It was a unique kind of concert Friday night at the DTE Energy Music Theater in Clarkston, Mich. It wasn’t a concert aimed at pyrotechnic display, or at waking up the neighborhood. It was a concert aimed at the sole thing that fans came to see: an entertaining show.
A blinding, bright white light encompassed the entire pavilion as the shadow of a figure walked into its beam.
This silhouette stood in the light, being hidden from all else, until suddenly, blaring from every amplifier, came her hit song, “My Life Would Suck Without You.”
The lights came down a bit, revealing Kelly Clarkson as she sang and as her band played. Former American Idol winner, Clarkson disappointed none with a passionate, energetic set, spanning her whole career of music, playing everything from older songs like “Miss Independent” to her newest single “Dark Side.”
Aside from showcasing her greatest hits, Clarkson tried something different. The tone of the concert changed as she delivered a truly unique rock cover of Eminem’s “Lose Yourself,” which met great enthusiasm by the crowd, helped by the fact that Eminem was a local star. Clarkson then performed another cover — Fun’s “We Are Young.”
Clarkson also covered Miranda Lambert’s “Mama’s Broken Heart,” performing a duet with special guest Jordan Meredith from the TV show, “Duets.” Later in the set, she performed “Don’t You Wanna Stay,” a song that originally featured Jason Aldean. But, in perhaps a tease of what was to come, his part was performed by none other than Isaac Slade, vocalist for The Fray.
Clarkson ended strong, quite literally, with her song “What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger).”
Almost completely opposite of Clarkson’s blinding, white entrance, came The Fray. Entering from stage right under cover of darkness, the Colorado band took their places behind drum sets, keyboards and microphone stands, and settled in for what was going to be an incredible set.
Starting strong with a classic, “All At Once,” The Fray delivered an excellent performance, exerting as much passion on the stage as they seem to do in the studio. The performance moved to a slower, sadder note as Slade explained that guitarist and backup vocalist Joe King hails from Aurora, Colo., and they dedicated the following few songs to the victims of the Aurora shootings.
While each member of the band performed vigorously in their own right, it was Slade who really grabbed attention, moving to multiple positions throughout the show. Whether he was front-center on the microphone, in the middle of the stage playing piano, or walking through the crowd, while still singing, on the way to a piano located further in to the pavilion, Slade led the performance with his energy and passion.
After covering The Temptations’ “Ain’t Too Proud To Bed,” they moved into two of their greatest hits, “How To Save A Life” and “Over My Head,” giving the concert an ending that holds true to the passion displayed within it.
The Fray and Clarkson truly did what any fan hopes to see at a concert: they put on an entertaining show and they did not disappoint.