Kelly Clarkson at the Tweeter Center on July 16

A Review of Kelly Clarkson at the Tweeter Center on July 16

, Editor-in-Chief

Kelly Clarkson delivered an impressive performance before a diverse and near sell-out crowd at the Tweeter Center on Sunday night that helped her breakaway from her “American Idol” image. Touring with one eye on the studio, Clarkson gave fans a sneak peak of material off her forthcoming album she is set to record this fall.

It was clear from the start as she came out to AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long” that Clarkson is ready to take a new route towards heavier, but still catchy, rock. “Anymore,” one of four new songs played on the night, was noticeably the heaviest in her catalog to date. “This is what this tour is all about” said Clarkson about road testing her new material before launching into, “Maybe.” Clarkson’s new personal favorite, “Yeah”, showed a more soulful side that may also appear on the new release.

After five songs, Clarkson toned it down with a four-song acoustic set that started off with a sing-a-long of “Because Of You.” With the backdrop of a swamp covering the stage, Clarkson sat on a dock with her band mates on each side. She sang a great cover of Maine native Ray Lamontagne’s “Shelter,” though her only other cover of the night, Marc Broussard’s “Home” did not fair very well at all. Clarkson shined the brightest on one of her own-penned songs, the soulful ballad “Thankful,” which highlighted her wonderful voice.

There were plenty of fan favorites for those in attendance, especially from the Grammy award winning Breakaway such as “Behind These Hazel Eyes,” “Gone,” and “Walk Away.” However, there was little from her debut album, Thankful, with noticeable absences including “A Moment Like This,” “Before Your Love,” and “Low”, which may reflect the 24-year old’s movement away from her original “American Idol” image.

Clarkson’s two-song encore started with a sing-a-long version of “Breakaway” from a small platform stage in the middle of the pavilion shed. She then ran through the crowd, as her band launched into “Since U Been Gone,” to cap off an entertaining show.

One of the characteristics that many say helped Clarkson win the first season of “American Idol,” besides her tremendous singing talent, was her “down-to earth/girl-next door” persona. It was great to see that even with a growing amount of accolades, she still hasn’t lost this appeal. Clarkson enjoyably interacted with the crowd and even took time to sign autographs between songs for some of her adoring young fans.

The obvious disappointment in Clarkson’s headlining show at the Tweeter Center was the surprisingly abrupt length. A seventy-minute set for a headlining act (coming off a Grammy winning year) was very disappointing. A little more depth, whether it is new material, old, covers, or a combination of such, would have filled in the gap and truly given the crowd their moneys worth.

Despite the length, when Clarkson was on stage, she was in great form and showed that her diverse talent can ensure a lengthy career – much longer than anyone would have believed back in 2002.

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