Keith Urban Shines at Allstate

by Alison Bonaguro
Published in Chicago Tribune

November 9, 2007


Five songs into his set on Friday night, Keith Urban left his band behind. He sauntered out on the catwalk alone, with just his Australian Mini Maton guitar, and sang “Raining on Sunday,” one of his biggest hits of 2003. And it was the lack of backing instruments, lights, smoke and videos that made it his biggest hit of the night. That tiny parlor guitar, and his haunting voice, were all Urban needed to prove to the nearly sold-out crowd at the Allstate Arena that there’s deep talent behind those rough-around-the-edges good looks.

When his five-man band did join him on the small stage at the end of the catwalk, they had some sound problems, which Urban quickly turned into a little bluegrass number. “We gotta keep singin’, ‘cause something’s goin’ wrong,” he sang as he picked. Once that was fixed, though, Urban was free to roam about the arena. At one point, he left the stage and walked into section 103 in the first tier and sang “You Look Good in My Shirt.” That’s the Urban fans wanted. The Urban who jammed endlessly (and not too distinctively) on his electric guitar was not as well received. But he found a way to balance his musical personalities, even bringing out his banjo to open the show with “Once in a Lifetime” and playing piano towards the end on “Tonight I Wanna Cry.” So while Urban gets flak from country traditionalists for rocking too hard, his show demonstrates a true respects for the roots of the music.

ctc-tempo@tribune.com Copyright © 2007, Chicago Tribune

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