- Kelly Clarkson
- April 5, The Pearl
Unlike a lot of other pop stars, Kelly Clarkson doesn’t fill her concerts with dance troupes, elaborate costumes or intricate set design. Her April 5 show at the Pearl kept the focus squarely on her stellar voice and catchy, well-crafted songs. The closest thing to a dance number was Clarkson jumping up and down onstage, and the closest thing to a costume change involved the singer changing her shirt a couple of times (she also delivered her entire performance in bare feet).
The Texan Clarkson has always been casual and humble in her approach to performing, and she gushed over nearly every song during her too-short 80-minute set, introducing seemingly half of them as her “favorite” something. “This is my favorite song I’ve ever written,” she said before performing the sarcastic kiss-off “You Love Me,” probably the best song from her new album Stronger.
Other high points included the fierce “Walk Away,” angsty rocker “Never Again,” changed into a roiling piano ballad, and ballad “Already Gone,” given a layered a cappella intro. As usual, Clarkson’s creative choice of covers was another highlight. This time around, she sounded sultry and ominous on Florence + The Machine’s “Heavy in Your Arms,” she belted out Carrie Underwood’s “I Know You Won’t” like she was still working to win American Idol, and she offered up a sweet and playful take on Olivia Newton-John’s “Hopelessly Devoted to You.” “I just love music,” she explained sweetly about her enthusiasm for cover songs, and that love shone through in every moment of the show.