Friday, June 5, 2009

Escape Tour - Friday, June 5th

Friday, June 5th - U.S. Bank Arena, Cincinnati, Ohio

Opener: "Very Special Guest" Taylor Swift

Venue seats 17,000

From the Cincy paper:

Swift, Urban sets a contrast in styles
Concert review
By Chris Varias • Enquirer contributor • June 6, 2009

After the fanatical response opening act Taylor Swift received at U.S. Bank Arena Friday night, you wondered if it should have been her – not fellow pop-country star Keith Urban – headlining the show. The 19-year-old singer, who has fashioned a fast-rising career out of autobiographical songs about teen romance, had fans shrieking through the course of her energetic hour-long performance.

Urban followed with a two-hour set that served as a contrast in styles. Where Swift came off as hungry for adulation and made a show out of giving back love to the audience, Urban played it cool throughout the evening. And the sellout crowd loved him as madly as it did Swift. It’s as if those shriekers wanted to be Swift and wanted to be with Urban.

The 41-year-old Australian singer and guitar player, also known to popular-culture junkies as Nicole Kidman’s husband, put on a perfect pop performance without it seeming as if he had to try to hard. Standing there in order to let the ladies admire him was half the job, and his lead-guitar playing – seldom thrilling but always technically sound – seemed to come as natural to him as looking pretty.

And, yes, it was a pop performance, though he works the country circuit. The 19-song set list, filled with middle-of-the-road rhythm and acoustic-guitar balladry, had more in common with the music of Bryan Adams than that of any honky-tonker you could name.

Urban visited several corners of the arena, three-quarters of which was set up for the show. Most of his performances took place on the main stage, with him either running around during an up-tempo rocker like “I Wanna Love Somebody Like You” as his five-piece band back him or sitting on a stool, playing acoustic guitar, and going it alone on a ballad like “You’ll Think of Me.” A smaller stage was set up at the opposite end of the arena floor. Urban went out there for more ballad action in the form of the song “Once in a Lifetime.” Later in the show, he ventured to a microphone stand set up in a section of the bowl of the arena. There he sang the rocker “You Look Good in My Shirt” while, for his trouble, he was pawed by most every female fan he passed. Back on the main stage, Urban was framed by an impressive array of video and lighting. The five-column video screen behind the band changed its location from song to song, and during “’Til Summer Comes Around,” the screen went from its vertical position to a horizontal one, become a ceiling above the band and radiating greens, blues and reds to augment the tune’s moody vibe with tremendous effect. Swift’s show was similar to her previous opening-act appearances in recent Riverbend seasons. She stretched out her set a bit longer this time, adding a theatrical piece of music-making where she banged away with mallets on rusted 55-gallon drums. Her strength is not found in emulating the Blue Man Group. Swift was at her best when she was setting up a song with a story, usually about a boy who wronged her, then letting the tune rip. It will be interesting to see her finally get the chance to headline her own show in Cincinnati, and judging by indicators like awards, hits, and record sales, that day should be coming soon.


maclen said...

Yeah, "VERY very special guest"...and another orb "opener" who is wiping him to the floor in cd sales...

maclen said... the orb is shown how it's done by his more successful "openers"'s summer, and kidman is back on the set...her only true love...and she is scheduled to present at the Tony awards this weekend, (she starts "jonesing" when she hasn't appeared at an awards show...even an industry awards show she has had nothing to do with for the last 9 years)... and do not fail to recall that there was an announced trip to the "less fortunates" on behalf of the UN also this summer. So look for that to also spring up in this publicity tour...(for I did predict when this UN trip was announced last year for this summer, she would also be filming when it came up...lets see if I am still right) We're into half the year already, and surely kidman could not possibly have found time prior to take that trip...I mean there was lame photo ops, but mainly simply trying to scrap up a new film role...and she's managed to scrape up another low rent, and no doubt low profile dreary and depressing weeper...but now it's time as she's in principle photograhy and awards show loitering to get some "humanitarian" publicity while shes at it... so just as she was on Letterman to shill for her last movie...then to The View to shill for her last was to the UN to shill for her last movie. For basically kidman doesnt consider the "less fortunates" unless she needs to ramp up for the publicity...again, simply penciled in between press junkets and talk show or awards appearences.