Over the course of my life, I have had the opportunity to see a countless number of concerts, especially in the country music genre. So when Keith Urban announced his “Light the Fuse Tour”, I pondered to myself, how in the world have I not seen him live yet? On November 15, 2013, I made sure that changed as I made my way to the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.
I was able to spend some time backstage with one of the opening acts, Dustin Lynch, as well as Country 92.5’s Broadway, host of the Electric Barnyard. Most fans know Dustin from his enormous debut #1 hit, Cowboys and Angels. I spoke to him about his next album which he told me he was just beginning to record.
Dustin stated he was very excited to finally create new songs because it gets tiring singing the same songs night after night. He further stated he wants to keep his sound the same and stay true to country music. I got to witness Broadway and Dustin perform a “bicep chug”. A form of drinking a can of beer which Dustin has made famous through twitter and other social media networks.
Broadway, who has quickly become a household name in the homes of Connecticut country fans, asked Dustin to attempt to do a different form of his usual beer drinking action and join him in a “frisbee chug”. Dustin did not hesitate and the results were hilarious. You can see the full clip from Broadway’s blog, Behind the Barn, here at http://www.country925.com/media/play/behind-the-barn-dustin-lynch-23994950/ .
I made my way to the Arena and got to my seat just as Keith came out and instantly ripped into Long Hot Summer. What followed was a perfectly executed set that combined hits, covers, new album cuts, surprises, and most of all, some of the best electric guitar skills I have ever witnessed. Keith is backed by four other musicians and had an enormous interactive screen that constantly changed images behind the band.
Keith mostly stuck to his music and did not speak to the crowd as much as I thought he would. However, when he did, he made the most of it. Especially when he randomly picked a girl out of the crowd and brought her on stage. He then had her sit in a couch and asked her to pick from a selection of songs. She picked Only You Can Love Me This Way because it was her wedding song. Keith followed by seductively singing the song to her and changing the lyrics up to fit the moment.
There were some great surprises as well during his two hour set. Keith brought out Little Big Town, another of the opening acts on this tour, for the megahit, You’re Gonna Fly. The four LBT members sandwiched Keith at the front of the stage and he happily let them take over the vocals while his fingers made magic up and down on his guitar. This song was easily one of the crowd’s favorites as the entire Arena was up and rocking.
Keith did not forget about his bicep chugging opening act either, as he brought out Dustin Lynch to take over the vocals on the second and third verses of “Kiss A Girl”. Dustin showed true professionalism as he had the crowd singing along and the girls hearts fluttering.
Dustin and Keith had a real stage presence together as they shared the same microphone and fed off of each other’s energy. I always find it great when the headliner brings out his supporting acts for select songs and wish more stars would do the same. Dustin took advantage of the opportunity to be up on stage with a megastar such as Keith Urban and knocked the song out of the park.
Keith also used a “B Stage” in the back area of the arena in which he used several times for a multitude of songs. He allowed the band members to sing snippets of several cover songs back there and even threw in a verse of Blake Shelton’s hick-hop hit, Boys ‘Round Here, as he made his way from the back stage to the front.
The constant movement from the main stage through the crowd to the back stage made for an exciting experience as I found myself expecting the unexpected. There was absolutely no lull in the performance as it was exhilarating from start to finish. I have seen numerous shows where the artist sticks to his microphone and does not much else. This, I can promise you, is not the Keith Urban way.
In the end, the real star of the show was Keith’s guitarmanship. He performed hit after hit with impressive vocals, but, after virtually every song, he pounced into a guitar solo that was absolutely face melting. He had me shaking my head with utter confusion on how someone can be so skilled at an instrument. The only complaint I can think of with his show was how one of his backup band members seemed to try to hard to be a part of the show. For some reason, he chose to wear a shirt and tie and constantly tried to get the crowd’s attention. His antics seemed to take away from Keith’s brillance at times and almost felt like he was purposefully trying to upstage him.
The true highlight of the show was when Karen Fairchild returned to the stage for the third time that night, to help with Miranda Lambert’s portion of the new smash hit, We Were Us. She sounded brillant in her vocals and made me wonder if she may have been better suited for the actual studio cut. Nonetheless, Karen and Keith performed a perfect rendition of the song and they seemed to have geniune fun singing together.
Before the encore, Keith ended his set with Somebody Like You while an arena full of confetti fell from the rafters. This created an amazing visual with all of the lasers and lights from his production team. His encore was a mixture of love ballads, a song which he performed on the piano, and he finished up with the fun loving hit, You Look Good In My Shirt.
All in all, I left the Mohegan Sun Arena that night kicking myself for waiting so long to see such a musical mastermind live. He combined everything that makes a live show worth a fan’s money: hits, high production, interaction, surprises, and professionalism. If you have the chance to see Keith light the Fuse in your hometown, do not wait any longer, jump on the opportunity.
- Long Hot Summer
- Sweet Thing
- I Told You So
- Stupid Boy
- Only You Can Love Me This Way
- Even the Stars Fall 4 You
- You Gonna Fly (with Little Big Town)
- Cop Car
- Without You
- Good Thing
- Kiss a Girl (with Dustin Lynch)
- Won’t Get Fooled Again (The Who cover)
- Days Go By
- Rumour Has It (Adele cover)
- Once in a Lifetime
- Better Life
- Boys ‘Round Here (Blake Shelton cover)
- Some Nights (Fun. cover)
- Little Bit of Everything
- ‘Til Summer Comes Around
- We Were Us (with Karen Fairchild of Little Big Town)
- Who Wouldn’t Wanna Be Me
- Somebody Like You
- But for the Grace of God (Encore – played on the piano)
- Keep on Loving You (Encore – REO Speedwagon cover)
- Tonight I Wanna Cry (Encore)
- Locked Out of Heaven (Encore – Bruno Mars cover)
- You Look Good in My Shirt (Encore)