#BGReviewer: Keith Urban
In a lot of ways, Keith Urban’s return to Budweiser Gardens must’ve felt a lot like coming home.
After all, this was the eighth time the multi-award-winning country star has graced the London stage — more than any other artist in the history of the venue — and if trends continue, it’s a safe bet it won’t be his last.
This time around it was Urban’s Graffiti U World Tour that packed them in Sunday night, with Calgary’s Lindsay Ell along for the ride, boasting yet another sold-out crowd for the Bud Gardens crew.
To say Urban exudes star power would be a pretty severe understatement. When it comes to putting on a truly noteworthy show few can do it better, and when it comes to making fans feel special, the competition isn’t even close.
Just ask 10-year-old Ella from Brantford, the lucky little lady chosen out of a sea of signs and screams to join Urban in the spotlight — plucked by the man himself straight from the upper deck. Seems birthdays are a pretty big deal on tour, and there’s no better way to celebrate than a photo-op with the whole family (Grandma included) at centerstage. Add to that a rousing singalong led by an icon and thousands of his excited fans, and you have the makings of a birthday she won’t soon forget.
Kicking off the set with Never Coming Down and Days Go By, Urban kept the energy high from the start, surrounded by a field of brightly patterned screens and flashing lights.
And the hits just kept on coming.
From Long Hot Summer to Somebody Like You and You Look Good in My Shirt, it was hard to tell who was having more fun; the audience, or the star himself.
Staying true to his every-man ideals and proving even the biggest stars count on amazing team, Urban took time to introduce every member of the band — giving up the spotlight to a number of solos throughout the night. There was also an appearance by duet-partner Carrie Underwood (via recorded video of course, adorned with Keith Urban swag) for a rendition of The Fighter, bringing Urban out to a second stage, eager to serenade fans at the back of the arena.
One lucky guy even got to take home the musician’s guitar, complete with fresh performance sweat (as he pointed out) — talk about a memorable night.
Wrapping things up with Horses, an encore featuring the always magnetic Ell and an amazing guitar duet, Urban solidified his place in not only Budweiser Garden’s record books, but in the hearts of the London crowd.
You know, I bet if he wanted to come back for a ninth appearance, I’m sure the Bud crew would be more than happy to make it happen. Just sayin’.
Photos by @BillWoodcock