Kelly Clarkson-Albany, NY

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On Tuesday night, I drove the 75 miles to the Times Union Center in Albany to see Kelly Clarkson. While I’m the first to admit that most of the “Idols” don’t usually make my lineup, Kelly was the very first-and the only one that I’ve ever really enjoyed. It was a rainy night and we got to the venue really early. My cousin’s birthday is next week and she really wanted to meet Kelly, so we were planning on trying to talk our way into the meet and greet. Normally, I have really good luck with this, but sadly it didn’t happen this time.

Once the doors opened, we went in and found our seats. I’m a total seat snob, I like the first three rows…but I have to say, our seats weren’t bad. We were 4 rows up from the floor on the side of the stage, at a very slight angle. It was a good view. Matt Nathanson opened the show. For those of you who aren’t in the know, he sings “Come on Get Higher”. I was impressed. He’s a great performer and a bit of a comedian. His banter with the crowd was a lot of fun.  His set was pretty short, 45 minutes, and I was actually a little bit disappointed when he was finished. I could definitely use more Matt Nathanson in my life, haha.

After a 30 minute intermission, we were ready for the main event. There has been a lot of talk about Kelly’s weight lately, and I’ll say-she looked FANFREAKINGTASTIC! She opened the show with “Dark Side”, which felt a little heavy to me for an opening number, but it was stellar. Next, she served up a trio from “Breakaway”, which in my opinion was her best album, until “Stronger”.  There was a bit of commotion happening in the crowd as she started a Florence and the Machine cover, “Heavy in Your Arms”. You could see security fussing with something. They put a set of stairs in the middle of the floor section and escorted Kelly out to sing the remainder of “Heavy”. It was a nice serenade for the people in the back floor section, as she was literally standing in front of them.

Up next was another cover. Kelly said that for each show, there is a fan pick, it can be ANY song. Unfortunately, she couldn’t remember the name of the fan who chose the song, “Fix You”, by Coldplay. She knocked it out of the ballpark with that one and was almost in tears at the end of the song. After 4 more originals, she gave a nod to Idol alum Carrie Underwood, with a cover of “I Know You Won’t”. We were then on the Clarkson train all the way to the end. Kelly interacted really well with the crowd and giggled a lot. She called out a guy in the front row who was very drunk, but who was having a great time. At one point she noticed someone wearing a shirt with her and former Idol runner up, Justin Guarini on the front. The person ended up throwing the shirt on stage so that she could see it and Kelly commented that their shirt smelled good before she tossed it back to them. She was funny and seemed really happy to be on stage.

Her “last” song was “My Life Would Suck Without You”. Everyone knew she would be back out for an encore, but at that point, my cousin, her friend and I decided we would sneak out to where we had seen the busses. We waited outside for quite a bit, and did see  everyone in the band, but Kelly snuck out the back. Sometimes that’s the way it happens, but it was disappointing for sure!

I wasn’t inside for the encore, but I know that it included “Never Again”,  “Because of You” and a mashup of “Mr. Know-It-All” & “Miss Independent”. Overall, it was a fantastic show. Kelly is a great performer and homegirl can SANG. If you’re on the East Coast, Kelly has more dates upcoming, she’s in Verona, NY tonight and then New York City.  I would definitely check out the show if you get a chance!

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