Keith Urban wsg/ Taylor Swift
(Palace of Auburn Hills, MI - June 6th, 2009)
What a country music powerhaus double act, if ever there were one! With the lovely, oh-so-cute and my-oh-my so pretty Taylor Swift opening for him, Keith Urban's fans were more than a little warmed up come the moment that the lights went down for him to take the stage!
Swift, her strong vocals, perfect body, and gorgeous butter-wouldn't-melt-in-her-mouth smile rocked the opening 40 minutes. A simple set allowed for her to spring forth all her known songs, along with tell a few stories about them along the way also.
Dressed in a simplistic red, sequined dress, all those hits came pouring out of her mouth one-by-one. But saving the best for last, her long, blonde, curly sue hair always seemingly in her face; to be fruitlessly swiped up, back, and away, she brought us the elongated 'Should've Said No,' 'Love Story' and, backed by a screen of flames, 'Picture To Burn.'
As if timing it perfectly, Keith Urban waits for the video screens to announce that at the end of the 1st period the Red Wings are 1-0 up in Game 5 vs. Pittsburgh, before shutting off the lights, dropping the huge black stage-covering curtain, and bounding on, guitar-blazin,' to the Bryan Adams-sounding, 'Hit The Ground Running.'
With the video screens behind him now split into five, each showing a band member at work, "Detroit," he screams into the mic, "it's great to be back," before 'Days Go By' is then sung. 'Stupid Boy' is next, complete with guitar solo ending, and taking a trip back to the first record he then brings us 'Where The Blacktop Ends.'
But, what he then does during the next song is what makes him stand out from the average arena rocker! In truth, Urban is such a multi-talented individual that it's hard to take him all in at one time. I mean, not content with filling the main stage with his presence, he unexpectedly cuts to stage left, and whilst still playing his guitar, hits the ground running!
Finally ending at the back of the sold-out arena, he finds his small, more personal stage and settles in for a few songs. "Who's got the good seats now?", he jokes with those all huddled in the cheap seats, before heading into, 'A Night To Remember.' Then, he spots two very young girls who can't see him properly, and so invites them up on the small round stage to sit with him whilst he sings, 'Making Memories Of Us.'
Back now to the main front stage, he introduces his mandolin player to the mic, who then gives us a chorus of 'Who Do You Love?,' before the stage goes dark, slide shows of b/w summer scenes are shown, and Urban begins to sing the slow, 'Til' Summer Comes Around.'
Next up, and finally from this journalists point of Urban musical view, 'Sweet Thing' is sung, backed by Cosmos scenes on the video screens. The crowd love it and their voices collectively raise! Next he intros the band, showing with each one their baby / young adult photos large and in living color on those very same video screens! Each comes to the mic, sings a few lines from a fav song of theirs, and then when all done, Urban sits himself down under a bright white spot and sings (albeit with a made-up, er, lame jam before it!), 'Raining On Sunday.'
Bringing the show into its final bend, 'Kiss A Girl' is next up and is quickly followed by 'I Told You So.' Leaving the stage for a guitar and t-shirt change, he comes back after a short collage of YouTuber's covering lines to his song; a song which he himself then proceeds to sing, 'You'll Think Of Me.' Shouting "Here we go" into his mic, the barnstorming 'You Look Good In My Shirt' is sung - complete with yet another left of stage walkabout!
This time, however, he only goes halfway up, has his mic stand placed on a spare seat and finished off the song! Back up on the main stage, and to a sweet mandolin opening we next get 'Love Somebody Like You' - the song that propelled him into the stratosphere back in the day. Firing the audience back up instantly, its placement as the last song in the main set leaves the audience pumped and wanting more.
Coming back out first with the slow, 'Tonight I Wanna Cry,' bathed under the deep lights of royal blue and rich purple, he makes his way through that before quickly leaving the stage, re-dressing in a Red Wings jersey (they won 5-0! this night), and hits us with both the bouncy, 'Better Life' - AND a major drop of confetti!!
Reviewed by: Russell A. Trunk
Additional Notes: Lindsay Wild (Florida)