April 17, 2010

Keith Urban Shines!

Urban shines at Country Thunder

Arizona Daily Star

FLORENCE - Keith Urban stood back with a smart grin as he aimed his mike to the audience and let them take over.

"Stupid boy, you can't fence that in / Stupid boy, it's like holding back the wind," they sang, and it sounded like all 16,000 people who had passed through Country Thunder's gates Friday were singing along.

For Urban, that moment might have seemed like coming full circle. Ten years ago, he stood on that stage for the first and only time, an Australian import with two songs to his credit and some crazy mad guitar skills that rivaled rock's guitar dynasties.

And here he was, a decade later and surely lots of goals and dreams realized, performing in the headlining spot with all that glittering superstar bling: dozens of songs, shiny guitars, a brilliant video light show blasting on a humongous screen behind him.

But the bling is only eye candy. The merits of Urban's show rest on his ability to interpret an achingly beautiful ballad like "Stupid Boy" so convincingly you could swear he's choking back tears. Or deliver the boot-stomping romp of "Days Go By" with dizzying energy.

Urban's pop-country catalog is weighted equally between soaring monster ballads and spirited dance songs. Each is punctuated in his live performance with rock-worthy guitar solos that turn songs like his ballad " 'Til Summer Comes Around" and the rocking "I'm In" into epic events.

During the guitar rant for "Where the Blacktop Ends," Urban jogged the length of the center catwalk that jutted into the audience, pausing to squeeze outstretched hands and dodge the few women who tried to grab his behind. All the while, he never skipped a note.

Throughout his two-hour show, he used the catwalk to amazing effect, especially in his acoustic encore of the ballad "Tonight I Wanna Cry."

Just before his encore, he jumped off the side of the stage and made his way around the crowd with a security detail of four to six officers. He even leaped over a fence to shake hands with fans standing in the lawn section.

The security came in handy as throngs of fans tried to rush him.

Urban capped a day that included the Country Thunder debut of Kevin Costner & Modern West, and performances by Southern rocker Randy Houser, neo-traditionalist Luke Bryan and the hopping trio Trailer Choir.

Costner, who quietly took the stage with no introduction, took on the role of country music newcomer with the disadvantage of having little known material to support him.

But he delivered the goods in an hourlong set and showed off some real talent: rough-hewn vocals that nearly growled on his post-Hurricane Katrina rocker "Five Minutes to America"; a lusty growl on the sultry "Long Hot Night"; and a gently worn baritone on the pop-country ballad "Let Me Be the One," which he sang with his daughter, Lily.


"Chris Lilly Named Official Tour BBQ Pitmaster, Bringing the Concert Experience to Backyards Everywhere

OAKLAND, CA--(Marketwire - April 15, 2010) - KC Masterpiece® Barbecue Sauce is putting American barbecue back on tour as the headline sponsor of the Keith Urban Summer Lovin' 2010 Tour, which promises to sizzle as it stops at state fairs, festivals and major arenas. For the second year in a row, KC Masterpiece® is hitting the road with Urban to celebrate real people, real music and real food across the country.

Like the authentic flavor of KC Masterpiece® Barbecue Sauce slathered on food hot off the grill, Urban has a unique and authentic connection to his fans. The honesty of his music resonates with fans whether in a club, outdoor festival, arena or stadium. But no matter the location, Urban's concerts are an event. Music lovers come to experience his critically hailed live performances with family and friends, an experience that begins from the moment they enter the parking lot -- with thousands tailgating before the performances.

"Music, like barbecuing, has a unique communal quality that brings people together," said Urban. "It's that connection that we strive for every night at our shows, which in actuality can start with a fun tailgate party before we even hit the stage."

Last year was a banner year for Urban with one of the most successful concert tours of 2009 (The Escape Together World Tour) and multiple award wins including a Grammy, American Music Award, People's Choice Award, Academy of Country Music Award and Country Music Association honors. He also is nominated for two ACM Awards including the much coveted "Entertainer of the Year," for which fans can vote by going to Facebook.com/KCMasterpiece now through April 18.

As part of its sponsorship, KC Masterpiece® will host the Keith Urban Backstage Barbecue Experience, which includes concert admission and an exclusive pre-show performance by and photo opportunity with Urban. Starting April 16, fans also will have the chance to win a once-in-a-lifetime experience -- a private barbecue and concert with Urban -- as well as free song downloads and Monkeyville fan club memberships by visiting KCMasterpiece.com through Sept. 6.

The tour sponsorship coincides with a major packaging refresh designed to reflect the barbecue brand's Kansas City roots. KC Masterpiece® Barbecue Sauce was created in Kansas City -- where people love to barbecue -- and it's still the number one selling sauce there today. It was there, more than 30 years ago, where Dr. Rich Davis crafted the flavor combination that won him the "Best Sauce" award at the first-ever American Royal (now the world's largest barbecue competition), allowing him to quit his job and focus on his true passion: barbecue. Today, the makers of KC Masterpiece® sauces, marinades and seasonings still deliver the Real Deal -- authentic barbecue taste that makes any dish an American Classic.

Share Your Real Deal Stories
It might be hard to describe, but most people know the Real Deal when they see it (or taste it in the case of KC Masterpiece®). It represents something or someone that's authentic, genuine and true -- like a rib joint that's been using the same family recipe for more than 50 years, a musician like Urban who performs with passion night after night, or an everyday hero who makes an impact in his or her community. KC Masterpiece® wants to honor people who are the Real Deal and inspire others to celebrate them. Starting May 10, share why someone in your life is the Real Deal at Facebook.com/KCMasterpiece for the chance to win Urban concert tickets.

"It doesn't get much more authentic than the combination of great music and barbecue," said Nick Meyer, marketing manager for KC Masterpiece®. "That, to me, is the Real Deal, which is why we are partnering with Keith Urban again this year."

To consummate this natural marriage of music and barbecue, Chris Lilly has been named the official Tour BBQ Pitmaster and will create exclusive recipes, advise on the perfect tour barbecue cuisine and share his grilling expertise with music fans. A 10-time world barbecue champion and head of the Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q Cooking Team of Decatur, Ala., Lilly hopes to help fans bring a taste of the tour to their own backyards.

For a menu and more info click HERE


Friday ACM Rehearsal Not-Quite-Live Blog: Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, and Reba

by Whitney Pastorek

12:17 p.m. Keith Urban’s adorable Aussie accent is filling the arena as I arrive. His band is on stage, noodling around with the lick from Lou Reed’s “Walk On the Wild Side” while Keith stands in the house, discussing a top-secret gimmick. I’ve been asked not to reveal the gimmick, which is fine by me. I like to be part of the solution. Thus, I can give you a snippet of Keith’s conversation, and nothing more: “There might be something cool in taking it and walking right up on stage with it,” he says. “Then I just have to figure out who’s gonna take it when I walk up to my mic.” As he brainstorms with staffers, Keith is wonderfully cheerful and good-natured.

12:18 p.m. He’s singing “I’m In.” This song is also very cheerful and good-natured. Keith, I do need a lover and a friend. Thank you for suggesting that.

12:48 p.m. Keith finishes another take, and the sizeable crowd of civilians packed into the seats on the other side of the house cheer. “We love you, Keith!” one of them screams. “Hi!” says Keith.

12:59 p.m. Now they’re playing back Keith’s performance so he can watch it. He seems pleased. Well, I mean, I can only see the back of his head. But he’s not, like, throwing chairs or anything.

3:45 p.m. Miranda comes down off stage and sits on her boyfriend Blake Shelton’s lap. He’s hiding in the audience stage right, drinking something out of a red gimme cup. Keith Urban, where are you?!? I continue to need a lover and a friend, dammit!

6:52 p.m. After running through a few of her teleprompter bits in various spots around the room, Reba is now rehearsing “Keep On Loving You.” It is predictably impeccable. Behind her as she sings is what looks to be a slideshow of male country stars and their wives, lovely soft-focus shots of Johnny and June, Tim and Faith, Keith and Nicole, etc, etc. Naturally, it ends on Reba and Narvel. Aw.

For more commentary click HERE.


Anonymous said...

What did he do, fly in and out of Vegas for Country Thunder?
Sounds like it.

SkewerMistress said...

Anon the ACM Awards are in Vegas.

SkewerMistress said...

From his official Twitter account

All the luggage has been thrown on the bus, getting ready to head to AZ for Country Thunder tomorrow. See you there. 3:28 PM Apr 15th via web

Anonymous said...

Loved the link! Thanks

Anonymous said...

How funny that Nomorefan is making digs at Keith's clothes, past and present. I seem to remember Nomorefan being a very BIG fan during his gold toenails and hummer days as well as his t-shirt, blond highlight days. Suddenly that all looks strange to her? I highly doubt it.

The skeptics are dead. They lost. They marriage is real, the love is real and Keith & Nicole are A listers with plenty of friends, a beautiful child, booming careers, and tons of fans. Check Mate.

SkewerMistress said...

Even if Keith doesn't win anything, the description of the rehearsal says it's going to be a long night for the haters.

Anonymous said...

They will be glued to their TVs and pretend they didn't watch LMAO

Mr. erniethedog couch potato will have his comments . LMAO big time!

Anonymous said...

HAAAAAAAAAAA Ernie the dog and Mr. Dog, didn't disappoint !!

I wonder why she cares so much? LMAO

What a nut bag!

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