Miss Independent herself, Kelly Clarkson, performed to a near capacity crowd in Northern California on her Stronger Tour. The songstress has been back in the limelight as of late. National television ads and her gig on Duets along with a platinum selling single have catapulted her back to the level of fame she held years ago. Now, there’s the amphitheater tour where Clarkson is proving night after night that her voice may literally be the strongest in the music industry.
The Fray opened the show with a predictable set. Lead singer Isaac Slade did laps around the entire venue, even venturing all the way up to the lawn seats. Even that couldn’t bring the audience back. The songs started to fuse together, each melody sounding exactly the same as the last. Slade found his groove on the piano bench and that’s where the best material of the night came from. “How To Save A Life,” received the biggest ovation. The Fray is a talented band, just not that engaging live.
When Clarkson emerged on stage and hit her first note, she made it clear that the head liner had arrived. In an era of weak live voices made fuller with auto tune in a studio, it’s refreshing to witness Clarkson belt out hit song after hit song perfectly. Although the stage production was monumental it wasn’t needed. She can hold an audience’s attention all on her own.
The audience ranged in age dramatically. Senior citizens to toddlers roamed the lawn but all of them seemed to know the lyrics to timeless Clarkson tunes like “Hazel Eyes,” and “Miss Independent.” There wasn’t a dull moment during her 90 minute set. Much like The Fray, she got closer to the audience performing on two raised platforms near the cheap seats. Bringing her backup singers with her, Clarkson sang three songs directly in front of a few diehard fans. Their shocked facial expressions got more attention than the headliner did. Even Clarkson had to take a minute and laugh a bit mid song.
The night ended abruptly with Kelly racing off into the wings of the stage, leaving her fans to cheer for an encore. She obliged and performed a few more which included her most recent hit “Stronger,” which fittingly closed out the night. Although the fans came to hear all her songs, one of the highlights was her cover of “Wide Awake,” which brought the audience to their feet. It just proves that Kelly can sing almost anything and leave a crowd wanting more.