Saturday, June 23, 2007

A Fan's Review of the Beginning of Keith's US Tour

Thank you to the fan that shared her review of the Phoenix, Vegas and San Diego shows:

Before I start my review, let me say...this is really long. I want you guys to open your mind and close your eyes and picture the events you are about to read. So I didn't have to write 3 reviews, I added elements from each show. All three shows are rolled up in this one review.

DJ Debo sits over in the corner of the venue spinning some tunes while the crowd sits on the edge of their seat, not knowing what to expect. A small glowing circle appears on the massive screen that takes up the entire wall of the back of the venue. The stage is set. Michael Jackson is singing in the background as everyone hurries to grab their last drinks before settling in for the show. A faint sound of a heartbeat is heard through the lyrics of Billie Jean. As the song progresses, the heartbeat gets stronger. Suddenly the song breaks into Vanilla Ice...then Pink....then Justin Timberlake...heartbeat getting stronger and stronger with each note of the song.

Everyone stares at the stage as the glowing dot grows larger.....larger...larger into the makings of what looks like a golden heart. The heart grows and the heartbeat is now pounding in your chest. Louder....louder....stronger. Suddenly the heart breaks and you see the silhouette of a man we've been longing to see...rising up from the floor. Once in a Lifetime starts to play as the silhouette slowly makes its way to the microphone.

Mmmmm.....mmmmm.....mmm.....mmmmmmmmm. I can see it in your eyes and feel it in your touch. That sound is music to my ears. The crowd is on its feet...screaming and cheering. The silhouette starts to sing the chorus as the lights come up and you can see the entire band with the look in their eyes saying.....Oh Lord, it's SOOOO good to be back home!

The passion in his eyes as he lays back playing guitar like he has been waiting for this moment his whole life. Lightning flashes as he gets down and into his guitar solo. He ends the song with a sing along with the crowd. Oh...oh....oh...... oh.....oh.....oh!

"HOW YA DOIN'?" (INSERT CITY HERE) The crowd roars!

As Once in a Lifetime ended he moved into Where the Blacktop Ends.....I love to hear some of the older stuff. It brings back so many memories. He moves from the right side of the stage to the left side....they are having so much fun. He is grinning from ear to ear.

Then on to Shine. As the music see a silhouette of Keith on a solid red background on the massive screen. The silhouette slightly moves as the piano starts to play. On the screen Keith stands up from the piano and walks off and the guitar starts to play.....throughout the song the screen flashes bright bold colors and black silhouettes of each of the band members playing their instruments. You will notice that the screen and the actual band are making the exact same movements. The technology is phenomenal.

The lights go down again and you can see the sparkle of the candy apple red bass guitar and you know what is about to come. Faster Car starts and the crowd goes wild. As he sings, he stumbles through a couple of the lines, but what can you expect from someone in their first show? As the song goes on the band lines up in a single file line and heads out on the catwalk...The first walk of death! The crowd erupted with cheers. Girls were about the pass out at the thought of Keith being a few feet from them. The boys stood staggered on the catwalk for the end musical rendition of Faster Car. Keith looked so happy to be standing there at that moment.

They move back to the stage to set up for a slower song. The boys disappear as Keith stands in the dark pulling his acoustic guitar over his shoulder. He slowly makes his way to the center of the catwalk with a single spotlight shining down on his newly lightened hair. Although I love the wind and lightening in the original Raining on Sunday, there's something about the passion in his voice in the acoustic version. The crowd sounds so sweet singing along with him during the chorus. A little girl, about 8 or 9 sits on her dad's shoulders with a sign that says...Be My First Kiss. Keith genuinely answers her between verses..."I'll be right there, baby." The little girl laughs with excitement.

The lights go back down as he makes his way back to the stage and is joined by his band. He hangs on to his acoustic guitar..but only for a little while as Stupid Boy starts to sound through the entire arena. As he nears the end of the song the crowd is hushed. The lights go down and the shadow pulls on his electric guitar. The roar of the guitar is deafening, but boy that man knows how to lay it down.

"So you're the morning...on the early train" Such a fantastic song to sing at that moment. He wants to bring us back into the emotion of simple music. The crowd just can't get enough.

He grabs his 4th guitar of the night and starts singing Used to the Pain. I never thought I'd hear this on in concert, but I am so glad I did. I love this song. It sounds so pure LIVE! When the song ends the lights go down yet again and the on the screen you see Keith in sepia a dark empty room, sitting on a stool with his ganjo playing the bluegrass version of Used to the the boys make their way to the end of the catwalk. As they near the end...a small round stage lifts up from the floor. They take their places as the back of the venue cheers in disbelief.

"How are you guys back here doing NOW?" He exclaims as all the house light flash showing the entire back of the arena on their feet. Keith turns to the front of the arena and says, "To all of you up there, sorry about the view". The front roars with laughter.. who would mind looking at his backside???

The band moves into place as Better Half starts to's a sweeeeeeeetttttt love that you give to me.. He allows the audience to join him at the end and he just sits back with a content smile on his face. You can see how much he loves this.

The stools are placed in the circle and the band sits down to have a little chat with Keith. Keith introduces Brian Nutter. Brian stands and takes a bow to each side of the arena. Then on to Chris Rodriguez. Keith tells the crowd how Chris is from Puerto Rico and then asks him to sing in Spanish. Chris says...El Nino de! For those who don't know Spanish, that's Stupid Boy in Spanish. Keith tells the crowd that if they know the words, they should sing along. He next introduces Jerry Flowers, mentioning that they used to be a little band called the Ranch. Jerry looks so happy to be standing there.

He moves into Making Memories of Us. The audience definitely knows the words to that one. It's soft and slow but he seems as if he's ready to move on to the next song.

You'll Think of Me starts the same way as it always has...slow and meaningful. The crowd that has seen him before anticipates the ending. I have never seen him play it as if he felt is as much as he did that night. He was a scorned lover and it showed. The crowd went nuts at the anger and emotion he put into that song. (In Phoenix) He looks up and stares at the sea of fans applauding him. He looks as if he's never seen it before as the tears well up in his eyes. He bites his lower lip to keep it from quivering and turns away from the camera. He tried to hide it...but we all saw it.

The road crew walks around the round stage handing out guitars to the band and the tribal beat starts.

YES...I love I Told You So. Keith stomps it out as the song nears the end. His head is bobbing back and forth and his hair falls gently on his face. A look of relief spreads on his face as the house lights go down. All of the sudden you hear the drums..coming from a completely different place. What in the world?? The lights go up on the main stage as a drum corps lines up. This is incredible! They play their own rendition of the drums in I Told You So and it is fantastic! The boys make their way back to the stage, but not before Brian Nutter decides to join in with a few beats of his own on the drums of the corps. So cute!

Keith comes back out to introduce the drum line from the local college/high school (depending on what city you're in).

The single guitar chords play as Days Go By starts. The band loves this one and you can see it in their faces. The guitar licks are not lacking in as he shimmies over to the left of the stage approaching the fans on the side.

As he gets back to the center of the stage, the lights go off and the piano rises up from underneath. Keith sits down and starts to play Tonight I Wanna Cry. This song has meaning to him, especially now. You can almost hear the pain in his voice, as he plays gently on the keys.

The crowd is silent as Keith stands on the back of the stage putting on his guitar. Brian Nutter starts to play the ganjo. Keith walks over to Brad Rice and puts his arm around him. He talked about how Brad was from Texas and he was so grateful that he decided to become part of this band. They call him Sweet B. He backs up to his microphone as Who Wouldn't Wanna Be Me starts to play. He and Jerry play around jumping towards each other and hitting guitars. Doing his signature move, he gets down on one knee at the start of the catwalk. Standing up, he makes his way back up the catwalk to give the middle of the crowd a guitar solo. Making his way to the right of the stage, he notices in the crowd that a security guard is heckling a teenage girl. He sternly says "Hey man, you need to chill out, she's just trying to have a good time." Evidently the security guy didn't pay attention because during the next line Keith says, "Hey man back off", as he plops down on the edge of the stage and motions for the little girl to come towards him. He points to the front row, motioning for her to come stand by him. He hands her the microphone and lets her sing along. Finishing out the song on the edge of the stage, he lays down and crosses his legs for the end of the guitar solo. Standing back up he moves directly to the center of the stage to move into his next song. Immediately following WWWBM, he goes directly into Somebody Like You. This must be a fan favorite. As everyone sings along, the band is dancing all around the stage.


Everyone starts jumping up and down, including Keith. It was so cool. He makes his way to the catwalk to do his other signature move of bending backwards while playing the guitar. Boy, what that man can do to a guitar never ceases to amaze me.

He walks to the mic to tell everyone thanks for coming and for us all to have a good night. He stands there smiling in awe of the reception he has received for the entire night. The lights go out while he is waving to everyone and he walks off the stage.

No one moves...this can't be the end. One cellphone lights up in the crowd. That one cellphone turns into 5...5 turns into 10...10 into 100...until the entire arena looked like it had been invaded by fireflies. It was beautiful.

(In Phoenix) Keith walks out and sits at the piano as the spotlight slowly turns to him..."WOW!" he exclaims like a little boy at Christmas. "That looks amazing!!! You guys are awesome!" The cheers don't stop. As the camera gets closer and closer, his face covers the wall size screen. The cheers keep going. Keith tries to talk, but no one will let him. His head lowers and he is grinning like a little boy. He looks up at the camera and...what was that? What did I just see? He's crying!! He bites his lower lip and turns from the camera. He shakes his head in disbelief. He can't believe the response he has gotten the entire night. Finally the arena calms down enough so he can talk. (In Vegas) He says he wants to try something new tonight. He wants the entire arena to sit down and put their phones by their side. He says he will turn out the spotlight and the arena will be completely black. Starting with one side he wants to do the wave with only cell phones. The spotlight dims and on his cue, the arena starts the wave and circles twice. He was so pleased with what he had just created. He was laughing so hard. (in San Diego) On his cue, the crowd started waving their phones around. " No No No", he laughs. "Turn the light back on please. Ok you guys...I want you to do the 'WAVVVVEEE' (as he stands up to demonstrate, hands in the air) not the 'wave' (as he waves his hand as if to say hello). The crowd howls with laughter. We started again.The lights go off and on his cue, they got it. We went around twice...and it was amazing to see.

He proceeds to thank each and every one of his fans for the love and support though the crazy 6-8 months he has had. He said he had never felt so loved as he had with the emails and cards and letters. He then thanked his wife and dedicated the next song to her. He played Got it Right This Time. While being very "un-fan-like" I changed up a few of the lyrics just to put a positive spin on a song that I'm not all that fond of, lol! We had a good laugh about it! If you could have seen the emotion in that song, you would be convinced that he is in love. Maybe not with his wife, but he's in love with someone. You just can't fake that kind of passion!

He stood up and the piano disappeared back into the stage as Better Life started. This song is always a crowd favorite. He walked out to the catwalk once again to give the girls (and some guys) what they like...a guitar solo full of emotion. Not forgetting what he had told the little girl on her father's shoulders, he laid down on the stage and tilted his head back to give her her first kiss. Standing back up he looked up at the ceiling and nodded his head and confetti filled the arena. As he shimmied back to the front of the stage the boys all joined him in the center to finish out the song.

He again thanked everyone for coming out, as well as the "hard working road crew" for putting the show on every night. He said his goodbyes and started the last song of the night. He sang Everybody (written with Richard Marx). It's a fantastic song and a good one for the shows end. As the last notes were played everyone groaned because it was over. He stood at the edge of the catwalk as if soaking it all in. He looked so happy to be there. He looked as if he didn't want to leave either. He was taking in every possible aspect of this beautiful night. He sighed a sigh of relief as the boys joined him for one final bow. He blew kisses and did the traditional bow to the crowd and he smiled that million dollar smile. Waving, he left the stage, but not before flashing one final grin with his eyes saying ...Thank God I'm Back!


banbotox said...

Thank God he's back!

maclen said...

It seems like a few enjoyable concerts for fans, a fact of course for the notable exception. But being aware of his situation, I cant help but feel and say that his fans should enjoy them while they can, as i believe that his "better half" isnt as eager to see him so happy, doing what he apparently loves doing, since it does not pertain to the other half.

notachance said...

maclen - do you intend to take in a show at all? I know you're not a fan, but maybe you should just for some other perspective.

Whitetrashcheeto said...

This blog is music to my ears!

Thank you for that.

Perspone said...

You know we skeptics don't hate Keith, we don't understand the choices he has made in making everything about her, but we don't hate him. I went to the Sacramento Show and the man described in this blog, was in Sacramento, and I was very pleased. It appeared he was really enjoying himself and because he was enjoying himself, was were treated to a great concert. What I am wondering is how long this will last, can his "wife" allow him this, something that is his own, or will she have to find a way to steal the spotlight and make it all about her.

TooLittleTooLate said...

This blog is music to my ears!
Thank you for that.

June 26, 2007 7:59 AM

You're Welcome! I'm just glad he was/is back. Four more shows for me this remains to be seen! But as of right can call me Hippity Hop!

maclen said...

My personal opinion of urban, beyond his obvious addiction problems, is that he seems to be an affable, unassuming guy, who wanted to be country star. But not being a country fan, I have no intention of becoming a fan of his, especially now that hes married to kidman, who i believe is overrated and disingenous. I wish urban well on his latest tour, I just believe he's set himself up for a bad fall, and I dont believe he has the will to prevent it.

Perspone said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Perspone said...

maclen said...
I just believe he's set himself up for a bad fall, and I dont believe he has the will to prevent it.
Maclen that is the fear of a lot of the skeptics. But we can't live his life for him, so being fans of the man, we are forced to watch the trainwreak as it unfolds.

maclen said...

Well, perspone, I'd bet if her movies dont show any signs of not fading out of sight right after they come out, she may re-think her PR priorities. Just as doing european ad spots for nintendo ds gameboys is a sign of desperation, urban may become a liability in her eyes, if its not showing any payoffs in the whole scheme of her faltering career. And all of urbans bending over backwards will leave him with just another attempted hollywood marriage. Not really a big deal usually, of course, but someone with both alchohol and drug problems? Could be devastating.

Whitetrashcheeto said...

I'm hoping Keith has found himself - FINALLY! If it's happiness with Nicole, than so be it but I just have this to say....

I actually spent time watching "The Hours" and "Dogville" last weekend.

OMG! I wanted someone to poke needles in my eyes they were so bad!

I got Dogville because Keith said this was his favorite film of Nicole's and when he misses her he watches it on the road. I figured it must be good if he says so. Did you all know that it's a stage production - not really a produced movie? It was incredibly slow and really lowered my opinion of Keith's taste in movies. So after that fiasco I decided to see if "The Hours" were any better. It was almost as bad. This one was actually a movie, but it was about a depressed writer in the 20's (Nicole). They put on a prosthetic nose...I guess to make her ugly - it worked! It moves to a later time...a woman who reads her work in the 50's and then again in current times. The entire movie was really SLOWWWWW and I just wanted her to kill herself and move on!

Now that being said, I've seen most if not all her movies and I still stand by my first opinion of her as an actor. She plays the same part in all her movies with the exception of "Bewitched". Her character's are all one-dimensional and morbid. I can only hope that she's the total opposite in real life. God help Keith if it isn't the case.

I'm still kicking myself for wasting good money on those DVD's.

NotBuyingItInNashville said...

Maclen - for not knowing a lot about Keith Urban - your comments show you to be a very perceptive observer.

We are all worried as to what will be left of Keith's career, his self-esteem, and his own identity once Nicole kicks him to the curb because of Diminishing Returns.

maclen said...

NotBuyingItInNashville said...
"Maclen - for not knowing a lot about Keith Urban - your comments show you to be a very perceptive observer."

Well, I think its just simply that I dont have a bias either way towards urban, and just look at it a little more objectivly than others who are, or were fans of his. ├ůs for kidman, it was just very obvious and apparent what she seems to consider her priorities. I think I was with most people, she was an up and coming actress who happened to hook up with Tom Cruise when he was really riding high, and no one took much notice of her when they were married. And I do recall she said in an interview that she was worried that her career in holywood was over when cruise filed for divorce. And when that wasnt the case, that she was actually given alot of sympathy over it, mainly critical, she learned to play up those sympathies, she seemed to consantly talk about how it effected her, and it became another arm of her promotion, and it seems to be the main theme of the movies she did. And so I wonder if urban is in the frame of mind to notice how much that is so instinctual in her now. For example, how do you think it made urban feel when she said, while they became engaged, that she not only still loved cruise, but that she wished she was still married to him... in a national magazine?

banbotox said...

It's beyond me how Keith dealt with her...probably why he went to rehab so soon after being married.
Listening to her speak publicly is incredibly difficult-I can only imagine what she is like away from the cameras. The thought makes me shiver.....

maclen said...

yeah, I wonder that myself banbotox... well its a pretty clear indication of what condition he was in when he decided to get married to her. I get the feeling that he probably felt that she was the answer to his addiction problems, and when that turned out to be not the case, he had that relapse.

notachance said...

Thank God he's back! is an understatement.

Just back from the Atlanta show and I have to say it was an incredible show. The bloggers review was great, but the live show was just amazing. The GIANT screen adds such a new dimension to the show that you are literally transfixed for the entire night. Keith himself looked relazed, refreshed and dare I say HAPPY?? He was certainly in his element.

I don't know about anyone else, but I'm ready to go again. Sorry, but I'm feeling like a bunny today....

ShutUpAndSing said...

notachance, I was at St. Louis, Memphis, Atlanta and OKC...also, Phoenix, Vegas and San Diego. No, I am not the author but she is a friend and she captured the feel of the shows very well.

Idefinately have a hop to my step now!

notachance said...

shutupandsing said:
I definately have a hop to my step now!

I'd say after ALL those shows you should've burned some fur off those feet!

And to all you hard-core skeptics - I do believe the man did take his own advice and "Shut up and sang" at Live Earth. From the reviews I've read he was one was one of THE highlights out of NY, not to mention the entire event. He did a great job with "Gimme Shelter". I'm sure he's won a whole new legion of fans (to fill all those empty skeptic seats).

Perspone said...

We skeptics have been saying shut up and sing for months now, it's not his original thought.

As for Live Earth, yeah he and Alyssa were the highlight of the concert. When the man decides committ to his job, he does a good job. Now if we can just make sure he shows up at his scheduled shows and not cancell them because he's decided he has something better to do.

Imahick said...

He rocked Live was a great performance. And great to see that it was recognized as such.

I was sad to hear that he didn't stick around and enjoy "mingling" with his peers. That was something Keith used to love. But instead he had to get back to Gramma in Oz. Nice to see it reported that he flew into Darwin last night on a private jet. Kind of takes the sting out of the message from Live Earth ... though ... don't ya think?