Wilkes-Barre Loves Clay Aiken



Sometimes the best things that happen in life are planned with each and every detail in place. However, sometimes spontaneity takes over and something even more exciting happens.  From all accounts, that’s what happened on March 7, 2004 in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

Kelly Clarkson and Clay Aiken were two of the best selling new artists in 2003.  They joined forces in early 2004 for their first major nationwide headlining tour.  Called the “Independent” tour, the two RCA stars performed in 30 cities.  Because they were two of America’s most talented young entertainers, they alternated as headliners on the tour.

After stops in North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Washington D.C. and New York, the artists found their way to Pennsylvania and the beautiful area of Wilkes-Barre.

Kelly opened the show with an exciting set that showed off her range and love of singing and entertaining.  Her performance of Beautiful Disaster was, according to some fans, “off the charts.”  It was evident that the crowd liked Kelly, but because so many did not stand during her performance, most speculated that it was a Clay crowd.

During intermission, a real buzz started up in the Wachovia Arena.  Many of the fans knew in advance about what to expect, but when Clay came in from the back singing Kyrie, the entire audience rose to their feet.  According to reports from fans, Clay was energetic and having a wonderful time.  Everything was going as planned and the crowd was excited.

But, as with all plans, there can be a twist. That night, the unexpected event ended up the highlight of the evening.  Clay and his back-up singers were settled on stools across the front of the stage.  They were joined by only two other musicians, the guitarist and the pianist.  It was time for the acoustic section of the concert.

When Clay started singing Measure of A Man, he sang the first word and immediately, most of the audience began to softly sing along.  Clay held the mike out to the audience and the singing sounded beautiful.  Clay stopped singing and signaled to his back-ups singers to also stop so the crowd could continue.  According to one fan; “It was like our love song to Clay and he knew that we meant it for him.”  Another fan said; “The crowd literally poured its heart out singing to him and the look on his face and on the faces of Angela and Quiana as they wiped tears away – just overwhelming.  I get choked up just thinking about it.  It was such a spontaneous moment and I feel so blessed to have been there.”

The rest of the acoustic set was particularly beautiful and everyone on the stage and in the audience realized that they had just experienced a very special moment.

The Wilkes-Barre concert continued with Clay’s exciting performance of When Doves Cry. Clay was ready to have fun and seemed to be having a good time kidding around with his back-up singer, Angela.  At one point, Angela pulled Clay so hard that he stumbled.  He laughed so hard that he could not continue singing for a few moments.

The end of his set found Clay sitting on a speaker singing The Way.  Somehow, the musicians missed a cue and the beginning of the beautiful song was way off.  Clay stopped and said that they were going to start again and after a bit of laughter from the musicians and the audience, Clay sang the song beautifully.

As always, Kelly and Clay ended the concert with a duet of Open Arms. They showed everyone that they were, indeed good friends.

Billboard in Wilkes-Barre

Billboard in Wilkes-Barre

Wilkes-Barre and the Pennsylvania Clay fans welcomed the Independent Tour with lots of excitement.  They had a large pre-party before the concert and participated in signing the banner for Clay that traveled from venue to venue.  They also put up a billboard on the highway welcoming Clay and the tour to their area.  The Wachovia Arena holds around 8000 people and was 98% sold.  Pennsylvania certainly showed their love and support for Clay that night.

A big thank you to the Pennsylvania Clay fans who e-mailed information about March 6th so that we could give a true picture of that night.  Each memory was wonderful to read.

SueReu put together a wonderful video highlighting the special performance in Wilkes-Barre.  ENJOY!!!!


Clay Aiken News Network is an unofficial fansite. We are not affiliated in any way with Clay Aiken or his management. This website was made by fans for fans and makes no impression or impersonation of the official site, which can be found under the domain clayaiken.com.


  1. I didn’t get to see the Independent Tour *sniff* but absolutely loved reading about this concert.

    I spent pretty much all day teary eyed yesterday – listening to MOAM/FOG over and over and over again 😉 (it’s a dirty job, but somebody has got to do it)

    Well done musicfan123!!!!

  2. I am from Wilkes-Barre and part of the PAClayFans and am so proud to have been a part of that night that can only be described as one of the most defining moments in the relationship between Clay Aiken and his fans. That night sent me over the edge. Can you imagine I didn’t even know what “clack” was. Boy I found out the next day though!!!

  3. That was an amazing moment! I’m looking forward to more amazing concert moments in the near future!!!

  4. I was there for that concert. It still brings tears to my eyes to see the video again. Definitely one of my favorite Clay concert moments. I’m still amazed how good the audience sounds singing MOAM. Thanks for the video.

  5. OK..you just made me cry! Thanks for the video and the wonderful memories! I love him and miss him like crazy!

  6. Thanks for bringing this to CANN. I love the video Sue. The ending is perfect. Clay Aiken is mesmerizing when he sings. I can’t wait to hear him again.

  7. I was there to witness that magical moment in person and will never forget it. Clay always touches us with his voice. That night we touched Clay with our voices.

  8. I was not at the W-B concert, but I remember the cellcert discriptions of what was happening, and it touched us “out there” almost as much as those who were there.

  9. More tears here. I remember reading about this in “Learning to Sing.” Clay and his fans just “connect,” don’t they!!!

  10. The video shows that Clay is a “real” person with emotions and feelings just like everyone else. I wish the people who pick on him all the time would remember that.

  11. What moment. Through the years Clay has given us special momnent like this. Each one is cherished by his fans. Thanks for revising this moment for us.

  12. Just came back to say that I don’t see too many pics of Clay that don’t look like him, but the one they used for that billboard doesn’t look like him at all to me.

  13. I wasn’t at that particular concert…but have seen it many times on video. Clay and Quiana really got emotional. Angela did too. Clay saw how much his fans loved him. Awwww…brings a tear to your eye. Love and miss him.

  14. OMG, I just loved that video. I did go to that concert twice, just can not get enough ofhim. I play his cds all night next to my bed, he has such a voice, like of an angel. I wish someone could find the Sailing video where they were laughing and singing at the same time, so funny, but Iforget what town it was in. Love allthe Clay videos andinfo allthetime.

  15. I was there that night, my First Clay concert and my birthday. I was not really aware of the internet Clay Fandom, I was just a fan. When I heard everyone singing this song, I was so stunned that they all knew it. I remember looking around and being so moved. Never knowing that he was so moved by it too. A truly magical night that I will never forget!

  16. Thanks so much for sharing this video. What a remarkable night that must have been for all present.

    Thanks for all the great memories, Clay and thanks for blogging about the fakes.

  17. Love the video. I was not at W-B, but I feel that I was after watching it. Thanks Suerue.

    You will always be loved, Clay Aiken!

  18. Love the video, SueReu. Thanks so much. Wish I could have a download. Any piece of Clay is worth keeping.

  19. That was very touching :’)

    i wish with all my heart that i could’ve sung MOAM to him as well.

    That made me cry. Thank you for the video SueRue and thank you to whoever got the video of that very special moment 🙂

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