‘Breakaway’ concert proves to be thrilling

Jessica MacIntosh - Associate Editor

Jessica MacIntosh – Associate Editor

Jessica MacIntosh

It all started with “A Moment Like This” and continues with the new single “Since U Been Gone.”

On March 30, my boyfriend and I went to the Tulsa Performing Arts Center to see Kelly Clarkson’s Breakaway Tour 2005. Tulsa was the first city on her tour.

I have gone to many concerts over the years ranging from Eric Clapton to the Backstreet Boys, but this one ranks right up there with BSB’s Millennium Tour 1999.

Before taking our seats, I had to go for the $30 concert shirt just to prove I went. I have at least one souvenir from every concert I have been to except Eric Clapton, because the shirts were more than my spending limit, and Norah Jones, because I did not want one.

Sitting about 20 rows close to center stage, I was amazed at how close we were. Honestly, I have never sat that close before except when my mother and I went to see Jones at the Fox Theatre, where we were six rows from the stage. I was pleased.

Of course, there was the typical opening act, the Graham Colton Band from Oklahoma City. Everyone in the auditorium was all over the place once the lights went out, cheering for this unknown act. Being from near St. Louis, I had no clue what everyone was so perky over; I have seen better opening acts.

After 45 minutes of torture, the lights came back on so the road crew could set up for Clarkson. It continually became louder and louder as 15 minutes later the lights were turned down again, and the screaming was unbearable.

The timing for the show amazed me. Every other concert I have gone to has not been on time; that’s why we have a saying in St. Louis, “Nothing ever starts on time.” When Clarkson came on stage, it was right on time.

Performing her current single as the opening number, she got the concert-goers out of their seats and bouncing up and down. Her voice filled the auditorium as she belted those notes with perfection.

She came to St. Louis in 2000 when she was still that blonde-hair, still-clothed young performer. She sings with grace, but nothing can stop Clarkson from coming from behind Christina Aguilera and becoming the new diva.

Throughout the show, she did a mixture of her new material from her sophomore album Breakaway and her previous album Thankful. My favorite song from her new CD is “Gone,” and I was excited when she did that song. The beats are incredible in that song, and it’s catchy.

At one point, her band played while she went backstage for a costume change. She toned it down to sing a few past songs like “Just Missed the Train” and “Thankful.” A song Kelly performed was called “Don’t,” and this song cannot be found in any record store. She said she wrote it during her previous tour with Clay Aiken. Again, she belted it.

Nearing the end, she did cover songs from Janis Joplin, Madonna, Melissa Etheridge, B.B. King and the Eurythmics. If there is one song an artist should redo or sing at a concert, it’s “Sweet Dreams.”

She did a punk version of her famous song “A Moment Like This,” rocking out the house. Of course, Clarkson stunned me when she sang “Miss Independent,” the first single from her freshman album. Her band put new twists to the beats, which is what I like. I don’t want to hear just the album version. I want to hear something different than that, and she brought it.

Her last song “Breakaway” surprised her more than anything. Not even getting into the second line of the song, the audience started singing. Clarkson turned the microphone around to the crowd. It was just she, a violinist and a guitarist.

There may have been some technical problems — it was the first show. But, if there is one tour everyone should go to, it’s Kelly Clarkson. She not only has fun herself, but she can liven up an audience.