Friday, November 30, 2007

More Joyful Noise: Christmas in the Heartland

Another Christmas season, another Clay Aiken Christmas tour. This year Clay goes for reverence and class in the presentation of the show. He, Angela, and Quiana look stunning and sound better. The music is interwoven with fan stories of Christmas memories. Clay personally read 1300 submitted stories and picked out four for each show.

The set list:

Instrumental Overture
Emanuel, Away in the Manger (Angela), O Little Town of Bethlehem, Silent Night, Away in the Manger (Angela)
Mary, Did You Know
Merry Christmas, With Love
Story time
It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year Sleigh Ride Jingle Bells Winter Wonderland
Christmas Waltz
Story time
Who Would Imagine a King - Angela (Originally sung by Whitney Houston?)
Welcome To Our World - (Originally sung by Michael W Smith)


Oh Holy Night
Hark the Herald Angels Sing/O Come all Yeah Faithful
Story time
I Will be Home for Christmas, The Christmas Song, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Story time
Where are you Christmas? - Quiana (Originally sung by Faith Hill)
My Grown Up Christmas List
Don’t Save it All for Christmas Day

All is Well


There have been many reactions to the show, but one said it best for me. It's all about the music and the artistic growth Clay has shown over the last five years. He no longer is the boy who just sang well on a talent show. He's a full-fledged artist that keeps evolving. An artist that really doesn't fit into any current box, so he has to forge his own path. I don't know what the future will bring, but I know it will be good.

Yaknelle at CV:

Clay Aiken gave a grown up Christmas concert at Waukegan last night, and I was amazed at the virtuoso performance. Clay is a musical instrument in this performance as surely as the violins are. The physical positioning of Clay on the platform allows the music to rise up, to swirl around him and to join with his voice and float out to the audience and wrap it in the sound. I witnessed the physical beauty of Clay's hands literally move with the music. The passion flowed out of his fingers. There were times when he used these hands to pull the music up to him, and to pass it out to us. There were times when I noticed his feet move to the rhythm and literally move the music through his body. Then there was the face. The light that comes out of that face, the joy, the pleasure was overwhelming. He lost himself in the music, but never lost control. There was such an artistic connection between Clay and Jesse and the music. There was non-stop music. It was holy and secular. It was majestic and fun. It was melancholy and joyous. It moved at such a rapid pace, that surrender to it is the only way to enjoy it. Quiana and Angela gave beautiful performances. They too, were caught in the moment. The ending of "O Holy Night," stunning, just stunning. If you were blind, you could hear the beauty. If you were deaf you could feel the vibrations. This concert is a physical, visceral experience. It foretells what we will see from Clay, and it reflects his immense growth as an artist in charge of his own career. God, I'm glad, I'm along for the ride.

A selection of YouTube Videos taken at the concerts:

O Holy Night (from South Bend, IN)

~Video by jojoct~

My Grown Up Christmas List (From South Bend, IN)

~Video by toni7babe~

Welcome To My World (From South Bend, IN )

Don't Save It For Christmas Day (From St. Louis, Mo)

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At 6:52 AM, Blogger cookie2u said...

I haven't watched the videos yet, I think that I have seen one already. It's 7:50am and I haven't slept yet so this will be very short. I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed reading "There Was A Man". As tired as I am I didn't realize at first it was a blog. It seems so professional, at least what I would expect from a journalist/music critic who is experiencing and enjoying Clay's voice in all it's beauty and glory.


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