His performance was everything country — big hats, cold beer and lots of twang.
Kelsea Ballerini opened the concert at 7:30 p.m. and performed an energetic selection of her songs, including “Yeah Boy,” “Dibs” and “Love Me Like You Mean It.”
She was remarkably persistent in demanding the crowd’s attention, even though most concertgoers’ primary concern was queuing for beer.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Tribune
Urban, who wore a white V-neck T-shirt and jeans, took the Chumash Grandstand Arena stage at 8:45 p.m. in front of a cheering and hollering crowd.
Four songs into his set, Urban finally greeted his fans. He didn’t stop interacting with the audience for the rest of the evening.
Urban sang everything you’d expect to hear at one of his concerts, including his hits “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16,” “Cop Car,” “Long Hot Summer,” “Days Go By” and “Somebody Like You.”
A competition was held by local country radio station KJUG a week prior to the concert inviting women to make audition tapes of themselves singing. The winner, selected by public vote, would appear onstage during Urban’s concert to help him perform “We Were Us” a duet he recorded with Miranda Lambert.
Lauren Batiste of San Luis Obispo won the KJUG competition, and she absolutely rocked it. Urban snapped multiple selfies with the crowd, inviting one audience member up on stage to take a picture and bringing another girl onstage to sing “Kiss a Girl” with him.
He left the stage toward the end of the performance and sang a few songs in the main audience seating area before taking off his guitar, signing it and giving it to a nearby woman.
Urban clearly knew what he was doing and pulled out all the stops during his concert, which included a fantastic — and unexpected —guitar solo that spanned at least two minutes.
The lights went out around 10:15 p.m. to tease the audience before Urban came back onstage for a two-song encore that included “Stupid Boy.”
The California Mid-State Fair continues through Sunday at the Paso Robles Event Center, 2198 Riverside Ave. in Paso Robles.
For more information, call 800-909-FAIR (3247) or visit www.midstatefair.com.