If I was on vacation visiting Columbus, Ohio, the last place I would think to go would be the Chemical Abstract Service Lawn. But, I would be making a big mistake. This place is actually the producer of one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive databases of chemical information and it’s a completely non-toxic atmosphere. Chemical Abstracts Service has been the host of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra’s Picnic With the Pops for more than 15 years. The company is located right near the Ohio State campus and has a spacious lawn that serves as a great venue for summer evening concerts.
On July 21, 2007, Clay Aiken performed at the CAS Lawn as part of the Columbus Symphony Orchestras Picnic With The Pops series.
Nicknamed the “Soft Rock and A Hard Place Tour”, Clay was performing throughout July and August throughout the USA. Clay was joined on this tour by his two back-up singers, Angela Fisher and Quiana Parler. The two ladies have toured with Clay many times and are known by most of Clay’s fans. Jesse Vargas wore many hats on this tour and was not only the conductor and arranger but played the piano at each concert. Sean McDaniel joined the tour as the Drummer for the group.
The concert was a huge success for the orchestra and the audience. The crowd was estimated at 11,000. According to some of the people who worked at the venue they usually set up about 150 tables, but for Clay’s appearance they set up 300. The lawn seating behind the tables and on both sides was very large and very crowded. The crowd was made up of lots of families, guys with their coolers and beer, and couples lounging on blankets. It was just like a big party with people of all ages!
Lynn Green of the Columbus Dispatch reviewed the concert and had a lot of positive things to say about Clay and the concert. Lynn commented that his singing was polished, and his attitude, upbeat.
About the back-up singers, Lynn said:
“Backup singers Angela Fisher and Quiana Parler, both accomplished musicians in their own right, made strong impressions with solo numbers. Fisher got a huge cheer for Listen from the movie Dreamgirls, while Parler ended the first half of the program with a stirring performance of Faith Hill’s When the Lights Go Down.”
The reviewer mentioned the “fast” songs that can be performed with an orchestra and laughed with the audience when Clay sang the TV themes. But, Lynn mentioned the highlight of the concert was Lover All Alone.
Aiken’s strongest moment was his performance of Lover All Alone, for which he wrote the lyrics. In spite of jarring intonation problems from the guitarist, he loosened his grip on the polished, practiced stage manner and truly connected with his own soul.
And for those few minutes, the squealing fans, the strong-willed women, the devoted husbands and the rest of the audience fell absolutely silent in appreciation.
Did any of you attend the Columbus Concert? From all the reviews from fans and professionals, its sounds like it was a great evening of fun and wonderful music.
We have added 2 videos from the Columbus concert. The first is the Best of SRHPT – Banter by Scruffy. The second video is Clay singing Lover All Alone.