Clay Aiken – “The True Joy Of The Night”

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.


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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6 thoughts on “Clay Aiken – “The True Joy Of The Night”

  1. This was Clay's only tour that I missed and I have always regretted that I didn't attend. At that time I didn't realize what a big part he would play in it. Glad there was some video to see!

  2. That was so much fun! I was one of those people that didn't realize I could go BY MYSELF like I do now. Grrr, never went to the early shows of Clay's career, but I'm making up for it now! Thanks Martha!

  3. That was the only Clay concert I missed. It was held on the day I left on vacation. Had to wait until the next fall when Clay & Kelly came through with the Independent Tour.

  4. I missed the 2003 tour, due to husband's illness. I cherish every photo and videos of this tour!
    Thank you, for the pictures and video posted here today! Clay truly was the star of the show!

  5. I was not there but I can see that Clay was the main attraction. No big surprise. Really enjoyed the video. The stills were great also. Clay was having so much fun. Thanks for everything musicfan. Love you. ❤️ UNCONDITIONAL love for you Clay. God bless America.

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