I have seen some concerts lately that I want to tell you all about. What a better way to do it than all in one week dedicated to one of my favorite things: music!
It had been about sixteen and a half years since I last saw Kelly Clarkson live in concert. That was the tour with the top ten American Idol contestants from that very first season. Held at the Fox Theater in Detroit, I don’t remember a whole lot about that show save for what I wore (a grey dress and matching jacket from Express), the location of our seats (front row balcony), and that it was an awesome show.
I almost saw Kelly a couple times since then but it never worked out … until now.
I snagged some awesome and reasonably priced tickets to see Kelly for her Meaning of Life Tour at Little Caesars Arena at the end of February. She brought former Voice winner Brynn Cartelli and Kelsea Ballerini along for the ride.
I missed Brynn as we parked and walked around the Arena for a bit. I can never resist a walk around LCA; it’s just a great place to be and the concourse wasn’t super crowded.
I’m a pretty big Kelsea Ballerini fan and to see her along with Kelly was quite a treat. She has a good voice and stage presence. I really enjoyed when she sang snippets of songs that inspired her to be a musician. I mean, how can you resist Oops I Did it Again??? She ended the set with current hits Miss Me More and This Feeling. Despite the fact that most of the crowd wasn’t into it and up and dancing, I just had to get up for these songs. I love them and Kelsea and her energy and I was ready to get the night started.
The only thing that bothered me about her set was the lighting. Lights behind her were so bright for almost her entire set, it was nearly impossible to see her and also somewhat blinding.
I caught up with a friend who was also at the show in between Kelsea and Kelly, and then before long, Kelly took the stage.
She opened appropriately with A Moment Like This, the song that launched her career. It’s funny to think that without Idol, Kelly might never have been found. I’m glad she was because she can SING! Whew, I don’t care if you think you aren’t a fan or her biggest fan ever, we can all agree on her insane voice that soars effortlessly.
She also knows what earned her enough fans to fill arenas and performed many of her hits like Walk Away, Behind These Hazel Eyes, Heartbeat Song, Miss Independent, and My Life Would Suck without You. The problem with having so many hits is she quite simply could not sing them all. She appeased some of the fans who ask her to play certain songs with a medley featuring some deep cuts, including a few I distinctly remember listening to over and over again on a road trip to Cincinnati forever ago (Just Missed the Train and Beautiful Disaster). She didn’t play my all-time favorite Kelly song, and one of my favorite songs of all time period (People Like Us – go listen! NOW!), but that’s just a reason to see her again, as though I needed another.
A powerful sing along of Breakaway brought a tear to me eye. It’s such a beautiful song, as was Piece by Piece, one that she can barely get through each night on tour.
Throughout the show, Kelly’s personality shone just as much as her voice. She is Kelly, no exceptions, no apologies, no holding back. She interacted with the crowd, spoke openly and honestly, and seems like a super cool person. This is evident in her Minute and a Glass of Wine bit when she kicks off her shoes and literally drinks a glass of wine as she sings a cover livestreamed on Facebook. For the Detroit show, the song was The Joke. It’s not my favorite song, but Kelly made me enjoy it.
Run Run Run with D.R. King from The Voice was a total surprise for me. The shooting star background set the scene for a stunning, simple, and beautiful performance. I really hope to hear more from D.R. because his voice is something special.
The encore rolled around in a flash, during which Kelly sang her famous covers from Hamilton and The World’s Greatest Showman, It’s Quiet Uptown and Never Enough. Then she transitioned nicely into Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You) and Since U Been Gone. What a way to end a show! The whole audience was singing and dancing and left feeling good and empowered.
If you ever have a chance to see Kelly, I highly recommend it! She’s definitely got a voice, and she also seems to have the positivity needed to make your way in life figured out too.