I had one thought as I walked out of the Keith Urban concert Wednesday night:
Dude can put on a show.
Urban, one of the veteran country superstars of my teenage years, to put it simply, rocks. His concert at the California Mid-State Fair was pretty close to perfection — everything you could have wanted from a show was there.
There was (in no particular order):
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Tribune
▪ Sick guitar solos.
▪ Audience sing alongs.
▪ Lots of hair flipping.
▪ Did I mention the guitar playing? Because dang, it was awesome.
He ran through pretty much all his big hits throughout the night — “Break on Me,” “Wasted Time,” “Blue Ain't Your Color,” “Cop Car,” “You Look Good in My Shirt” — there were a lot.
Some notable standouts were two of his duets. The first was “We Were Us,” which he recorded with Miranda Lambert in 2013. He pulled opener Lauren Alaina (of American Idol fame) back on stage for this one to a pretty solid round of applause. The biggest reaction was when the opening notes of “Fighter,” his latest duet with Carrie Underwood, broke through the speakers, and a recording of Underwood singing her verses appeared on the big screens.
I thought the audience was going to scream itself to death.
The two highlights of the night, though, were in two audience interactions.
First, while looking out at the packed crowd, Urban noticed a sign reading “Hug a Local Cop.” So obviously he called the Santa Maria woman up, and she vaulted over not one but two fences and pulled herself on stage for a hug. I thought that would be the cutest moment of the night, but I was wrong.
Closer to the end of his set, Urban made his way farther back into the audience then I had ever seen a performer go, and stood on a platform right in front of the bleacher sections. There was a whole lot of screaming, reaching out to try and grab him and selfies, and that was just from me. Then he signs his guitar and gives it to a guy in his audience.
At that, the entire audience imploded.
The rest of the night was a blur of flashing lights and sing-alongs, before finally the last sounds of the guitar faded out, and Urban left the stage.