Kelly Clarkson’s vocals shine through at Agganis
A review of Kelly Clarkson at the Agganis Arena on October 13, 2009
Kelly Clarkson shined at the Agganis Arena on Tuesday night doing what she does best: sing. During a 90-minute set filled with hits, Clarkson’s vocals were booming with perfection while she remained humble and fun; just the way she was when America first fell in love with her when she won the first season of American Idol in 2002.
Touring in support of this year’s All I Ever Wanted, Clarkson was backed by a large and equally impressive 9-piece band along with a complementary horn section and pair of back-up singers. Standing atop a catwalk then running along the back of the stage, Clarkson opened the show with “All I Ever Wanted”, the title track of her third and most recent studio album. From there, she kicked the show into high gear with fan favorite “Miss Independent” and “I Do Not Hook Up”, creating a frenzied sing-along reaction from the near-capacity crowd on hand. The reaction was kinetic as the crowd matched Clarkson every step of the way, whether it was taking over on vocals for “Behind These Hazel Eyes” (which was delivered acoustically to entice such a reaction) or turning the hockey rink into a bouncy gym for “Since U Been Gone”
It’s easy to see why the crowd showered Clarkson with such adoring love. She’s the girl-next-door. A down-to-earth American girl who rose to fame before our very eyes on television; something she has never forgotten. On stage, she’s the bubbly Texan who just loves to talk about music or whatever the hell is on her mind. In fact, she’s so spontaneous with her on-stage banter and self-deprecating humor that it can admittedly become annoying at times. But with so many cookie-cutter pop stars out there today, Clarkson remain’s a very refreshing presence. She introduced “Cry” as “My Heart Will Go On”-like super ballad but got the crowd jumping again with “I Want You”, which she called her “happy song” thanks to the full band giving the tune a retro pop vibe.
The highlight of Clarkson’s performance came in the most surprising of ways. With just one of her guitarist and a keyboardist by her side, Clarkson delivered a stunning rendition of the Black Keys’ “Lies.” Again showcasing her amazing vocal range, Clarkson followed it with Patsy Cline’s “Walking After Midnight”, which was turned into a soulful bluesy rendition thanks to her two guitarists and a trumpet solo. These were two of a handful of covers for the night. Earlier in the night, she delivered a hybrid of Alanis Morrisetet’s “That I Would Be Good” and Kings of Leon’s “Use Somebody” and in the encore, it was a popped-up version of the White Stripes “Seven Nation Army”.
Such moves were risky but they paid off with a few exceptions. Most notably, Clarkson attempted to parlay the dance vibe of “If I Can’t Have You” with a remixed rendition of “Never Again”, leaving the rocking angst out for club beats that fell flat.&
Clarkson poured the emotion on with “Because of You” before closing out the main set with the one-two punch of “Walk Away”, the highlight of the night was the crowd favorite “Since U Been Gone”, which even as Clarkson joked had the straight guys in the crowd singing along abashedly. The three song encore began with her latest single “Already Gone” and closed with All I Ever Wanted’s lead single “My Life Would Suck Without You”.