Ansamcw

Star Plaza Theatre, Merrillville, IN

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It is probably a nice change from the over processed hair before. Maybe he is giving his head a break from too much.

I just feel a need to share this - there has never been baldness in our family, on any of thre relatives, going back as long as I can remember. That is why it is so sad to see one, only one, of my brothers going bald so badly. I have talked to him about it, I have talked to his wife, and oddly enough his kids have said things about it. The man is addicted to over blow drying his hair. He thinks it is a genetic baldness, and I have tried to convince him it is a hairdryer baldness. I have suggested he try and grow his hair out, and just let it fall where it may (we are low forehead people, the hair falls forwards, always). I suggested combing it back and using some spray, but he insists on blow drying, producting and spiking his hair. He holds the dryer too close to his head and burns his scalp - what can you say.

I think that this could be CLay just not wanting to deal with being Clay, again. And, besidesthe dying, I think that he is being gentle with his hair.

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Oh. my goodness, the wonder of Deborah's MP3's!!!!!

I know...I was listnenig to the first third last night...his voice and interpretative skills was just off the charts.

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Guest Guest

Yes, we just got home from the show...and did we download the clack? HELL YEAH!!!

We applauded at the end of the clip, just as we did at the show....

It's going to take a LONG time to come down from this show. Amazing night, amazing man.

My cheeks are hurting from smiling...this is one of those incredible times in this fandom...right up there with Wilkes barre...he will probably sing this song better on other nights...but I will never forget this night...when he conquered that song and the whole fandom was behind him and we all cheeered at his triumph.

And guess what...remember what he said in the WALK interveiw...without the hurt or bad times...we don't get these high. THIS guy will never be dull.

P1150475c1t.jpg

I was there and agree the show was just amazing. You could literally feel the audience sending good vibes to Clay during AIW and I knew he felt it. It was almost eery. What an aweseome sight it was to see the audience almost simutaneously jump to their feet immediately to cheer for him. I was holding my hubby's hand so tight and the closer he got to the end of the song the tighter I squeezed. I am surprised he has a hand left! LOL! I have never seen Clay so funny either - he was at his comedic best last night. He appeared so happy and I know it was because he felt our love.

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Yes, we just got home from the show...and did we download the clack? HELL YEAH!!!

We applauded at the end of the clip, just as we did at the show....

It's going to take a LONG time to come down from this show. Amazing night, amazing man.

My cheeks are hurting from smiling...this is one of those incredible times in this fandom...right up there with Wilkes barre...he will probably sing this song better on other nights...but I will never forget this night...when he conquered that song and the whole fandom was behind him and we all cheeered at his triumph.

And guess what...remember what he said in the WALK interveiw...without the hurt or bad times...we don't get these high. THIS guy will never be dull.

P1150475c1t.jpg

I was there and agree the show was just amazing. You could literally feel the audience sending good vibes to Clay during AIW and I knew he felt it. It was almost eery. What an aweseome sight it was to see the audience almost simutaneously jump to their feet immediately to cheer for him. I was holding my hubby's hand so tight and the closer he got to the end of the song the tighter I squeezed. I am surprised he has a hand left! LOL! I have never seen Clay so funny either - he was at his comedic best last night. He appeared so happy and I know it was because he felt our love.

I posted the last part but forgot to log in. Wish would have met some of you who were there. There we tons of fans at the Radisson and we were running around trying to meet anyone we knew.

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Awww...thanks for sharing nicki...you are lucky to be witness to this special moment

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A recap of epic proportions. nicki, wish I could have met you, although we did not stay at a hotel close to the venue....

____

The weekend from hell…and then heaven…

My trip was scheduled to start Friday afternoon, after working at my job for a morning. Fat chance. Work up that morning to over a foot of snow on the ground. There was no way for me to get to work, let alone Waukegan. Therefore, most of the day was spent posting on message boards, trying to get sympathy for my situation. It mostly worked. ;-) I also spent time making phone calls to HeidiHo and the Pink Posse confirming my not being there.

So, I listened to the cellcert that night. Thought I might try to stay unspoiled for this show considering the situation, but couldn’t do it. I listened, enthralled…and then my heart broke for him at the end of the show. I’m positive he was giving 200%; it’s just that about 50% of that didn’t quite fire on all cylinders. But I still enjoyed the entire show profusely, and I’m glad I listened – it made me all the more excited the next day.

Anyway, I get up the next morning…the sun is shining…the road out of our house still isn’t plowed, but I can see that people have made it through. After a final check of the road conditions on the web, I headed out. My first hour and half was slower than I’d planned, but once I got to the Chicagoland area, I was speeding as much as the people who live there. *g* Arrived at the hotel with plenty of time to spare. I soon met up with Heidi. We watched clack, and then went out for munchies. By the time we got back luckiest1 and crew had arrived. More clack to watch, and then Smokey Bones for dinner. We went early, and we were glad we did, because we got seated immediately. As we were leaving I got a call from atinal – she and her friend were just being seated! We exchanged room numbers, and then had plenty of time to get ready afterwards. Next step: gussying up! And then, all 6 of us piled into Heidi’s big assed SUV and drove a half block to get to the show. Hey – she had VIP parking!

I saw way too many people to mention before the show. Many, many people were thankful to see me, and I was touched by the number of Clay fans who said “we were thinking of you yesterday.” Such a sweet bunch of people. MUAH!

Then, the first act. The orchestra was a lot of fun, and the conductor told really bad jokes. I enjoyed the music though, especially the piece that combined “Stars and Stripes Forever” and “Jingle Bells.”

Um, who was the second act again? Oh yeah…the hawt smokin’ mad who makes my heart flutter with his hair and his package and his humor and his voice. He was on fire the entire evening. CW and SR were light – so light they almost flew away. MDYK was a gorgeous rendition vocally – but the Aiken Random Lyric Generator kicked in immediately, and I had to laugh at that. MGUCL took my breath away, especially when he hit the high note at the end.

Banter – he had me laughing so hard so many times. His snark on the Ripa thing is razor sharp. The snarking he does toward us, the fans, is more gentle, IMO…but I thought it all rather true as well. He knows that the fandom is masters of making more fans out of first time concert goers! (BTW, Clay – you forgot that we usually get PIN numbers out of people before they leave our clutches…) From my seat in the 15th row, I couldn’t get a lot out of some of the banter, due to low visibility and old-age hearing. But still, I laughed and laughed and laughed…because it was Clay.

DSIAFCD was the beginning of me getting a panic attack. Oh dear, how is this going to work this evening? luckiest1 and I held on to each other for dear life, beginning at the bridge of the song…and when he nailed the note, we cheered. The whole place erupted. I started to breathe a BIT easier…but I knew what was coming.

When he came out with his crossed fingers, that broke the ice for a bit, at least for me. He also knew that most of the audience was on pins and needles as much as he was, and so I think the verbal reassurances from the audience (I personally love Ethel at the moment) helped calm him. He knew we’d love him, regardless. I watched the entire performance through binoculars, with my crossed fingers holding the binocs. I was enthralled watching him FOCUS – he was in another world with this performance. At the end – he hit “the note” with such power and force that I was simply blown away. I’ve only cried two times with Clay’s singing – I just don’t normally get that experience from his singing. The Merrillville AIW brought sobs from me. The emotions in that room were palpable. He breathed a sigh of relief, gave Jesse his cue to finish, gave that great goofy look, took a HUGE bow, pushed his beautiful hair back, signed "thank you," and was gone.

As we were trying to come down from that emotional high, beagle3 from the CH came and got luckiest1 and I. Windtalker from the CH had suffered a terrible family tragedy a few weeks ago, and wasn’t going to go to the show. Her son convinced her to attend, however…and her premiere of AIW was this performance. Tears, more tears…and lots of hugs and more tears. What a sweet woman.

Back to the hotel, for message boards, finding pictures, kicking ourselves for not going to the bus afterwards, watching AIW 50 gazillion times, beer, and a lot of good talk with friends. Our hotel was away from the intensity of the clack parties afterwards, but as much as I missed hanging out with old friends and meeting new ones, I really think I just needed to settle down in my own way, with some quiet. Oh, and AIW from the show being blasted. Heidi and I said goodbye to luckiest1 and her family/friends that night, for they had to leave early the next morning….

…but Heidi and I had brunch with atinal and her friend, where we talked about the show and so much more.

In conclusion…while the weekend started out terribly, it had an incredible high point in the middle of it, thanks to Clay. I will never ever EVER forget that experience.

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Bringing my recap over from CH:

Well, I'm back. I have not read one word on the boards yet, so I have no idea what has been discussed already, but I just wanted to give some general impressions of the Merrillville concert while it is still fresh in my mind.

I didn't attend Waukegan, and I didn't watch any clack either, although I had listened to the cellcert. So when my party of 4 arrived in Merrillville after an 8 hour trip (with 2 unsucessful Walmart stops), we were kind of surprised that people were upset about the night before, and "the note". Heck, other than the one note at the end of AIW, I'd thought it was a pretty darn fantastic cellcert, myself. I will have to go back and watch the Waukegan clack when I get a minute.

Anyways, we met up with ldyjocelyn & HeidiHo at the hotel. We had a great time getting to know each other and devirginizing my daughter with the Tyra clack. Thankfully ldyjocelyn had managed to get her hands on a few extra AIW for us after all. We headed over to Smokey Bones for dinner, and then all piled into Heidi's rental vehicle to make use of the VIP parking pass (woo hoo! since it was freaking cold out). We went to check our coats and said hello to various meers in the lobby, including the lovely and now infamous geekette of the signed iPod. *g* Our seats were row H which turned out to be about 15th row from the stage, on the centre aisle. Absolutely fantastic viewpoint, because I could get a close up on the expressions using my binoculars, but a pretty much unobstructed full-body view without them. I have a bit of a foot fetish, so I spent a lot of time watching those huge shoes slip sliding away on the stage....I sure hope someone captured them on film, because I just loved watching them. Yeah, I know I'm weird.

I was just in 7th heaven for the whole show. To be in the presence of the Aiken after a year was almost overwhelming. I've never seen him more comfortable and chatty! He was truly amazing, and his vocals were just gorgeous. The hair is very different than I expected.....almost looks flat ironed, it is so straight, but it shines and falls just so....I loved it. Kudos to cousin Jamie if she indeed is doing the styling.

I'm not going to go into detail of every song and bit of banter, since it seems we will have full clack of everything (YES!) but the most memorable part of the show (aside from every single second of the banter) was, of course, AIW. In fact, everything from OCOCE on really just blew me away. The standing O after OCOCE was very spontaneous and cool, and Clay looked quite surprised when he turned around and saw us all on our feet. ldyjocelyn and I grabbed onto each other during DSIAFCD in anticipation of the glory note, and then we just leaped out of our seats and started screaming when he hit it. It was truly magical. During AIW, he showed such amazing focus and concentration on making each note just perfect. When he went up for that final note, the place exploded. What a moment! What an accomplishment it was, for him. I was truly honoured to be there to witness it.

As much as I loved the concert, probably the most moving moment, for me, was being able to give Windtalker a bearhug following AIW. I am so glad she was there to be a part of it all. Huge thanks to beagle3 for coming to get me. {{{Windtalker}}}

Afterwards, we hung around talking to all sorts of people. Too many to remember to mention (and I'd hate to leave anybody out) but "hey!" to y'all....you know who you are. And then back to the hotel and fresh clack....some of which is on the two video cameras we had brought with us, shot by my daughter (aka crimsonice) and her friend (aka disneykid). Hopefully we will figure out how to get it off the cameras and onto the boards soon, thanks to help from the 4th member of our party, the lurking goldarngirl. We had a surprise visit from another lurker, atinal and her friend, who brought us some gorgeous Christmas ornaments....thank you!

This morning we stopped at the gas station directly across the road from the venue, in the hopes of finding a local paper with a review of the concert. A very nice lady there was helping me to look through every available paper (there were a lot!) and she asked who had played the venue the night before. I told her Clay Aiken. She said "CLAY??????" and clutched her heart. "I voted for him." Hee. She admitted she'd heard him a few times on the radio but had not bought any of his CDs. I told her to hang on just a minute, whipped out to the car, and grabbed my copy of ATDW. She was very excited (and strangely not surprised) when I handed it to her. We never found a review, but when I left she was clutching that CD to her heart. *g*

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FCA Merrillville page

if anybody wants to submit their recaps, pictures or share any special memories...just pm me or couchie.

same with any corrections.

We would like to thank all the clack gatherers and fans that have been so generous in sharing their experiences, talent and resources with the rest of the world.

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From Ch:

The conductor looks like tony bennet with white hair. With leslie neilsen humor.

Didn't the guy in the first row orchestra,(Indiana concert) playing violin remind you of Matthew Perry in looks? Both Waukegan and Merrrillville were good, although he lost his voice in Waukegan. I was in the first row in Merrrillville; Clay made fun of me because I was using binoculors! But at least I caught his attention!

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From Ch:

The conductor looks like tony bennet with white hair. With leslie neilsen humor.

Didn't the guy in the first row orchestra,(Indiana concert) playing violin remind you of Matthew Perry in looks? Both Waukegan and Merrrillville were good, although he lost his voice in Waukegan. I was in the first row in Merrrillville; Clay made fun of me because I was using binoculors! But at least I caught his attention!

Hee...that was you!!!...that was so funny. Thats pretty cool...

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Bringing my recap over from CH:

Well, I'm back. I have not read one word on the boards yet, so I have no idea what has been discussed already, but I just wanted to give some general impressions of the Merrillville concert while it is still fresh in my mind.

I didn't attend Waukegan, and I didn't watch any clack either, although I had listened to the cellcert. So when my party of 4 arrived in Merrillville after an 8 hour trip (with 2 unsucessful Walmart stops), we were kind of surprised that people were upset about the night before, and "the note". Heck, other than the one note at the end of AIW, I'd thought it was a pretty darn fantastic cellcert, myself. I will have to go back and watch the Waukegan clack when I get a minute.

Anyways, we met up with ldyjocelyn & HeidiHo at the hotel. We had a great time getting to know each other and devirginizing my daughter with the Tyra clack. Thankfully ldyjocelyn had managed to get her hands on a few extra AIW for us after all. We headed over to Smokey Bones for dinner, and then all piled into Heidi's rental vehicle to make use of the VIP parking pass (woo hoo! since it was freaking cold out). We went to check our coats and said hello to various meers in the lobby, including the lovely and now infamous geekette of the signed iPod. *g* Our seats were row H which turned out to be about 15th row from the stage, on the centre aisle. Absolutely fantastic viewpoint, because I could get a close up on the expressions using my binoculars, but a pretty much unobstructed full-body view without them. I have a bit of a foot fetish, so I spent a lot of time watching those huge shoes slip sliding away on the stage....I sure hope someone captured them on film, because I just loved watching them. Yeah, I know I'm weird.

I was just in 7th heaven for the whole show. To be in the presence of the Aiken after a year was almost overwhelming. I've never seen him more comfortable and chatty! He was truly amazing, and his vocals were just gorgeous. The hair is very different than I expected.....almost looks flat ironed, it is so straight, but it shines and falls just so....I loved it. Kudos to cousin Jamie if she indeed is doing the styling.

I'm not going to go into detail of every song and bit of banter, since it seems we will have full clack of everything (YES!) but the most memorable part of the show (aside from every single second of the banter) was, of course, AIW. In fact, everything from OCOCE on really just blew me away. The standing O after OCOCE was very spontaneous and cool, and Clay looked quite surprised when he turned around and saw us all on our feet. ldyjocelyn and I grabbed onto each other during DSIAFCD in anticipation of the glory note, and then we just leaped out of our seats and started screaming when he hit it. It was truly magical. During AIW, he showed such amazing focus and concentration on making each note just perfect. When he went up for that final note, the place exploded. What a moment! What an accomplishment it was, for him. I was truly honoured to be there to witness it.

As much as I loved the concert, probably the most moving moment, for me, was being able to give Windtalker a bearhug following AIW. I am so glad she was there to be a part of it all. Huge thanks to beagle3 for coming to get me. {{{Windtalker}}}

Afterwards, we hung around talking to all sorts of people. Too many to remember to mention (and I'd hate to leave anybody out) but "hey!" to y'all....you know who you are. And then back to the hotel and fresh clack....some of which is on the two video cameras we had brought with us, shot by my daughter (aka crimsonice) and her friend (aka disneykid). Hopefully we will figure out how to get it off the cameras and onto the boards soon, thanks to help from the 4th member of our party, the lurking goldarngirl. We had a surprise visit from another lurker, atinal and her friend, who brought us some gorgeous Christmas ornaments....thank you!

This morning we stopped at the gas station directly across the road from the venue, in the hopes of finding a local paper with a review of the concert. A very nice lady there was helping me to look through every available paper (there were a lot!) and she asked who had played the venue the night before. I told her Clay Aiken. She said "CLAY??????" and clutched her heart. "I voted for him." Hee. She admitted she'd heard him a few times on the radio but had not bought any of his CDs. I told her to hang on just a minute, whipped out to the car, and grabbed my copy of ATDW. She was very excited (and strangely not surprised) when I handed it to her. We never found a review, but when I left she was clutching that CD to her heart. *g*

I was in the first row at Merrillville and I thought the same thing about his feet. First off they were gorgeous shoes and I never realized before now how big his feet are. What's the saying "big feet, big???????????" I think it was a magical show, Immanual made me cry. Had first row seats so I got to stare into that gorgeous face. In fact I was more concentrated on that than his music. I'll have to pay more attention to the songs when I go to the Grand Rapids concert.

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I was in the first row at Merrillville and I thought the same thing about his feet. First off they were gorgeous shoes and I never realized before now how big his feet are. What's the saying "big feet, big???????????" I think it was a magical show, Immanual made me cry. Had first row seats so I got to stare into that gorgeous face. In fact I was more concentrated on that than his music. I'll have to pay more attention to the songs when I go to the Grand Rapids concert.

Yup his large feet cretes quite a buzz in the fandom...heh...

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Anyone going to concert in Grand Rapids tonight. I was supposed to go but couldn't make it. Appreciate any news, pictures, etc.

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