Kelly Clarkson in Concert
Saturday, January 26, 2019
Meaning of Life Tour
Special guests: Brynn Cartelli, Kelsea Ballerini
Merchandise purchased: T-Shirt
Songs performed: Peter Pan, Dibs (With elements of I Like Me Better), Legends, Yeah Boy, Get Over Yourself, I Hate Love Songs, Cowboy Take Me Away/The First Cut Is The Deepest/Oops!… I Did It Again, Love Me Like You Mean It, Miss Me More, This Feeling (Kelsea Ballerini); A Moment Like This, Meaning of Life, Walk Away, Love So Soft, Whole Lotta Woman, Behind These Hazel Eyes, Breakaway, Piece by Piece, Because of You/Just Missed the Train/Beautiful Disaster/Sober/Good Goes the Bye/Would You Call That Love, A Minute and a Glass of Wine, Run Run Run (with John Legend), Move You, My Life Would Suck Without You, Heat, Heartbeat Song, Miss Independent (with Brynn Cartelli and Kelsea Ballerini), It’s Quiet Uptown, Never Enough, Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You), Since U Been Gone (Kelly Clarkson)
Comments: Kelly Clarkson made a triumphant return to Southern California on her Meaning of Life Tour. The tour is behind her most recent album — also called Meaning of Life — released in October 2017. The album is her first R&B record, after years of pop ones.
The show started very dramatically — with Kelly in a ballgown — singing her first hit — “A Moment Like This” — a capella. She was at the end of the walkway that stretched out into the audience. This was a great reminder that this was not going to be an ordinary diva concert — the woman can actually sing live. She doesn’t need a bunch of dancers and costume changes to put on a great show.
From that she launched into the title track —“Meaning of Life” — with her full band including 4 excellent backup singers who were given a prominent role during the night. The stage was very clean — with the walkway into the audience (shaped like a microphone) plus small walkways off to the side. There was a large video screen backdrop, as well as smaller screens on the sides too. She had the “party in the pit” general admission tickets nearest the stage. I heard it even had a bar in there.
What’s cool about Kelly is how relatable and likable she is. With all the success she’s had, she still seems like the girl next door. I love the fact that she touched on all of her albums. Plus, she did some songs that were album cuts and fan favorites too (“Just Missed the Train” and “Beautiful Disaster” among others).
She sang 6 songs off of the new album. She has a segment during the show called “A Minute and a Glass of Wine.” This is the part where she has a glass of wine, and goes live on Facebook. For the show I was at, she brought out John Legend to sing “Run, Run, Run” from her “Piece by Piece” album. He is joining her on “The Voice” this season as one of the coaches. It was the first time that the song had been performed live.
She turned “Miss Independent” into a girl power anthem. She brought out her opening acts (Kelsea Ballerini and Brynn Cartelli) to sing the song with her. I loved that she was willing to share the song with them. The songs ended and the trio disappeared into the trap door at the end of the walkway.
When she came back, she had changed outfits and appeared on a pedestal in a blue dress. She celebrated her love of musical theater with 2 songs in the final section by performing “It’s Quiet Uptown” from “Hamilton” and “Never Enough” from “The Greatest Showman.” She had recorded that one for the “The Greatest Showman Reimagined” album.
She saved her biggest anthems for the finale: “Stronger” and “Since U Been Gone.” The crowd was dancing and singing along to them both. It was a fitting ending to another fantastic show from Kelly.
Brynn Cartelli, one of Kelly’s contestants from “The Voice” (whom she coached to a win) opened the show. She’s a singer-songwriter type who had a nice voice. She played the keyboards in addition to singing. Next up was Kelsea Ballerini. I first saw her on tour with Lady Antebellum. She’s put out another album since then, and continued to have more hits on the charts. She is vying for the country-pop lane that Taylor Swift has vacated. She paid tribute to those artists that inspired her including the Dixie Chicks, Sheryl Crow and Britney Spears. She ended her set with her collaboration with the Chainsmokers’ “This Feeling.”
Thanks to Kelly, Kelsea and Brynn for a great night of music. I loved the show!
KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and Real Men Wear Kilts lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.