(The Fillmore, Detroit, MI - October 28th, 2007)
Any American Idol fan knows Kelly Clarkson after her 2002 win during the first season of the popular show. But this pop and rock singer-songwriter from Texas has accomplished more than escape the wrath of Simon. Clarkson followed a successful pop album in 2003 with the more rock-oriented album Breakaway in 2004, and then decided to break away from her management team for the angst ridden 'My December.'
Tonight, at one of her hastily rearranged (from the Summer's once-proposed arena tour) smaller club gigs, Grammy Award winner Clarkson is obviously still musically angry, but also exudes the stage presence of a vocal pop star.
Taking the small stage complete with settings and multiple band members, the pounding beats of AC/DC's 'You Shook Me (All Night Long)' resonating around the theatre, the curtains finally part to reveal a bare foot Clarkson seated, quietly posed ala her album sleeve center stage on the steps of a walk up, drapped in a rich red cloth. The screams go higher, the cell phones come out and snap pictures left right and center, their glows reminiscent of monster fireflies!
Kicking off the 80 minute set with 'One Minute,' and following it up with the gut-punching 'Behind Hazel Eyes,' Clarkson has the entire mixed demographic in her small Texan hands. "How y'all feelin'," she inquires, before hitting 'Don't Waste Your Time.' "This is the bitterest song that I've ever written. Not even my old management liked it," she laughs, before heading into the loud, yelled lyrics of 'Never Again.'
The bathed-in-blue-light quieter 'Maybe' is brought to the fore next before the bouncy, everybody jump beats of 'Already Gone' and 'How I Feel.' "This next song is my favorite from the Breakaway album," she admits breaking into 'Addicted.' Following that with her newly-rerecorded duet with Reba McEntire, 'Because Of You' is next, before a white curtain drops to separate her from the soon-to-be-changed stage set - thus allowing her to become more acoustic with the audience.
A cover of Patty Griffin's 'Up The Mountain' is next, then a favorite song of her mothers in the quietly sung 'Be Still' - complete with the entire once-white backdrop curtain now entirely lilac, save for the white hot spot on Clarkson herself. The twirling red sirenish lights together with a main riff that now incorporates both AC/DC and Led Zeppelin, 'Miss Independent' is literally screamed to the masses in remix form. "Thank you for being here with me tonight," she says, clasping her hands together prayer like. "This has been the best stop on the tour yet. I mean it," she then gushes, before going into the crowd sing-along song 'Breakaway.'
Wrapping the show with the best song of the night the pure pop bounce of 'Walk Away' is next; a song that lights up the crowd as much as it seemingly does her constantly smiled vocals. The first encore song 'Sober' is sung to a now-swaying audience, but it's the original drunk, bar napkin-written song 'Chivas,' the truly stunningly performed Marc Broussard cover of 'Home,' and the beloved 'Since You've Been Gone' that really bring the musical rollercoaster ride to a monster climax.
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