Keith Urban Wows at Blossom
August 12th, 2018
Country superstar Keith Urban brought his Graffiti U World Tour to Blossom Music Center on Friday to a near-capacity crowd. With a pulsing light show, great guitar work and plenty of fan interaction, it made for a great night of live country music.
Keith opened the show from the back of the catwalk in front of the huge LCD screen with “Never Comin' Down” from his latest drop, his ninth studio album, Graffiti U. He worked his way to the middle of the stage and, like that, the show was off and running. Over the next two hours and fifteen minutes the Aussie import worked his way through a whopping twenty-seven songs.
Opening act Kelsea Ballerini joined Keith and the band on stage for “We Were Us” for a high-energy sing-a-long. Later in the evening, he brought Larkin Poe to the stage to share vocals on “Where the Blacktop Ends." Urban stated that he discovered Poe with a recommendation from fellow Aussie Russell Crowe. At the tail end of the set his guitarist took over vocals for a fun rendition of Niall Horn’s “Slow Hands;" the vocal reigns where then lent to the keyboardist for a snippet of U2’s “With Or Without You” during “Somebody Like You.”
Urban's nimble work on the guitar was a highlight of the evening as he shredded throughout the entire set. During three of the songs he chose to use recorded vocals and video from artists that have done guest vocals for some of his songs, instead of bringing back Kelsea or Larkin. The crowd didn’t seem to find that too appealing.
Before the end of the gig, Urban took his place on a U-shaped stage that was in the back of the pavilion, bringing the cheap-seater lawn crowd closer to the action. He delivered three high energy songs and concluded by removing his guitar, signing it and choosing a girl from the audience in which to gift the guitar. It made for a super cool moment for that lucky fan.
He made his way back to the main stage to finish off the set. He concluded with a two songs encore - one being a solo acoustic tune with “But for the Grace of God,” and band jam fave “Horses."
Kelsea Ballerini warmed up the crowd with an energetic and fun set. Over the course of her fifty minutes she included a fantastic cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide." She sounded really good and was having a blast on stage; the crowd really loved the show she put on.
As the evening ended Keith thanked the crowd for coming and he mentioned knowing there’s over a thousand concerts going on around the world, there were“about 46 things to watch on Netflix” and how he knows, “It’s easier to do nothing then do something.”
The crowd was just as grateful for him as he was for the crowd.
Review by Troy Smith