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Merrillville, IN -- December 22, 2007

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KAndre said he was on fire tonight!!! It was like he was released from some restriction he had put on himself (in terms of the seriousness of the show, staying on the platform without moving).
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That was the best I've ever heard the man in my life! The whole concert was simply fantastic. Two things were notable for me: 1) MGUCL. Instead of being simply sung by Clay, it turned into a powerful trio, and it was divine. 2) The hair. Do you like the bangs? First half of the show. Do you like the hair a bit mussed up? Second half of the show minus AIW. Do you like the hair totally off the forehead? AIW (including a flip with his hand right before he got on stage). It was definitely a something for everyone hair night.

Oh, and his goofup of the lyrics to DSIAFCD was incredibly cute. I had binoculars on him during that, and he looked at Jesse like "WTH was that?" It was so great.

I'm on a concert high, but now I need to go party with the FCA! Bye ya'll!

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I'm half drunk and schmoopie. The only part of the show I didn't like was grownup Xmas list and then tonight he did a fabulous trio with the girls and I was just so happy...almost burst into tears the moment he opened his mouth and I realized he was in "full voice." I love closing shows because I know he will have more extensive thank yous. He really loves his touring family and that really shone tonight.

Just back to the room..had a fun dinner with Lucky and daughter and friend, Cindilu, AIKim, FromClaygary and friend and LdyJocelyn. I truly enjoyed meeting everyone I was meeting for the first time and seeing again those I hadn't seen in awhile. We picked the right guy. Yes we did.

Spikesmom, thanks so much for introducing yourself to me. It was great meeting you..Happy Birthday.

I think I'll go to bed now so I can try to get up to have breakfast with LdyJ at 7am. ahem. I'm going to really really try. :cryingwlaughter:

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Goodnight, Couchie! :wub:

Goodnight, LdyJocelyn! :wub:

That flub was entirely adorable! As was the delayed ending in DSIAFCD!

Don't tell anyone but I am ridiculously sentimental and shit right now. God. :wub:

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Good Morning Everyone,

Have to head out to wrap in a few hours, but thought I would give a quick re-cap of last night.

Momof3boys and FromClaygary picked me up about 3:30 and we headed off to the venue; ended meeting Cindilu2, Luckiest1 and her daughter and friend and a couple of other gals from CB at The Lone Star for a quick bite to eat and to chat about Clay, what else? There were a lot of other NJU Clay fans there and during dinner we heard the unmistable sounds of Invisible and the waitress said they played it just for us. Funny moment, I was coming out of the bathroom and a couple of ladies stopped me as I went by their table and asked If I was there for Clay...apparently they saw our table full of ladies and assumed we were! They were right.

On to the venue; FromClaygary was sitting in the celebrity circle so was allowed to park in the celebrity circle parking lot but it was blocked off, so I ran in the venue real quick to see what we should do and the girl said just move the construction horses and park...so Nancy and I got out and moved the horses and we got ourselves parked.

Into the venue and ran into those still waiting for their M & G, apparently they were running late...there was also a girl there who missed a M & G at a previous show, not sure if it was Erie or Cleveland and was sent an e-mail to attend this show. So we wait, could see Mary walking in the lobby and then Jerome and then Faye. Finally Jerome comes to get the M & G'ers and then they let us in; just in time to, as I had to pee so bad! So I ran to the bathroom and then we all mingled in the lobby until we could get to our seats.

Faye was taking pictures and Nancy went over to talk to her about being Mom's of boys and about Brett going to Mexico. Faye said it was a long process to get him clearance and that "Clayton finally got all the paperwork done a couple of days ago" and she was very glad he was going since he was in Iraq last Christmas and she did not want to miss another Christmas with him.

Also, in the lobby I ran into a girl that I had worked with about 11 years ago and had not seen since, so we caught up...this was her first Clay show and she was over the moon. I wish I had been able to talk to her afterwards to see how she liked it.

Onto the show...It was wonderful! I do think Clay was struggle a bit with his voice, but then where we were sitting, we were getting a bit of an echo.

The readers were well received; although I have to admit I thought a couple of the stories were a bit too long.

I love the Jazzy melody and he really got into the "I said" part. "Welcome To Our World" is my favorite song from the show so I watched him sing that through my binoculars, I just love to watch his face during that song.

First time I heard Angie's song and I liked it.

I was so happy to see the bangs off his face for the second half; did not really like them.

"My Grown Up Christmas List"...You really had to be there to hear it; it was just lovely...we think Clay may have changed the arrangement during intermission because during his banter when he was introducing everyone... he did make a comment about changing things at the last moment and sometimes during intermission.

Brett got a standing ovation that was just awesome...even Clay was clapping and smiling from stage and then made the comment about it being his show.

Don't Save It All For Christmas Day and All Is Well...just great and he was so sexy when he walked for "All Is Well" sans coat and running his hand through his hair.

Met up with the girls after the show and met Couch Tomato and ldyJocelyn and chatted again about Clay and show; it was a fun night and well worth the wait.

I was so thrilled to meet some FCA'ers and put faces to names. You gals are a great bunch!

Off to download some clack so I can relive the show!


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OK....I think they are all asleep.....finally. :cryingwlaughter:

From Hometown Connection to Movie Star in Merrillville

We left home at 7:00 am, hit Mickey Dee's for sustenance, and headed out. Small delay at the border, about 35 minutes, but no trouble, thankfully. Lunch at a Denny's along the way, clear roads, no precipitation, and arrived in Merrillville by 2 pm (3 pm our time). Touched base with some friends via cell phone, and headed to the Burlington Coat Factory to kill some time before dinner. I found the cutest little 'pug' purse and bought it as a surprise for my daughter, crimsonice, who decided to bring it to dinner. Hee, it even had it's own chair for a while. We dined across the street at Lonestar, because the old Smokey Bones that we loved so much was no longer. It was pretty quickly apparent that we'd made a good choice, because the waitress was a hoot, and she even played Invisible for us! There were nine of us in all - me, crimsonice, disneykid, cindilu2, a couple of her friends from the CB (sorry, the board names are not coming to me right now!), FromClaygary, aikim & momof3boys. The food & drink was great, and so was the company and conversation. The staff was wonderful and got a big tip. 'Nuff said.

Headed to the venue and hung out behind closed doors for a few minutes, watching Mary, Faye and Jerome walk back and forth across the lobby. We saw them cart a shipment of Clay merchandise across right before they let us in, and I spent the next half an hour in line to buy a few things, while they got set up. Only the tarragon scarves, posters and red hats left. (PS merrieeee, PM me your addy!)

Our seats were off centre, 23rd row if you include the 7 row pit. Very nice view of the stage....a bit too far back to see facial expressions (mainly because my eyesight sucks) but the binoculars made up for that, and most importantly - I COULD SEE THE FEET. :) Tons of men, NJU and families that I could see. The fringes of the main orchestra section had empty seats (i.e. back few rows and seats along the outer walls) but for the most part it was pretty full. The first section of balcony also appeared pretty populated. I don't think the Star Plaza was complaining about sales. ;)

The first half of the concert went by in a blur. He had bangs and was, of course, v.v. blonde. The Jazzy medley was spectacular, and he really made a show of pausing before launching into "I said a walking" hee. Very growly. The first story was cute, but it was the second one that made me cry (I think, hee it's all a bit of a blur already). It was about a child who had cancer, and asked for a puppy for Christmas, even though what he really wanted was to get better. And then when he got the puppy, he gave it to his brother, because it was really his brother who had always wanted a puppy, but wouldn't have had the nerve to ask for one. It was so sad, but the joy that puppy brought to the family after the child passed away was the real message. Angela's song came next, and it was gorgeous. I just love that Clay chose it for her, it is quite different than what she has sang in the past, and I think it suits her perfectly. And then of course WTOW, which I love so much, it just feels so heartfelt.

When Clay came out for the second half, the bangs were mostly gone, and the hair was more swept back. I had two distinct thoughts - "OMG he looks like Hometown Connection Clay" (to which my mind went EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!) and "OMG he looks like a freaking movie star, he just glows". From Hometown Connection Clay to movie star all in the blink of an eye, it was quite amazing to me. And of course the voice was just stellar, there was one song that just had me gasping....I think it was HYAMLC but I could be wrong, because really, the Aiken fog had taken over by that point. There was a story that I had heard before, and I got the impression that maybe the reader was not the author, but the second story was great, I remember being teary again by the end. And then Clay started MGUCL, and cindilu2 put her phone up to cellcert a friend, and all of a sudden I heard Quiana harmonizing with him and I took the binoculars down to see what was going on, and then Angie started to sing, and I was soooooo surprised and in shock. It was the same feeling that I had when he and Quiana started to sing Angie's song in Sterling Heights in the summer, I felt like "wow, we are getting a gift tonight!". I was on the edge of my seat, and then he seemed all emotional and maybe even a little bit teary, when he started to talk, and introduce everyone. I loved the warm applause for Jamie, Mary & especially Jerome. I think some of the NJU's in the audience were probably wondering WTF was going on, but hey, it was a last show.

I loved that he told us all about Mexico, and why he was going there. And then they shone the spotlight on Faye & Brett, and we all stood and gave Brett a standing ovation, and Clay was just beaming up there, he just looked so happy. And then he cracked the joke about "hey, eyes up here, it's still my show" and we all laughed. When he started down off his platform during DSIAFCD I started to squeeeeeee, and then he headed Angie's way. He was walking so carefully, watching where he was putting his feet, I don't think he wanted to trip. It was sooo awesome that he did that, it was just such an electric atmosphere in the place during that whole segment of the show. I remember getting so hot that my glasses started steaming up, hee, I was just so excited. Did he mess up the words or just purposefully change them? I need to back to the clack and check, but I know cindilu2 & I looked at each other at one point and went "what was that?" Then he did his little "I'm Clay Aiken, good night" and salute and he was gone, and we were cheering, hoping he'd come back for AIW, and he did, running his hands through his hair. GAH. And it was power and perfection, and they did the light show at the end, and I just felt this pang run through my body because he was gone, and it was the last show, but I held the tears in check because I know that soon enough we'll be getting all sorts of great reports about Spamalot and I'll be seeing it for myself in March.

Hee this is probably the worst recap I've ever written, full of run on, unintelligible sentences, but I'm tired from the two 7 hours drives, and still on a concert high. I haven't had time to watch much clack but I am so, so, so looking forward to being able to relive the whole experience again. :F_05BL17blowkiss: to the clackgatherers.

After the concert, we headed over to Uno's, where couchie had made a reservation for us all. In comparison to the staff at Lonestar, the waiter was a dud, but the food was good and we were soon joined by couch tomato, ldyjocelyn, FromClaygary, aikim & momof3boys. It was great to be able to sit and chat and relive the excitement of the evening. We headed off to our hotel when they pretty much kicked us out at midnight (and did I mention they weren't the friendliest bunch of waitstaff I'd ever experienced?) Sometime in the night, the rain turned to snow and the wind picked up to a fever pitch. I woke up a couple of times thinking that I heard snow plows, but that was just the wind making some weird scraping sound on the windows, I guess. Because there was no accumulation of snow whatsoever when we left at 9:30 am this morning, but it was blowing around pretty good. Now I know why they call it the windy city!

The drive home was uneventful. We stopped at a Cracker Barrel for lunch, and there was blowing snow, but nothing that stuck. We listened to ATDW and then to the full soundtrack version of Spamalot, and laughed our asses off imagining Clay singing some of those songs. I can't believe it's less than a month until he's going to be on Broadway. I can't wait. We have so much to look forward to in the coming months and years, and so many memories to cherish and relive through the wonders of clack. Angst be damned, I'm just gonna enjoy him.

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Aww, I'm at work today (in body if not in spirit) and it's quiet - too quiet, as in 3/4 of the building is not here - and I'm nursing a cold I caught this weekend and now I've read through this thread and I'm all schmoopie again about this concert. :wub:

I was also surprised by the change up on MGCL. At first I wasn't sure what I thought of it, but it was beautiful. And I'm so glad we got chatty Clay thanking his tour family - that was so sweet! I'm fairly easy when it comes to his hair, but I really did like it better when he came back out after intermission, having run his hands through it. Very niiiiiice!

And now we're on to 2008 and Spamalot - go Sir Robin!

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