Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Kelly Clarkson Conquers Perth


Two and a half years ago I went to Kelly Clarkson's All I Ever Wanted tour a mildly-interested casual fan and left preaching the gospel of Kelegend. There's something utterly compelling about her combination of raw talent and natural charm that just draws you in. Since then, the inaugural American Idol winner has had something of a career revival. She released the best album of her career in 2011 and returned to number one on the US singles chart with the double-platinum selling smash "Stronger". I was curious to see if her current success reflected in the stage show and was oddly relieved that it was just as low key as her last tour. Kelly doesn't fuck around with choreography, costume changes and lighting concepts. She just sings her heart out and wins the crowd over with her funny anecdotes and down-to-earth personality. I wouldn't have it any other way.


"My Life Would Suck Without You" eloquently describes how many of us were feeling when the perky pop star walked on stage singing what will inevitably become her signature tune. I love that Kelly just put her hair back in a ponytail, threw on a pair of old jeans and a sparkly top that she could well have picked up at Target. Your fave could never and you know it! That modern classic was followed by the equally stellar "Behind These Hazel Eyes", which still sounds better than just about anything on the radio. The Texan superstar then belted out a trio of songs from Stronger. "I Forgive You" - AKA the ultimate wasted opportunity - was always destined to be a massive single but I guess now it will have to settle for live favourite status. How shit. It really is a great song. I loved "Dark Side" went it leaked initially but I'm a little bit over it now and was vastly more excited to hear "You Love Me", which is probably my favourite non-single of last year.


Next up was her desperate "Halo" rip-off "Already Gone" (Ryan Tedder's fault, not hers) and a surprise rendition of her amazing Jason Aldean duet "Don't You Wanna Stay". I didn't think we'd get much country Kelly but we got a double dose when she announced that her fan request for the evening would be Carrie Underwood's "Blown Away". It just so happens that I went to the show with Australia's biggest Carrie fan and she howled through the entire song and couldn't move afterward because of "the emotion". Obviously, she is a crazy lady but I was only slightly less moved. Kelly's rendition of the haunting ballad was absolutely exquisite. She pared the song back to its bare bones and emphasised the dark lyrics, turning Carrie's American smash into an eerie lullaby. After the country detour, the famed football fan performed the best of Breakaway - belting out pitch-perfect renditions of "Because Of You", the title track and "Since U Been Gone".


The world's favourite girl-next-door then closed the show with "Stronger". I know it's one of the biggest hits of her entire career but I still think it sounds like a Cher B-side. Which should be a good thing but strangely isn't. After the shortest of breaks, Kelly returned in a stunning fitted dress for the encore. She looked adorable and nailed a beautifully-arranged ballad version of "Never Again". I need an mp3! "Mr Know It All" - another big hit I'm not overly fond of - sounded infinitely better live but I was more excited to hear "Miss Independent", the only song from her debut to make the setlist. Kelly ended the show with a rousing cover of Fun.'s "We Are Young" with support acts The Fray and Sarah DeBono. It was an refreshingly ego-free closing number (how many divas close their shows with a cover?) that underlines why the 30-year-old remains one of pop's favourite daughters. She's just here to sing and do her thing. Nothing else matters.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Not here for Kelly Fatson. Isn't she like 43?

Mike said...

^ GOODBYE!

davidsask said...

Loved the review have yet to see Kelly in concert!

Anonymous said...

Great review but have to disagree, Breakaway was the biggest album of her career. Stronger hasn't and most probably won't sell 12 million like Breakway did.

Mike said...

I didn't say biggest, I said best. I just prefer Stronger to Breakaway. It has the right balance of upbeat pop/rock, ballads and even a bit of country. I know a lot of people disagree...

bomitoni said...

Mike, I can forgive your Beyoncé obsession because she's pretty. But Kelly Clitface? At least we have Toy!

Anonymous said...

Her last 2 albums seem really thrown together. There's no flow like breakaway or My December. They just seem like a bunch of random pop rock songs that her label has agreed with all thrown together on one album. I can't even listen to 'Einstein'. That literally has to be the worst song she has recorded.

The next album she needs to make needs to be true Kelly. An honest, from the heart country/rock album. More mainstream than My December, less safe than Stronger.

Anonymous said...

kelly clarkson is so fat that when she stepped on the scale it said 1 person at a time please

Mike said...

^Your mother really should have had an abortion.

However, I agree with the person that trashed "Einstein" - what a shocker - but I love the rest of Stronger particularly "You Love Me", "I Forgive You", "War Is Over" and "Breaking Your Own Heart".

Anonymous said...

HAHA ANNOYMOUS IS PROPERLY 10 TIMES BIGGER THEN KELLY CLARKSON

Anonymous said...

Actually I'm rather slim and gym fit. But nice try gurl.

JamesF said...

Einstein isn't the worst song she's recorded - 'Don't be a girl about it' is.

But, I still love 'Stronger' - buying the deluxe edition was the best thing I ever did! So many stunning, flawless tracks.

Anonymous said...

Kelly sucks so much right now.
Breakaway is her only amazing album. My December is decent. Stronger is trash.

Sexbox said...

Mike, I keep my mouth shut about your Beyoncé obsession just because your reviews are so fun. Also, I realize how many baby's souls the Knowles family had to sell to the devil to make the world love their nappy haired horse face Beyonshit. However, unlike Bomitoni I will admit, I have never been a Kelly Clitface face (I believe i coined that nickname back in Chicago whenever the gay bars played her videos) but I agree that she is talented and releases catchy singles. I actually am planning on buying her greatest hits. Keep up the good work....and thank you for always covering Solange, Michelle and Kelly. At least you aren't a blinded Beyonce fan lol

Mike said...

LMAO! Best comment ever!

JackMC said...

Did you get the ballad version of "Never Again"? It's on her iTunes session that was released last year.

JackMC said...

Did you get the ballad version of "Never Again"? It is on her iTunes session that was released last year.