You may have already read our article in today's CDD entitled Clay Impresses with "Solitaire" Performance at Neil Sedaka Concert. In it we have some great pictures and a couple of reviews.
Since that article was written, we now have more great reviews to add by fans who were at the tribute. I think you'll enjoy them. These reviews made me feel as though I was sitting right there listening to him myself!
Written By tiggy52winkle at The Clayboard:
New York City Falls In Love With Clay Aiken! That should be the headline in today's paper. I was blessed, absolutely blessed to attend the Tribute last evening. Just got home a bit over 3 hours ago from one of the greatest nights of my life! By now you've seen the video, heard the song and seen the gorgeous pictures of Clay. To say that he was sheer perfection is not exaggerating. I was sitting in the 2nd row, right side of the orchestra and before the performance we could see Clay standing in the wings waiting to go on. Electricity was building, there he was! David Foster had fun with the Claymates, teasing us several times and even mentioning that when you write a brilliant song you can sing it ATDW. Claymates throughout the venue went crazy. Finally Clay was introduced by David and the entire front of the audience sprung to their feet, clapping and cheering for all they were worth. He knew his 'mates were in the house! As he strode onto the stage we took in every last detail: gorgeous grey suit with light blue pinstipes that fit him beautifully. Oh, those shoulders!!! Light blue shirt, no tie and I think brown shoes. His hair was gorgeous!!! A bit longer than the last photos we had of him on the streets of NYC a week or two ago and there were bangs. His face has lost the puffiness since he's been off the Paxil for a month or so and the cheekbones are lookin' mighty fine! Clay just carries himself like such a professional. Strides toward the mic, shoulders back and back straight...preparing to slay every person within hearing distance! He looked over at David in the wings and gave him a smile and then he smiled again and bowed his head when someone yelled, "I love you, Clay!" The band was smiling during the whole song and just taking in the crowd reaction. As we know, Clay doesn't just sing words, he infuses them with meaning and emotion like nobody else can. From the moment he opened his mouth, he OWNED the crowd. Started soft, vulnerable, building slowly to the moment that makes you hold your breath as your heart almost beats out of your chest. The crowd was silent in anticipation and waited almost until the end of the glory note...and then OMG! The cheers that rang throughout Avery Fisher Hall were unbelievable. By the last note everyone in the sold out venue had sprung to their feet. I think that Clay must have won over every person in the house. The band even clapped! NEVER has Clay sung "Solitaire" like he did last night! High notes, lower register that just makes your insides quiver and the power in his body positioning, hand gestures and voice when he wails that final glory note...there just aren't words to describe it sufficiently. Of all the times Clay has performed "Solitaire", no night was more perfect or more special than last night's when Clay sang his heart out for Neil Sedaka and all of us. To have the video of this is such a gift! A true treasure. (my undying thanks to BigappleForClay for this) Neil gave Clay a standing ovation and apparently was again, very moved by Clay's outstanding rendition of one of his greatest songs (from what I've read; unfortunately I didn't turn to see Neil's reaction as he and his family were seated in one of the boxes on the other side of the venue.) How proud he must be of Clay for breathing such life and passion into this classic! We hoped that Clay would come back out for a duet but it was not to be. We walked over to the reception following the show at the Kaplan penthouse. I got to meet Connie Francis and Neil and Leba and had pictures taken with them. I will treasure those forever! Neil and Connie sound as good as ever and just made me feel like a young teen all over again. Ivana Trump looked gorgeous and it was fun to watch her make a beeline for Neil as he entered the room. I have to mention how beautiful and classy Natalie Cole wasthough she didn't make it to the reception, and Toni Tenille was stunning in a magnificent off the shoulder red dress. We weren't surprised that Clay didn't attend the reception. He would have surely stolen the show and that just isn't Clay's style. This was Neil's night and what a magical night it was! He sang so many of his great hits for us, such a treat! As we left the reception, with happy hearts (and very sore feet!) each of us was persented with a black bag and nestled in the tissue paper was a copy of Neil's brand new CD, "The Definitive Collection" (buy this, you won't regret it!!!) as well as 2 additional CDs and a DVD tied together with black ribbon with "Neil Sedaka * 50 Years of Hits" in white writing on it. The CDs were: "Neil Sedaka: the Show Goes On" and a classical CD (Neil was classically trained in piano at Julliard) titled, "Classically Neil Sedaka." The DVD is, "Neil Sedaka: The Show Goes On Live at the Royal Albert Hall." I can't wait to watch and listen tomorrow. What lovely gifts! This night was worth every single penny paid for my VIP ticket. I will treasure it forever!Written By claysbuttercup99 at The Clayboard:
ETA to say that we even got a knee bend and a great move at the end of "Solitaire"!!!
I wanted to come post and Clay was pure perfection last night!! I could see backstage the entire show and for much of the time before Clay came out, he was laughing and smiling. At once, the entire crowd was silent as whoever performed before Clay was about to start, and I could faintly hear Clay's voice laughing with David backstage. It was so great to see Clay interact and mouth the words to a lot of the songs. He was very respectful of all of the performers while he backstage - as always! He listened to everyone, and to fast songs, I saw him dance along just a bit! Clay, although sick, seemed to be in a great mood all night.Great reviews, don't you think? Thanks from CDD to all the Clack gatherers. The mp3's, videos, photos, and reviews are amazing. These photos and videos show that Clay's voice is even more amazing than ever before. He is a class act and has been from Day 1.
Before the show began, I was talking to a couple next to me. As it turns out, they are very close friends of Ruben's. We talked for quite some bit. They both used to be involved in show business - the woman had toured with broadway musicals and I am not sure what the man did (Just to mention, the man's brother is the American Idol attorney for all top 10 idols of every season - except for season 2, where he had to pick. The man told me his brother picked Ruben.. the wrong choice.) They, both, had never met Clay before and didn't know of him except of when he was on Idol. The woman was amazed of how many of the fans knew each other, as I told her about the Clay Nation, and asked to join for a night! We explained to her all about what he was up to with Spamalot and etc. She was very interested in hearing about everything....
As you know, he did not come to the reception. However, he was complete perfection during the performance. I was in first row on the right side when looking at the stage - and as Clay finished, I turned around and looked out. Everyone was standing. So many smiles, laughs of excitement, cheers - it was so great. His smile that he gave us in person was just amazing - he knew he perfected it in every aspect and he knew we were all hoping he would do just that. Although I though sitting infront of the speakers would not be so good, let me tell you, I heard every breath and every syllable and I can guarentee it was absolute perfection - I don't even mind that he did not come to reception.
FYI: At the reception, I talked to the couple yet again and they said they just LOVED Clay's performance. I knew, right then and there, Clay had done it again - stolen some more hearts!
In case you are interested in downloading videos, here are some places you can find them:
- Clack Unlimited - MP3's and Videos from three different Clack gatherers
- YouTube - Video of David Foster's Introduction and Clay's Performance of Solitaire
Seven YouTube Honors Today, 10/28/07 (As of 11:45 p.m. Eastern Time):
#18 - Top Rated (Today)
#5 - Top Rated (Today) - Entertainment
#27 - Top Rated (This Week) - Entertainment
#61 - Most Discussed (Today)
#12 - Most Discussed (Today) - Entertainment
#9 - Top Favorites (Today)
#2 - Top Favorites (Today) - Entertainment
And here are a few more pictures for your enjoyment. Please do not post any of these pictures at the OFC.