Sunday, June 17, 2007

KEITH URBAN concert!

I still remember the time very well about two and a half years ago when I first heard Keith Urban's "You'll Think Of Me" on a local Hot AC station... It reminded me a lot of a mellow version of one of Matchbox 20's hits and quite frankly, I liked the sound a lot. I grew up a huge fan of Pop Music, while my parents tried and tried to no avail to convert me to Country for a very long time... "No" was always my answer to them, although I have to admit that I really did like most of the Country "crossover" hits a lot. My sister made the conversion many years ago, but I held steadfast in my dedication to the Pop format...

In the late 90's and early 2000's a lot of Country acts crossed over to the Pop charts - Faith Hill, Shania Twain, Lonestar, Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw, Lee Ann Womack and LeAnn Rimes all had sizable hits there. Martina McBride also had huge hits at adult contemporary radio during that time. And yes, I enjoyed them all! In 2002, the Dixie Chicks came along with their version of Fleetwood Mac's "Landslide." It seemed certain that the song was going to be a HUGE hit as it quickly ascended to the top 15 at both Pop and Hot AC... the Chicks then made their infamous comments about President Bush and the song broke records for largest drops in plays at THREE different formats the following week!!! The doors that had been opened at Pop radio for Country music suddenly were shut. It wasn't until the week of August 26, 2005 that another Country act would hit the Pop charts... that would be Mr. Urban with the aforementioned "You'll Think Of Me." Although the song only peaked at #32 on the Pop chart, it became a HUGE top 5 hit at Hot AC and also AC... The doors to Pop radio had suddenly been reopened to Country music... and in case you haven't noticed, both Rascal Flatts and Carrie Underwood have had MASSIVE hits over the past year at multiple formats, including Pop... For those of you that don't know, Carrie was the one who probably finally did what my parents and sister could not - convert me... Yes, I'm a HUGE Country fan now, though I do still listen to some pop music.

As for the concert... Only one word can describe it: AMAZING!!! I've seen a lot of concerts over the years, and I'm going to have to say this may have been the best performance I've ever been to... I was fortunate enough to see the band Boston during their Third Stage tour back in the late 80's... I think that's the only other time I've ever left a concert with jaw dropped and in absolute awe! Keith began his over two hour set just after 9:00 pm with the first single off his Love, Pain and the Whole Crazy Thing CD, "Once In A Lifetime." There were so many highlights that I could literally write a book on the show... some of the best ones for me were the acoustic performances of "Stupid Boy, "Raining On Sunday," and "Tonight I Wanna Cry." Keith was amazing on his upbeat songs too... "Days Go By," "Somebody Like You", his current single "I Told You So," and "Better Life" - the second song in his encore - were also particularly outstanding... Keith had a HUGE jumbotron screen behind the stage and he used it to full effect with lots of videos, visual effects and shots of the audience during the show... There was also a walkway to a stage right smack dab in the middle of Staples Center where even the people in the nosebleed seats had an amazing view... Keith even grabbed a banner from one of the audience members which read "you can kiss my wife if I can kiss yours"... so Keith went into the audience and kissed the man's wife! Keith's wife, Nicole Kidman couldn't be there for the show though she probably wasn't out of his thoughts much at all - he dedicated a song to her and also said that he "wouldn't be here without her." It was quite a touching moment. Keith interacted with the audience throughout the show, even at one point having everyone get their cell phones out and doing the wave twice around the building! Also, in case you don't know, Keith plays probably the meanest guitar in music today... My sister, Mom and I were just shaking our heads in amazement after the show at how well he plays that guitar!

Keith's opening act was the Wreckers... quite honestly, they really never did connect with the audience much. Perhaps part of that was due to the fact that the people in charge of the music before and between sets at Staples Center didn't play ANY Country music, instead playing pop and rock songs from the 80's and 90's! What was up with that??? Michelle Branch, the lead singer of the Wreckers, managed to be her own worst enemy a couple of times during their seven song set, stating before her song "Cigarettes," that "I wrote this one after I got tired of putting up with a boyfriend's *bleep*." Not exactly typical of the type of stuff you expect to hear at a Country music concert... Later on, she tried to get the crowd to sing the chorus to their #1 hit "Leave The Pieces" and she made a smart remark about the L.A. crowd after they didn't sing the chorus loud enough for her. Though Michelle and her bandmate Jessica Harp may be very talented, they have A LOT of growing up to do if they're going to be fully accepted into the mainstream Country community.


In the U.S. Open golf championship, we have a Tiger sighting... Tiger Woods posted a one-under-par 69 to pull to +4 and within two strokes of Aaron Baddeley (+2) for the lead. Paul Casey followed up his amazing 66 with a two-over-par 72 to finish in a four way tie at +5 along with Justin Rose, Stephen Ames and Bubba Watson. Jim Furyk, Steve Stricker and midway leader Angel Cabrera sit at +6. Vijah Singh sits within striking distance at +8 after posting an even par 70. Live coverage of the final round begins on your local NBC station at 1 pm ET/10 am PT.


Lastly, if you are still blessed enough to have a Dad, please make sure to wish them a Happy Father's Day... this time of year is always a little hard for me as I lost my father to cancer back in 1999...

1 comment:

VacationBarbie said...

Hey JohnC...

I was at Staples too!

I had the same thoughts about the Wreckers as well. This was my 3rd stop on my KURT (Keith Urban Road Trip..lols..Fresno, San Jose, Los Angeles)

Did you notice the 'faux' country accents they were using? What was up with that?

I saw them last year opening for Rascal Flatts and they are somewhat improved, but they 'really' need to work on their crowd interaction.

I have a few more shows on the 2nd leg of the tour planned and I very much hope Keith picks another opening act for the 2nd half. Like maybe Little Big Town? Please?