Over 16 years after singing it on the season finale of American Idol, America's idol Kelly Clarkson began her new tour by going back to the beginning

By Dave Quinn
January 25, 2019 01:25 PM
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Over 16 years after singing it on the season finale of American Idol, America’s idol Kelly Clarkson launched her Meaning of Life Tour at the Oracle Arena in Oakland with an acoustic version of her first hit, “A Moment Like This.”

It was a full circle moment for Clarkson’s fans for sure, who had waited three years to see Clarkson hit the road again (her last tour was for 2015’s Piece by Piece).

Dressed in a ballgown with a sequin red and black skirt, the singer and two-time winning Voice coach, 36, hit every note of the tune with perfect precision, according to video from the number shared by The Mercury News‘ Jim Harrington on Twitter.

“Dance with us. Sing with us. And let’s just have a good time,” she told the crowd afterwards, Harrington reported.

What followed from there, according to a setlist posted by a fan, was at least 25 tunes from Clarkson’s career — including “Love So Soft,” “Heat,” and “Whole Lotta Woman,” all off her eighth studio album, Meaning of Life.

Other tunes from her canon of hits — like “Behind These Hazel Eyes,” “Heartbeat Song,” “Because of You,” “Walkaway,” and “My Life Would Suck Without You” — also made the cut.

There were unexpected entries, like “Just Missed the Train” (off her first album, Thankful) and “Sober” (off her third album, 2007’s My December).

Opening artists Brynn Cartelli and Kelsea Ballerini joined Clarkson and her 12-piece band on stage for one song: Clarkson’s second-ever single, “Miss Independent.”

Clarkson ended the set with a one-two punch of two of her happiest hits: “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” and “Since U Been Gone.”

Kelly Clarkson
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Kelly Clarkson
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Brynn Cartelli
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Kelsea Ballerini
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Instagram/themrkingalex

Of course, Clarkson — everyone’s favorite cover queen — sang some covers, as well.

“It’s Quiet Uptown,” the Hamilton tune Clarkson recorded for The Hamilton Mixtape, and “Never Enough,” the Greatest Showman tune Clarkson recorded for The Greatest Showman Reimagined, got their own spots.

Halfway through the show, she belted out a cover over Miranda Lambert‘s “Tin Man.”

That number came during a Facebook Live streaming episode of her webisode, Minute and a Glass of Wine — something Clarkson said she’ll be doing every night of her tour in an effort to get to fans who might not be able to make it to see her in concert.

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Clarkson has been busy, managing life with her four kids and her time on the road while still filming The Voice and prepping for her upcoming talk show, The Kelly Clarkson Show.

“Apparently they’re just handing them out,” she joked with the crowd, in her A Minute and a Glass of Wine episode. “I was like, ‘You’re going to give me a whole show?’ I’m never going to shut up.’ It’s finally paying off, Mom. She’s a teacher and she was so embarrassed because I’d always get called in. I was always a good student but I would never shut up. You know what, because God knew!”

To prep for The Kelly Clarkson Show, Clarkson’s A Minute and a Glass of Wine segment will also include Clarkson speaking with a number of everyday heroes to highlight “amazing humans” to help create “an awesome domino effect of kindness.”

“I feel like this is more needed now than ever,” Clarkson said. “Everyone is just so divided now. And we have far more commonalities than differences.”

On Thursday’s show, that was nurse Allyn Pierce, who helped save lives during November’s deadly Camp Fire. For his efforts, Clarkson gave him a $1,000 gift card.

After the show, Clarkson shared a shot of her and Pierce to Instagram.

“Thank you so much #Oakland loved kicking my tour off with y’all! Thanks for being such a killer audience and thanks #AllynPierce for being such an amazing human!” she wrote. “We’re coming for you #Fresno see y’all tomorrow night!”

Tickets for Clarkson’s Meaning of Life Tour are now on sale. The tour continues through March, with stops in Chicago, Nashville, Boston, Dallas, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Baltimore, St. Louis, Salt Lake City and more.