It wouldn’t be the first week back to school without its share of stress here and there, but this last week was particularly ridiculous for reasons I won’t get into here. Fortunately, DH and I had something very special lined up for Friday Date Night: the return of Keith Urban to Ottawa and Scotiabank Place. (The Band Perry was the opening act.)
Keith Urban’s music has always held a special place in my relationship with DH. We still laugh when the story of a manic weekend in December 2007 comes up, when I took DS13 (then age 10) to the Ottawa stop of the “Love, Pain and The Whole Crazy World Tour,” and the very next day, hit the road with DH armed with concert tickets to London, Ontario, in the middle of one of the worst winter storms that either of us can remember. (We haven’t done anything quite that brave, or crazy, since. But dammit, it was worth it.) Unfortunately, we didn’t make it to Urban’s Bluesfest show in 2010, but I promised myself that we weren’t going to allow another Ottawa show to pass us by.
Part of Urban’s appeal for us is his fusion of ’70s California rock (i.e., The Eagles) and “new” country music. His band is a tight unit of four talented multi-instrumentalists. They truly strike me as being brothers united in music if not by blood, and one of the highlights of the show last night was Urban introducing each of them in turn, giving them the opportunity to perform a snippet of a classic rock or country song. Jerry Flowers (bass guitar), who bears an almost uncanny likeness to Adam Clayton, laid out a kick-ass rendition of U2’s “With Or Without You.” Danny Rader (guitar, banjo, and other string instruments) sang the praises of Canadian girls. (Well, honey, you’re something to sing about too. Does anyone know if he’s married?) And my DS13, having stayed home this time because “country music isn’t cool, Mom,” missed out on Brian Nutter (guitar) covering AC/DC’s “It’s A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock N’ Roll).”
The set itself resembled the metal rigging of a roller coaster, a nod to Urban’s recent hit single, “‘Til Summer Comes Around,” with a few strands of bright carnival lights; and the evening itself concluded with 2 encores followed by an explosion of confetti, streamers and fireworks (pics 2 and 3 – below. My HTC smartphone’s camera didn’t do it justice). The video montages streaming behind the band are always fun and entertaining, and one would have to have a heart of stone to not be moved while watching the footage of Urban embracing his wife Nicole Kidman during “Without You.”
Such a terrific way to bid farewell to summer, and the energy from both the band and the crowd was insane. Until the next time, Keith and crew!
Put You In A Song
Days Go By
I Told You So
Raining On Sunday
Long Hot Summer
Silly Love Songs (Wings cover)/Making Memories Of Us
You’ll Think Of Me
You Gonna Fly
‘Til Summer Comes Around
Kiss A Girl (with Kate from Hawkesbury, Benjamin from Vernon, and Caitlin from Ottawa, who were brought up on stage in a “fan-jam”-esque voice contest)
Somebody Like You
Who Wouldn’t Wanna Be Me?
You Look Good In My Shirt
Tonight I Wanna Cry