Monday, August 13, 2007

The Summer Tour: Asheville

Biltmore Estate
The stage area was on the left side of the mansion behind the trees

Clay Aiken played to a crowd of 3000 on the lawn of the Biltmore Estate against the backdrop of the Smokey Mountatins in Asheville NC on August 11th. From all accounts it was a very special night. Here are some fan reactions to the show:

From Farouche
...Tonight there was something both very sweet and sexy about him. He seemed very mellow and relaxed and connected. Sometimes, he can seem a bit manic or OTT in his deliberate "acting" etc. Tonight, he just hit the perfect balance. It seemed effortless, completely unforced.

From RaleighLady:
Here's an NJU (Not Just Us) story. A lady on our row was a Rod Stewart fan and this was the first Clay concert she had ever attended. We looked over at her at the end of the concert and saw that she was bawling her eyes out. Just bawling, wiping her eyes with tissue. She literally could.not.stop.crying. She said it was just wonderful. She followed us all the way out of the venue, still crying. I put my arm around her shoulders and said, "Welcome to the club, honey."

From GBB:
...I just had to post and say what an AMAZING (in the good way *g*) concert last night was. Clay was on FIRE, the girls were on FIRE, the audience was on FIRE. The atmosphere could not have been more perfect, the temperature was just right, a light breeze stirred the air, the sun was setting over the mountains, and bats (aka swifts) skittered across the sky offering themselves up as props for the Clay and Friends Comedy Hour.

The audience leapt to their feet when Clay walked out on to the stage and they didn't stop leaping to their feet all night long. The audience was so engaged in the show that we/they became a part of it at several points during the night. We sang the "the facts of life, the facts of life" on cue and then sang the entire Brady Bunch theme. When Clay got tickled as the intro to "These Open Arms" began playing, we sang the first verse until he could get himself composed. In the words of Clay, we "kicked butt."

From IU Gal:
... Clay was supurb last night. Very relaxed. Very chatty and of course hilarious. But the weird thing was, after the concert I felt sort of numb, like I used to back when I first started seeing him in concert. I couldn't register how I felt about it. It was just too much beauty to take in at once, the setting among the mountains with the setting sun, surrounded by fans I have known for 4 years, and some new friends, my family there, and a large enthusiastic crowd.

From libbyC
Let's just start with the perfect sunset and the perfect weather to set up this amazing night. Clay was definitely SMOKIN' in the Smokies last night!! As diverse a crowd as I've seen. The couple sitting next to us were there for their 34th wedding anniversary. When we asked the gentleman who's idea it was to attend the concert, he said he was the Clay fan and wanted to come. The man directly behind us said he had never heard anyone sing "Mary Did You Know" as well as Clay and proceeded to sing every Clay song during the concert. Now on to the show...
All I can tell you, his voice was superb, the lower register was hot,hot,hot!!! Clay keep on sigin' loooow and slooooooow!!

From tdallasw:

I was sitting next to two young women from Wilmington, NC (opposite end of NC - on the coast) who had never been to a Clay concert and weren't very familiar with his shows and had no idea what to expect. Someone had given them the tickets and they asked if I thought the show would be any good. I told them, "You have NOOOOO idea what you're in for... he is going to blow you away!". Well... let it just suffice to say that by intermission they were gonners. Couldn't wait to go out and buy ATDW and they hope to see him again as soon as possible. I love seeing a true "Clayversion" in progress. It made my night.

From ClaytonClayniac:

It was just a "magical" night last night! Everything was perfect - the weather, Clay, the Girls - all in full voice (so so powerful!), the schtick, the energized (and totally respectful!) crowd - with so many unique and special moments - just as for every other concert Clay does!! We were in Row K on the right side of the stage, toward the middle - great seats! Clay was in fine "comedic" form as he "taunted" the girls relentlessly all evening about the "bats" flying around overhead (DH said they were actually barn swallows - but they didn't know that!). Just hilarious! They also had somewhat of a bug problem onstage, and a big bug flew down the front of Angela's blouse, and she screeched, jumped up and went behind the orchestra members on her side of the stage, turned around and shined her cell phone down her blouse to "attract" the bug out!! It was too funny! When she came back on stage, Clay made a few cracks about it - one of them being the "wrong choice of words," which embarrassed the fool out of him after he said it!! And the entire audience was pumped up, energetic and so enthusiastic, responding to his every wish to sing along with him (or instead of him)! He seemed to just love it!

From corabeth:
The show was incredible. We were at the end of the third row, right in front of the bass speakers. Clay and the girls were never funnier and it is amazing to me that they can make a five minute schtick about bats and another five minute schtick about a bug. Clay's serious face leading up to what you've heard whispers about.....I'm not cool is so perfectly crafted and acted, I almost forgot that I knew what he was going to say.

Love that girls have gone from following his lead to taking the lead from time to time. To me they are a modern day Tony Orlando and Dawn but with better vocals (obviously) and better comedy. Quiana laughed so much a few times that she snorted.

The crowd was full of energy and he sang the ever loving crap out of MoaM and the other songs. Loved when he was describing his 2006 album simply as “we sang....pause....other people's songs” with a very bemused tone of voice.



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