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 have always loved 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.
ST PAUL STAR TRIBUNE
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.
DAILY GAZETTE (Upstate NY)
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.
WILKES-BARRE TIMES LEADER
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.
PALM BEACH POST
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.
ALBANY TIMES UNION
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?