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Review: Kelly Clarkson at Covelli Centre

October 18, 2009 - Andy Gray
Kelly Clarkson is an indie rocker trapped in a pop diva’s career.

At least that’s the image she projected Saturday during her concert at the Covelli Centre. Clarkson didn’t sing “A Moment Like This,” the sappy anthem penned for her when she was the first winner on “American Idol.”

But she did sing songs by The Black Keys and The White Stripes and mashed up Alanis Morissette’s “That I Would Be Good” with a bit of Kings of Leon’s “Use Somebody.”

And she raged against the recording industry machine. After singing the Black Keys’ “Lies,” Clarkson said, “I don’t get to record a lot of this because the people at my record label don’t like it.” She seemed to be talking about Sony BMG when she said that people who tell her what she can’t do can “suck it” as a lead-in to “Impossible.”

She’s also showed off her Texas roots, doing a bluesy take on Patsy Cline’s “Walkin’ After Midnight” and saying that the highlight of her career was getting a phone call from Reba McEntire that she liked her song “Because of You” and wanted to sing it.

That doesn’t mean Clarkson abandoned her catalog of pop hits. The crowd of about 4,500 got to hear all the hits they expected – “Miss Independent,” “I Do Not Hook Up,” “Breakaway,” “Behind These Hazel Eyes,” “Because of You,” “Walk Away,” “Since U Been Gone” and show-closer “My Life Would Suck Without You.” There was also a fun piece of ear candy called “I Want You” that seems likely to join those songs on the pop charts.

Clarkson played around with the arrangements to some of the hits. “Behind These Hazel Eyes” was stripped down so Clarkson could hear the crowd sing along, and the arrangement for “Already Gone” now sounds less like Beyonce’s “Halo,” which was written to the same Ryan Tedder instrumental track.

So, the truth may be that Clarkson is all those things – a pop diva, a country girl and a singer with a Miss Indie-pendent streak. And she delivered it all in a polished 90-minute show backed by nine musicians and two backup singers on a multi-tiered, brightly lit stage that wouldn’t have been out of place in Las Vegas.

All those elements should be contradictory, but Clarkson manages to make them all work and forges a genuine connection with her primarily young, female audience.

Opening act Krista also seemed to add some of those young fans to her base. Her half-hour set blended pop, hip hop and rock, and she went from being a singer few had heard of to one who had a long line of concertgoers waiting to buy her CD and get her autograph at the merchandise table after the show.


1. “All I Ever Wanted”

2. “Miss Independent”

3. “I Do Not Hook Up”

4. “Impossible”

5. “That I Would Be Good”/“Use Somebody” (Alanis Morissette/Kings of Leon mashup)

6. “Breakaway”

7. “If I Can’t Have You”

8. “Never Again”

9. “Lies” (Black Keys cover)

10. “Walkin’ After Midnight” (Patsy Cline cover)

11. “Behind These Hazel Eyes”

12. “Cry”

13. “I Want You”

14. “Ready”

15. “Because of You”

16. “Walk Away”

17. “Since U Been Gone”


18. “Already Gone”

19. ``Seven Nation Army” (White Stripes cover)

20. “My Life Would Suck Without You”


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