Saturday, February 11, 2012
Photos and concert review: Kelly Clarkson and Matt Nathanson at Verizon Theatre (February 10)
Dallas fans got a preview of what Clarkson's upcoming performance at the Grammys will be like.
Dallas-Fort Worth's very own American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson came through Grand Prairie Friday night, showing her hometown some love with the chops and the Southern charm we’ve come to love. Clarkson has been busy juggling major national appearances including singing the national anthem at the Super Bowl last week and performing at the Grammys this week, all the while traveling across the country on a nationwide tour for her newest album, Stronger. North Texans showed their love for the hometown sweetheart by selling out Verizon Theatre, making it an energetic show for Clarkson and her opener Matt Nathanson.
Singer/songwriter Nathanson thoroughly entertained the crowd with his acoustic stylings and soft vocals. The Massachusetts native is known for his coffee shop style and sugary lines, which helped bring a different element to the pop-craved audience. He covered Modern English’s “I Melt With You” with an Americanized spin by downgrading the chorus to sound like a verse, making the wildly popular single just another acoustic number in his set list. Friend and fellow vocalist Ashley Arrison stepped out to sing Jennifer Nettles' part (from the band Sugarland) in the romantic single “Run,” which turned out to be his best song of the night.
Men and women alike screamed at the sight of Clarkson’s silhouette behind the sheer floor-to-ceiling curtain that covered the stage during the intro to “Dark Side.” Negative articles about the pop singer shot across the curtain for the opening number, telling a story of how she overcame insults through this song.
Although Clarkson has been busy since the Super Bowl, her voice seemed up to the challenge, and she hit the stretched notes in all of her more difficult numbers.
She introduced “You Love Me” — another track from her newest record, Stronger — by telling the crowd that it had taken her 10 years to write the song because it explained the music industry’s feelings towards her, which brought to light the lyrics: “You say, I'm not good enough, I'm not good enough, but what you really mean is, you're not good enough, you're not good enough.”
The former Idol sang Florence and the Machine’s “Heavy in Your Arms” with a fiery passion similar to the performance by original singer Florence Welch. Clarkson popped up in the middle of the crowd for the song, while her trusty guitarist Cory Churko shredded a lengthy guitar solo. Churko then accompanied the track with an upright bass alongside a snare drum, giving the dramatic number the subtle finesse it demanded. After telling the packed venue how excited she was to be home, Clarkson explained that she wanted to celebrate her 10-year career anniversary with a medley of tracks from each album. While most artists might over-promote a new album while on tour, Clarkson did the opposite by belting out many of her older hits, giving her fans what they came to hear.
A giant digital projection of Jason Aldean singing “Don’t You Wanna Stay” accompanied Clarkson’s rendition of the country ballad, giving Dallas fans a preview of her upcoming Grammy performance with the country singer. She candidly explained how nervous she was performing the anthem at the Super Bowl, saying she was terrified to mess up. She jokingly mentioned to “just ask Christina Aguilera” how that can turn out.
Kelly Clarkson — “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You”)
A touching video of Clarkson’s travels to Africa filled the background during “You Still Won’t Know What It’s Like,” a heart-wrenching song written for underprivileged children in Africa. Her charitable side shined through the words.
Her current #1 single, “Stronger,” ushered in the encore and brought anyone who wasn’t already standing to their feet. Clarkson’s two adorable nieces shared the stage for the encore, dancing to each single while singing along.
Ten years later, Clarkson certainly still has it.