Kelly Clarkson Concert Review

So Kelly Clarkson Week comes to a close with the event we’ve all been waiting for (or at least, the event I’ve been waiting for) -- The My December Tour at Mohegan Sun.

The show was EVERYTHING I’d hoped it would be. Kelly’s voice is really something special in person. The concert was worth every cent I paid to attend.

The show started about 10 minutes late, with opening act Jon McLaughlin taking the stage. He’s got a decent piano pop sound, but mostly the crowd was just there for Kelly. Still, they cheered his music, which really wasn’t bad.

There was one funny moment when he was introducing a song, telling the story of how he wrote it, then said, “this is ‘Beautiful Disaster.’” As everyone in attendance knows, that’s the name of a Kelly Clarkson song, so the crowd went nuts. One problem. Jon McLaughlin has his own song called “Beautiful Disaster.” It’s not bad, but it’s not what the crowd was expecting. Needless to say, we got quiet pretty quick.

After his set, lots of people went to the concourse to buy his album -- for $10. Really not a bad price for a CD. However, I decided to do it my way -- I hopped on the iTunes WiFi Store on my iPhone and found the album, for just $7.99. I’d purchased and downloaded the entire thing before I even made it to the front of the line. I love my iPhone.

Now it was time for the main event.

The curtain opened and Kelly started the show in the “My December” cover dress on the stairs, singing a couple bars from the album’s closing track, “Irvine.” Then the stage got dark and the show really began.

Kelly opened with “One Minute”, one of the better, fast-paced tracks off her new album, then, after a quick intro, she launched right into “Behind These Hazel Eyes”, which you know got me going. I loved it so much that I had to capture some of it. So if you call my phone now, you’ll get a brief snippet of how awesome it was.

Next up was, as Kelly described it, the “I hate men” part of the show, with “Don’t Waste Your Time” and “Never Again.” Both of these songs are very angry, but have great energy and are so much fun to sing along to at the top of your lungs. At this point, I was already starting to lose my voice, but it was worth it.

The three-song swing of “Maybe”, “Gone” and “Hole” was a nice bridge to the slower part of the show. Following “Hole”, Kelly went into a little storyteller mode, explaining how the next song was her favorite, which made me so happy when I heard the opening strands of “Addicted”. I know I didn’t list it as my actual No. 1 favorite, but it’s use in my favorite Buffy mashup video gives it a special place in my heart.

Then, with a reduced band and set, Kelly brought the house to tears with my personal favorite song “Because of You.” I’m not gonna lie, it was a little dusty in the arena. I could have left right there and been COMPLETELY satisfied, having heard her perform that masterpiece live.

Of course, I didn’t leave, even when things slowed WAY down with the gospel song “Up to the Mountain”. More people went to the concourse during that one song than the other 18 combined. “Be Still” was next, and I’m not a huge fan of it, but it’s a good song to hear live.

After bringing back the rest of the band and re-opening the full set, Kelly did “Miss Independent”, which was pretty much the only appearance of anything off her first album, though she totally owned it. Then came “How I Feel”, a very similar song that had the crowd literally jumping (I did no jumping -- I’m fat and my knees can’t take it).

“Breakaway” was next, and was by far the biggest sing-along song. Kelly put the mike to the crowd a few times, and I was singing with everyone else. “Walk Away” had everyone just as excited.

Kelly wrapped things up with her two “drink” songs -- “Sober” and “Chivas”. Then, after a brief departure from the set, she came back and rocked it with “Since U Been Gone”, which is just an amazing song to jam to with 10,000 of your closest friends.

I don’t I personally could have had a better time. Then again, I’m not an “American Idol” fan. For those that are, this show is NOT for you. She made no direct reference to the show at all (the only indirect reference was when she was thanking everyone for their support, she said “everyone who bought my albums, came to my shows, voted for me or whatever”). And she didn’t perform either of her “Idol” finale hits: “Before Your Love” or “A Moment Like This”. I know she’s trying to distance herself from the show, but the songs were VERY conspicuous in their absence. Still, it didn’t even come close to putting a downer on a perfect night.