Keith Urban brought his Graffiti U world tour to his hometown last night, playing the first of three Brisbane stadium shows to 15,000 fans.
Graffiti U at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre is a massive production, what with the huge LED screens and a ‘U’ shaped B-stage at the back of the room. But the singer-songwriter-guitar slinger looks as comfortable in this huge setup as he did when he started out playing bars, kicking off with “Never Comin’ Down.”
Early on, Urban reaches for a pair of binoculars to read the signs in the stands. A lady named Kelly from Caboolture is invited on stage, and gets a lot of laughs when she offers him a booking at her beauty salon. Borrowing her phone, the affable Urban thinks it’d be a great idea to shoot a video together and send it to her boyfriend.
Then it’s back to the business of rock ’n’ roll, and the show doesn’t let up for two and a half hours. “Long Hot Summer,” particularly, is a highlight: The tune shows Urban’s pop sensibilities and he shines with one of his best solos of the night.
The tempo drops for “Parallel Line,” while “Put You in a Song” kicks the hometown crowd back into high gear. On “Stupid Boy,” Urban demonstrates his prowess on acoustic guitar and then brings Julia Michaels out for a slick cover of 5 Seconds of Summer’s “Lie to Me.”
Later on, more guests appear via the video screens: Kassi Ashton is beamed in for a rollicking take on “Drop Top,” and Carrie Underwood appears for a duet on “The Fighter.” And Urban’s prepped yet another cover: “Somebody Like You” segues into U2’s “With or Without You” in the darkened arena, lit only by cellphones.
After gifting a fan his guitar at the B-stage, Urban zips back to the front and launches into “Gone Tomorrow (Here Today)” and “Wasted Time.” He waves goodbye, and the stadium is awash in confetti. But the country star doesn’t take much coaxing for a well-deserved encore. Now wearing his home state rugby league jersey, Urban closes the show with “Texas Time” and “Horses,” proving that decades down the road, he’s still a top-notch performer.
Contributed by: Sean Sennett