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Five observations from Kelly Clarkson at the Pearl + setlist

Pearl at the Palms, April 5, 2012

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Denise Truscello/WireImage

Kelly Clarkson performs live at the Pearl at the Palms, April 5, 2012.

1. Unlike other pop-star concerts, Clarkson’s show doesn’t feature dance numbers, elaborate costumes or intricate set design, keeping the focus squarely on the music. (She does change her shirt a couple of times, but she also delivers her entire performance in bare feet.)

2. Covers-wise, Clarkson sounds sultry and ominous on Florence + the Machine’s “Heavy in Your Arms,” she belts out Carrie Underwood’s “I Know You Won’t” like she’s still working to win American Idol, and she offers up a sweet and playful take on Olivia Newton-John’s “Hopelessly Devoted to You.”

3. It seems like every other song is Clarkson’s “favorite” something. She plays my favorites, too: the sarcastic kiss-off “You Love Me” from her new album Stronger, and possibly my favorite song of hers overall, “Walk Away.”

4. The extra-funky take on Stronger track “Einstein” almost overcomes the song’s incredibly lame lyrics (“Dumb plus dumb equals you”).

5. “Never Again” (changed from an angsty rocker to a roiling piano ballad) and “Already Gone” (given a layered a cappella intro) also benefit from updated arrangements. –Josh Bell

Set list:

“Dark Side”

“Behind These Hazel Eyes”

“Since U Been Gone”

“You Love Me”

“Heavy in Your Arms”

“Hopelessly Devoted to You”

“Einstein”

“Walk Away”

“I Know You Won’t”

“Let Me Down”

“I Forgive You”

“Already Gone”

“Breakaway”

“Mr. Know It All”

“Miss Independent”

“Never Again”

“Because of You”

“What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger)”

“My Life Would Suck Without You”

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