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.
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.
Hosaa put together a wonderful video highlighting the special performance in Wilkes-Barre. ENJOY!!!!
This brings tears to my eyes just reading about it – I wasn't there that night but if I had still lived in Pa.
I would have been. Pa. is where I spent the first 21 years of my life and I am very proud that they
always show Clay the" LOVE!!" <3
Oh wow, I haven't seen that in awhile… Goosebumps you guys!!!! Wish I had been to one of those shows…. living through Clack is only second best, but at least I got to experience it!
Thank you for the video Musicfan. It was lovely re-living that all again. Thank goodness it was captured.
Ooh! I had never seen that PA Clay Fans billboard picture before. The real Clay – sans makeup and all. Love the reddish golden blonde hair and the beautiful smile. So that's who Clay sees when he looks in the mirror – NICE!
Love all the info about that particular Pennsylvania concert stop. Clay had to be overcome with gratitude and love – feeling the love given to him by the fans. Thanks musicfan – fantastic video and another great and remarkable remembrance blog.
That was a beautiful video, wish I could have been there but living thru Clack is still a great experience! Thanks musicfan xox.
It is so much fun to relive Clay's concerts through Clack. I realize I am sitting here smiling at the computer screen just enjoying all that Clay has brought to his fans over the last 10 years.
That was such a sweet moment. I could watch that video a million times.
What an exciting night that was! Wish I had been there. However, I have had the joy of seeing Clay in concert at least a dozen times. Always thrilling! Can't wait for the next tour. Clay lights up the stage and brings joy to the entire audience. He's really special!
you have me crying like that girl who cried for Sanjaya every week.I always love hearing Clay do songs like Carolina on my mind.THE FISH IN THE SUSQUEHANNA WERE JUMPING FOR JOY!!!
Every time that I see this video, I can't help but get teary eyed. It was a wonderful time for Clay and for the audience. I was not at that concert , but was fortunate to see 2 of the shows from the tour. It was just so exciting! I miss Clay's fugly jackets: )
I will never forget us all singing MOAM to Clay. It was a magical moment.