Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Clay Aiken Concert

Last night, I went to the Clay Aiken concert in the RBC Center, in Raleigh! My mom met me in the parking lot at the office and we left, two hours before the concert was supposed to start. The traffic wasn't too bad and we found a parking space fairly close to the stadium. That isn't always guaranteed, based on an ice skating show I went to, last year. There were cars decorated with Clay slogans and people waving signs. There was a huge crowd of people in a line outside, all waiting to go through security. There were random bursts of screaming emanating from young girls everywhere. Fortunately, the line was moving fairly quickly and we made it in. Our seats were in section 229, which was in the corner, opposite from the left side of the stage. It was far away and people setting up the stage looked like ants, but we did have a completely clear view. I ate a small Goodberry's cup of chocolate mint chip "frozen custard" for dinner. I was thirsty, but neither one of us wanted to go back downstairs and pay $4 for some water.

At 7pm, the Beu Sisters came on stage and performed as the opening act for approximatley 20 minutes. It seemed longer. They were okay, but the sound was so loud that their high pitched voices were distorted. The songs weren't terribly memorable. After an intermission, Kelly Clarkson started performing. Unfortunately, her voice was distorted for some of the songs, too. It was good, but I haven't purchased her album, so I hadn't heard a lot of her songs before. I enjoyed "Miss Independence" and "A Moment Like This", but again, they were familiar. Of all of her other songs, I probably liked the ballad, "Beautiful Disaster" the best. I was still thirsty. Every song was another delay before Clay's performance. Believe me, during the first season of American Idol, I liked Kelly Clarkson a great deal and definitely thought and still think that she was the best singer that season. Kelly did have fun making the crowd scream, every time she said Clay's name.

After her performance, they had to completely rebuild the stage, which took what seemed like an eternity.
I kept eyeing bottles of water of water being consumed by people in neighboring seats and wondering how much I would be willing to pay now. When Clay emerged, singing and walking through the crowd on the way to the stage, all feelings of thirst disappeared. He had a marvelous performance and his voice was low enough, such that there was little or no distortion. The change in his confidence since he started on American Idol last year is amazing. One of the cute things he did was spontaneously take someone's cell phone and hold it to his hear while he was singing "When You Say You Love Me". That had to be a treat for the girl who was on the line.

Of course, I bought Clay's album not long after it was released, so I knew all of the songs he sang. The one that was still going through my head the next morning was "No More Sad Songs". (Note that Willam Hung's rendition of "She Bangs" had similar lasting effects, but that's different.) He just has a beautiful voice and a great personality. My mom was disappointed that he didn't sing "This is the Night", but I think he made up for it with all his other selections. I took several pictures (visualize: ant with green shirt on stage, possibly fuzzy) and I still need to look to see how they turned out. Finally, Kelly and Clay did a duet of "Open Arms" for the encore.

I wanted to buy a program as I left, but there was a mob of people around the booth. Once we waded through all the people and got outside, we realized that we had no idea where I had parked. Oops. In the future, I will make a note of that. We wandered around and then a woman approached us saying that she had no idea where her car was either, but she knew she parked near us so, so she asked to tag along. Eventually we talked to a perosn who worked there who convinced the woman that her car was on the east side of the building. My mom reasoned that we were on the west side, so that's where we headed. I noticed that, by that point, there weren't many people in line at the souvenir booth, so we got a program! We also found the van and told a security/traffic guy to call on the radio to tell security that the woman's car was, indeed, on the west side.

By that time, there wasn't a lot of traffic and it was easy to leave the RBC Center parking area. That made it a lot more pleasant than having to fight one's way back to I-40. We were cruising along. We noticed IBM's lights, which were visible from the freeway. We drove along. We almost passed downtown when my mom pointed out that we'd forgotten her car in the IBM parking lot. Oops. It wasn't a big deal, because she could ride in with me in the morning, but it proved, once again, for the second time in one evening, that I'm a space cadet.

Nothing much happened today, except I nearly melted in the 83-84 F heat, in my office.

No comments:

Post a Comment