It’s halfway through Tuesday night’s show and pop-country star Keith Urban is 10 feet off the ground (and rising).
The 5’8 Urban has leapt off the main stage, pushed his way through a crowd of more than 10,000 and is now at center court of the Pepsi Center. He rises to the height of around 15 feet on a spinning stage and sits down on what looks like an office chair with a magic arm holding a microphone. His band, 50 rows away, starts into 2002’s “You’ll Think of Me.” All the while the audience swarms Urban with a sea of hands and smart phones.
The song ends, the spinning stage lowers and Urban is on his way back to the main stage, shaking hands and offering hugs to swooning fans all along the way.
Perhaps it’s common place for an Aussie to be so friendly? First time concertgoer beware. It’s not every show you will see a multi-platinum artist leave the stage up to 10 times just to shake hands with fans, invite multiple people up to sing with him, or offer a birthday hug just because it is requested from a homemade sign.
Urban even wields a spotlight he controls from the stage to shine on the “cheap seats” to let fans know he can see them. He reminisces about the days where he would drive all night from Nashville to Denver just to play the Grizzly Rose for one night. “I have some great memories from the Grizzly Rose, nights I can’t forget, some I can’t remember at all! Give the folks over there my love,” he told the crowd.
To put it simply: Keith Urban is an arena show. It’s a huge stage with a 30 foot video screen. You paid over $200 to get a good seat, you paid $50 to get a bad seat. It’s expensive and Urban knows it. The entire show is devoted to making sure everyone walks away satisfied.
Besides his high flying acrobatics, confetti ending and climbing flights of stairs to the opposite end of the Pepsi Center to sign and give a young fan his guitar, the show had some great surprises. The biggest of which being Colorado native and Fray front man, Isaac Slade, appearing on stage as the two preformed the Fray’s hit “How to Save a Life.”
“Sorry I’m late,” Slade remarked as he hugged it out with Urban.
“No worries, this is my first Issac show,” said Urban.
“This is my first Keith Urban show,” answered Slade.
Urban and company played well over two and a half hours giving fans a wide selection of songs off his 2010 album, “Get Closer.” He opened with “Put You In A Song,” and brought the house down with “Sweet Thing” and “Long Hot Summer.” For the encore he invited opening act Jake Owen on stage to sing John Mellencamp’s “Jack and Diane.”
Click here to read our recent interview with Keith Urban.
Evan Semón is a Denver freelance writer and photographer and regular contributor to Reverb. See more of his work.
Karson Brown is a Denver photographer and a new contributor to Reverb.