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July 31, 2005 - Pittsburgh, PA

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Jul 28 2005, 12:58 AM

Great new article...love it. He sure is reading the boards...

Concert Preview: Clay Aiken fills album gap with pop history revue

pittsburgh post gazette

Thursday, July 28, 2005

By Scott Mervis, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


Clay Aiken

Where: Chevrolet Amphitheatre, Station Square.

When: 8 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets: $25-$49.50; 412-323-1919.


On the day we reach Clay Aiken, he's in the middle of damage control, a rare situation for the "American Idol" runner-up and contemporary poster boy for everything good and wholesome.

The trouble is a TV Guide cover story in which he admits that the entertainment industry has made him "jaded" and then appears to go on to attack the population of greater Los Angeles, where he now lives.

"I said I felt people there put too much emphasis on the outsides and not their insides," Aiken says. "What I meant to say was 'people in the entertainment industry' and I kind of generalized 'entertainment industry' as 'L.A.' and it came out that way. I read it back that way and went, 'Oh, crap,' and it kind of stirred a commotion amongst fans and whatnot, and that's nothing that would ever have happened to me before.

"I'm surrounded by people in the entertainment industry, not people that I work closely with, but people in general in this business, who, sometimes I think their priorities are wrong. But I just said it one way and now I look like a jerk, and I didn't mean it that way at all. That's not the kind of thing that would have happened to me as a teacher. I would have said something, people would have realized what I meant and I would have moved on to the next thing."

Fortunately, Aiken's little commotion comes on the eve of his next thing, the Jukebox Tour, which makes its fourth stop Sunday at the Chevrolet Amphitheatre. It's a concept show he cooked up to bridge the gap between his 2003 debut, "Measure of a Man," and the follow-up that doesn't seem to be coming along as smoothly as the first.

Aiken will start from the '50s and, with liberal use of the medley, will touch on as many as 100 Top 40 songs from then till now, including a few of his own.

"A friend of mine was in a show in Charleston that was a revue of music from the '60s," he says. "I thought, that might not be a bad idea, why don't I just pick a decade? But I couldn't really pick a decade, so I thought, why don't we do them all?"

Aiken's career as a young adult contemporary singer -- starting when he turned up as a geek and mama's boy from North Carolina on the second year of "American Idol" -- has defied the odds and the predictions of resident "Idol" critic Simon Cowell, who said he was better suited to Broadway.

"When I got off the show, I saw something on Broadway, and said, 'That's a compliment because those people can sing,' " Aiken says. "Anybody who can do seven shows a week and just really full-out sing as well as those people do, if that's how good you think I am, thank you. That was kind of a backhanded compliment. That's where some really talented people go, so thanks, Simon."

Rather than going to Broadway, Aiken, who was studying to be a teacher and describes himself as "dodgeball bait" when he was in school, went west and rode that "Idol" well. He has enjoyed sales of more than 3.9 million, running just behind Kelly Clarkson as the biggest-selling Idol. It was all beyond his expectations.

"I had no faith, to be honest with you," he says. "I'm not a pessimist, but I try to be a realist as much as I can and realize that thousands of people are trying to do the same thing that I'm doing and four people are doing it well -- and I'm not sure that I'm one of them. So, I kind of have to realize that it could honestly end any day. I'm enjoying it while I can. I kind of chalk it up to a good summer camp experience. If it doesn't end up working out for the long term, I have memories that I would never have gotten any other way."

One of the keys to his continuing success is the Claymates, a fanatic fan base that follows his every move on fan Web sites and makes sure that any critic who says anything remotely negative about him is deluged with e-mail (this writer got 65 of them once). So, how does Aiken deal with his Claymates and all their high expectations of him?

"It's difficult for me to answer that. I think they do have expectations and sometimes, to be completely honest, it's almost, well, I don't want to use the word 'burdensome' ... sometimes it's tough to live up to everyone's expectations because they are so enthusiastic. And some people want my hair to be short, and some people want my hair to be long. And some people want my hair to be blond, and some people want my hair to be brown. It's hard to please everyone, but in general, they do kind of help keep me sane, because they are so enthusiastic and I'm constantly wondering why the heck people like me. I don't even get it. I get confused every time I see a fan site, I just laugh. I think sometimes they think I'm better than I am. It's tough to live up to their standards, but it's a good challenge for myself."

Which brings us to the long-awaited follow-up to "Measure of a Man," which was scheduled for the fall but is looking more like early spring. Aiken is working with producer Jaymes Foster-Levy, and the challenge is to find 11 or 12 songs he can really get excited about. "We're not going to rush it this time," he says.

Does that mean he wasn't happy with the first one?

"I wouldn't say that," he says. "I was new. We walk off the stage of 'Idol,' and two days later, I was handed my songs by the label: 'Here you go.' Fortunately, I liked them all. I think they did a halfway decent job of picking songs that I sound good on. But a lot of the songs were angst-driven. 'I Survived You' and 'No More Sad Songs' -- it's not necessarily any emotion I wanted to express. There were definitely elements that I thought were good, the songs were good. I was thrilled to work with the producers I got to work with. But this time, I want this one to be everything I want. You kind of have to fail on your own. If I don't have a full stake in it and it flops, I have an opportunity to blame someone else. If I put this together and it flops, at least I can say it flopped on my terms."

Jul 28 2005, 08:16 AM

Weekend Hotlist

Pittsburgh Post gazette

Clay Aiken, caught between albums, arrives at the Chevrolet Amphitheatre, Station Square, running through the history of pop music from the '50s on up. To the Claymates, he can do no wrong. But can he pull off Elvis? The Beatles? Will he, like Paul Anka, dare to try Nirvana? Find out at the Chevy at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25-$49.50; 412-323-1919.
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OK I'm at my sister's on DIAL UP! I'm installing Norton Antivus on her computer but first I have to do a live update to get all of the new virus definitions... and on dial up this will take FOREVER. No cellstream for me tonight..but I'm hear reading. Maybe I'll be home by the end of intermission!

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From CH:

Cellstream reports that the venue is right next to the train tracks, and trains are going by.


my friend just called I could barely tell what she was saying but she just said something that she just saw him peeking or something.. she was really excited


It is starting





Blood curdling screams....blood curdling!!!

Reports in are that he's "adorable"!!!

Who knew????


Goodness gracious great balls of fire....not getting much of a report from the girls..they must have thudded....tremendous screams! medley over...

my friend said he is doing a little bit of twisting the hips but not much. BIG applause and screaming right now. He is talking now - he said it is hot in here

Go Johnny Go!!

Voice soaring on The Great Pretender, should have been a full length song......

Now he's letting us know it's Only You!!

Ya you're my dream come true.....perfect high note on ending youuuuuuuuuuuu!!!!

unchained melody now....talking about the righteous brothers...here we go....

He's singing Unchained Melody. He sounds so good.

The audience is being quiet. Listening intently.

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From CB:

I need..... your love. His voice sounds so clear and beautiful. LOVE IT! Just got a few screams but they quieted back down. He is singing great- hitting all the notes. Barb says he is so cute and so mature looking.

Unchained Melody.........glory notes.......lower register GAHHHH

neeeeeeed your love...sounds amazing!

Great Balls of Fire !!!!

Hopelessly will be on the floor after this one!!!!

It's too hot for him!!!

I dunno' what he's saying but they are screaming their brains out.....

Talking about the first song of the Rock and Roll error!!!

Unchained Melody!!! Soft, slow.......


I need your love........

God speed your love.......

Claymates Down!!! Drowning in the perfect voice singing the perfect love song.....

Deep, deep drum beats pounding......like the heart beat of a lover....

Falsetto absolutely perfect.....takes out another row of dedicated Claymates!!!


We have reports of good hair! Hear comes Elvis!!!


Love me Tender..so sweet. playing piano.

Now Hound Dog!!



sounds reaallly good!!


Love Me Tender

Both the singing and piano sound stronger tonight. Just beautiful.

Gorgeous tone and resonance in these vocals.

My darling, I love you

and I always will

HUGE ovation!!

Now he's rockin!

Hound dog!!!


end pose - HUGE SCREAMS!!

(I Can't Help) Falling In Love With You

GORGEOUS with a capital G



Love Me Tender....

Piano slow and deliberate......

Lower register perfect.....she says he's so proud of himself!!!

Here he comes...up on his feet.....HoundDog....

Imagine a nice thigh shaking right before your very eyes!!!

Heartbreak Hotel.....someone's not gonna' have a voice in the morning!!!

Thnk yoo, thnk yoo vry much......

My very favorite all time Elvis....Can't Help Falling In Love!!!

Slow, deep, gentle tender words........


Suspicious Minds


Barb said he may be a little hoarse but he sounds great to me.

Jacob is playing the sax.

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From CH:

60s intro - voice over


Here he is!

Daydream Believer!!

Yet another Clay voice. Perfect!


KK MY FRIEND IS CALLING BACK LATER BUT I JUST LISTENED TO WHAT I RECORDED... AND I ....think.... she said he looked like he was in pain during love me tender

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From CB:

downtown..... eveyone's waiting for you......

Can't buy me Love..... I don't care too much for money....

jacob is playing sax and clay is singing sugar sugar in angela's ear... you got me wanting you..... now he is singing in Quianna's ear



Sugar Sugar


OMG, he sounds stronger tonight than previously - in this 4th show! Unbelievable! Except it's Clay, so I BELIEVE!!

Can't think of enough superlatives - this is freaking fantastic!

Sugar Sugar

Solitaire......deep guitar cords......deep beautiful voice

Voice in perfect control....

Lips perfectly wrapped around each note.......gently caressing each one more gently than the last

Exacting enuciation.......holding the glory note.....crows scream mercilessly.....they are helpless in his hands.....

Forgive him for he knows not what he does....

ajor screaming at the end of Solitiare. Crowd loves him


Where did our love go? -- Angela

voice over talking abut motown history

Midnight Train to Georgia -- Quiana


girls are singing now. sounds pretty- Where did our love go? Girls look pretty- they are wearing black petal pushers? lol

Midnight Train to Georgia- Clay has the hat on again tonight! Looks cute. He is talking but I can't hear him. He is snapping fingers like he's a pip. lol


So Happy Together

HUGE AUDIENCE ERUPTION at end of first two lines!!






He touched Angela on the cheek and now she is fanning herself... during Happy Together


OOPs he kissed her! I misunderstood!

Behind the clothes rack.......

Daydream Believer!!!

Little BonBon, we've been daydreamin' about this night for seven months!!

Can't Buy Me Love..... rockin' snappy and fun!!! Raleigh's answer to Liverpool.....reporters say....he's having a great time......sounds like a lot of backseat singers!!!

They're trying to tell us he's so cute again......he just kissed angela and quianna???? Huh!! More adlibbing!!!! That should make a 28 page thread on the street.....

he kissed angela on the check on the song after downtown. Then he blew quinna a kiss

he is singing solitaire now.... glory note is perfect

Welcomed by a HUGE ovation.

This is GORGEOUS. Wonderful connection. Clay sounds rich, full, golden, like butter and honey.


Voice is great, very smooth.


WOW!!!!!!!!! That note goes onnnnnnnnn

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from CB:

he is singing My Girl and massaging mic- well that is what I am told. I am also told that Jacob is hot tonight too and that they are all doing a nice job with their dancing moves- including clay! Tears of a clown on now


everyone is on their feet as jacob sings I heard it through the grapevine. Clay is not on stage now. No wait he is BACK- REACH OUT..... I'll be there......

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shirt thrown on stage.....

from CB:

Midnight Train to Georgia....guess that means Hotlanta.....

Coming soon to your local theater!!!

Reporters are feeling weak knee'd and vunerable.....

Everyone is channeling Angela right now!!

Rockin' out on Motown now.....oh ya sing it Marvin!!!

We heard through the grapeview that he's back!!!! From behind the illusive garment rack......

Please let the high winds hit when this tour gets to Michigan



Reach Out - I'll Be There

Still FANTASTIC - what a glorious blending of voices and instrumentation!


I'll be there.....to love and shelter youuuuu...he sounds in excellent voice tonight!!!




They have not let up one iota on the energy level! Feels like the audience is in their palms!


He's talking and laughing . . . can't make it out


he danced all the way through the song THINK. Barb said is so dang cute. I think she is gonna thud herself to death. She needs some cledication. Someone threw something on stage and he said to take it away it is too dirty to read but maybe when they get to the 80's & 90's he may read it! lol


Something was just thrown on stage...I think he threw it back... Talking about bad feedback from mics...hard to hear him...



End of Motown segment and it was well applauded and recognized! WHOA!!

Now Clay is talking.

Some audience participation going on.

Lots of screaming just now.

Can't really make out what Clay is saying.


The audience is sooo responsive!

He just said something about being "A skinny white boy" and the audience is screaming!!"



HE's talking right now I believe..


Coming down into audience! Possibly talking to an unsuspecting husband...hard to hear...



there are a dozen men volunteering to get on stage- Clay wants to pick someone who did NOT want to be there. lol OMG- he went down in the audience. He is picking a man to come with him Bill from Maryland.


Ain't No Mountain High Enough


great harmonies -- they all sound so good together

Clay sounds great on this -- they all do

Winding it up ...



Can not understand a word he's saying but they are laughing and screaming up a storm....so we must be getting comedic Clay again.....

Looks like he's coming down into the audience.......

The crowd is going wild....

Looks like he may be selecting Wowpoc's husband as a pip....

Nope cancel that report.....

Might be Frank....who the heck is Frank????

Ok, we've got our pip for the night!!!


He is looking for a man who was dragged to the concert against his will!

He said,"I mean you, sir!" and something else I can't understand.. trying to get the man up onstage.. audience screaming and laughing!


train just went by and it was loud. Bill says wife listens to him in the car and he just tolerates it. lol Now it moved into the songs again.... Aint no mountain high enough.... Don't know where Bill went?


Screams...lots of laughing...wish I could hear him better...the girls are cracking up...something about "something..verting" him instead of clayverting him???? Ain't no mountain high enough now...


Intermission.....instead on clayverting he said converting...they threw a T shirt on stage...he didn't show it...said it was a family show and it looked dirty...when she first threw it on the stage he said don't throw that at me! Give it to the good will!


OH my...

ficus said it seemed like he was feeling up Angela his hands going up and down her side...

GAAAAH...that was me ansa

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Clay kissed angela and Quiana but kissed Angela much more...kinda more contact according to Ficus...

from CB:



A tee shirt was thrown on the stage but he said it was a family show and it looked dirty......

Reporters say it's so hot, feels like it's cooling off a bit....

Says the energy level is totally different when he is on stage compared to when he leaves....says he's totally filled with joy

But they sadly say his pants looked totally soaked....... now why weren't we there tonight...totallysoaked, says it looks like his pants are totaling clinging to him!!!!


Clay almost chose Wowpoc's hubby...it was a hubby real close to them...Clay found out the hubby had traveled for 4 hours from Tenn and that they're going to 3 more concerts...asked what his wife had to do to get him to come...asked if she plays his music in the car..he said he "tolerates it"... Wonder if he knows he's about to be wearing an very large afro wig


Ficus went to a meet and greet .. says it was interesting... it was basically no chitter chatter... says it was more like the book signing... he was friendly he said hey how ya doin' stood up at the table and he was wearing dark brown sandals not thongs scurb pants 2 t-shjirts and a choker.. he introduced angel and jacob stood by her nand put his arm around her and Nick took the picture and then sent her away



The shirt says something like.. Sometimeswhen I'm alone at night I Google myself...Ha ha


Per cellstream, the venue seats 3,000 and is close to sold out


He found a guy "a typical guy who just sits there going I can't believe I'm here"

He talked to the wife and asked how he tolerates the music his wife plays.. he said he had agreed to go to one concert and his wife is dragging him to threee

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OMG this is the funniest cellstream intermission...

Ficus can;t hear what ivana is saying and she is goign under the seat and her butt is up in the air but she still can;t hear Ivana...they tried to communicate but it aint happening...it is so funny...you guys gotta listen to that its hilarious.

The clackhouse people started sending text messages...I think once from Jemock and one said you are the hottie with the body and the cutie with the patootie I think Brand said soemthign about being the mic...

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From CB:

Listening to a non internet male behind them talking....

says he shoulda' won that thing.....(we know!)

says he saw him in Las Vegas for the IT and said he's " great"...

Now I'd say that's one smart man....

Mic feedback still a problem during the intermission.....

Man telling them Meadville is a nice venue.....but wear boots it'll be very muddy!!!

Oh dear, they're explaining the concept of a "cellcert" to him!!! He's fascinated that we have four states connected!!!


Sorry to disappoint....Don't think so re the announcement...

It seems like the announcement may be about when they will return due to the problems they're having with the feedback on the mics...

Said it was so bad at one point he had to take his earpiece out...

Reporters think that's what the announcement is....not a DVD or extension of the tour....sorry!!!

Saying the text messaging needs censoring tonight.....everyone must be focused on the feedback problem and not the texting!!!

Someone texted "our doggies would make beautiful puppies"

Linlas...this is all your fault..

We're baaaaaackkkk....Carwash...the hubby's getting into it! Pulling his boa Ang and Quiana egging him on....


nose to nose to angela


there is so much swooning...what is happening?

I feel the earth...move..under my feet...I feel the sky tumbling down....

OK...mandy time....white suit...spotlight...sitting next to the piano....beautiful....voice sounds achingly beautiful...


0s medley --

Carwash -- lots of laughter and screaming

Oh what a night


What A Night!!

Glorious voice!!! Strong!!

Hitting some gorgeous lower notes in there


Here come the kicks - and the screams!!!!! L O T S of screams!!


HUGE scream just now - a few lines into Nights on Broadway, and then throughout the song every couple of lines

GAHHHHHHHHHHHHH those lower notes!!

Into the next song now.



Saying polyester is a big fashion mistake in the summer...more screams....can't tell what's happening...oh! BOTW!! the crowd erupts!!!!

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from cb:


Piano side.......

Full rich....lingering vocals......

Puts Barry to shame......

One girl needs a sedative..... someone pass the sedatives....there is just no need to keep screaming like that.....

This band is wild...so good....so rich sounding....michael orland did a fantastic job with these arrangements.....lets here it for michael

I think he's mimicing someone screaming "we love you clay"

Greatest accompolishment in the 70's was "me"!! Screaming continues!!!



he seems more alive and those pants


Several girls just screamed "We love you Clay" before he started singing, and he said something that cracked everyone up.. but I couldn't understand what he was saying.


Wow....just wow....that last note was incredible....so powerful...they think he blew the roof off with it!!!

here comes Mr. preacher man...hang onto your lap tops girls!!!!


His voice sounds so rich and smooth on BOTW.

Held the Minnnnnnnnndddddd forever, but it was almost drowned out by the screams from the audience.

Doing the gospel fake-out intro now


Great audience reaction to 80's preacher guy!

Here comes the ever-reverant WDC intro. AHEM.

And here is Clay. Big screams!!


phanlon just called me back for Mandy & BOTW.

OMG...his voice was just CRYSTAL CLEAR & SO AMAZING!!!

"SAIL ON SILVER GIRL"......absolutely GORGEOUS!!!!


Here comes the choir robes....faces very serious....crowd screams in anticipation.....his voice sounds so amazing tonight...



The Doves ARE about to sob!!

Waves of screaming and nothngs happened yet!!!

Here it comes......


Someone screamed "Take it off"??

here we go....OMG..the screaming!!! I need to hold the phone away from my ear!


here comes angela lots of knee the crotch


going down again

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from ch,CB,CV:

mazing vocal!!

Yeah, the audience loved it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




All Night Long

Sounds wonderful!


Never Gonna Give You UP

Alone . . .


CLAY'S DANCING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Cute little dance step up the stairs...can't wait for the clack from this one!

Never gone give you up, never gonna let you down or desert you....

The screamer is back...still professing her love

Alone now...oh please tell her to be quiet! There she goes again!


Rocking out on "all night long.....

This was one of my favorite numbers on AI2....no one has done it as well as Season 2

He just danced his way up the stairs to rackus screams.....

Same voice still screaming that she loves Clay....I think she may get mobbed after this one....so annoying.......

Wailing on Alone......perfect song for his voice..........


KINDA HARD TO hear.... BUT.. AHHH... you all.. are going to die if you see this tour live. I know I will!


Sailing - piano is beautiful.


Sailing now...all gathered around the piano...soft lighting...sounds beautiful...get ready for the 90's ladies...


Clothes rack is back...more screams....making fun of the 90's fashion...and we thought we were cool...Can't touch this....here comes black velvet...angela sitting backwards on a chair...I know this song was written about elvis but I always think of clay when I hear it...


Clothes rack moving back in....

Screamer still has a half of a vocal cord left......yippee

Nice piano solo.......

Rolling screams and that beautiful little cliggle as he greats his loving fans again.....still ragging about polyester......

Black Velvet.......in that little boy smile...........me thinks they liked that montage too!!!

Hearing some groaning from our reporters.....

End of the Road.....wailing over the drummer.....

He so loves the big songs and big notes.....don't ya just love 'um too!!!

Is there nothing he can't sing......

Get ready to go Loco in a minute!!!

Here comes the BonBon King!!!!

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From CB:

Can't make me love you...so hauntingly beautiful....

Quiana doing whitney now..

I can't make you love mee... ahhh.. wow.. this concert. it.....is beyond amazing. I will not live!!


Claymates Down!!!

He LaVida Loca'd them!!!

Reports of LVL=HOT!

Little Bon Bon's awakened from his nap and having a blast.....

Soaring notes again on I Can't Make You Love Me.... deep low notes and reaching to the sky.....slow and gentle, soft almost a whisper....


Quianna is getting huge applause. She is singing beautifully- I will always love you - good for her! She sings this better than Whitney.


Nice screaming for Quianna......

Absolutely beautiful!!! Crows loving it!!!

Here comes full on 00's!!

Our favorites of 2003 and our future favorites!!!


Thanking the band now...



MOAM section now soon....... aw.. shows almost over.. so excited!


Backups/band/crew intro's. (I love it that a gentle Invisible instrumental plays in the background). He gave Angela's website address (couldn't tell if same was done for all three). Huge screams for each introduction.


Just said 2003!

E R U P T I O N!!



Shirt untucked...purple tie...IWCY/MOAM medley...still going strong.....

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from CB, CH, CV:

OMG! He's talking 300 miles an hour.....


Me thinks he's starting to loosen up some.....

I need to loosen up......really and just tell this the way I see it in my mind's eye, right HD!!!

She thinks I can't really see this stuff happening.....but I can ...if you watch enough clack it embeds itself into your retina's and you see LaVida Loca all the time.....

Green Shirt and Purple tie and he's adorable!!!

.....the darkness will never flood our eyes!!!Weather report is it's very "hot"


Screams....did he forget the words to WYSYLM???? Can't hear...but there were lots of laughs...now everyone is singing along


Said 75 songs and he cant remember the words to his own...LOL!



EVeryone messed up on the words to the song they are singing.. I can't tell what it is--

they were cracking up!


Oh, what a beautiful ending note on The Way!! Low and gorgeous.

WYSYLM now! (y'all already know that!!)

HUGE audience scream a verse into it. He's saying something, I think. Screams!!

Now he's singing again! ??? as to what happened!!


Talking about new songs


"When it's ready, hopefully the beginning of next year."

Can't tell what he's saying after that. Drew a huge approval response, however!




Crows singing along with WYSYLM.....loud and strong

Helping him out with the words.....

Will you say you luvvvvvvvvmeeeeeeeeeeee.....screams and screams....he must want them to love him!!

Here comes the new ones!!!

Loud screaming!!!

Drum beat....thump thump....

rocking starts.....

Swaying...clapping.....rocking back and forth....

Here he comes ....

all over the radio, radio, radio.....

audience singing along.......


Wow, you can them singing along on the chorus on BFM


GAHHHHHHHHHHHHH, he sounds so strong and secure!

Till I keep coming back for more....

fools like me

radio radio radio



UNbelievable screams!!

Just You.

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