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July 7 - Tulsa OK

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Tulsa on 7-7-07, or, who cares about a restored theater when there’s no damn air conditioning…

As we last left our story, I had just gone to sleep after spending a grand old time talking to keepingfaith after the Houston concert. Get up the next morning – hey, it’s time to hit the road again. After scolding keepingfaith again and again that we were going to be late (and her sister was doing a good job of that as well), we hit the road at 8:00 a.m. I’m sure keepingfaithsis was tired of us talking and talking and talking about Clay, with only minimal stops (mmmmm…cherry limeade from Sonic!). Then, we pull into Tulsa. Elvira the evil GPS at this point was telling us all kinds of crazy directions to get to the hotel, so we finally shut her off. We arrive in the hotel lobby, not even sure if we’re going to find Clayzorback because she doesn’t have a cellphone. Lo and behold, there she is, proudly wearing her DCAT shirt. She’s chatting up a storm with the people who haven’t checked in to the hotel yet. Let’s just say that she was talking with a lot of people! This is also the point where I space out entirely and forget who atinal is, even though she lives fairly close to me and I’ve had lunch with her! My bad.

We get up to the room and do the important stuff – plug in the laptop and get the wireless going. What?

keepingfaith and her sister decided to get ready for the show before attending the party. Clayzorback, however was already at the party, so I followed her lead. I’m glad I did too, because I got a swag bag…not everyone did. *g* The ballroom for this party was amazing. There were huge posters around everywhere, and tons of stuff for auction/raffle. The DJ was playing Clay whenever he could and was mentioning his name every time all the time, in order to get screams. After a while, I found atinal sitting outside the ballroom by herself, so I came out to get some quiet and spend time with her. Then – time to get gussied up, and the pick up Clayzorback, keepingfaith and keepingfaithsis. It’s time to see CLAAAAAAY!

We arrive at the theater…and it’s a freakin’ barn. Walk in…and it’s hotter than hell. From the advertising, I was expecting opulent; that’s the last word I’d call it at this point. But, I was in “who cares” mode, because CLAAAAAAAY was coming on stage! I take my 9th row seat and freak out once again when he walks out on stage.

And then the flashbulbs started. It was such a change from the Houston show, where the audience was fairly well behaved. In Tulsa, it seemed that the management handed out flash cameras to every other seat and said “use these!” Followed immediately by the camera nazi’s coming out to say “NO!” The camera nazis were really trying to do their job, I’m sure….but they were busting EVERYONE, including those who were taking non-flash pictures. Grrrr.

The audience continued their boorish behavior after the first two songs (which, BTW, were gorgeous as usual). I was about 5 seats away from “water bottle gal.” I was sorely tempted to rip that bottle out of her hand and beat her up with it. It really floored me that audience members were literally standing up IN THE MIDDLE OF CLAY TALKING to announce their intentions and get some attention. It was truly sad. By the end of the show, I was pulling out my librarian “SHHHH” (as well as a bunch of other people doing the same thing) so that Clay was noticing THAT too. He knew by then that there were several who were ready to do a butt kicking in that audience.

EYGA was a treat. The song ended with Q&A holding that note, and Clay decided to kick in and then started melissma-ing up a storm. Q&A soon followed. I think that last note lasted at least 30 seconds.

His banter? Well, he was full of piss and vinegar as far as I was concerned. I think “Clay’s very very bad day” gave him some fuel for the entire show. The plane incident was a running joke throughout the show. The man is simply hysterical – his timing is impeccable. In a way too, I think he gives the famewhore’s the chance to interrupt his show, knowing that it could either work really well (with some perfectly timed comebacks) or totally backfire. No matter – in this case, as frustrating as the famewhores were, Clay gave it back rather pointedly that night. It still amazes me that some of these people can’t figure out what exactly he’s doing.

I think the vocal strong point of the show is ATD. Or EIH. Or MOAM. Or WY. Or…hell, he does so well with the entire show, I really can’t pick. The TV Medley is a lot of fun, and of course, watching the thrusting live during the classics medley was extremely memorable. Guh. Thankfully, during LAA, the audience kept quiet. Thank God for small miracles, as well as the power of Clay Aiken’s voice and emotion during that song.

During intermission, I chatted up the two women next to me. They had seen Clay twice before – an IT show and the JNT2005. They asked all sorts of questions from me, and most of them were actually about the fandom. “How do you all know each other?” Ah yes, the power of the internet. Unfortunately, I neglected to ask them afterwards about what they thought of the show.

I had behind me a sweet lady, probably in her late 70’s. I apologized to her before the show started, because I knew easily that she wouldn’t be able to see over me. She said it was OK, that’s why she had an aisle seat. She said she worked at one of the different theaters in Tulsa, and was curious about Clay. She brought her family with her – daughter, son-in-law, and grandkids. SIL was sitting next to her, and I could hear him identifying all the TV show themes as they were sung. Also, I checked out his face at the end of the classics medley…and he had a huge grin. I really think Clay won this guy over that night. (BTW, this family cheered heartily when Clay talked about supporting the arts.) After the show, the sweet lady said to me, “I really enjoyed this show, and part of it was because I could see YOU enjoying the show that much.” I thanked her and told her that Clay brings so much joy in my life, it’s hard not to be happy!

Soon (way too soon) it was time for BYLM. I noticed this time that he sings “the ones who saw me through it all.” Ones, not one. It touched me…and again, I started to cry. And then it was over.

My thoughts on Clay remain the same – the man simply cannot be classified as a “singer.” He is an ENTERTAINER, pure and simple. He’s done a fantastic job putting on an entertaining show for both the die-hard fans and those who were simply curious about him because they knew him from AI. On the other hand, I also continue to get the sense that the man has no fear. He really seems to just not care about what people think of him, he just does what he wants. I love that about him, and admire it greatly. He’s also fantastically talented in reading his audience, IMO, adapting his banter for each venue.

But WAIT, there’s MORE!

After hearing that he had gone outside to greet the fans in Houston the night before, my roommates and I knew that we had to try in Tulsa. Sure enough, we head behind the theater, and there’s Jerome. It’s kinda hard not to find him, actually, as he stands at least head and shoulders above everyone else around him. It’s actually quite funny to hear him give orders…or actually, watch the fans react to him. It really was almost, “he says ‘jump,’ we say ‘how high?’” (This was so much better than my last bus line…the infamous Rockford NAT show.) Soon, we were in a huge line, everyone single file. Jerome even asks us to hold hands so that everyone has room. Somehow, Clayzor, keepingfaith, keepingfaithsis and I all ended up in different sections of the line. And then….we wait….we wait...and wait some more. Finally, Clay comes out, and starts at the opposite end of the line from me. That’s OK….because soon he comes zooming by me. “Hey, thanks for coming.” All I could say was “thank you.” He gave me a good handshake, but what I remember most is that as I let go of his hand, my fingers grazed his arm. Yes, I got fur. I think I will never forget that feeling.

Afterwards, I meet up with my group, and also find the eHP. I thought merrieeee’s face was going to crack because she could not stop grinning. Honestly, neither could I.

We floated back to the hotel and find the bar is crowded and noisy, and for me, just too much. So most of us went back to the room, checked the boards, watched clack, and drank these really good martinis. I had a great time talking with TigerPat from the Clayboard and sheiladownunder. I finally fell into bed about 2:30 a.m.

Got up way too early, packed my stuff, said goodbye to my new friends, and took the hotel shuttle to the airport with spotlightlover and Nelle. The shuttle driver told us several stories about how nice Clay was (since he was in our hotel), and we talked a bit about “the incident.” Flying from Tulsa to Dallas was long, just because there was a delay for a lightning storm. Make it to my port of call – and there was Invisible2sum and her husband again, waiting for the flight home!

What a fantastic weekend – one I’d like to do again so very soon. I met a lot of fantastic people, both old friends and new. And I got to touch Clay Aiken. *sigh*

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I've been enjoying all your recaps and hesitate to post mine because it reads like a book report I did in third grade...minus the Clay Aiken part.

The Party

Wow! What a fantastic job the Oklahoma Clay Fans did decorating that huge room! Giant poster photos of Clay around the perimeter, two long stretches of tables covered with amazing items for the silent auction and chances to win, and a table in the front bearing beautiful theme baskets (also for silent auction), including Faux Burberry, Library Man, Fugly, and I can't recall the rest but they all looked great and the themes were so cute.

At each table setting were little black or silver gift bags containing Clay luggage tags, Clay bookmarks, a photo of Clay in a little silver frame, a pen, a fan (which I regretted not taking to the Brady Theater), and a little Clay decorated box of Junior Mints (they're very refreshing!).

Scattered all around the table were various photos of Clay. The silver colored napkins were imprinted:

An Evening With Clay Aiken

Tulsa, Oklahoma

July 7, 2007

At the Party Registration desk we were given a lanyard imprinted with the same thing as the napkins and also Historic Brady Theatre; the badge had a photo of Clay. Also, clip-on name tags to display real name and board name. And a card with a silent auction number.

Thank you very mucho to the OK fans who obviously put a lot of thought and work into throwing such a great party!

We shared a table with zippy888 and her family, who were very nice. She excitedly won a couple of prizes in the drawings.

And she told us that the Clay photos on the lanyards were taken by her.

The DJ seemed enthusiastic about the concert; said he'd never been to a Clay concert, and had found out from the OK fans what a great guy Clay was.

A group of hearing members of a church had learned Sign Language which they used for a couple of Clay songs. That was very nice!

Brady Theatre

We were thrilled with our seats in the 8th row, had a great view of the stage, and found out we were sitting right next to the lovely and sweet AnAmeraikeninTX, who was still glowing from her M&G in Houston.

The theatre was hot and got hotter as it filled up, but I was so excited about finally getting to see Clay live again after 3 years that I didn't mind. The anticipation....

Mary came out and taped some lyrics to the front of the stage floor. The orchestra tuned up their instruments. Angela came out to a mic stand on the left side of the stage, and Quiana to one on the right side (both to great applause). Jesse came out to his piano and directed the orchestra to begin playing "Here You Come Again".

Clay began singing before he appeared on stage. Screams for the voice...louder screams when he stepped into view. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

His hair looked most excellent!; blue shirt, jeans, gray jacket, brown boots. The face!!!! So handsome!

I'm glad he's quit wearing a lot of make-up. His face is beautiful as is, with freckles showing.

What a good looking guy he is! I was mesmerized for the rest of the show. Didn't take notes, didn't gather clack. Just couldn't take my eyes off the man!

The Show

Clay looked and sounded great! A cutie with a voice that melts the heart and a comic ability that gets you laughing and smiling.

I have to say I liked the "I Want to Know What Love Is" duet with Quiana better than the one with Suzy on the cd. Their voices were more distinguishable and blended better.

I'd heard just a bit about the airplane incident and sympathized with Clay, but he got us laughing about it. I was glad he wasn't in a bad mood and could enjoy himself.

The TV theme songs were fun, though I didn't watch a half dozen of those shows and didn't know the songs. Clay and his two women did a good job singing them.

Quiana and Angela looked beautiful and I liked both of their solos.

It tickled me when Clay called Quiana's skirt a dress (My husband would have said the same thing. Maybe it's a guy thing, or a southern guy thing) and she corrected him "skirt!"

I don't understand why the occasional person seems irked when Clay talks about he "paid for it." He's only joking around, teasing them. They know it. It seems pretty obvious. They love him very much.

The theatre got so hot there was a big sweat spot that covered most of Jesse's back. He wasn't wearing a jacket, just a ls shirt, so I could only imagine how hot Clay must have been with a suit jacket on.

One or two women kept telling him to take the jacket off, but he didn't want to display his soggy pits.

He mentioned going backstage to take a shower...and knew what kind of reaction that would get. HAHA!

When "The Way You Make Me Feel" ended, everyone sank down to their seats, and Clay said "Who said you could sit down?" We all laughed and jumped back up. Thus began the Classics Medley, which was so much fun!

When we sat I could see quite well, but my view was obstructed by taller people when we stood. I probably drove the people behind me nuts as I weaved my head back and forth to see Clay. I'd heard he danced and was a riot during the medley, and didn't want to miss it!

"Lover All Alone" was stunningly beautiful. There was silence in the theatre as everyone drank it in. I was so proud of Clay's creation. Got a tear in my eyes, and hoped the spell wouldn't be broken until he sang the final note.

The audience was perfectly quiet until he did sing that final note, then jumped up and gave him a terrific ovation.

"Because You Loved Me" was a perfect final song (though I was sad it was the end of the show!). Clay sang it to us and meant it.

I walked out of Brady like I was sleepwalking, and in a dream state, got into the car and went back to the hotel. In the restaurant in the AM, rcknrllmom told us that Clay walked the line in the parking lot and I wished I could turn my feet around and kick myself in the ass. :: tears of regret. Why can't we turn back time? ::

My husband enjoyed the show very much. He told me I shouldn't be too sad about missing the handshake because we drove all the way to Tulsa and saw Clay Aiken live and had a fantastic time!

I'm sorry I didn't meet all you guys, but hope I see you at another CA concert.


Edited by Maddy
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