Keith Urban rips a chord in first Montreal concert
August 13th 2017 / Bell Centre/ Montreal Qc
Strobe lights flickered as band members took their respective places and Keith Urban appeared on a riser beside the drum kit, picking on a banjo, to the first song, Gone Tomorrow. It’s lyrics fit the theme of the night perfectly “It’s Gone Tomorrow but here today / I won’t let it slip away” he did not let it slip away for just over two hours and neither did the crowd for his first Montreal show ever. It was the second song Long Hot Summer that really got things going with people jumping up and down. Urban spent most of the night switching guitars and playing lot of lead solos.
Everything about the stage, lighting and moves were all basic, however the show overall was more than basic. After the two night sensory overload of Coldplay a few nights ago Urban showed how sometimes a show id just about good music by good musicians and a good crowd. The setlist was a perfect blend between faster numbers Put You In a Song , ballads Blue Ain’t Your Colour and mid tempo, Cop Car.
Keith gave a speech about the recently departed Glen Campbell, “Glen, had a huge influence on me and the music I make, because he fused everything together. He took pop. He took rock. He took soul. He took country,. He took rhythm and blues. He took it all and put it into his music and made it his own thing. I wouldn’t have had a chance today to do the thing that I do if it wasn’t for someone like, Glen Campbell.” He then performed an emotional tribute with Campbell’s, Wichita Lineman.
One of the highlights of the night had nothing to do with music at all. Surveying the crowd some of which had banners; Keith invited a Bachelorette party of girls on stage. He went the extra mile to call her fiancee on the phone. When he answered and Keith told him who was calling the fiancee hung up most likely not believing who was calling. Won’t he be surprised when he finds out the truth. Keith even made sure to take a selfie with the bachelorette party.
While big hits such as Stupid Boy or Better Life were not played in favour of lesser hits like Where The Blacktop Ends or Good Thing, it didn’t seem to matter for most. After all these are good songs as it is. At times it seemed as if Keith and his bandmates were a bit overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of the people. One of the evening’s best moments was when local Montrealer, Robby Johnson, joined Keith on stage for an energetic duet of, You Gonna Fly. If you aren’t aware of Robby Johnson yet I highly recommend you check him out.
Keith went into the audience and played most of You Look Good In My Shirt in one of the red section of seats (interesting side note : It was the opposite side to where Coldplay had done the same thing). Keith autographed his guitar with a silver sharpie and then handed it to a girl who was invited to keep on playing, as Keith made his way back through the crowd to the stage. A true believer in his fans. The next song was The Fighter. As Keith sang it, Carrie Underwood’s footage and voice played from the two side screens.
John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16 had Urban playing bass. This was an extended version with Keith introducing his drummer who gave a short solo. Then Keith sang John Cougar’s Jack and Diane even changing a lyric “Jackie’s gonna be a Canadian star” to a loud applause. He also did Bob Marley’s No Woman, No Cry. Finally came a rocking version of So Lonely from The Police. After that Keith and band kept the mood up with, Wasted Time.
It ended with Raise ‘Em Up that had an audience sing-along during a medley of U2’s With or Without You. Before the encore of which Keith sang his first number one single, For The Grace of God, he said “You always remember your first time.” So will we. Keith was generous enough to stick around and sign several autographs for front row fans. Then in keeping with his Aussie roots the PA system played AC DC’s You Shook Me All Night Long. Truly how Keith and his fans felt.
Long Hot Summer
Break On me
Somewhere In My Car
Blue Ain’t Your Color
Put You In a Song
Where the Blacktop Ends
Little Bit of Everything
You Gonna Fly
You Look Good In My Shirt
Somebody Like You
John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16
For the Grace of God
Raise ‘Em Up