Clay Aiken – A Huge Success!

The Xcel Energy Center is a sports arena in Saint Paul, Minnesota. It is home to the NHL’s Minnesota Wilds and the NLL’s Minnesota Swarm. It is owned by the city of Saint Paul and operated by Minnesota Sports & Entertainment. The arena has four spectator levels: one suite level, and three general seating levels named the 100 level, the club level, and the 200 level. Its official capacity is 18,064.

The Xcel Energy Center opened in Fall 2000. It was built on the site of the demolished St. Paul Civic Center. In 2004, the arena was named by ESPN as the best overall sports venue in the U.S.

On July 8, 2003, the Xcel Energy Center was the site for the opening of the American Idol, Season II Summer Tour.

There had been a buzz in the Twin Cities for more than a week. The entire cast of the Season II tour had been in the area, practicing for the opening of the tour. They spent some time rehearsing at the University in Minneapolis and finally had their dress rehearsal in the arena.

The 2003 American Idol Tour traveled throughout the United States and gave 41 shows. The concert tour ended on August 31st in Anaheim California.

No one knew what to expect at the Xcel. The show and its performers were kept under wraps and so the performances were highly anticipated.

In the first half of the show, each Idol performed a solo song in the order they had been eliminated from the show. Clay Aiken performed in the number 9 position. Before his performance, they showed a short video montage of Clay as he progressed through the American Idol show. Finally, Clay appeared on the stage from below in a cloud of fog and sang “This is the Night.” Dressed in a dark suit, white shirt and purple tie, Clay looked handsome and ready to thrill the audience.

The second half of the concert was much more informal and there was a combination of solos and ensembles. Clay was very busy as he sang in many of the songs.

One of the highlights of the show was Clay’s duet with Ruben to “The Girl Is Mine.” They had a lot of fun teasing each other and sang well together.

To the majority of the people in the audience, the most exciting moment of the concert was when the lights dimmed and Clay arose from under the stage, dressed with a sports jersey from the local team. It was the first time that the audience saw and heard Clay’s popular hit, “Invisible” and they saw a performer who dominated the show with an exciting and dynamic performance. And, the Xcel was the home of the first “tug.”

The program at the Xcel ended with the entire ensemble singing “God Bless the USA.” It was a wonderful way to end an exciting program.

The Season II American Idol Tour went on to be a huge success. Sponsored by PopTarts, the tour had an average attendance of 10, 446 and the capacity for the tour was over 89%.

Clay Aiken fans will always remember the Xcel Arena and the wonderful excitement of the evening. It was just the beginning of a wonderful professional life for Clay.

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

8 thoughts on “Clay Aiken – A Huge Success!

  1. That was a great tour…The anticipation of seeing Clay live…was just….incredible… I remember "The Tug" so well. OMG!!!!! What fun!!!!! I saw the tour in Toronto at the Air Canada Centre, and I have never heard a place erupt as much as when we knew Clay was going to be lifted up from the stage….It was scary it was so loud….. These were good times…and as much as I loved this stage of Clay's beginning….I will take the smaller venues anyday…where you can see Clay up close, and feel like he is in your living room. What an adventure we have been on…and CLAY!!!!! It's been a wonderful 8 years…and looking forward to many, many more!!!!!!

  2. I missed the AI 2 Tour. I'm so sorry that I did. But thanks to our amazing clack gathers and recappers I was able to relive all the amazing firsts of Clay's first tour. After that I saw Clay 4 times the following year … with Kelly, his GMA concert in the park, his summer tour and first Xmas concert! What an amazing year that was!!

  3. I had 3rd row seats for the AI2 tour. I didn't decide to go until the week of and lucked out with an awesome seat. Clay was clearly the star of the tour. It was my only concert that tour and I'm so glad I went and was part of all the excitement.

  4. It is always fun to remember Clay's first huge concert!! It must have been an amazing experience to see and hear all the people screaming…how could it NOT affect someone.

    Thanks for posting this!!

  5. Clay was definitely the star of the AI2 Concert Tour. Every time he came out on the stage…the noise and screaming was deafening. I didn't get to attend the AI Tour…but, I have seen enough video's to see what fun it was.

  6. I missed the AI II tour…it came to town the day I was leaving for vacation. That is the only time I missed Clay of the 5 times he performed in Columbus.

  7. So sorry to say, I also missed this tour – since then I have talked to someone that did go to the show in Cleveland. She decided to go at the last minute and alone. She got a good seat and I will
    never forget her excitement in telling me how exciting it was in that auditorium when Clay appeared
    on that stage. She said she had never heard such thunderous applause! Needles to say , I have
    been to quite a few shows since then, but will always regret missing the very first one.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.