o be able to get an amphitheater of twenty two thousand people to shut and focus their attention entirely towards you is an accomplishment entirely in its own right. To be able to wow them with a seemingly perfect, indestructible voice is an added bonus. Kelly Clarkson is the only pop vocalist I’ve seen that was able to pull off this feat so successfully, so charismatically, that its awe-inspiring to even think about Sunday’s show at Shoreline Amphitheater.
Clarkson put on one of the best pop shows of the year, proving once again, in a way that seemed completely effortless, that she is one of the reigning queens of pop.
The most wonderful aspect of Clarkson’s performance is that, well, it’s not really a performance. It’s genuinely her. Many artists are able to put on a show of some kind, portraying a figure that displays elements of who they are, while taking on a powerful persona simultaneously. Much like Taylor Swift, whom I gave a very favorable earlier this month, Clarkson is no exception to this rule. She is exceptionally bubbly and happy when speaking between all songs. Nothing feels fake or contrived. It seemed like there was no place in the world that she would rather be, and that energy radiated all the way back to the lawn seats. She’s almost anti-pop star. She doesn’t carry herself like one, making jokes and banter in between tracks, talking to the audience like we’re best friends. It’s remarkably refreshing to watch.
The show kicked off with “Dance With Me”. The song got people warmed up, but the rock-fueled “My Life Would Suck Without You” is really where I feel that the performance hit its stride. Songs like “Dark Side” and “Nostalgic” followed. A beautiful moment occurred when Clarkson sang “Piece By Piece”, dedicating it to her future daughter (congratulations, if you’re reading this, Kelly!), holding back tears, yet laughing when she tells the audience it isn’t exactly a happy song, “sorry!” Accompanied only by a piano, the set continued with “Because of You” and “Breakaway”. One of the best tracks was “Behind These Hazel Eyes”, a track from Breakaway that really brought the energy up. Later in the show, she performed a lovely rendition of Heartbeat Song, with assistance from the tour’s special guests, the insanely talented Pentatonix, a five person a capella group.
Clarkson’s love of cover songs is effervescent. In addition to doing covers of “Sunday Morning” by Maroon 5 (a serious throwback, props for a doing Songs About Jane cover!), the popular “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars, and a rendition of “Bang Bang” that showcased her talented back-up vocalists, she did something a bit out of the ordinary. On this tour, they have been hosting what is being dubbed as an “open mic night”, where they bring an unknown name up on stage to sing a cover song. That night’s participant, named Kamaria Ousley, made a brave choice and flawlessly performed “I Have Nothing” by Whitney Houston. “That is hard song! Can I buy your album?!” Clarkson remarked, completely in disbelief.
The show finished successfully with her hit, “Since You’ve Been Gone”. Based on the depth and emotion of her show, her attitude, and undeniably raw talent, it’s clear that Kelly Clarkson will forever remain a perform that people will flock to see again and again, and for very good reason.
This has been another Shameless Promotion.