Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Last weekend - not MLK weekend, but the one before that - I got to do something pretty special. I'm totally not the person who spend a lot of time listening to interesting local acts at different venues around town. I know that's like, a thing, among some people of my generation. Me? No. But, when a favorite comes to town, I love to make an appearance! 

That's right - Keith Urban! This was during the first number on his set. He actually came on stage with the house lights still on. It was actually really strange. He and his band were playing and it was a little hard to see them because everything was so light. Behind them was a big gray curtain that was sort of billowing in the breeze. One moment, though, the lights went out and the curtain fell to the floor. The five-screen view was revealed! 

Keith was on tour promoting his newest album, Fuse. I hadn't been following his music very closely in 2013. In fact, I didn't even realize he was coming to town until one of my friends from grad school asked me if I wanted to go with her. She'd already bought tickets thinking her husband would want to go along, and apparently he didn't - I said yes in a heartbeat! When I heard Keith was coming to town, I realized that probably meant he had released a new album and did a little research. I thought about buying the CD myself ahead of time, because I like to listen to the new music enough before a concert that I'm familiar with it when I get there. But, prudence won out: I asked Santa to bring it, and he did! It was on just about constant repeat in the car from December 26 until the concert, January 11. 

The first opener was Dustin Lynch. We ate dinner before the concert, and by the time we arrived, he was playing the last song in his set. The second opener was Little Big Town, here, playing their recent hit "Pontoon." At first I was surprised that such a popular group was just an opening act. But, as they played their set, I realized how many of their songs I had never heard before. Sometimes I confuse Little Big Town with Lady Antebellum (this is awful, I know), but hopefully I've now been broken of that habit! 

This is what the ambiance was like in the Target Center when Keith and his band started playing. Weird, right? And there's the gray curtain, billowing. 

And then, BAM! Here's Keith, on the gigantic screen! 

This is, I think, the third time I've attended a Keith Urban concert. He is so relaxed on stage, and more than anyone else I've seen, he takes it seriously that he's on stage to entertain. So, at this concert, he shined a light out into the audience to read the signs people had brought. After reading them, out loud, he called up this girl. He suggested they take a selfie, which they did. Then, his roadies carried out this recliner and she sat in it while he played a song. The best part was that she got to pick from a list of songs, and she chose one of my favorites, "Where the Blacktop Ends." It was adorable! 

He played a good mix of older and newer music. During one of the new songs, all of the words flashed along on the screens. It was so cool! 

And then, the moment we all knew was coming, finally did. Here's the B stage, SUPER close to where we were sitting! 

SO close. SO awesome! Even though he's done it at every concert I've been to, I'm always shocked when he walks through the crowd to the B-stage. There's security around, sure, but he's not walking down some kind of an aisle. He's shaking hands while people are touching him. It's totally crazy! 

After a song or two, he made it back to the main stage where the set wrapped up. The closing number in the main set is one of my all-time very favorite of his songs, "Somebody Like You." Don't let your heart stop beating, but please know that song is turning TEN this year. I'm not even kidding - it was released in 2004. GAH! Anyways, he did the whole song - album version, not just radio - and it probably lasted for nearly 10 minutes. What a way to close out the main set!

And before we knew it, it was encore time. He played a little on the piano on the stage, and then once again, he was back in the crowd. This time, security brought this tiny little platform with them and set it up on the stairs, where Keith stood - completely surrounded. He played some, handed the guitar off to a pre-teen girl in the audience for her to keep, and then headed back to the main stage for his final farewell. 

I know these pictures do it basically no justice at all, but it was an awesome night! 

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