Amanda Bober showed up six hours early, waited in line overnight for another 12 hours and still had enough energy at the end of it all to gush about why.
“She told me, ‘You would be the best daughter in the world if you did this for me,’ ” said Bober, a Buffalo resident.
So she waited and waited inside the Walden Galleria, even though the singer her mom longed to see, Kelly Clarkson, canceled her Buffalo performance for tonight because of an illness.
But that didn’t deter Bober or any of the more than 500 people who were in line at 10 a.m. today, waiting for the grand opening of Microsoft’s new store and a chance for free tickets to see Clarkson live when she does appear in Buffalo at a later as yet unscheduled date.
“I get to go home and tell my third grade students I slept in the mall," said Lauren Straube, a teacher from New Jersey.
Straube and Joelle Brunetto, a Buffalo native now living in Rochester, were the first two in line, and they were all to eager to explain why they chose to spend their Friday night on the hard Galleria floor.
“For Kelly Clarkson," Brunetto said. “Sorry, Microsoft.”
Even after a 12-hour vigil marked by coffee, energy drinks and a lack of sleep, there was a sense of adoration, even worship, among the Clarkson faithful.
“She’s a good singer, she’s beautiful, and I love her,” said Jim Moran of Buffalo. “I just want to hug her."
“I’ve been following her since American Idol,” added Kristen Prentice of Amherst.
Like Bober, Lucy Pencille of Lockport was there for someone else, her daughter Savanah.
“My daughter is a fan, and I wanted to have this experience with her,” said Pencille. “I’m also working toward that mother of the year award.”
Clarkson, who does a lot of promotional concerts on behalf of Microsoft, is expected to reschedule her show – planned for Erie Community College’s Burt Flickinger Center – for a date in the next few months.
Microsoft announced the delay at about 6:30 p.m. Friday – there were reports that Clarkson canceled because of the death of her dog, Joplin – but that did little to deter the crowd waiting to line up for tickets.
“Should I go to Hallmark and get her a card?” Bober said of learning about the death of Clarkson’s dog. “I feel so bad. I think I should get her a card.”
In what could have a huge damper for Microsoft’s big opening, Clarkson’s fans ensured just the opposite.
“When we come into a market, we’re not just opening a store,” said Microsoft spokesman Jonathan Adashek. “We like to celebrate our openings.”
Clarkson’s fans, which spanned all age groups, seemed ready to make that happen.