Story and photos by Mike HeineOn Thursday, Australian Keith Urban immediately ran out to the end of the walkway and banged out a fan-frenzying rendition of "Days Go By" the first single off his new CD Be Here. It was interaction like that with the crowd that kept fans entertained from the beginning to end of his 16-song performance. Urban capitalized by relying heavily on the new CD (six songs) and mixing in enough hits from the incredibly popular Golden Road album (another six songs) to keep fans entertained for hours. Only two of his songs were from his self-titled debut album, and two others were well-done covers of the Eagles "Take It To The Limit," and Tom Petty's "Free Fallin.'"
Urban's mixture of music, including the classic rock tunes, kept the crowd on its feet for the duration of the two-hour show. After opening with "Days Go By," Urban played the heel-stomping second song off the newest CD called "Better Life." He followed those hard driving beats with the slow love song "Raining On Sunday" and the mellow "You're My Better Half," also off of Be Here. A few songs later, "But For The Grace of God" was strummed solo-style by Urban under the blue lights. Afterward, his band harmonized for an extended version of the Eagles classic.
The emotion Urban puts into his songs is another feature that makes him a great act. He actually had anger in his eyes toward the end of the break-up themed "You'll Think Of Me." His soul transferred through his fingers and into his piano in a solo rendition of "Tonight I Wanna Cry," a song about remembering a failed relationship.
Urban got the crowd back into it by letting them do the chorus in "Free Fallin'" and kept them standing during the closing "Somebody Like You."
The Australian came back on stage with strong encore performance that featured songs from all three of his CDs, including his first hit "Where The Blacktop Ends," along with "Who Wouldn't Want To Be Me," and "These Are The Days," a song he dedicated to overseas troops.
Urban's mixture of emotion, fan involvement, song styles and even other artists material made him a delight from down under and a welcome Thursday night act at Country Thunder.
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