A Concert Like This

14 Oct

The tour is in support of an album called All I Ever Wanted, and while I’ve been a fan of Kelly Clarkson since her days on American Idol, I can’t say seeing her live has always been a top priority of mine.

Nevertheless, there was I at the Agannis Arena Tuesday night with hundreds of teen and pre-teen girls (and their parents), singing along with hits like “Since U Been Gone” and “My Life Would Suck Without You.”

I may not have been the most enthusiastic one in the audience, but I still knew most every word.

Truth be told, I didn’t go to the Kelly Clarkson show to see Kelly Clarkson. Rather, I’m an even bigger fan of her opening act, Eric Hutchinson, who I’ve written about previously on this blog.

If you don’t own Hutch’s CD, Sounds Like This, then you really need to pick it up. He’s got a Jason Mraz/Ben Folds/Jack Johnson/John Mayer kind of vibe, and songs like “Oh!” and the single “Rock & Roll” are jangly, upbeat, and infectious.

Hutch only performed for about a half hour, but I enjoyed his set — especially the aforementioned songs and “You Don’t Have to Believe Me.” If only he had more time.

(The other opening act, Parachute, has one song that I know and like very much, “Under Control,” but I have to admit, I was a little disappointed by the band’s performance of it.)

But back to the main attraction.

Despite being blinded by the spotlights and feeling overheated — “If I had a better body, I’d do the show naked!” she announced early on — Kelly gave an enthusiastic performance.

Backed by an 11-piece band, she sang most of her biggest hits (no “A Moment Like This,” thankfully) and threw in a few well-chosen covers too — including Patsy Cline’s “Walkin’ After Midnight,” the Black Keys’ “Lies,” the White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army,” and a mash-up of Alanis Morissette’s “That I Would Be Good” and Kings of Leon’s “Use Somebody.”

She changed the tempo and arrangement of some of her songs (most notably, on “Miss Independent”) and she tried real hard to add a bit of rock edge on multiple occasions.

Alright, so maybe Kelly was a little too chatty between songs, and didn’t always come off as the sharpest tool in the shed. Seven years after winning Idol, it’s clear she’s still pretty excited to be able to do what she’s doing, and even better, she’s not just some stupid teen pop act who’s no more than what you see in her music videos (Britney Spears, I’m talking about you).

The girl’s got talent and taste to spare, and she can back up her visual appeal with strong pipes, so if she wants to make some silly comments before she sings another number one song — sing, not lip-synch — I say good for her.

And speaking of which, she sounded really great. I think.

I mean, the Agannis is a hockey arena and not a great concert venue, so the sound quality isn’t all that good. Quieter songs like “Already Gone” and “Behind These Hazel Eyes” came off better because Kelly’s voice was not overpowered by the instruments and you could actually hear her.

All told, it was a pretty good show. And the fact that we got our tickets just the day before on Craigslist and paid less than face value made it even more worth it. (Further proof that Craigslist is a great place for ticket buying/selling.)

I was a bit surprised that the Agannis was only about 3/4 full — especially given that the Flight of the Conchords, of all acts, had sold out the place back in April— but oh well.

I’ve always enjoyed Kelly Clarkson and her music, and while I can’t say this was my favorite concert, I don’t see any reason to stop liking her.

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One Response to “A Concert Like This”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Thankfully, He’s Not There Yet « Martin's Musings - May 2, 2012

    […] Up, Living Down —having a couple of videos that’ve made VH1’s Top 20 countdown, and being an opener for Kelly Clarkson’s tour a couple years ago, mainstream success has so far eluded […]

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