June 13, 2010

Keith Urban At Meadowlands
And CMA Fest 2010


Tennesseean Blog

Act 4: There are a few moments over the history of Fan Fair/CMA Music Festival that fans and industry folks talk about years later — Garth Brooks’ 23-hour autograph signing marathon might one. Keith Urban’s Friday night LP Field show will be another. Urban ended his set with a show-stopping version of “With a Little Help from My Friends.”

“Much has been said and written, expressed … about the recent flood in Nashville,” Urban said leading up to the song. “We want to take this moment to show our gratitude to not only the organizations that come to everyone’s rescue but to the countless men and women and children that helped out … it was unbelievable to see it happen here in Nashville. The Volunteer State spirit has never been more alive and well.”

Urban brought out Kimberly Schlapman and Karen Fairchild from Little Big Town and Sarah Buxton as back-up singers and Tony Brown to play keyboard. Along with a beefed-up horn section, Urban and his band pulled of an enraptured version of “With a Little Help From My Friends” that had the crowd mesmerized. Urban littered the song with a host of inspired guitar solos and the background vocals soared before the Aussie wrapped the song and brought the entire band out to take a bow.

“That was the most magical thing I have ever seen on the CMA Fest stage,” host Storme Warren said following the song. Then, for purposes of the night’s television taping, Urban and band came out and performed the song again before leaving the stage for good. Aside from “With a Little Help from My Friends,” Urban also played “Kiss A Girl,” “Days Go By,” “Sweet Thing,” “I’m In” and “Somebody Like You,” which at the time got the biggest applause of the night.

CMT Review

As much fun as it is to see McEntire perform, Urban might be the hardest act to follow in country music. Charismatic and obviously talented, which you can notice even from the cheapest seats, it would be wise to tap him as the finale next year. Maybe he'll have new music by then, but in the meantime, he treated fans to upbeat tunes like "Kiss a Girl," "Days Go By," "Sweet Thing," "I'm In" and "Somebody Like You."

Urban concluded his set with an impassioned cover of Joe Cocker's arrangement of "With a Little Help From My Friends" that included a small horn section, famed producer Tony Brown on piano and Sarah Buxton and Little Big Town's Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schlapman on soulful harmonies. Urban dedicated the classic tune to Nashville's volunteers -- he called them "angels" -- who stepped in for flood recovery efforts in the area last month, noting, "The Volunteer State spirit has never been more alive or more evident."


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