After the hype, here is the scoop on the Clay concert at the Biltmore last week.
Everything exceeded expectations.
We travelled to Asheville from Charlotte on Saturday [husband, myself, and 2 newbies – um, friends]. Spent the afternoon languidly walking around downtown Asheville in upwards of 95 degree heat. Asheville is larger than I thought it would be, and had tons of unique shops. We hit Izzy’s, a small coffee shop that serves frozen mochas that surpass Starbucks’ by far. I bought a stone necklace for $7 [no not at Izzy’s.] And I sheparded [read “rushed”] the group back to the hotel to change for dinner and sheparded [read “rushed” again] them out of the Fig Bistro [excellent macaroni fromage [read “upscale macaroni and cheese’] by the way] without letting anyone even think about ordering dessert so that we can get to the concert on time [read “an hour early”]. And husband called me “Clay Nazi.” Yeah, so what?
I was right we had to park far away from the venue and take a shuttle bus to the Biltmore House. The newbies got their first taste of Clay mania [not counting mine of course] in that parking lot – cars spray-painted with “Honk if you love Clay Aiken”, “Clay’s our angel”, “Clay mobile”… you get the picture.
The house, as you can see above, looked, well, like a castle. Our seats were actually quite close to the stage. As we watched the ball of the red sun set over the mountains, a man sitting next to my [male] friend started talking to him, and I knew that an attempted Clay-version was going on and husband and I tried our best not to watch – we had not warned him about this phenomenan.
Clay came out and there was the usual screaming. And he was hoarse, poor thing, but his voice warmed up over the night. And the bats flew across the sky right over the stage. So there was banter about the bats. And attempts to cover the bright white teeth while singing so as to not attract the bats. And a bug flew down into Angela’s [back-up singer’s] shirt [read tits] and she ran off. And Clay made reference to the bug being lost down a black hole.
Oh, and I noted on my last review that he did not sing one of my favorite songs in New Jersey – and after intermission, I heard the first few notes of that song and screamed my ass off. [Are you reading my blog, Clay? Of course you are [humor me here].
Our friends were into the “whole experience”, so wanted to share the bus line event. I have NEVER seen so many people on the bus line in my life. Look at the picture above. That is the lawn, and the bus was parked on the road, on the left there. The line wrapped around that whole lawn, all four sides, and then down the middle for good measure. We are talking thousands of people here. Thousands. And we waited. We chatted with people in line. One woman fainted and paramedics came and noone budged from that line.
He came out at midnight. And he touched every one of those peoples’ hands. Every one.