Theatre house help replay the Cleveland concert.

cindilu2: Fantastic concert. By far the best of my three. "Unchained" was beyond amazing. Best I've heard him sing it since Raleigh. "Both Sides Now" was a special treat, and "In My Life" was simply sublime.

Hobbes: My favorites were "Unchained Melody," "Build Me Up Buttercup", "Mack The Knife", and "Love Story"; but the opera was my favorite moment of the evening. It was amazing. The Indian (Bhangra) version was great, too, with Quiana taking on most of it. Clay was laughing too hard at her dancing to add much.
When Clay was talking about the band members he said that Felix and his wife had an anniversary coming up on Feb. 28. Felix had told him that he and his wife had danced their first dance to "Something About Us," so he is going to have them dance to the song on stage that night.

When he did his bit jokingly complaining about cellcerters, he asked a woman who she was talking to and where she was. The certer was from Peru and the person receiving the cert (Mindy) was in Kansas. He asked if she could fly in all the way from Peru, why couldn’t Mindy show up from Kansas. Very cute!

Beagle3: The concert was awesome. There were a lot of men, the most I've ever seen at a Clay Aiken concert; and it was nice to see. This was the first of my five concerts, and I can't wait to see it again in Cincinnati.
Eight of us are in our suite reliving the concert. Unfortunately, there's a huge fraternity convention in the hotel this weekend, which does not bode well for sleeping. I think we'll be up most of the night.

all4luv: I loved the colors of the lighting they used as a backdrop for the stage. The blues were especially beautiful.
I have not seen "Solitaire" in this concert series yet as my two shows so far have been last night and tonight. I can say that "Both Sides Now" is a masterpiece, and I would not give up him performing that song for any other!

Cyn: In our Meet & Greet, Clay was asked about his choice of opening songs, "Love Story." He said the song was supposed to be on the TNT CD, but it didn’t make the final cut. He really loves the song and decided the lyrics ("Where do I begin ...?") would be a great way to start the concert.

Featured videos by Scarlett include "Who's Sorry Now," Quiana's solo ("Cry Me a River"), "Suspcious Minds," "Unchained Melody," and "Both Sides Now." To save video/audio files, see Cleveland Clack.

'Who's Sorry Now' in three genres.
See Cleveland video full screen at YouTube.

Quiana sings 'Cry Me a River.'
Link to YouTube to view Cleveland video full screen.

Clay & Co. sing 'Suspicious Minds' in Cleveland.
View video full screen at YouTube.

Clay's signature 'Unchained Melody' closes concert.
View Cleveland video by Scarlett full screen at YouTube.

Cleveland encore features 'Both Sides Now.'
View video by Scarlett full screen at YouTube.

Postscripts to Scarlett's videos are her one-sentence summary of the Cleveland concert and a clickable screen cap from the show:
It's always been wonderful, but last night was way beyond that.

Click to expand Cleveland screen cap by Scarlett.

Have an awesome week, Clay Nation! Catch you after Connecticut ...


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Clay Aiken T&T Concerts Continue 'One Up' Trend

Clay Aiken banters with Pittsburgh Tried & True audience.
Photo by cameocat is expandable.

Tried & True Shows

Pitt Audience Proclaims 'Best Yet'

According to concert goers, Clay Aiken's Tried & True Tour shows keep topping or one-upping themselves, as Pittsburgh fans were quick to report that Friday night's show was the "best yet."

The 22-city T&T Tour heads to Cleveland for tonight's 7:30 pm concert at PlayhouseSquare and Sunday to Waterbury, CT, for a 7:30 pm show at the Palace Theater.

In Pittsburgh, "Who's Sorry Now" was treated to not-to-be-missed do wop, mambo, and polka arrangements by Clay, Quiana Parler, and the rockin' backup musicians.

Link to the WPIX website to view a 27-photo slide show from the Pittsburgh show.

Clay Surprises with 'Both Sides Now'

"Both Sides Now," a fan favorite since Clay performed the song at the National Inclusion Project's October Gala, was the surprise closer and can be viewed in this entry.

Featured below are four videos by Scarlett and Canfly. This
Google Doc link will allow you to view and/or download all of Scarlett's videos from the Pittsburgh show.

In a microcosm of Friday's show, here are videos of "Mack the Knife," the "Crying" duet by Clay and Quiana, the singer's signature version of "Unchained Melody" arranged by Ben Cohn, band intros plus the beautiful "Both Sides Now" closing number.

Note the iPad charts being used by Ben Cohn, keyboards/arranger/conductor; guitarist Adam Fallen; Del Atkins, bass; and Felix Pollard on drums! As Clay remarked, very "21st century"!

Clay swings 'Mack the Knife' at the Pittsburgh Show.
View video by Scarlett full screen at YouTube.

Clay and Quiana in amazing 'Crying' duet.
View video by Scarlett full screen at YouTube.

Clay's signature 'Unchained Melody' (arr. Cohn).
Link to YouTube to view video by Scarlett full screen.

Clay introduces backup vocalist, instrumentalists.
View video by Scarlett full screen at YouTube.

Singer closes Pittsburgh show with 'Both Sides Now.'
Link to YouTube to view video by Canfly.
Download with this Megaupload file.

Have a wonderful weekend, Clay Nation! Check back after Cleveland ...


Friday, February 18, 2011

Clay Aiken Talks Tried & True Tour, Music

TRIED & TRUE Tour bus heads north. - Photo by Invisible926 expands.

Pittsburgh, Cleveland Interviews

Clay Previews Upcoming Shows

Every concert on Clay Aiken's current Tried & True Tour inspires audience accolades topping previous performances, and Knoxville was no different.

Paired with video recaps from Thursday night's performance at the Bijou Theatre in East Tennessee are outstanding interviews of the singer by media personnel along the tour route.

An excellent example is Dee Perry's Around Noon radio conversation in conjunction with Saturday's show in the PlayhouseSquare Palace Theatre in Cleveland.

Cleveland 'Around Noon' interview with Dee Perry.

For tonight's concert in Pittsburgh, Patricia Sheridan interviewed Clay on radio and made the dialogue available as a podcast and in print version with the Post-Gazette: Patricia Sheridan's Breakfast ... with Clay Aiken. Here is a Sendspace download of the podcast.

The Pittsburgh Tribune Review also published an interesting preview for the concert: Clay Aiken believes the music should be about the singer.

Below are this weekend's T&T Concerts:

2.18.11 Pittsburgh, PA Carnegie Music Hall, 8 pm
2.19.11 Cleveland, OH Playhouse Square, 7:30 pm
2.20.11 Waterbury, CT Palace Theater, 7:30 pm

Thanks to the clack gatherers, previous concerts are just a click away. Not only do they render/upload videos after a performance, many process the latest while waiting to catch flights home or to the next concert.

Below are three styles of "Who's Sorry Now" from the Knoxville Concert as suggested by the audience: bossa nova, disco, and Cajun.

Clay & Co. perform 'Who's Sorry Now' bossa nova style.
View Knoxville video by Scarlett full screen at YouTube.

Quiana sings WSN with Clay as backup in this version.
View video by Scarlett full screen at YouTube.

Clay and Quiana sing WSN Cajun/Zydeco style.
View Knoxville video by Scarlett full screen at YouTube.

Have a great weekend, Clay Nation! See you after Pittsburgh!