“This is a very spontaneous show,” Keith Urban told the crowd when he hit the stage of City Hall, a Nashville nightspot, before opening the performance with a solo acoustic cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Never Going Back.”
Thursday night’s (March 1) event was a private concert for members of Monkeyville (Urban’s official fan club) and out-of-town radio programmers attending the annual Country Radio Seminar. Fan club members received notification of the show early Thursday morning, and 250 of them gained admission and positioned themselves in a reserved area immediately in front of the stage. The rest of the venue was filled with CRS attendees and members of the local music industry.
The 11 p.m. show lasted for approximately two hours and emphasized Urban’s hits and material from his latest Capitol Nashville album, Love, Pain & the Whole Crazy Thing. The night also included an array of unexpected cover songs and a guest appearance from Brooks & Dunn’s Ronnie Dunn.
After opening with the Fleetwood Mac song, Urban’s band joined him for a rapid succession of hits, including “Raining on Sunday,” “Once in a Lifetime,” “Days Go By” and “Where the Blacktop Ends.”
After a fan club member yelled a message between songs, Urban said, “What did you say, sweetheart?”
“I’m Heather, and I just dumped my ‘Stupid Boy’ today!” she said, making a reference to Urban’s current Top 10 single.
“Everyone, Heather dumped her ‘Stupid Boy’ today,” Urban told the crowd. “She’s in for a good night because there’s nothing but smart boys here.” With that, Urban performed the song.
After noting, “I guarantee that we need a tall microphone for the next one,” Urban introduced Dunn, who performed Brooks & Dunn’s first No. 1 single, “Brand New Man.” Alluding to Urban’s recent release from the Betty Ford Clinic for treatment of alcohol abuse, Dunn said, “Glad to have him in Nashville, and glad to have him back.”
After Dunn left the stage, Urban thanked him and the fans for their support during his time in rehab. Thursday’s show was Urban’s first performance in Nashville since being released from the center in January.
As the night progressed, Urban performed other hits, including “Making Memories of Us,” “You’ll Think of Me” and “Tonight I’m Gonna Cry,” and spotlighted bassist Jerry Flowers on “Desiree,” a song they recorded together as members of the Ranch. Cover tunes included Merle Haggard’s “Mama Tried,” John Fogerty’s “Rock and Roll Girls” and Tommy Tutone’s “867-5309.”