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July 25, Gilford NH

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Sometimes it is more than just being there, sometimes it is what you see and hear.

I know that I saw the JNT05 more than once - I chose to sit in the balcony and get the big picture once and that gave me such a different perspective of the show, I preferred seeing the vignettes more that way and appreciated the small church setting less.

Another time I sat close, but was too close to a speaker and it squawked a lot - I preferred another show and another seat.

Sometimes it is how comfortable you are sitting, I think I missed a lot in Philly because the heat got to me and I was feeling ill. SOmetimes it is the people around you - One JBT I was sitting (yes, not standing) among a bunch of people yelling for me to sit down! Hee, just remembered that was the only concert where I attened the exact same shows as my sister, usually we go to one or another that the other had not been to, but she was drawn to make an emergency drive up to the beach to attend AC at the last minute..

Edited by playbiller
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He's COMING WEST FOR XMAS? HOT DOG!! Didn't expect that one!!

Or like when a drunk sits behind you and sings along with Clay loudly all night? And then falls on their asses while beer splashes all over you? Yep, that one wasn't so enjoyable :cryingwlaughter:

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Bringing over an entertaining and lively recap from CV that also has a schmoopie moment at the end:

OMG, I warned ya CV'ers.. I used to be known on Bolt for having the longest concert recaps in the history of concert recaps. Nothing has changed. Ya better go to the bathroom before reading this one... or just simply scroll on by ... but even that will take awhile :hysterical:


A Clay Aiken concert is like a ticker-tape parade for my soul.

I'm still road weary, I'm still itchy, and I'm still draining caffeine into my bloodstream in copious amounts, but I am happy. I feel good inside, and I have wonderful memories still fresh and detailed. I have been to see Clay Aiken and the sun in shining brightly in my heart.

Yesterday started like every other Clay concert day. FAST!!! I jump out of bed wide awake. The anticipation giving me a nervous energy that had me busy filling 4 or 5 hours I had I before I had to leave. I think it was the fastest my house has ever been cleaned!!! I left at 12n with my husband and oldest daughter in tow, and headed out in the "party van" to pick up the rest of my party; Claym8, Jade222, and Senorita75.

Now my hubby is primarily there to watch my six year old. I love my daughter and she loves Clay Aiken, but she is still six years old and its hard to focus on Clay and his primal and intrinsic hotness, listening for every vocal fluctuation, lilt of phrasing, and adorable smirk or contortion of the face, all while keeping her seated still and quiet. So hubby, the good sport that he always is, decided to help me out and take one for the parenting team!!! Now, he may not always want to admit this to his buddies, but he does enjoy Clay and he doesn't REALLY mind being "convinced" to attend one of his concerts with me, even if the convincing might also include threats of a sex drought longer than some known plagues. I keep telling him that "The Family That Clays Together, Stays Together!!!"

Ok, okay, so we are off to NH from Rhode Island. It's normally about a 3 hour drive, but we stopped for food and gas and I generally kept the van at a casual pace. I knew we would get there early, but I didn't want hubby to realize just yet HOW early. It wasn't until we pulled up to the pub in Gilford that he stated; "So we are have four hours before the show starts don't we?" I ignored him.

At the pub, the very nice young waitress asked us if we were with the Clay group, and we asked her if she meant that in a specific or general sense. Come to find out there was a Clay gathering being held up in the corner of the restaurant, but we sat at our own table nearby. The waitress was very very sweet. She kept mentioning that she had never seen anything like this, meaning the influx of Clay fans from all over. I told her we are like the Cicadas and that you could hear the buzzing before we arrived and for days after we've left. Little did I know how appropriate that bug comment would be considering how the rest of the night would unfold. This waitress also mentioned how sweet every Clay fan she had met was.

"Do you know that one of the women I met earlier told me that she came with people she met online and just met in person this very week! " the waitress proclaimed to us wondrously.

Ya don't say?!?! :giggle:

We just all smiled and nodded. She went on. "And she told me this was her 31st Clay concert and she has traveled all over the country and to Canada to see him!!!"

Get out!!! :biggrin:

Hee hee, isn't she precious, bless her heart! Anyway, the bar was soon filled to the rafters with Clay fans, and nary a one might I mention had their CV badge on, other than my travel partner Claym8!!!! People... .ahem... I told you I wasn't a badge wearer, but here I was sportin' the CV colors in all its laminated glory, and where were you guys??? Huh... huh???? Way to step up the plate peeps!!! LOL! Luckily, I did spy a Clayversity sweatshirt, and in it, the lovely fivegoldens! Ahhh one of our photo clack goddesses!!! It was a pleasure to meet you and willey2 and the 2 other lovely ladies with you, whom I can't remember and am incredibly ashamed and embarrassed about right now. :doh:

We left the Pub to go to the venue at about 5:45pm, but the pub was right down the road, and we arrived at Meadowbrook at about 5:48pm ... so the "ride" was about as long as Lindsey Lohan's sobriety.

After we parked and we began walking up to the gates, some man on an 8-seater golf cart pulled up beside us and told us to hop on. We were a bit taken aback. Wha? You want to give us a ride? Well well...okie dokie then.. who are we to argue? So like VIP's (we told ourselves) we zipped by the other walking commoners and were delivered to our gate post haste. It wasn’t until Claym8 told me that the guy had a tip jar up front, that the magic and unpredicatableness of the moment was lost. Well crap! We were not special at all...just another dollar sign to mister nice guy. Hmmmpffft! Well the jokes was on him. None of the rest of us saw the tip jar and apparently Claym8 is just cheap, so he got nada. Zilch! Nuffin!

However, as that "VIP feeling" was just waning away as we waited in the long line to enter the gates, another woman came right up to us in the middle of the line and told us that we could go around the fence and use that other entrance which had no line. We were special again...for real! She didn't ask for no stinkin' tip... no siree bub...she just picked us right out of the crowd...well us and the 50 people she told after us.

So we were in. I'm still looking for CV badges like a madwoman. Staring at women's breasts like a pervert, and I was seeing none. I just had to find elaineforclay and kcudawg, and MixnJude and the others I knew were here somewhere. While I'm leering, my hubby is spending his time concocting ideas to make money off Clay Nation. "I got it!!!.. he exclaimed. "I'm gonna start a Clay Temporary Tattoo Booth at all the concerts!!!... He was only half joking. I won't go into details about the other "HUGE" idea he had, but let's just say that there would be a cast needed to be taken from Clay to make the product. I told him that he could clear all of his overhead costs just by selling raffle tickets for the chance to be the one to apply the paper mache. I promise my daughter was not standing nearby when the conversation happened. :innocent:

Before the concert I did see newmie and shen, and a few others whose screen names I can't recall right now. I was sitting with my daughter for the first half while hubby was back a few rows with the gals for the first half. Once I was seated, I discovered that we right next to the lovely clayscience and her daughter in the 7th row center section. I even saw you cristal_line, but you didn't see me. I was already seated with my daughter and you were walking by up front. The show began and I knew immediately that my daughter was gonna be a little distraction for me. She was ansty and trying to get a good view, and I was trying to make sure she wouldn't bother the nice folks behind us. However, all in all, she settled down and she was pretty good throughout the first half. More importantly, Clay Aiken rocked my world in that first half. And the second half. And every half second after that. Basically always!

First half concert highlights

He looked great. I loved the hair. It looked really good. He had bangs, but even in the heat it looked good. He is not fat, just filled in...and scrumptious. Of course I had to keep my deep guttural moans to myself... ya know with the kid there and everything.

IWKWLI was great!!! He and Quiana really went after it together. He was smiling and happy as he sang and it made me smile. He opened the banter by informing us about forgetting music and the stools in Detroit. He was saying they would be "winging" it tonight cause the orchestra was playing off of facsimiled and photocopied sheets. He said that Quiana and Angela used to complain about their ugly stools but how they wished now had them ugly stools now, instead of these hard wood stools they had dug up to use. Well it just so happened that the free "booty" they gave at the entrances were seat cushions, so the crowd gave them all a cushion to sit on. Awwww. Clay noticed that the seat cushions were inflatable, but you have to pull off this sticker and blow into the hole on the cushion. Its not easy, trust me… I blew up a few for my daughter before the show. Anyway, he's trying to blow into the cushion when he realized that it was given by someone in the audience and he said.."I hope someone's butt hasn't been on this cushion!... (pause) ..I'll probably get Dengue Fever or something or other!... OMG it was so funny.

He talked about it being the 3rd time they've played Meadowbrook. One of the most beautiful parts of the country he's ever seen (which is true), but it was hot and humid. He mentioned Lake Winnipesaukee, and asked what Winnipesaukee meant, and someone yelled out "Clay is Hot!":rofl3: But then he said it meant "Damp ... wet ... water... water... water!!!" and had an "ack" look on his face.

It was here that he first mentioned the amount of bugs and started swatting at them. Quiana was the most visibly distraught throughout the whole concert. She had such a look of disgust on her face when she was sitting idle... it was cracking me up!!! She saw a huge bug on Clay and took the seat cushion and started swatting at him. Clay was cowering in fear. He's like "I'm afraid of you with that cushion! If you see another bug on me, please warn me before you start beating the ___ out of me!!"

The George Jefferson dance was hilarious. You must download that one.

The young Cello player in the back (2nd Cello) was enraptured with Clay. I know Corabeth mentioned her demeanor during Lover All Alone which was all true, but I was on the Cello side for the whole first half, and this girl was smiling and laughing and she was totally a "goner" to the power of Clay even back in the beginning. At one time she was laughing and staring at him so much during the TV show medley that she forgot her cue to begin playing. She hurriedly started up after the rest of her section was 3 notes into it. And she probably thought she would get away with no one noticing, but the poor soul, its probably forever part of clack history!!!

He said he always had a hard time answering the question who his favorite singers are, cause no one usually knows who he is talking about, cause the music played on the radio today is CRAP! He did mention Martina McBride and Allison Krauss (who Quiana didn't know) and he seemed really excited to know that Allison Krauss was gonna be playing on that very same stage later in the summer. He ended by saying that two of his favorite singers were on stage with him right now. Introduced Quiana's solo, and Clay and Angie stayed out on stage which I think is new. It helped to keep the "early leavers" in their seats and I was happy about that.

(oh my, this is horrifically long already ...gonna speed things up...yeah right!)

The second half, I switched seats with the hubby. He went to sit in the 7th row with my daughter and I was with my peeps in the 11th row... dead center. I was free!!! I could finally scream, clap, flash Clay, moan, jump up and down with pure unadulterated abandon!!! (okay, I didn't really flash Clay... but he sure as hell flashed his RIVET as us ...more on that in a minute)

More bug talk... just watch the clack, its all priceless. Watch Q's face too if you can when she's not singing or talking... Hysterical!

One fun moment came when he mentioned that he was eeeked out cause he thought a bug was caught in his shirt. I'm not normally a yeller or screamer, but maybe it was my new found freedom, but for some reason both Jade222 and I felt compelled to yell "THEN TAKE OFF THE SHIRT!!!" at the same time and we didn't even know the other was gonna do it. :blush:

The set up for the Classics was great, especially when he talked about using the support of the Nashua Orchestra and the talents of Angela and Quiana to help him be hip and cool .... Except he said "I will wear the support" and quickly cut himself off when the crowd laughed and said "I mean I will use their support!" ... It was hysterical. It was during the classics that the RIVET made its surprising debut. For the whole first half, his shirt fell far over rivet territory, never affording us a peek. Well the dancing started, and that is when all us women in the first 15 rows turned to each other in unison and exclaimed "ITS THE RIVET!!!!" as excited as we would be, if we had just found out we were in the audience for Oprah's "Favorite Things" episode!!!

Lover All Alone was amazing live. Pure magic. As always.

I already described the moment that the amphitheater filled up with the red glow sticks at the start of Because You Loved Me, but it really was a great moment. Clay's face lit up ... he held his hand to his heart a few times, and gave us an extra moment of thank you's at the end of the song. It was a special moment.

After the concert, hubby mentioned a few things. One was how entertaining Clay is. Another is how great "that song he wrote" is, and the other was how he thinks Clay seems like he'd be a great guy to just hang out with. I'll say it again ...Hubby is no dummy!

The busline began immediately after the show. Jerome’s head popped up over the fence and told us they’d be out soon. It was here that I met kcudawg. Nope, she didn't have her badge on either. Tsk tsk!!!

Overall, I thought Meadowbrook security was pretty nice. Meadowbrook didn't seem to have a problem at all with Clay coming out to shake 700+ hands as we lined up throughout the whole entire midway of the venue and right out into the parking lot. The only issue was that the line was very bunched up at the beginning and they kept yelling to get us to get single file or Clay wouldn't come out. Finally we broke out of the bunched pack and began walking all the way to the back of the line to hopefully start a trend and thin out the swarm at the beginning.

Of course there were other reasons that made going to the "back" of the line very fortuitous. First off, it allowed me to walk a long the line where I was FINALLY able to meet elaineforclay (for about 10 seconds). Thanks to Claym8 for pointing her out! Going to the back also allowed me to see my dear friend MixnJude (for about 5 seconds), and it delivered us almost to our car, which would come in handy when it was time to leave! I was also grateful to be standing for a few minutes next to the port-o-potty! Yes I said Port-o-potty. I had never been so happy to use one in all my life. I hate those stinky things, especially in the buggy thick of night! But I had held it long enough, and I was happy to visit it. However, some of the other girls in line who saw me rush into the port-o-potty while we were waiting for the busline to start, thought it would be a funny practical joke to all scream "OMG here comes Clay" right when I had dropped trou in the potty. I guess they expected that I would come running out with my pants around my ankles yelling "Shake my hand Clay!" I guess they don't know me very well ..... I would have probably also been trailing toilet paper on my shoe !!!! Ok, so I didn't fall for the cute little joke (oooh so cute and funny...NOT!), and I made it out in plenty of time to sanitize my entire body. (this paragraph was brought to you by thw word potty)

Of course I haven't mentioned the most fortuitous part of heading to the back of the line...we knew the "back" would actually be the "front" and Clay would start at our end and work his way back towards the bus. Jerome did one more walk of the line, someone asked him how his diet was going and he said he only had 14 (I think) more pounds to go, and he gave me a high five when I told him great job. He gave the no flashes speech and made sure we were all lined up correctly. A few minutes later, Clay came flanked by Jerome and Security along the far side of the parking lot riding on that same little 8 seater golf cart we rode on earlier. See, I knew it was for VIP'S!!!! Hey, I wonder if Clay tipped the guy?

Our little group was about 30-40 people from where he started and he was coming fast.

"Thanks for coming out"... "Thank you" ... "Thanks for coming out tonight" ..."Thanks so much" ... it was like a Clay chant that I heard coming in louder and louder as he approached.

My daughter was between hubby and I and as fast as he was moving, saying some sort of thank you as his hands crossed over each other one after another, he still saw my daughter and immediately slowed up just a tick. He broke the hand cross over pattern and the repetitive thank you declarations, and took both her hands while briefly squatting to her height and simply said “Well, hey there darlin’!" She was speechless. As quick as he stopped to have that extra special moment with my daughter, he was taking my hand and beginning his thank-yous again. And then he was gone, off down the rest of the line.

I didn’t even turn to watch him. I was rubbing my daughters head and telling her how great it was that Clay singled her out a little. I asked her if she thought that was cool, and she just smiled and blushed coyly, almost embarrassed at her good fortune. As I said before, the line was so long that it wound out of the venue into the parking lot. When Clay passed us and we turned to head to our car, it was only about 50 yards away…. A nice little serendipitous ending to a wonderful day… Soon we were headed the 2 hours back to Rhode Island (Yeah, so I drove a little faster going home in the middle of the night. What are gonna do… give me a ticket now!!! LOL!).

So my first of three concerts is in the book, and I do mean book…. as clearly this recap has become one. However, I just want to end by saying that life gives us time, but its love that gives it meaning. I feel so blessed to be able to do these things I love, with people I love, time and time again. My life is truly filled with more meaning and wonderful memories because of it. I love you Clay!

(I also want to thank the one person, whoever that might be, who might have made it through this entire recap…an impressive feat. You are my hero.)

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