Last Night: Keith Urban at the American Airlines Center

Categories: Last Night
Keith Urban
American Airlines Center
August 28, 2011

Better than: Walking along the boardwalk, sipping sweet tea and holding hands.

keith-urban1.jpg
Keith Urban

It was an evening of warm fuzzies last night at the American Airlines Center.

Keith Urban, on his "Get Closer," tour opened with "Put You in a Song"from his latest album, for which his current tour is named.

And, really, the whole night was set up for a good time: Urban's stage set-up was an interesting one with a lighting apparatus that looks like a roller coaster, wrapping around the stage complete with "cars" (actually various stage lights) running along it and a giant screen inside one loop. Six light operators strapped into chairs high above the stage only added to the amusement park feel and dramatic light show.

Urban wore a black tee and distressed jeans, his tattoos and muscled arms on display. He brought the country boy charm in full force, sporting shaggy cut hair, a scruffy beard, a warm tan, and that characteristic smile famous for its heart melting abilities.

After a few new songs, Urban performed an older hit, "Raining on Sunday," and stopped to greet the crowd and read aloud the signs all through the arena.

"I'm fifteen and this is my seventh concert and I want to help you sing," Urban read. "Well, come on up." She did. "I'm Sarah and this is the best moment of my life," she said, once she made it to the stage.

She asked Urban to say hello to her friend Elizabeth and to pose for a photo and Urban was as gracious as could be. Meanwhile, everyone in the audience cooed. As she took her seat again, Urban urged the crowd to, "Scream and stand and annoy the people behind you. Now's the time."

And for the next two hours that was exactly what the audience did.

Keith Urban puts on a show. Not the kind with wild sets and multiple costume changes -- not that there's anything wrong with that. Instead, Urban performs with an audience connection that most rock stars would envy. Fans don't love his persona. They love him, likely because he never sings at his audience. He sings for and with them instead with a refreshing authenticity.

As a disco ball filled the arena with silver confetti light and loops of lit bulbs hung down around the stage, Urban grinned and sang and performed a couple of mean guitar solos as well. At one point, he even did a little beat box. He also performed a bit of "Silly Love Songs" as way of introduction to the song "Making Memories of Us."

"That is the most beautiful sight," Urban said mid-song. "That couple up there dancing. Look."

Urban pointed high up into the stands and sure enough there was young couple slow dancing. The entire arena turned to look.

In classic Keith Urban style, he eventually came down into the audience to a small round stage. He performed several songs there, as it turned slowly in circles and then rose up above the crowd.

"Now who has the good seats?" he teased.

Later in the concert, more audience interaction ensued. Urban invited two girls and a guy to come up on stage and sing the chorus of "Kiss a Girl". The guy turned out to be stellar -- even Urban was blown away. And when Urban sang "You Look Good in My Shirt," he stood right in the stands and actually gave his guitar to a girl in the audience who, from the looks of her when he handed it over, is likely still flipping out about it.

The whole show was one of those feel-good nights. Urban and his band (Chris McHugh, Brian Nutter, Jerry Flowers and Danny Radar) all seemed like they were having a good time. The audience was clearly having a blast.

Near the concert's end, Urban sang the obligatory verse of "Deep in the Heart of Texas" and later came out sporting a Mavericks jersey to say congratulations and sing a chorus of "We Are The Champions."

Opening act Jake Owen joined Urban on stage and Urban led the crowd in singing Happy Birthday to him. The two of them then sang "Jack and Diane" and Urban thanked everyone for coming.

"There are a lot of people here tonight who went through some really hard times," Urban said. "So, for whatever it took all of you to be here, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. God bless all of you."

He closed with "Better Life" as masses of colorful confetti covered the crowd, followed by equal quantities of red, white and blue streamers.

The entire evening felt like one of those perfect summer nights complete with beach bonfire, sand between your toes and a full moon.

Critic's Notebook
Personal Bias:
I'm an Urban fan and have seen him perform twice before.

Random Note:
A few rows in front of me, a little boy with a tiny guitar was holding a sign that read, "Just turned five last week. My B-day present is happening right now." On the other side, it said, "I'll let you sign my guitar."

By the Way: In case you're ever tempted to sneak into a seating section not your own on the floor, don't bother. The security guards at the AAC mean business. They chased away one mother-and-son pair so many times it started to look like a comedy routine.


Location Info

Map

American Airlines Center

2500 Victory Ave, Dallas, TX

Category: Music


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9 comments
Keithismyman
Keithismyman

Does anyone have any pictures of the 15 year old girl named Sarah, that got a hug from keith on stage?? If you do please email me at keithismyman@gmail.com 

Stacey Cowen
Stacey Cowen

I'm not trying to be negative here. The article is awesome. I appreciate the journalism that went into showing Keith in such a genuine and caring light. I am a huge fan and just wanted to make sure readers knew that Keith actually used the words "beautiful image". He was truly moved by the image of the couple dancing to "making memories of us". I have only been to seven of Keith's concerts, but I have to say "hands down" this was the best one. 

Stacey Cowen
Stacey Cowen

The journalist quoted Keith incorrectly in this article, Keith actually stated "I am looking at the most beautiful image right now" ...referring to the couple dancing at the very top entrance of the stadium. In addition, the young lady Sarah, her sign read....I am 15, I have been to 7 of your concerts, can I have a hug? It was a magical night. Thank you Keith for being so real and humble. :)

Staceycowen2011
Staceycowen2011

The journalist quoted Keith incorrectly in this article, Keith actually stated "I am looking at the most beautiful image right now" ...referring to the couple dancing at the very top entrance of the stadium. In addition, the young lady Sarah, her sign read....I am 15, I have been to 7 of your concerts, can I have a hug? It was a magical night. Thank you Keith for being so real and humble. :)

Txrbngrl
Txrbngrl

You must have been sitting just a few rows behind me. I wished Keith could've seen that little boy. Great review. I knew several people that were there for their first Keith Urban experience and, in my opinion, their expectations of future concerts will be forever changed. I won't admit how many Keith concerts I've attended but I, too, am a fan and besides the concert where I got called up on stage at the Ryman, last night's show was one of the best. This talented man is the genuine thing. He seems to be having just as much fun during the concert as his fans are. What a night! Can't wait 'til the next one!

Ann Johnson
Ann Johnson

I took my Granddaughter to her first ever Keith concert last night and she was blown away. She is really not a Country fan but is now a Keith fan. She was amazed at his talent and his ability to draw in and interact with his audience. She loved being so close, We were literally in the second row so were allowed to got to stage side which we did and that was the closest she has ever been and Keith is just Best entertainer there is right now. He loves what he does, loves his audience for appreciating his performance and wants everyone to have a wonderful time. It was a total Blast.

Jimmy_ivie
Jimmy_ivie

I just want to say that was the most awsome concert I have been to.. thank u keith for the wonderful show and giving my daughter your guitar.. thanks

Westtxmojo
Westtxmojo

Actually, "only" is an appropriate term in context to this show. There was another sign that proclaimed that it's holder had been to 23 shows across 11 states. I've been to 20 across 7 states over the course of 13 years. It's all relative.

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