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No intentions of going home

Keith Urban
Allstate Arena
Rosemont, IL
May 15, 2009
Keith Urban Keith Urban

Story and photos by Jeannette VanKanegan

Keith Urban performed for a very excited, very sold out crowd at the Allstate Arena. The Defying Gravity Tour is sponsored by Verizon Wireless. As Keith hit the stage, the many female fans in attendance went wild. He sang all of his hit singles, as well as songs from the new album Defying Gravity. The album itself only hints at the singers talent. Live you can see what an incredible guitarist Keith truly is. He opened the show with the hard driving songs "Hit The Ground Running," "Days Go By" and "Stupid Girl."

His between song banter was sweeter as his Australian accent rang through the arena. Getting back to work he sang "Where The Black Top Ends." Then sang one of his more popular singles, "You're My Better Half." The audience was electric as most danced and sang along.

One second Keith was on stage, then the next he was walking into the crowd. Usually artists just walk the front row, but Keith kept going. He walked all the way to the back of the arena, to a stage that was set up behind the sound booth. Once he got settled on stage he shouted "Who has the better seats now?" There he played a three song acoustic set which included the song "Lifetime Of Love." He played for a full house, but in this location it had the atmosphere of being in an intimate club setting.

As Keith made his way back - the stage went black as a radio montage of songs played. Like songs by Kenny Chesney, "Summer Lovin" from Grease, and "Crazy" from Gnarls Barkley. The songs eventually blended into "Till Summer Comes Around." The song featured an incredible guitar solo.

The stage was interesting, the screens that were once behind him, were now over his head. They changed again, and were diagonally over him. In the song "Sweet Thing" Urban seamlessly incorporated a banjo into a mainstream rock template. As the concert continued Keith started to introduce his band members. Each time a member would get introduced, a montage of their baby pictures would flash on the screen. Then they would sing a few lines from the song of their choice. Showing that his band members were very versatile and talented. Most musicians just introduce the band, Keith gave each one a moment in the spotlight. After singing "Who Wouldn't Want To Be Me" Keith said to the audience "You guys are cookin tonight!"

With two single spotlights on him, Keith played his guitar as everyone listened and cheered. He sang a song about Chicago. In the song he mentioned "Feels real good to be singing here on a Friday night at the Allstate Arena." He was clearly making it up on the spot, "but with you I feel like I can't go wrong." The song eventually led into "Raining on Sunday." Almost every person in that audience could sing the words without his help. As the audience sang the song to him, you could see that he was really listening and soaking it all in. He rocked out the guitar with some amazing riffs. Then told the audience "Mighty fine singing."

Keith picked up the pace again with the opening song from the new album, "Kiss A Girl." The Australian crooner made the girls scream, with the songs effortless hooks and sing along chorus. A video montage played on the screen, starting with a soldier singing, then went on to many other fans singing one of Keith songs. The videos were most likely from You-Tube, and included a little boy with a guitar singing. It made the entire audience say "Aw!" The song they were all singing was "You'll Think Of Me." Keith came our and sat at a stool and began to sing, the audience quietly listened. You could feel the heartbreak that he was going through. When performing he takes you back to that place, that state of mind, that he was in when he originally wrote the song. He pours all of his emotions into just about every song that he sings.

"You Look Good In My Shirt" kept the crowd on their feet and dancing. On "Somebody Like You" had Keith's guitar light up many different colors, making it exciting visual to heartfelt lyrics. Keith said to the audience "You guys have no intensions of going home," then asked for some mood lighting, and said that the audience has "been phenomenal to play for tonight."

Keith sang "Tonight I want To Cry." Once again pulling you in with his emotions. His voice was pure with the simple beauty of his acoustic guitar. You could feel that he has been through a lot by listening to the words. You felt the pain, he even got choked up while singing, and had a raspiness to his voice. He then let the audience sing a part of the song to him. The song was incredible live.

Keith wasn't going to end the show without an encore. He wanted as much time with the audience as possible. "Do you wanna hear one more song?!" The audience roared. Then the opening to "Better Life" rang through the arena. One of the guitarists wore a Cubs hat that made many fans very excited. Keith spent a good minute or two waiving goodbye to the crowd, once the song was over. He seemed to truly appreciate that every person was there to support him.

Keith Urban in an exceptional talent, singer, writer, and bad ass guitarist. He truly demonstrates remarkable facility on stage. If you are a fan of Keith, and have never seen him live, a live show will make you an even bigger fan. He is incredible on stage, and his CDs don't do justice of showing how incredibly talented Keith really is.

Related articles:

Country Thunder 2006 (Keith Urban) - Concert review - Twin Lakes, WI - July 2006
Country Thunder 2005 (Keith Urban) - Concert review - Twin Lakes, WI - July 2005

Keith Urban

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