Clay Aiken – Showed True Star Quality

When I think of July, one thing that comes to mind is the American Idol tour in 2003.  I was up front at the concert and it was one of the first arena concerts I had ever attended.

The tour started in St. Paul, MN on July 8th and worked its way across the United States.  The Idols performed 41 shows and finally finished in Anaheim, California on August 31st.

I always love reading the reviews of the concerts.  There was no doubt that Clay was the star.  The following are just a few of the many professional reviews from 2003.


Aiken, 24, from Raleigh, N.C., showed true star quality. Not only was he a natural onstage, conversing with confidence and glee, but he also commanded the stage.


 Aiken is a passionate, expressive singer, and he’s got a long prosperous career ahead if his performance Monday night is any indication. Everything he sang was impressive. It was no surprise that the crowd- which was heavily female- went nuts for this guy. Clay Aiken has got what it takes to go the distance.


The arrival of Clay Aiken brought the house down with Beatlemania-type shrieks… With Aiken, the comparisons are true: the kid is a young Barry Manilow, right down to the body language. And like Manilow, he can really sing.


Aiken emerged as the true joy of the night. He can deliver a simple pop song with unbridled gusto, but he does it without a trace of ego and with a genuine sense of gratitude: Think a kid who hasn’t left the candy shop. More distressing is how Idols has tried to mold a bona fide singer — namely, Studdard — into a sensation. Yes, he’s got a sonorous voice, but he’s also got all the personality of a lamppost.


His hot streak continued in Saturday’s live setting, where he was quicker with a quip and stronger with a lyric. After an audience member tossed something past Aiken’s face and into the carpet of dry ice that lined the stage, the singer responded with deadpan self-deprecation: “If those are somebody’s panties, I’m out of here. Luckily, the item was a harmless knitted-doll likeness of Aiken himself. When the duo re-created the roles of Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney for “The Girl Is Mine,” Aiken displayed twice the vocal range.



Clay Aiken, the most accomplished performer and most likely to have a long career…Aiken’s voice had too few chances to go on and on- he didn’t do ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ for instance, and his new single, ‘Invisible,’ is undistinguished FM Lite- but the guy’s got immense talent and he’s developed significant charisma.”


(Aiken was) clearly the star attraction…it was Aiken who turned the Pond into the House of Clay. While his colleagues strained to show off their talents, Aiken eased through his numbers with effortless poise and charisma…

Did you attend The American Idol Tour in 2003?

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13 thoughts on “Clay Aiken – Showed True Star Quality

  1. All the newspaper reviews shown were so positive and promising. After ten years in the business, he STILL has super-star quality with his voice and stage presence. He has it all! (I just wish we would see more of him). <3

  2. I didn't get to go to an Idol tour. My first Clay tour was the NAT in Aug. 2004. Since then I've never missed a tour. Hoping there will be more "soon"!
    I loved reading these reviews–thanks.

  3. No no no, I didn't attend ONE show all those years ago! One was in Memphis I believe and a co worker told me she drove up with her sister for a quickie trip! I had NO idea she liked him and was so upset when I found out she attended. I also didn't realize that I could go to a show ALL BY MYSELF until a few years later. Soooo many trips and concerts I missed!!! Thanks goodness for our "clack goddesses"!!!

  4. I wish I had seen it. I love reading those reviews. Clay still has the great voice and personality. I hope he is able to get a new cd and tour again.

  5. Such wonderful reviews about Clay and he's still got it. No, I never attended any of his concerts sadly as I only discovered Clay 3 years ago (thanks to internet) when I saw him sing 'Bridge over Troubled Water', that's when I fell in love with his voice and him, of course. But because of 'clack' I'm able to watch his concerts on line!
    Thanks musicfan xox

  6. I had never seen all the positive reviews about the AI 2 tour where Clay was the best of the show. I had plans to leave for vacation the morning the tour pulled into our city. I was sorry to have missed Clay, but I didn't care much about the rest of the performers. Of course, I've attended every other Clay concert over the past 10 years.

  7. i wish i had seen this tour clay still has an amazing voice and personality i hope that he does anther cd and a tour again

  8. Those were great reviews of our Clay. I really enjoyed reading them. They are all true. Clay is even better today. He's definitely Got It. I never got a chance to go to any of the American Idol Concerts..but, I have been to many of his other concerts. There is nothing like them. You leave in the Aiken Fog. Which I love. Hope he will make another CD and tour again. Would love that!

  9. I did not get to attend the AI tour that year.I have always regretted that I did not get to see it. I loved reading all the positive reviews about Clay from that tour. I had never read them before. Thanks so much for posting them!

  10. This was the first time I saw OMC in concert!!! Saw that one up in Detroit abt an hour north of where I live. Attended that one with the parentals! The energy in Joe Louis Arena that night was C-R-A-Z-Y & the audience went NUTS when Clay came on the first time & the energy was more reserved for Ruuuuben!!!! It's like one of the many lists that I collected many years ago & it said, "You go to the American Idols concert & boo everyone else off stage! Heck, you're there to see Clay!!!" And it was literally true that everyone leading up to Clay it was like, "Get off the stage! We want Clay!!!!" The energy started kicking up when K. Lo came on & the energy just rose from there & like I said, it went down a couple of notches when Ruben came on!!!! It was true that there was a mutual respect for Ruben, but Clay was MUCH more popular!!!!!

  11. I did go — I didn't know about fan boards and online stuff then, but as soon as they announced the tour on AI show I was like, how do I get tix? I didn't know about Ticketmaster, I went to a broker and seats were already scarce! But I got seats for me and for friends at 3 of them – Anaheim Pond, L.A. Staples, and San Jose Sports. The Pond was exciting — after the show, hundreds (maybe 1K's!) of us milled around the performer's exit and started chanting "WE WANT CLAY. WE WANT CLAY." Someone from KIIS called Ryan Seacrest's radio sta and put it on the air, saying, "Listen! That's for Clay!!" And every one of the 52 (56?) cities the show went to gave rave reviews for Clay.
    But my fave part of the Pond story: two of the 3 friends I took were a co-worker and her 11-yr-old son who had been Ruben fans, but after the show they were — and still are! — Clay fans, and they still go with me to his concerts!! They still like Ruben, of course, and we loved theTimeless Tour, but the last time we all 3 went was last Christmas, Joyful Noise 2012 — the 11-yr-old is now a 19-yr-old college jock, ROTFL — and his mom said to me afterwards, "Clay sings like an angel, there's no doubt about that." Yes, indeed he does.

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