Kelly Clarkson @ Wembley Arena 20th October 2012

Kelly Brianne Clarkson is the original American Idol after beating Justin Guarini way back in 2002. Winning that contest saw Clarkson finish runner up in World Idol a year later. This was the 3rd time I had witnessed Kelly live and the 2nd tour I had attended. Whereas back in 2009 the album backing it was All I Ever Wanted, this time the album which was backing the tour was her 5th studio LP and this being Stronger. Kelly Clarkson is someone I want to see over and over again as she has some amazing pop songs under her belt. Tunes such as Breakaway, Miss Independent, Never Again, My Life Would Suck Without You are classics and you just want to go crazy whenever you listen to them. Once Kelly announced she was revisiting the UK I knew I wanted to attend. She was to play Wembley Arena which was the same choice of venue back in 2010. Once I had my ticket it was then onto what time I wanted to get to the venue. Back in 2010 I arrived around 5 hours before doors and at The Borderline last year it was sometime early in the afternoon. Now I really wanted to make the barrier so I decided to get the 6.37am train into London which resulted me in being at Wembley Arena around 8am. There were two entrances the South East and North East. I chose to queue on the North East side and it was then a long wait till the doors opened at 6pm. It did help that I had a couple of friends which attended. Now that made the hours pass quickly. The time doors opened they did screw everyone queuing at the North East entrance. Even though we were told both entrances would open at the same time the whole front barrier was taken by the time people in North East entered the standing space.

After a brief introduction the white curtain rose around about 9.15pm revealing the band. Kelly Clarkson then emerged from the back and opened with My Life Would Suck Without You which was taken from her last album All I Ever Wanted. If it’s usual for a gig to make you feel happy inside then this was the one to do just that. This tune was Kelly’s only #1 single over here and she is in fact the only American Idol contestant to top the charts in this country. My Life Would Suck Without You was an infectious pop rock song which perfect verses and a powerful chorus which you cant help but sing along to. It was then straight onto the rocking Behind These Hazel Eyes which was taken from the sophomore album Breakaway. I must admit this song was delivered strongly and everyone was singing along to the words. This tune oozed bundles of energy. Something from the latest LP followed and this being I Forgive You. I remember back at The Borderline last year Kelly only sang a few lines from this Stronger track. I found this track to be infectious power pop which was phenomenally delivered. I found I Forgive You to have catchy hooks and an amazing chorus. “What’s going on London? OK, two things. I friggin love your country. I’m so glad, we’ve been going for literally over a year some of us on stage and we are very, very happy to end our tour in this country we love it. You’ve always been good to me ever since 10 years ago when I started. So thank y’all very much for coming out. And also this is our very last show of this tour so it’s bittersweet but we are really excited” Clarkson said to the packed crowd. “This next song I’m going to do for you. I love any kind of song that’s kind of sad and sweet at the same time and that’s this song for me. It’s my last single off my last record” she then went onto say before playing Dark Side. I liked this tune, it’s verses were smooth/ gentle and then you had the chorus which was packed with a punch. Walk Away followed on and this being one of Kelly’s favourite songs to perform live. Walk Away was a pop/ rock tune which was very upbeat. Clarkson literally belted this out and it sounded incredible live. “This next song we’re going to do for you. I actually wrote this for this album. The last 10 years it took me a while to write this song. There’s just a lot of assholes in our industry. There’s a lot of good people too. It just took me a while to get my head around the way people love sometimes. So I very sarcastically wrote this song” Kelly then said before tackling another song from the 5th LP and this being You Love Me. This was such a phenomenal song. First it sounded completely wonderful, secondly it is infectious and lastly it was delivered at a fast pace. I really enjoyed the lyrics to this song.

Once over Clarkson then left the stage only to return for the next tune and this being a cover of FUN.’s We Are Young. Clarkson’s take on this was both unique and spectacular. We Are Young was a beautiful ballad which started off with Kelly singing a verse on the main stage then as soon as she reached the chorus she left the stage to go to the back of the arena. “How y’all doing back here?” Clarkson said after she had delivered her own unique take on the beautiful We Are Young. It was then onto a slightly emotional pop ballad and this being Already Gone. Kelly stayed at the back again for this tune and once over she then made her way to the main stage. The white screen then lowered only for Jason Aldean to be projected onto it. Clarkson then came out from the side of the stage to perform duet Don’t You Wanna Stay. This was completely different to anything she has released. Don’t You Wanna Stay was country pop and appears on My Kinda Party Aldean’s 4th studio album. This track actually worked very well and I enjoyed its sleekness. “So it’s come to my favourite part of the show. It’s called Fan Request. Everybody asks me to cover songs. I love music, I love all kinds of music. My musical director Jason came up with this awesome idea to let someone from each audience that we perform in front of. Someone in that audience can pick a song that we perform that night. Just to make your show a little special because you know it’s on YouTube. Like right now” Kelly then said to the audience. “We had a request for a Patty Griffin song. I love the song that was picked actually It’s my favourite Patty Griffin. It’s called Kite. We actually thought it would be cool to do, since this is our last time performing on a KC stage together. We thought it would be cool to do a song that we’ve performed together. We were all room mates at one point. We used to sing this around the house cos we’re totally Glee. We used to sing this song in 3 part harmony all the time” she then went onto say. The choice of song was When It Don’t Come Easy by Patty Griffin. Clarkson’s take on this was stripped back and it was only Jill and Kate backing her. This cover got the cheers and it was really lovely as well. The harmonising was spot on and breathtaking at the same time.

I’m going to do this next song and I wrote it when I was like 16. It’s a very personal song. It’s probably the most personal song I ever released as a single and it’s just about disfunction and families” Kelly mentioned to the packed crowd explaining the meaning behind Because of You. As expected this turned into a massive sing a long with everyone swaying their arms from side to side. Because Of You was an emotional but beautiful ballad and it is probably my favourite tracks from sophomore album Breakaway. It was then backed with another beautiful ballad and this being the title track of the sophomore album and this being Breakaway. This had infectious lyrics and everyone sang along to its chorus. I really liked this slow paced song and its verses were stunning. I especially liked the middle 8. “This next song that I’m going to do for you. My label came up with the idea of releasing a Greatest Hits. At first I was like what the hell does that mean. Like I’m old and down out. Anyway it was just a compliment. I got on board after a while and Jason my musical director ended up writing a song specifically. This is the first single for it and this song kind of just captures the last 10 years of my life and it ends on a positive note” Clarkson said before embarking onto something brand new. This being Catch My Breath which is the lead single from Greatest Hits: Chapter 1. There was an electropop vibe to this tune and it is one that has grown on me since the first time I heard it on the radio. After hearing it live I can say that I am fully in love with it. Catch My Breath was an uplifting song with a punchy chorus and spectacular verses. Since U Been Gone ending which was a magical evening. This Breakaway tune was a pleasing one and it also resulted in plenty of people going crazy by jumping up and down to its powerful chorus. Once over Kelly left the stage only to return moments later for the amazing encore. The encore opened with My December track Never Again. This song had been stripped back and it was fully acoustic with Kelly’s strong vocals and a keyboard. The tune had been slowed down a lot compared to the version on the album. Clarkson’s vocal performance was strong and faultless. It was then onto the lead single from the current album Stronger and this being Mr. Know It All. I found this to be very uplifting with both upbeat and luscious lyrics plus it was infectious as well. Infused to its ending was Kelly’s debut UK single and this being the rocking Miss Independent. The song itself was extremely strong with some catchy lyrics. I liked the part at the end when the song slows down. It’s simply beautiful and everyone was going wild for this track. Clarkson then signed off with the albums title track and this being What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger) This song explored the theme of empowerment. It was delivered to perfection, oozed plenty of energy and Kelly belted out its chorus.

SET LIST

My Life Would Suck Without You
Behind These Hazel Eyes
I Forgive You
Dark Side
Walk Away
You Love Me
We Are Young (FUN. Cover)
Already Gone
Don’t You Wanna Stay
When It Don’t Come Easy (Patty Griffin Cover)
Because of You
Breakaway
Catch My Breath
Since U Been Gone

ENCORE

Never Again
Mr. Know It All
Miss Independent
What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger)

OVERALL: This was the 3rd Kelly Clarkson gig I had attended and as I expected the night was spectacular. Yes there was an issue when people over at South East got in before people over in North East but I managed to get second row in the end. The warm up act were Cover Drive. Prior to the show I wasn’t a fan of the band. I had only heard the one song and that being Twilight. Still I really enjoyed the set which consisted of No Doubt’s Just A Girl, Lick Ya Down, Twilight, 2 versions of Explode and a few others.

As for KC words cannot describe how amazed I was. I enjoyed it so much it made me happy inside and that is something that doesn’t happen often. I simply adore Kelly’s music and it is always a pleasure seeing it performed live. It was surprising that it wasn’t a sell out which is a shame because Clarkson is a phenomenal singer/ songwriter.

I look forward to the Greatest Hits Tour.

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