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Atlanta, Georgia -- Cobb Center for the Arts


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Seating Chart

Clay Aiken

Feb 16, 2011 (Wed)

John A. Williams Theatre

Following in the wake of a critically acclaimed tour with fellow American Idol alum, Ruben Studdard, Clay Aiken is hitting the road once again. The performer extraordinaire will hit 20 cities across the U.S. beginning on February 10, 2011 hitting famed venues including a stop in Atlanta on February 16.

The singer announces "on-sales" on the heels of the July 27th DVD release of "Tried & True Live!" The special LIVE DVD captures Clay's first PBS concert special, "Tried & True," now airing across the country. The DVD showcases the singer's March 10th performance in his hometown of Raleigh, NC, as well as exclusive material not seen on Public Television, and a bonus EPK on the making of his latest CD, Tried & True. Tried & True was released June 1st on Decca, and made an impressive debut in the Top 10 of Billboard's Top 200 Album Chart. Considered the record Aiken was always meant to record, the disc is comprised of songs from the '50s and '60s that are personal favorites of the singers' he grew up listening to as a child. Clay will continue to perform these standards on the national "Tried & True" tour.

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Lots of problems tonight...cellstream not working, may end up with "Underwater Clay". Also couldn't understand if they are allowed to take pictures tonight or not. Or is it just no flashes?

I'll be hoping for Clack of the whole show for this one I think.... What's with Atlanta's Clackdowns anyway??

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Recaps of the Atlanta concert and M&G from moonhead at the CH, with her permission.

Atlanta OFC M&G Recap…

11 of us were ushered into a board room like setting for the M&G. There was a long board table and 12 chairs. I sat in the first side chair next to the head of the table near the door (hoping that everyone would leave that head position open for Clay to sit in, which they did). We waited for several minutes and then Jerome came in, noted that everyone looked familiar so he didn’t have to read us all the rules *g*. A few more minutes went by and in walked Clay…

He had on a gray Yale sweatshirt (sleeves pushed up), jeans, and white/black sneakers. His hair was a bit spiky, but no product (soft looking). Some stubble. My first impression was “GAH, he looks great!”. His face and jawline look much narrower and less filled out in person than in pictures and on tv. Gorgeous. I also was surprised at how much lighter his hair, stubble, etc. look in person. I had a wonderful view of his forearms and hands…mmmmm.

After walking in, he motioned to a picture on the wall of what looked like a restaurant with the word “Jezebel” written at the top. He said how weird it was to see that first thing. Someone mentioned that Jezebel was a local newspaper/mag that talks about local hotspots in Atlanta. I remarked “yeah, hot, Jezebel, I guess it kind of goes together”. He laughed and agreed. He then picked up an award that was on display and said that he wanted to purchase one and have his name engraved on it like he won an award. There were the requisite “awwwws” from the group. He walked around the table asking us our names and shaking our hands. When he first sat down he commented on the board room set up and several mentioned how we saved the head of the table for him. He made a remark about the director usually sitting on the side in the middle of the table, not the end. Someone suggested he switch, and Brightstar and I were both like “noooooooooo” (she was on his other side). He stayed where he was thank God *g*. He asked if anyone was from Atlanta (I think a couple of people were). Asked a bit about the age of the venue (I mentioned I’d attended a Kelly concert there about 3 years ago and that I think it was one of the first concerts there, so it couldn’t be much more than 3-4 years old). He then opened it up for questions. I have no idea of the order of the questions, so I’ll just mention the ones I remember…

1. There was a question about a Spamalot tour coming up in NC…Clay said that it was not being put on by Spamalot or affiliated with them so it probably could be quite different and would not necessarily recommend it.

2. Someone asked what his fave song was that he would be singing tonight and he said “"What Kind Of Fool Am I?"”.

3. I asked if he listens to NPR and if he likes Terry Gross. He said “yes” that he listens to and likes NPR (mostly in the mornings). He said “no” that he doesn’t care for Terry Gross’s show which he knew was “Fresh Air”. He thought it was “boring”. I said “noooo, you can’t think it’s boring. I always have wanted you to be interviewed by her”. He looked at me, with that lop sided smirk of his and said “sorry, but it’s boring”, hee. He the went on to mention the NPR show that he does enjoy, which I think was “Tell Me More”…not positive about that though.

4. He was asked if he had to audition for Spamalot and if he was to become interested in another Briadway show would he have to go through the normal audition process. He said “no” he did not have to audition for Spamalot. They wanted him and contacted him. He just had to sit down with Mike Nichols and talk about it. He said “they probably just wanted to make sure I could speak English” and laughed. He replied that he would not have to audition for another show. That it would occur in the same way as Spamalot, just a discussion about the role, etc. He then went on to say that he felt that TPTB and audiences would have a hard time accepting him in a dramatic Broadway role because of the media “personality” that he is. He said that so many know so much about his life, his personal matters, etc. (mentioned tabloids) that it would be hard for them to separate “Clay Aiken” from the character. He used the example of Meryl Streep, saying that no one knows anything about her personally, so she can take on different roles and make them believable. But, if you were to cast Paris Hilton in a role, no one would be able to see past Paris Hilton. And, that’s how he felt it was with him. I interjected “but Spamalot must have helped with that”. He looked at me and said “no, not at all”. He continued to say that because Spamalot was a comedic role, it didn’t matter if people saw him as “Clay Aiken”…it was different from a dramatic role. I wish I had thought to say to him that I think it boils down to talent, because talent could push past that. Also, I don’t know how this jives with the rumor floating around that he turned down the lead in Memphis. Because if that’s true, then TPTB thought he could perform in a dramatic role. That might be a good question for a future M&G question for someone.

5. He was asked what the last book he read was. He said he truly couldn’t remember, he hadn’t read in a while unfortunately and that his memory is shot. I asked if he ever read “Cutting for Stone” (since it’s one of my faves) and he said “no” but mentioned that it was on his iPad, he just hadn’t gotten around to reading it yet.

6. A fan talked about how her young son was currently being bullied in school and if he had any advice for him. Clay said “no” that he didn’t have advice for the child but he had advice for her. He said that she should support her son and be there for him.

There were a few other questions asked, but I can’t remember them right now. The above were the lengthiest ones. He then gave the order of the pictures and each of us were called up. I think I was in a bit of a fog after the conversation and didn’t pay close enough attention to the picture taking portion. I was first up and I do remember him putting his arm about me and mine about him. With the bulk of the sweatshirt, I couldn’t really feel my hand on him, but it was good regardless. I said “thanks” and sat down to watch the rest of the pictures being taken. He then said that he needed to go to the next M&G of 30 people. He mentioned that next week (Charlotte) there will be a M&G of 75 people (with an eye roll). He said “we’re mad about that one”. Bright and I both said “noooo, don’t be mad, we’re both at that”. He looked at Bright and said “well, it’s not your fault”. Hee.

The whole M&G experience was wonderful. PERFECT. I decided that the difference between my M&G last night and the M&G I had in 2005 is this…in 2005 I met Clay Aiken the performer at my M&G, in 2011 I met Clay Aiken the person at my M&G. Both were wonderful, but 2011’s was extra special.

Atlanta Concert Recap:

The concert was fabulous! I seriously have never heard Clay in better voice. He was amazing.

I’m not going to touch on every song, just some comments about specific songs that struck me…

WDIB (Love Story Theme) is such a dramatic way to start the show. It sets the tone for a show by a singer who actually, you know, SINGS. Love it.

"Something About Us" is not my favorite song from "On My Way Here". But the way Clay sings it live is exquisite. To me, he was really INTO this song. His eyes were closed the whole time and it just felt personal.

The schtick portions (WSN in different genres and the "currents as oldies" medley) plays much better in person than over the cellcert. The younger NJU that were there really enjoyed these portions of the show.

UM is body art. Between looking at his hands and listening to his voice, it’s an assault on the senses…GAH.

The intro to IML was very special. Clay talking about the dedicated and loyal fans who have been here from the beginning was really touching. He said the song was for them (then he looked at the audience and said “well, it’s for all of you, but especially for them”). While listening to him sing it and hearing the lyrics “some have gone and some remain”, I thought of those who have left for various reasons and felt so very thankful that I was one of those still here. Then listening to “some are dead and some are living” I couldn’t help but think of all the fans who we have loved who have since died. They were there last night.

And Solitaire, such a perfect ending. Clay, solitary, with the lone light shining down upon him. Perfection.

He was gorgeous last night. His hair was wonderful, his jeans were snug in all the right places. He was charming, funny, sensual, and humble. An irresistibly perfect combination.

eta: I forgot to mention that the whole cellcert bit was hilarious. When he was talking about the cellphone and how people listen in from all over while others transcribe every little thing about the concert, he said "you see all these empty seats?!!!" in mock indignation. Then he said "where's my lawyer?" (he had previously mentioned that Jess Rosen was backstage). He was laughing the whole time and obviously is well aware of what we do.

etaa: Ooo, just remembered another funny piece. When he came out for the encore he talked about how silly he thought coming back out was because so many of us know that he has 2 more songs he is going to do. he said it's not as if he's only coming back out if the audience claps enough, he's coming back out regardless. So, he feels that the whole leaving the stage and waiting for the cheering is just pretentious. He then went on to say that after he had finished UM and was waiting in the wings to come back out for the encore, Jess Rosen said "wow, UM was great, I've never heard that arrangement". Clay quipped that that just made him feel wonderful *snerk* since it's on the album and all...hee.

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