Clay Aiken – A Night To Remember

From all reports, the concert, Bringing Broadway Home, was amazing Clay Aiken was in fine voice and all the performers added so much to the concert.  I asked a wonderful Clay fan, tnmtmama if I could post her review of the concert.  Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

I had been debating with myself about going to the “Bringing Broadway Home” (BBH) concert from the first time we knew about it. I had gone to the PBS taping, forever known as the OMG Concert, and was as blown away as everyone else by the strength and power of Clay’s voice. It was even better than his stint on AI. I wanted to go to the BBH concert to make sure that what I heard was not a one time fluke brought on by excitement, either because Clay was so excited, or because I was, just to see him again after two years away from a live stage. I finally bit the bullet and bought a ticket on Sunday night. I got a balcony ticket and took my binoculars.

After a long, lovely drive from Charlotte, I got to Raleigh with plenty of time for a burger at the McD’s just across from the theater. Sitting down at a table, mind completely on the coming show, I didn’t even notice the group of three people across the isle from me until I heard mention of a Broadway show. I took a good look then, and was staring at Terrance Mann! You just don’t expect to see huge Broadway stars in McDonalds! Unfortunately, Clay wasn’t with him.

I got to the theater and picked up my ticket at Will Call, got the program, called Always & Forever to give her the set list, and found my seat. The balcony is a great place to sit if you want a view of the entire stage, but not good if you are primarily interested in seeing Clay up close and personal. Binoculars are a great invention!

Clay opened the concert with “Home” from The Wiz. It was so appropriate because this show was all about the homegrown talent from Raleigh. I’ll admit now that I was a little apprehensive. I guess I just couldn’t believe that the voice I heard at the PBS taping was really as good as I remembered it. Well, it was, and then some. Rich, full, and so strong, that beautiful voice filled the theater all the way to the last row of the balcony. I forgot all about my binoculars because it didn’t even matter what the owner of that voice looked like, I just wanted to sit there and hear that music. Well, lucky for us, he is as beautiful in flesh as he is in voice.

Everyone on the stage was in such fine voice last night. I’m not a critic and not an expert, so I could just sit there and revel in the pleasure of the music, no need or desire to evaluate any of it, just grateful that I could hear it. The highlight of the concert for me was the trio of Clay, Lauren, and Terrance singing “Leavin’s No the Only Way to Go” from Big River. Clay has mentioned in the past that he would have loved to be in this show, but he is passed the age now where he could do the role. This may be true, but I would have loved to see the faces of the audience if he had sung this as a young kid.

Terrance Mann was everything you expect in a major Broadway star, including funny. He performed “Where’s the Girl” from The Scarlett Pimpernel while roaming around the stage flirting with the girls. After he ran out of women to sing to, he sat on Clay’s lap and sang to him! His next move was to the conductor of the orchestra, who was in for more attention than he expected.

I love vocal harmony, so the biggest treat for me, next to the trio number, was the duets. If you have ever seen Clay in concert, you know he loves to duet. Last night was a great night for duet lovers, because Clay and Quaina sang “Last Night of the World” from Miss Saigon, and Clay and Lauren sang “In Whatever Time We Have” from Children of Eden. I would love it if Clay recorded a CD of songs with Broadway Divas.

As we know by now, Quiana brought the house down. She was outstanding and held her own, and then some, with these powerful singers from the world’s best stage. She really needs to be up there with them.

The show ended with “Imagine” from Lennon, another beautiful combination of voices. It all ended too some for me. I could have stayed in that bliss for hours, but it was time to drive home. After that evening of music, being on the road alone at night gave me a chance to sort out my thoughts on Clay and his career. I know there are still many fans who long for the pop star, but the situation in music today doesn’t fit Clay and his talent. Pop stars are manufactured by record labels. They find someone with a “look,” dress them right, throw a ton of publicity at them, protool the crap out of their voice, record generic songs from the likes of Ryan Tedder and Kira D, and you have a teen pop star. They aren’t expected to last, and no talent or personality is needed.

I can look back and see that this is what they tried to do with Clay, ignoring the fact that he had personality to spare, talent like no other, and no need for protools. Clay was so right when he said that RCA didn’t know what the hell to do with him, and unfortunately, today’s critics are so tuned to the generic pop sound that they slammed Clay for not having it. How many times have we read “bombastic” and “theatrical” when they describe his music? RCA was handed a Rolls Royce and they used it to carpool the kids to school. Any minivan could have done the job, but only the Rolls is right to take you to the State Dinner at the White House. Like current top 40 pop, the minivan will sell a lot more, but 20 years for now the minivans will be on the scrap heap and the Rolls will just be hitting his stride.

 

Two Pictures From The After-Party

 

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Comments

  1. (zoom zoom) Thank you tnmtmama!!!! I'll take this luxury ride any day. Sounds like it was a great evening!! Clay looked great and sounded out of this world. Some great voices up there on that stage, I wish I had been able to attend. I so appreciate everyone sharing their thoughts and their experiences.

  2. tnmtmama's recap of the Bringing Broadway Home is spot on. Clay Aiken and friends did their hometown proud.

  3. Great recap and love the pictures. What a great night for NC Theatre. I'm happy Clay Aiken and others were able to do this.

  4. So wish I could have been there. It sounds like it was a spectacular night, but then I'd expect nothing less than spectacular from Clay Aiken. The man is incredible and, he's right – RCA DIDN'T know what the hell to do with him! So glad he's with DECCA – a label that knows true talent when they see it.

    I'm looking forward to the CLAY AIKEN DECCA DECADE and many more to come!!

  5. tnmtmama said, RCA was handed a Rolls Royce and they used it to carpool the kids to school. That is certain as Clay said they didn't know what to do with him.

  6. That is a wonderful review of the concert. I wish that one day I will be able to write a review of a Clay concert. And thank you so much musicfan for the great work that you do. I know it takes a lot to compile content for the site everyday. And I enjoy it everyday.

  7. The show was wonderful. All that talent on one stage. Clay and Quianna have come a long way and have lots more to do. I'm very proud of both of them.

  8. WONDERFUL recap, tntmmama! I'm so grateful to the fans who take the time to recap great events like this for those of us not fortunate enough to be there. The combo of the pics, videos, and recaps, it's almost like being there. And thanks musicfan for the spectacular job you do in bringing us the very latest about Clay. Much appreciated.

  9. tnmtmama, what a great recap of the night. I wish I had a way with words like a lot of you do. That was a spot on review. Would love to hear more NJU responses too!

  10. tnm I loved your recap! and I loved your assessment regarding RCA!! They didn't know what the hell to do with Clay so they pigeonholed him into a hole that was an uncomfortable fit.. Glad decca has him now!!! They know they have a rolls Royce instead of a generic model..

  11. What a great recap by tnmtmama, about the Bringing Broadway Home show in Raleigh last night.
    Thanks for the pictures of Clay Aiken as well.

  12. Tnmtmama, your recap was wonderful and you so got it right about the Rolls. Nothing but first class of both Clay Aiken and his loyal fans. I have listened to the Clack that has been post so far and was blown away. I love Clay's BIG, powerful voice. Loved TITM.

  13. That was a great recap by tnmtmama. She and many others were so lucky to be able to go. I am looking forward to the Decca Era with great anticipation. I am so glad that they get Clay. It's about damn time. I have been watching video's from the show..and I just love Clay singing "Those Magic Changes." Wow, he is great in that one. He looks like a 50's Teen Idol. What a gorgeous man.

  14. I loved reading the recap. It sounds like a fabulous show! I would have loved to have been there. Clay-what can be said-he just keeps getting better and better! I can't wait to hear some clack . From what I have read everyone did a fantastic job!

  15. What a fabulous show and performance by Clay! Tnmtmama, what a wonderful recap! Im waiting for more Clack, but Those Magic Moments was just phenomenol!

  16. I've loved reading all the recaps from those that were able to attend last night. I've watched what clack has been posted and it is WONDERFUL. I love the pictures that have been posted too. Clay Aiken is in a happy place now, and I'm glad! I hope they raised a lot of money last night!

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