Thursday, July 19, 2007

Clay Aiken Performs Again Tonight! Three In A Row!!

Clay Aiken will be performing his third concert in as many nights tonight in Canandaigua, N.Y.
Tonight's concert comes on the heels of this Syrause show last night which received a tepid review that you can read below:

Decent set with SSO thrills 'Claymates'
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Chuck Klaus Contributing writer
The appearance of "American Idol" 2003 second-place winner Clay Aiken before 1,600 screaming "Claymates" - well, about 600 or so were screaming - has given your obedient servant new insight into the reviews of earlier days.
I can now imagine myself trying to review the hysteria of the bobby socks and saddle shoes set when young Frank Sinatra first came on the scene, or writing a critique of the hordes when Elvis first appeared, or the shrieks that arose when The Beatles were just getting started.
And much like those fabled critics of yore, I simply don't get it. All of this large-scale Clayemotion confounds me, I fear.
Not to unduly knock Mr. Aiken. His has an interesting voice, fairly well-used within his chosen field of pop ballad singing. There's an interesting combination of elements making up his style: a touch of blue-eyed soul, a bit of modern country, some strains of soft rock and, perhaps the most dominant influence of all, contemporary Broadway. His voice is on-pitch, he treats most of his material in a fairly spacious manner, and his work is pleasant and fairly polished, in an extremely informal way.
This ease on stage, as well as a constant barrage of self-deprecating humor, may be one of the secrets of his success. Aiken, forever putting himself down, can hardly be seen as a threat to his female audience, and they evidently love him for that. He is the beloved singing teddy bear placed near a young girl's flouncy canopied bed.
Aiken, appearing with fellow American Idolers Quiana Parler and Angela Fisher, sang a wide range of music, from covers of Dolly Parton's "Here You Come Again" to his early hit "Measure of a Man" and material from his most recent release, "A Thousand Different Ways." He generously gave his "backup singers" - really more like co-singers - solo spots and lots of room for comic byplay, and gave a really nice pep talk on behalf of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, encouraging the enthusiastic audience to become season subscribers of the SSO.
Aiken also was generous in his praise of conductor-pianist - and evidently gifted arranger - Jesse Vargas, who coordinated well and with a minimum of fuss while providing solid piano support.
Aiken had the chance to perform a ballad for which he served as lyricist, which offered the SSO's cellist, Lindsay Groves, the chance to contribute a sonorous solo. Here was one instance where the Clayemotion of the audience paused long enough to allow Aiken to truly be heard, which turned out to be a source of further Clayelation.
Tonight's show should be interesting. Clay Aiken's voice is already showing signs of strain and he is unable to reach the notes that he used to hit with ease. As the writer of the interview above notes, Clay seems to be relying on Quiana and Angela as co-singers. Is this a good thing considering this tour has been widely described as "An Evening With Clay Aiken'?
Also, as the tour proceeds, Clay's "banter" is becoming increasingly angry, bitter and self pitying. Is his "humor" really "self deprecating" as the writer of the review above states?
It seems to me that most of Clay's attempts at humor and snark are often at the expense of others, including the people in the audience who are there to support him.
Also worth noting, is the sudden crackdown on "clack". There are many theories about how this came to be, so it will be interesting to see if tonights show brings any changes to the current policy.
Can't wait to see what "goodies" Clay Aiken has in store tonight!
Gotta love a good trainwreck! :)