Sunday, July 29, 2007

The Summer Tour: Sterling Heights

Clay's tour had a stop in Sterling Heights, MI on July 23rd at the Freedom Hill Amphitheatre. The Sterling Heights concert was a visual feast for all--attendees, and online fans who got to view some excellent pictures and video. Clay wore his the stunning royal blue shirt/lowrider jeans outfit(with a black jacket that fortunately came off) of the People photoshoot. He is filling it out a bit better these days, but as someone once texted him after the AMA's, "the weight looks good on you". *g*

Fan Recap Highlights:

From luckiest at the CH:
We quickly decided that every song needed a standing ovation because he was in spectacular voice and the sound system was just awesome. The beginning of "I Want to Know What Love Is" was funny because he sang the first line and then didn't sing the second line, and then said to Angela "oh, for some reason I thought you were going to sing it". I think he sang another line looking at her and then Quiana started to sing, and he did a little jump as though he was surprised and turned to face her. They wailed on it, as usual. He started talking, saying hello to Michigan, etc, and then he jumped off the stage and started singing while walking right up the outer aisle beside us, in an obvious attempt to have us not have to look directly into the sun to see him. I thought it was such a sweet thing to do, although I realized that the other side of the venue was probably pissed. He sat himself on the ledge of a wooden platform probably about 10 - 15 rows above us, and said he was going to stay there until the sun went down. The people around that area were just freaking out. No one sat down while he was up there. He did the Perfect Strangers banter up there and even sat and watched them do the West Wing theme, which he said was cool because he felt like he was watching it on television. Once they started into the theme songs, he finally started back down, but he didn't use the stairs, he walked along the small curb beside the railing.

From bottlecap at CV:
PEOPLE WHO APPLAUDED LIKE CRAZY AND PEOPLE WHO EARNED EVERY MOMENT OF THAT APPLAUSE: I swear, everybody on that stage must have been chugging guarana at intermission, because during the second half, that orchestra really rocked the venue. Measure of a Man? Clay turned it up to 11. Even Quiana was dancing and grooving on her stool as Clay wailed that song. I've just skimmed a couple of comments, and I imagine the impromptu duet on "Listen" might end up getting most of the attention for this concert, but MOAM was the showstopper for me. The audience gave him a standing ovation for that performance, and although Clay tried to shut the applause down, we ignored him and kept on and on. Well deserved. Bravo!

From whatever at the CH:
I loved observing a young, female, dark-haired violinist situated on the left of the stage. During the Classics medley she dutifully plied her bow, just barely holding onto her composure. You could see her struggle mightily to follow the music, look at Clay, check the music, look at Clay...and she grinned wider and wider and broke out in a full out smile by the end of it. Wonder how many notes she was actually hitting.

From luckiest at the CH:
Clay jumped off the stage during TWYMMF and went up the outer aisle in section 300 (which I was glad he did, since he'd spent so much time on the other side earlier). He went back to the crossways aisle that runs in front of the 600 section, and was getting people to sing into the mic. He came back down the aisle between sections 100 and 200, so he really made the rounds of the venue. I don't remember how the funny stuff started but he was cracking on Angela about her voice, making fun of her, imitating the way she sounded (which by this point was like a person with laryngitis) and he said something about hitting puberty. Well, she said "no, the other thing" and Clay was just dying when he caught on. She and Quiana carried on talking about PMS and referring to having your period (without actually saying the word period) and Clay picked up a drumstick or something and started trying to screw it into his ear. OMG we were all falling down laughing. Quiana said it was Problems Men Started and Angela went over and high fived her. Poor Clay, he just didn't know what to do, they just wouldn't stop, but it was funny to see them give it back to him as much as he can dish it out to them. At one point he went over and kissed Angela on the forehead which brought huge applause and screams. And I think it was here somewhere that he remarked that she'd probably give it to him later. He didn't seem to get the connotations of what he'd said until the audience started oohing and aahing and freaking out, and then you could see it dawn on his face.....he said to Quiana that they were just going to ignore such behaviour, and she said "or throw up a little bit in our mouths" which was probably the funniest line of the night. OMG tears were streaming down my face by that point. Clay busted a gut laughing too.

From didi46 at the CH:
As for the concert -- WOW.

If Clay could look like that and sound like that 365 days a year (and if I could always have a second row dead center seat), I would never ask for more. He reeled me in, hook, line and sinker the moment he appeared singing "Here You Come Again". The suit jacket, dark blue shirt and truly stunning jeans (with belt buckle, can't forget that!) was a great look on him. But more than that, he had that glow – y'all know what I mean? There was a certain boyishness to his face (I think partly due to his visibly sunburned nose) and his eyes were positively sparkling.

Uh, he really looked good. And even better, Clay was in great voice.

Also from didi46 at the CH:
It was during this exchange that I could hear that Angela was losing her voice. She was extremely hoarse. I felt for her. She suddenly disappeared from the stage at the end of a song, and it didn't seem like Clay and Quiana were expecting her to totally disappear like that. Clay joked that they'd been "Jay Deal-ed," and turned to the audience to tell us that was an inside joke that Quiana would be howling about for a month. That was pretty funny.

But then I understood that we were going to be in for a real treat – a duet of Listen. I had a clear and close-up view of Clay's face the entire time, and his intensity was mesmerizing. He was mouthing the lyrics pretty much the entire time Quiana was singing and you could feel and see from his body language that he was concentrating on getting his entrances timed right. The duet was amazing -- their voices blend beautifully together. Another well-deserved standing ovation followed. Angela was extremely gracious -- she made a point to come back on stage and congratulate both Clay and Quiana for a job well done.

From shiness at CH:
This concert had the perfect mix of everything I could have ever wanted! It had so much hysterical banter (PMS, Sean's BBQ sauce, Team Ethel, cool by the end of the show, Fava bean, lowriding pants falling off, hiding in the trees, and more) that the show ran long and my sides hurt from laughing! It had surprises that made my heart swell (Clay noticing the sun in people's eyes and moving to where he could be seen better), surprises that blew me away (Listen duet) and surprises that made me sob (his v.v. sincere acknowledgement that "we" brightened his day)! Along with all of the precious moments we've come to expect in the Classics segment, there was also him whipping off his jacket, getting cheek-to-cheek with Angela, and feeling Angela's "back!" Not to mention, the jeans and tucked in shirt!

And, on top of all of that, stunningly breathtaking performances! His voice sounded a little raspy to me, but it never got in the way. It actually made "Lover All Alone" more breathy and poignant for me! There were so many songs that he poured so much emotion into. I absolutely adored that night's versions of "These Open Arms", "Without You", "Lover All Alone", "Because You Loved Me", Listen and especially, MOAM. It was evident that he was feeding off of the energy from the crowd! It was that energy that was missing from Columbus, and what really made the SH experience so much better! He was overflowing with passion and I lost track of how many standing ovations there were!


A one-time only moment took place at Sterling Heights. After Angela Fisher was too hoarse to perform her solo of "Listen" from DreamGirls, Clay and Quiana Parler did an unrehearsed jam of the song. It was a small peek into the musicianship of Clay Aiken and a fabulous treat for his fans.

"Listen" performed by Clay Aiken and Quiana Parler



At 11:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved your blog. Great quotes and so true. He is amazing. Thanks for the video. Clay and Quiana work so well together that it is amazing that duet was not rehearsed.


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