Kelly Clarkson returned to her hometown of Dallas, Texas for the Thanksgiving holiday with a busy schedule.
Thursday, she took the field at halftime during the annual Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving Day game against the New York Jets. Friday, she performed to a packed crowd at the Nokia Theater in Grand Prairie.
The Burleson native showed nothing but confidence and pure talent, as she remained humble and showcased her massive pipes. According to a few fans who arrived at the venue early, Clarkson drove herself to the venue in her SUV, then walked in the front door and preceded backstage.
Island Records recording artist, Jon McLaughlin warmed the crowd up with a small set of piano-driven songs from his album “Indiana.” Even those who did not know the lyrics found it entertaining to watch his hands as he literally attacked the keys of the piano.
At 8:45 p.m., AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long” played over the loud speaker. Over half the crowd jumped to their feet as the staple for Clarkson’s live shows played. The rest of the audience looked around wondering why they didn’t get the memo.
The second the song ended, the lights went out and the curtain drew back to reveal Clarkson sitting on the stairs in the exact red dress featured on the cover of her latest album “My December.” Her band surrounded her, each appearing to be frozen.
“Are you there? Are you watching me?” were the only lines heard as lights flashed and portions of a remix of the songs “Never Again” and “Irvine” began. The arena went black for five seconds.
In those quick seconds, Clarkson shed the dress, now wearing a blue top and simple black pants. As usual, she was barefoot. The opening number was none other than the electric pop song “One Minute.”
She continued her set with the songs “Behind These Hazel Eyes” and “Don’t Waste Your Time.”
Before going into the song “Never Again,” she thanked everyone for coming and praised her team, the Dallas Cowboys for demolishing the New York Jets.
“We didn’t just win. We beat ‘em up; sent ‘em back home. It was like, not even a game. The Jets … yeah … [makes spitting noise],” she joked.
Clarkson proved herself as a very talented artist and one of the greatest vocalists of all time with "Never Again." You could feel the anger coming from her as she sang. She drove the line “She deserves you,” with so much force and emotion that it cut like a knife. Not a single pitch problem could be found during this song (or the entire night for that matter), as she hit every high note seamlessly.
The songs “Maybe,” “Gone,” “Hole” and “Addicted,” followed before an illuminated pink and blue curtain came down to put the focus solely on Clarkson.
She slowed the show down for three acoustic songs that showcased her vocals.
First up, she sang “Because of You,” the autobiographical track that became a world-wide success soon after its release. She stripped the song down to just a piano.
“I will not make the same mistakes that you did / I will not let myself cause my heart so much misery," she began.
The second she opened her mouth, the audience kicked in, singing every word back to her. “I love that,” she said to the crowd.
Witnessing her fans singing along during this song was one of the most moving moments I have ever seen.
Clarkson paid a tribute to singer-songwriter, Patty Griffin next with a cover of the song “Up to the Mountain.”
“I grew up singing in church, so I’m bringing a little Jesus,” she said.
“I went up to the mountain / Because you asked me to / Up over the clouds / To where the sky was blue,” she sang on the gospel track.
This song served as a time for the audience to sit back and take in Clarkson’s beautiful voice. As the song wrapped, she received a well-deserved standing ovation.
She concluded the mini-set with the bluesy ballad from her “My December” album, “Be Still.”
“I had to perform my mama’s favorite song,” she said.
Clarkson soon after disappeared behind the curtain. The chords of the new mash-up of her song “Miss Independent” to Led Zepplin’s “Whole Lotta Love” and AC/DC’s “Back in Black” played.
She sang the introduction to the song with the curtain down. As the song picked up, the curtain raised to reveal Clarkson and the band rocking out on a raised platform. She made one thing clear with this song. She’s not a pop-tart artist like so many others out there. She has the chops to tackle rock music with the best of the best (if not better).
“How I Feel,” “Breakaway” and “Walk Away” followed.
Before singing “Breakaway,” she thanked the fans.
“Thank you so much for buying my CDs. It ain’t easy doing what you want, especially in the music industry. So thank you so much for the support,” she said.
She exited the stage saying goodnight to everyone.
Moments later she returned for a three-song encore.
Never in my life have I experienced the feeling that came over me during her performance of “Sober.” Clarkson and her entire five-piece band gave their best on this song.
As she sang “Three months and I’m still breathing / Three months and I still remember it,” chills ran down my spine. You could feel every bit of emotion and power in her voice. By the time she finished the song, I was shaking, light-headed and completely amazed.
“Sober” does two things for Kelly Clarkson. One, it provides her the highlight of the “My December Tour,” and two, validates her as an artist finding her way to becoming a legend.
The humorous song “Chivas” came right after “Sober.” It did not disappoint with the impressive notes mastered by Clarkson.
The show ended with the infamous “Since U Been Gone.”
“Here’ the thing / We started out friends,”… You know the lyrics (even if you choose not to admit it).
Every person in the audience sang along and of course did the signature “JUMP!” commanded by Clarkson.
“Now that that loser is gone,” she wrapped up the song with a twist.
“Thank y’all so much! God bless and goodnight!” she said while taking a bow and exiting the stage.
Throughout the entire show, Clarkson radiated with energy. She cracked jokes, danced and of course sang. If you were not a fan before the show, you were one by the time you left, if not just for the music, then also for her charming personality.
The North American leg of the “My December Tour” wrapped Dec. 3 in Nashville, Tenn.
Clarkson will hit the road again Jan. 15 with country legend and friend Reba McEntire for the “2 Worlds, 2 Voices Tour 2008” with the slogan of “1 Stage, 1 Band, 1 Night, 2 Superstars.”
The dates, according to Ticketmaster/Live Daily are as follows:
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ŠThe Voice 2007
Revised 09/17/2007 08:03:12 PM — http://www.uamont.edu/Organizations/TheVoice/5_12/clarkson.htm