One item not to bring to a Kelly Clarkson concert: a vuvezela.
In the middle of her Stronger tour tradition of announcing the night's fan-requested cover song -- this time, it was Florence and the Machine's "Shake it Out" -- the season-one American Idol champ was interrupted by a foreign sound at her Sunday show at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, N.J.
"What was that?" asked Clarkson of the noise, which was coming from the audience and not her backing band.
The source: a fan's vuvezela, a plastic horn that emits a loud and flat note, often seen in the stands at international soccers matches. The jovial Clarkson (rocking an Ozzy Osbourne shirt) played along with the fan, even holding out the microphone for a demonstration. As she continued her set, the noise started again.
"Are you kidding? You cannot keep doing that. I will come down there and put that where the sun don't shine," she said. "I have attention disorders. I can't pay attention. If if goes with the song, I will call you on stage."
Of course, she was laughing the whole time. You really can't distract Clarkson, try as you might. Her band even tried to throw her off course by beginning the guitar licks of Guns 'n Roses "Sweet Child Of Mine" -- inspiring an impromptu recreation of the Axl Rose side-skate dance.
Sunday's show boasted several highlights. There was a cover of fun. and "We Are Young" that began with Clarkson accompanied by a piano and ended with the power-singer and her backup singers vaulting into the center of the amphitheatre for a crowd singalong. Then there was a a duet with Isaac Slade of The Fray on "Don't You Wanna Stay" -- a welcome substitute for the Jason Aldean hologram included in an earlier version of the tour. (It's always good to see Clarkson playing off an in-the-flesh human being versus a video screen.) And, of course, she always covers Florence and the Machine to perfection; her earlier cover of the group's "Heavy in Your Arms" was a treat back back in January, during an Atlantic City stop.
Also of note: Clarkson is having a blast touring with The Fray and Carolina Liar. She said it's great to be on the road with people she likes, and the groups are having a contest to see which act hosts the best party each night. Our money is on Clarkson, but The Fray have a wicked sense of humor -- the band even crashed Carolina Liar's set by sauntering across the stage carrying instuments, texting and casually taking cell calls in the middle of a song.
Check out Clarkson's "Shake It Out" cover and stage rap below:
- Kelly Clarkson
- American Idol
- Florence and the Machine
- PNC Bank Arts Center