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BurberryAiken's CDD | Home & News

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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Clay Impresses with "Solitaire" Performance at Neil Sedaka Concert

Clay got a standing ovation after his powerful performance of "Solitaire" last night at a special concert in New York City celebrating Neil Sedaka's 50th year in the music industry. The special event was held at the legendard Lincoln Center, with proceeds going to the Elton John AIDS Foundation. Other celebrities on hand included David Foster, Natalie Cole, Dion and Connie Francis.

We have a number of recaps to share with you. A higher quality MP3 cap is available for download at SendSpace.

First up, from the CH's dancermom2:
It's a cold and rainy night...there are streams in the streets and I had to wear high heels and nylons. So not fun. But for Clay?? For him I would do it!!! And it was so worth it!!!!!!!!

David Foster teased us. He started talking about this show on Fox called AI and how coming in 2nd sometimes doesn't mean you didn't win. The Clay fans in the audience went wild. Then he said oh... wait...I want to intro Kat McPhee....who missed her flight and is in the audience...I am producing her next album. Oh okay...back to the show...ond then he said...there are a Thousand Different ways to sing a song. I have to tell you that at those two points the screams commenced from those in the audience there for Clay. Then David says oh I messed up there is another act coming was a Jazz trio called Bad. I like jazz...but at this point I was totally in the mindset that boyfriend was coming out and I was not in the mood to hear a jazz trio...I don't care how good they about sloooooow torture during their jazz number..I thought I was gonna die. So then out comes David again after they are done...and says this guy is an amazing sister Jaymes is here and works with him....and then THERE HE WAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

He was wearing a light blue tie. A black suit with thin white stripes. He looked sooooo good. short. Only one place in his bangs I wanted to sort of brush it out a tad!

And sing...oh yes baby!!!!!! He sang. I think he was uncertain at first...but then after the first couple of lines he settled into the song and he soooo nailed it. Those low notes...that down just thrummmmmmed through me. He rang the rafters at Avery Fisher Hall when he hit the note. He was in total danger of overpowering the microphone. There was a knee bend....I think. The Clay fog kicked in when he took the stage. But oh to see him is to love him. To hear him is to thrum.

After he was done and he left the stage he high fived David. He didn't say a spoken word and he didn't come back afterwards at the end for a duet or for the finale but Natalie Cole and Dion didn't duet or come out for the finale either.

Clay got the first standing O that wasn't for Neil. Connie got the other. And it was not just us that stood and clapped. There was one I love you Clay yelled at the beginning of the song.

I felt young there...I didn't recognize a lot of the songs...but it was a fun night...even if I had to schlepp in the rain!! What I kept thinking was that I hope that Clay can have a celebration of 50 years of music like Neil did.

mustbeeme at CV who was there said she saw Jesse and Sean in the audience and Mary in the wings.

ETA: I didn't hear any broken or missed note....he did do a change up in there.....
From the CB's PinayRN4Clay:
First things first...

Can you spell gorgeous with a capital G?

Through my binoculars from the 2nd tier, I could see Clay's cheekbones, feathery bangs and gorgeous face. When he was introduced by David Foster, he walked from my left side of the wings to the my right side of the stage amidst a roar of cheers and screams. He tentatively smiled at the first strains of the song but then broke into a full smile and looked down when a fan yelled "I love you". Pinstripe suit, light shirt, no tie. Did I say gorgeous?

He sang the first stanza softly, but then as he glided from glorious high tenor to glorious low baritone, it seemed to pick up steam. Then he just belted it out of Avery Fisher Hall and through the rafters. How could this kid make me hold my breath and say a silent prayer that his voice stays on steady. As he nailed the glory notes of Solitaire, the crowd erupted in cheers and a good-size standing ovation from the audience. Clay got the other standing ovation aside from Connie Francis, and of course, Neil. Clay's was louder, I think, and there were fangirly screams that broke through, particularly from the lady next to me. Believe me, it's Not-Just-Us. Isn't it incredible that others get the privilege of hearing Clay pour his heart out in a song? Who is this Clay Aiken, they might ask? After tonight, they know that Neil's masterpiece certainly found a rightful voice. That's why I say, the screaming is Not-Just-Us. If not for my sore throat, I would have been louder but I do sound like a frog right now.

The night was rainy and gloomy but inside Avery Fisher Hall, the stars went out full force tonight. It was a thoroughly entertaining show. Of course, Neil was the brightest of them all. After years of genius talent, of course he was. But Clay, dear Clay was just like that rebellious young star who threatened to outshine them all.

At the first half of the show, Neil was seated on the balcony with his wife Leba, daughter, son and his family. It was a sell-out, and 100% of the proceeds will go to the Elton John AIDS Foundation. Sir John (funny how I thought of Sir Robin at that point) appeared on the wide screen as he was "stuck in Vegas". He sang snippets of Neil's songs. Great voice.

David Foster then came out and enthusiastically introduced his protegee, 18 y/o Renee Olstead. Brava for her smoky, marvelous and powerful bluesy jazz voice.

Cousin Brucie was alternately doing the intros with David Foster.

Captain and Tenille sang "Love Will Keep Us Together", and they revved up the audience and got us all clapping and swaying. Loud applause.

Dion was funny as he recounted when he, from the Bronx, met up with the Jewish wordsmith from Brooklyn. He regaled us with "Calendar Girl".

David Foster really played us. He started to talk about American idol, that "losing is sometimes winning", then as the excitement built up, he called on Katherine McPhee in the audience. I groaned inwardly because I wanted my Clay already!!! DF was like a maniac who ran from end to end as he talked more of how a special song can be sung a thousand different ways. As the audience applauded, he then called on this jazz trio called Bad Plus. Sorry, sorry, sorry, they're good but where is Clay?

And finally, the gorgeous man appeared and just stunned us into place with a masterful, amazing performance. High notes, low notes! Wow!!! image image image Solitaire just blew me away. It was raw and poignant, and just plain beautiful. I was holding my tears back. I'm just so proud of him.

After Solitaire, I think it was Cousin Brucie who got out shaking his head in amazement at the sustained ovation that Clay got. He asked, "What was that?"

I had learned earlier that the two ladies next to us were Claymates as I heard them chatting away about Clay. They told me that they met groups of Claymates scattered around the theater. It was nice to swoon together.

Natalie Cole sang really well. She got quite a reception too, but not an ovation.

Paul Schaffer, the musical director from Letterman entertained us with Sedaka bits.

Lou Christie sang a rollicking song.

Barry Manilow turned up on the screen with a message to Neil. A few screams from the audience. He said he recorded Solitaire. David Foster then said that somebody else also recorded the song which got the audience chuckling.

Connie Francis certainly impressed the audience with her "Where The Boys Are?" Her voice is distinctive and strong despite the years. Small, but a true diva who can still belt it out. Standing ovation, and deservedly so.

And now Neil comes out into the stage!!!! image He is a genius. A high-caliber musical talent who staged several comebacks in his lifetime. As per Cousin Brucie, Madonna is the female Neil Sedaka because of their abilities to reinvent themselves. Singer-songwriter extra-ordinaire.

Neil performed solo with some of his songs then had duets with Connie Francis and Captain and Tennille. Of all his songs, my most favorite is "The Hungry Years"- the song just grabs you by the heart. His new song "You" is a beautiful love song.


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