Sunday, October 28, 2007
Feels Like The First Time
I would climb any mountain
Sail across a stormy sea
If that's what it takes me baby
To show you how much you mean to me
You know how too much of a good thing can make you forget how much you liked it at the beginning. How that chicken parmagiana from your favorite restaurant still tastes good but maybe a little too familiar? Or that long time favorite vacation spot that still has a beautiful view but one that may not take your breath away every time?
Friday night, I traveled with friends to New York City see a tribute to Neil Sedaka for his 50 years of hits. We knew Clay Aiken would be performing so we decided it might be a fun evening all around. We met up with friends from all over including Canada and New Orleans and I know there were people who had come from the West Coast. And while that might have created awe in year's past, it didn't seem out of the ordinary any more.
We'd heard Clay sing Solitaire many times since Neil Sedaka night on American Idol in 2003. He returned to Idol on the following season and sang a bit of it there. He's sung it on TV. He encored with it during his 2004 solo tour. He does a great job with it but the song itself, while well written, can get old. It's not exactly your upbeat, pepppy song with a hook and a beat you can dance to.
So I went because I love the chance to see Clay live and I enjoy New York. The line up of guest acts honoring Neil Sedaka looked interesting and it turned out to be just that. Iconic acts like Connie Francis and Dion performed along with promising new acts like Renee Olsteed. But the funny thing is on the ride to NYC, we kept talking about what else we wanted Clay to sing besides Solitaire. It was like we were looking past the old, familiarity of Solitaire and hoping for something new.
David Foster teased us with a possible Clay entrance a couple of times and then introduced him to a nice hand. Clay walked out in an expensive pinstriped suit with great hair (always important)and a big smile. He adjusted the microphone higher, smiled at the audience and began to sing.
He crafted that song like a master painter works a canvas. He started out slow and soft, almost as if the sad storyteller has a wistful hope that the girl will return. He used his hands as much as he used his voice. As the song built, so did the anguish of the storyteller. He transitioned from notes that floated on air to notes that vibrated into your chest to notes that cut slivers from your heart.
The glory note was 12 seconds long and the fans rose to their well decked out feet. By the time he wailed that last ounce of pain and regret, the majority of the crowd was standing, including the entire Sedaka box.
And I guess it's just the singer in you
That brings out the fan in me
I know I can't help myself
You're all in the world to me
Perhaps words are not enough and you need to see and hear it for yourself.
And it feels like the first time
Like it never did before
Feels like the first time
Like we've opened up the door
The first time? You mean four and a half years ago?
Here's to many more first times, from his fun appearance on November 1st on a charity edition of Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader to his Broadway debut as Sir Robin in Monty Python's Spamalot from January 18-May 4, 2008. And I think there's the familiar,warm blanket of his annual Christmas tour in between.
Posted by Corabeth at 2:07 PM