Saturday, May 30, 2009

Escape Tour - Saturday, May 30th

Von Braun Center Arena, Huntsville, Alabama

Opener: Dierks Bentley

Capacity: 10,000

As of Tuesday, two seats together available in the mezzanine (upper level), close to front.

Popular country stars Keith Urban and Dierks Bentley rock Huntsville

Country superstar Keith Urban "Hit The Ground Runnin' " Saturday night and left a capacity crowd at the Von Braun Center hoarse, sweaty and completely satisfied.

The "Escape Together World Tour" brought two of country music's hottest acts in Urban and Dierks Bentley to Huntsville. Between them they thrilled the primarily female audience with 30-plus songs, and together took a stab at The Eagles' classic "Take It to the Limit," which the duo admitted they "destroyed" a night earlier in Roanoke, Va.

Bentley, in one of only three concert dates with Urban before moving on to Brad Paisley's upcoming tour, launched the show with the title track from his latest release, "Feel That Fire," and soon after sang his current hit "Sideways."

Later he recalled performing at Sammy T's club as a rising artist and also told the audience about taking his tour mate's motorcycle for a ride through the North Alabama countryside on a sunny Saturday afternoon.

Bentley closed his solid 11-song set with past hits "Every Mile a Memory," "What Was I Thinking?" and "Free and Easy (Down the Road I Go)."

Urban's new CD that debuted at No.1 is called "Defying Gravity," but it could have just as well been called "Defying Music Genres."

The 41-year-old is a guitar virtuoso disguised as a country star who spent a handful of tunes at various locations throughout the arena - an Urban concert tradition. "Who's got the good seats now?" he asked the crowd furthest from the main stage while performing on a smaller stage set up in front of their seats.

The 20-song set list ranged from some of his earliest as a solo artist ("Where the Blacktop Ends") to the hit singles off "Defying Gravity" ("Kiss a Girl," "Sweet Thing"). Urban's mutli-talented band, solid as always, even got to display their own vocal skills during introductions with snippets of mostly rock and pop tunes (was that really Boston's "Long Time"?).

After another awkward attempt at "Take It to the Limit," this time with Urban bungling the lyrics, things got back on track as the frenzied crowd was treated to "Kiss a Girl," the anthemic "I Told You So," a stirring version of "You'll Think of Me," the always popular "You Look Good In My Shirt," - performed on riser just in front of yours truly's seats - and "Somebody Like You."

Sweat-soaked but savoring every second of the audience's chant for an encore, Urban and mates returned to the stage to play "Better Life," drawing one final thunderous ovation.

The VBC is one of the smaller venues the "Escape Together World Tour" will hit this year, so Huntsville should consider itself lucky. The sellout crowd for Saturday night's show certainly got its money's worth.

Even those of us in attendance who don't consider ourselves country fans.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Escape Tour - Friday, May 29th

Roanoke Civic Center, Roanoke, Virginia

Opener: Dierks Bentley

Capacity: 10,500

Tickets available through box office or; as of Tuesday, two seats together available in the upper level, close to the front of the arena.

A review from the Roanoke Times:

Concert review: Energetic Urban keeps fans screaming with country-rock mix
By Tad Dickens/ The Roanoke Times

Keith Urban makes women feel randy.

How else to explain why an otherwise normal, attractive young woman would walk up screaming to a relative stranger and yell, "I just touched Keith Urban! I got his back sweat on my hand!"?

More later on how Alex Jaxtheimer, 20, of Lynchburg got a palmful of coveted music superstar perspiration. First, a few words about the music and the showmanship that Urban and opening act Dierks Bentley brought to a nearly full house Friday night at the Roanoke Civic Center Coliseum.

It's one thing to make the women swoon -- and they did -- but these crossover country artists seemingly at the height of their pop powers brought wall-to-wall hits, spot-on showmanship and high-octane backing bands onstage.

Attendance was 7,455 in the 8,242-capacity coliseum, slightly fewer than last year's Urban/Carrie Underwood show, which sold out the 8,426 tickets available.

Most of Friday's crowd stayed on their feet -- even on their chairs -- from the first notes of Urban's show opener, "Hit The Ground Runnin,' " and throughout the set, which ran well past 10:40 p.m.

Urban gave them reasons to be excited -- the monster guitarist channeled fellow Australian Angus Young's style in the closing solo.

Yes, it was a country show. Urban's versatile backing band made much use of mandolins, banjos and more. But it also was a rock show, with chest-rattling, often martial drumming that underpinned the Scots-Irish-worldbeat and Aussie musical mix.
Urban made sure it was a show for everyone, walking the coliseum floor to a smaller stage in back while playing the closing solo to "You're My Better Half."

He stayed back there, playing to the $20 dollar seats. Jaxtheimer and her friends headed back that way during "Once In a Lifetime," which he played acoustically, with only Chris McHugh's bass drum and conga backing him.

Later, Urban brought his old friend and Nashville, Tenn., neighbor Bentley onstage to duet on the Eagles' 30-year-old smash, "Take It To The Limit." The combination seemed almost too much for the screaming crowd to bear.

Bentley had already put in his work, a 45-minute, smash-laden set of roadhouse-ready, hard hillbilly rock mixed with music reminiscent of "Missing You"-era John Waite -- but with Bentley's smoky baritone making such tunes a much more palatable listen.

His mix of hitting-the-road tunes ("A Lot of Leavin' Left To Do"), party anthems ("Sideways") and love songs ("Come A Little Closer") also had the crowd on its feet from jump.

Go to to read more on a snafu that forced civic center employees to switch tickets with 750 people who had prepaid tickets that wouldn't scan into the venue's system. The problem made many of them miss a good deal of Bentley's set.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Escape Tour - Thursday, May 28th

Charleston Civic Center, Charleston, West Virginia

Opener: Dierks Bentley

Capacity: 13,000

As of Tuesday, two seats together available, near front of the arena, upper bowl.

*Disclaimer... this does not mean there are ONLY two seats available, but the best that could be pulled up.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Poem by Urban Myths

Yippy ha
Yippy hey
Has Nicole really gone away?
not seen in France
nor in LA.
Did Kidman just disappear,
do you think she will stay?
Oh, don't worry about the botox queen
because before too long
she will in fact be seen.
Just when we think it's safe to check the net
she will be there like she has never left.

So, dear reader, enjoy the little respite we are getting
because soon, oh, too soon, this poem we will be regretting.
For she is like rain, she will appear at anytime
ruining our reading, and spoiling this rhyme.
So sit back, cool down, and enjoy our relief
because we all could be stuck, just like Keith!

Monday, May 18, 2009

A Great Review of the Chicago Show

This was written by someone who gets it.... It really can be all about the music and that's all we've ever asked for...

Keith Urban: Reaching For The Sky

by Anthony Kuzminski

Allstate Arena-Rosemont, IL - May 15, 2009

A third of the way into Keith Urban's recent Chicago stop, he glided off stage during a guitar solo at the end of an electrified version of "You're My Better Half" and made his way through the crowd to the soundboard. At the back of the arena, Urban stood on a platform and welcomed those in the cheap seats with an infectious smile and his charming Australian accent, "Who's got the best seats now?" He then strummed his guitar and launched into a stripped down version of his 2006 hit "Once In A Lifetime". The song featured only Urban's pining electric guitar and a bit of rhythm from drummer Chris McHugh, but it was an intimate moment often missing from arena shows that the audience relished. Keith Urban is one of the premier live performers on the road at this moment in time. In my humble opinion, he may be the best arena performer today. The crowd sung along to every word of the song encompassing the arena with a tender glow often only found in clubs. However, Keith Urban has a way to breaching barriers in his art providing everyone with not just an evening of entertainment but an illuminating experience that transcends beyond his music.

Opening with "Hit the Ground Running", Urban did just that as he and his six piece band (led by a four guitar front line attack) tore through a twenty-song set that stretched over two-hours. Dressed in jeans, a short-sleeve shirt and a stylish new haircut, Urban's appearance is much like his shows; no nonsense. That's not to say that Urban doesn't bring the necessary elements to bring his shows into the 21st Century. The songs were accentuated by sprawling stage that looks as if it is erected from the ground with sections that veered directly into the crowd. It provided an open atmosphere with no security gates making the mental distance between band and fan almost non-existent. Urban is a superstar, but he approaches his shows with a fearlessness rarely seen in concerts anymore as he tries to make the audience feel like an integral part of the show. The stage backdrop consisted of five high definition split screens which shifted throughout the evening (sometimes hovering over the band) and displayed everything from lush landscapes to a kaleidoscope of colors to childhood photo's of the band members. Urban's stages are continually inventive without being obstructive and always allowing his music to not just breathe but be the focal point of the show.

Fan favorites including the fist pumping "Days Go By", the alluring "Stupid Boy" and the southern blues of "Where The Blacktop Ends" hooked the crowd early with a heady rush of adrenaline. The material from Defying Gravity ranged from impressive ("Kiss the Girl" and "Sweet Thing") to monotonous ("Standing Right In Front of You"). During a mid-set three song section the show appeared to lose momentum, that is until "Til Summer Comes Around" where Urban unleashed a breathtaking guitar solo that reminds one of why Urban isn't your run-of-the-mill country or rock star. He's the rare musician whose lead guitar fireworks are equal to his front man charisma. He's more fluid than most performers half his age and yet never fails to nail his solos. Watching his fingers maneuver across those frets was like watching him write poetry. "If I Ever Could Love" is a stark revelation of commitment and love proved to be languid in concert. I had overlooked the song on the album and here in concert, it stands as the best of the new tracks, however, positioning it after the epic "Who Wouldn't Want To Be Me" meant that it was lost in the emotional thick of the action. It should be performed earlier in the set where it would stand out more. If there is one quibble I had from this tour is that the new material doesn't quite stand up to the deep cuts fro his last few records. On previous tours when he performed "Shine", "Faster Car" and "Used to the Pain", they stood side by side with his biggest hits and were indistinguishable to the uninitiated in concert. As the tour progresses, it would be nice to see Urban take some chances with this material; rearrange these songs and maneuver them into a more cohesive section of the show so there is no loss of momentum and give them the necessary bite they deserve.

The final section of the show featured one hit after another. Even the ill conceived positioning of the ballads didn't matter because of the emotion poured into the performances. The aching "Raining On Sunday" found the band joining Urban midway through (on the last tour this was an acoustic solo performance) while "Tonight I Wanna Cry" was reworked in a remarkable acoustic arrangement. The rest of the rockers infused the crowd with enough adrenaline to fuel the roars for the remainder of the show. "I Told You So", "You Look Good In My Shirt" and "Better Life" walloped the crowd into a frenzied state that lasted well after the house lights went on. Urban and his backing band flex their muscle on a wide variety of instruments and a vast array of musical instrumentation that matches the E Street Band in terms of defiance, dedication, substance and soul. They know Urban and his music like the back of their hand and they don't just accompany Urban, they elevate his music to new heights in concert. It is one thing to have a set of accomplished musicians backing you up, but what Urban has is a band who compliments his material in ways I am not sure if he even deemed possible.

Every night Keith Urban hits the stage with a fluidity that is rare to witness these days. Even on nights with static set lists, he finds a way to crawl beneath the surface, get under your skin and elevate your mind, body and soul. Some acts feel that by changing a set daily does this and others feel that by only performing their biggest hits will accomplish this. However, what is needed is a purpose and mission; both of which he has. His paramount songs are infused with unbridled enthusiasm that is impossible to deny. When one leaves the arena after a Keith Urban show they have a feeling of joy through the emotional, spiritual and physical release his concerts provide. For those two-plus hours on stage, anything seems possible and life's problems wash away. As the band shred through their set ending "Somebody Like You" Urban reminds us that when he connects with the pitch he doesn't just hit a homerun, but the ball soars to heights that reach far into the sky and out of the park.

Anthony Kuzminski is a Chicago based writer and Special Features Editor for the antiMusic Network and his daily writings can be read at The Screen Door and can be contacted at thescreendoor AT gmail DOT com

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Escape Tour - Green Bay - May 16th

Resch Center, Green Bay Wisconsin

Opener: Zac Brown Band

Floor seats available!

PMI Entertainment Group was awarded the management of the Resch Center in 2002. It is the newest venue within the Brown County Veterans Memorial Complex, with a seating capacity of 10,000 seats. It hosts hundreds of event days and thousands of attendees per year including securing many of the top 10 touring concerts annually, with many of them selling out.

Friday, May 15, 2009

American Idol - one step away from hosting Dance Fever?

Is Keith Urban's career in such free fall that he has to perform on American Idol? I know other big name acts have appeared and it's a great way to sell your product, but Urban is really overselling his appearance on May 20th. Even interviews for his own tour he brings it back to American Idol, either by mentioning that he has watched it, apparently something he does with his wife, or comments on the other act who will be joining the stage that evening, Kiss. It truly is sad for this Keith Urban fan to actually see him prostitute himself in this way.

If this were 1992 and the newly arrived Keith Urban had tried out for this show he would have been soundly rejected. Ironic, too, that Urban in the past has criticized what this competition has done to the music industry by making it a popularity contest. He also said as recently as 2007 that he was horrified when any of the contestants sang his songs. I guess those people in Connecticut who asked for their money back when Sugarland couldn't perform, and those fans in Pennsylvania who wanted refunds because Urban didn't play as long as promised and were forced to sit through a local act and not a national headliner knew something the rest of us didn't. Keith Urban isn't above a con game to get richer and more famous.

Escape Tour - Chicago on May 15th

Allstate Arena, Rosemont, ILL

Opener: Zac Brown Band

Two good seats together in the upper level, one very good seat in the lower level available late Thursday.

Early note for Green Bay on Saturday... tickets not available on Thursday. Maybe a sell out?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Escape Tour.... Thursday, May 14th

St. Paul, Minnesota

Opener: Zac Brown Band

The venue seats 18,000 for hockey games. Seats were available in the first row of the club section this week.

The first-ever concert at Xcel Energy Center featured the Barenaked Ladies and The Corrs on Sept. 30, 2000. To date, some of the world’s most legendary performers have appeared at Xcel Energy Center, including the Police, the Rolling Stones, Barbra Streisand, Paul McCartney, Pavarotti, Elton John, Billy Joel, Rod Stewart, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Kenny Chesney, Neil Diamond, Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp, Simon & Garfunkel, and three consecutive sold-out shows by hometown-favorite, Prince.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

He's Tired Already... He Said It... We Didn't...

Keith Urban wows lucky fans
, Sun Media
Last Updated: 12th May 2009, 3:30am

Country music superstar Keith Urban's Escape Together arena tour, which kicked off last week in Connecticut, was scaled down for a select group of about 1,000 contest winners, music industry guests and fan club members at the Phoenix Concert Theatre on Monday night.

In truth, Urban's hour-and-15-minute show was taped for an upcoming CMT special to run in the summer followed by an online version at Sympatico/MSN as part of their Live @ The Orange Lounge series, thus the presence of cameras on cranes and tracks and major lights throughout the small club.

"We're breaking some fire codes tonight," joked the cute Aussie, who makes his home in Nashville with actress-wife Nicole Kidman and their infant daughter, Sunday Rose.

Kicking off the 12-song concert on a major upbeat note with the older tune, Days Go By, Urban and his ace five-man band seemed thoroughly warmed up and were genuinely having fun even if their frontman was slightly punchy at times.

Urban laughed when he forgot the words to Better Life, the final song of the night, and even spontaneously broke away from the planned set list to perform a solo acoustic version of Once In A Lifetime.

"I got to get centered," said Urban by way of explanation as he cleared the stage of his musicians. "We started this tour a week ago and it feels like we've played every night."

Still, Urban managed to bring out the best in almost every song he played with some great guitar work, particularly as he wrapped up older songs like Stupid Boy, or with the triple guitar attack of him and fellow axemen Chris Rodriguez and Brian Nutter, on You Look Good In My Shirt and Somebody Like You.

"Yee haw!" he yelled at the end of Shirt. "Hell, yeah, Toronto! You guys must have started drinking early," added the musician, who got clean and sober not long ago.

Urban's latest trek, in support of his new No. 1 album, Defying Gravity, doesn't arrive in Canada until mid-September when he will travel to seven cities (including an Oct. 3 date at the Air Canada Centre).

But the quality of the new tunes played by the charismatic and lively 41-year-old singer-songwriter and gifted guitarist bodes well for what concertgoers can expect.

Among the new tunes sounding even better in a live setting were the first single, Sweet Thing, the ballad 'Til Summer Comes Around, again with some exciting guitar playing by Urban, and Kiss A Girl.

Urban also made "Lindsey from Kitchener" one happy fan, when he pulled her up on stage to sign her copy of Defying Gravity, among other things she had in her purse, and finished off the encounter with a hug and a kiss on the cheek.
Days Go By
Sweet Thing
Stupid Boy
You Look Good In My Shirt
'Til Summer Comes Around
Once In A Lifetime
Making Memories Of Us
Only You
Kiss A Girl
Somebody Like You
Tonight I Wanna Cry
Better Life
Sun Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Keith Urban
The Phoenix Concert Theatre
Monday Night

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Escape Tour - Saturday, May 9th

Opening: Little Big Town?
The arena is located at Penn State University in State College, PA. 16,000 seats. As of yesterday, 8th row first section floor seats were available, two together.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Here they are! Daddy and Sunday!

Yes world, you have been clamoring for pictures of Keith Urban and the baby and now you have them. They are sweet and precious, but do notice how comfortable the child is in his arms as opposed to Kidman's. Nice to finally see them together just as the tour begins this very week. It would be too gauche to point out the obvious, wouldn't it?

Escape Together Tour... Mohegan Sun

Thursday, May 7 & Friday, May 8

Opening Act: Sugarland

Keith Urban's Escape Together World Tour begins tonight in Uncasville, Connecticut at the Mohegan Sun Casino. The arena holds 10,000 people. As of earlier this week, tickets in the lower level were still available for BOTH shows; even two seats together.

Please share reviews about the shows here. If you are personally going, we'd especially love your feedback.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Don't Ruin Yet Another Fan Favorite, Keith

Keith Urban is asking for fans to submit videos of themselves singing You’ll Think of Me to be shown on the video screens during his upcoming tour.

You'll Think Of Me is one of Keith’s signature songs. It was on the Golden Road CD from 2002. Even though he didn’t write it, he performed it as his own. He added a verse when he sang it live that was heart wrenching and emotional. He even won a Grammy in 2006 for his live performance of the song. It’s a song done best in a darkened arena with just the lights on Keith. It’s powerful and moving.

So now he wants to muck it up by showing fans on the screens behind him singing along? Bad move, Mr. Urban. If you see this at a show, please come back and give us your feedback. Maybe we’ll be pleasantly surprised, but I don’t see how.
Please take the poll on the right!