Review: Kelly Clarkson at Vector Arena

By Jacqueline Smith

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Grammy winner Kelly Clarkson at the Vector Arena last night. Photo / Greg Bowker
Grammy winner Kelly Clarkson at the Vector Arena last night. Photo / Greg Bowker

Kelly Clarkson's string of record deals and packed stadium concerts are why people continue to want to watch and audition for Idol shows.

She's proof that an ordinary girl from Texas with a big personality and an even bigger voice can be as successful as any other idolised angsty girl pop star.

A lot can change in eight years - since winning American Idol in 2002 Clarkson has released four albums, won two Grammys and, well, relaxed her diet a bit, but she is still that Girl Next Door who won over America, and the world, back then.

Last night was Clarkson's first visit to New Zealand and her young fans, who did a good job of filling Vector Arena, were literally jumping with excitement.

Eric Hutchinson warmed the crowd with his cheeky, slightly geeky jazz-pop numbers, leading an already squealing audience in what he called an "oh"-off.

Then Clarkson blasted the stadium with her tour's title song, the ever-so-catchy All I Ever Wanted.

Her seven-piece band and stage set up was understated and so was she - in flat shoes, black pants and a baby blue T-Shirt - but as she shook her blonde head, bounced about the stage with the mic stand and pelted out her (mostly distressful) lyrics, she showed that really it was about her voice, and that it didn't need any trimmings.

Chatting away to her audience between big ballads, Clarkson told the crowd that she had been at the venue the night before to watch Carole King, one of her own idols.

What an act to follow, she gushed, adding that she was sorry she was a bit too lazy for any costume changes.

The crowd didn't mind. All they wanted was to scream and jump-along to her singles.

And in between heartfelt tributes to blues legends the Black Keys and Keith Urban, she delivered them all: Breakaway, Because of You, Already Gone and it was all topped off with My Life Would Suck Without You.

There was no flounce, no swearing and no fizzing encore, but Clarkson came, and that was all the audience ever wanted.

- NZ Herald

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