Roanoke Civic Center, Roanoke, Virginia
Opener: Dierks Bentley
Tickets available through box office or Tickets.com; 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 blogs.roanoke.com/cutnscratch to read more on a Ticketmaster.com 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.