OFFSTAGE: Keith Urban’s Beautiful Conundrum

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

I know. It sounds like some kind of album title, doesn’t it? Beautiful Conundrum. But it’s just what Keith Urban called his set-list situation. He told the Detroit Free Press that planning what songs to play during his live show is no easy feat. “We’re very aware of making sure it isn’t a sit-down affair, so you’re finding ways to thread the lower-tempo songs throughout so it’s more of an upstroke. And figuring out a way to get in all the older songs, too,” Urban said. “We’ve had about 25 top 10 hits — it’s a beautiful conundrum.” He also tells a great story about the moment (or nanosecond) when he had the epiphany that he was kind of a big deal. “I remember a show in Canada where 12,000 people came out,” he recalled. “Sold out. I’d done so many shows opening for other people, so I was used to playing to crowds that size, but they wouldn’t be my crowds. I remember literally saying to myself, ’Man, whoever’s coming on next is going to love this crowd,’ and then in a nanosecond, it hit me: ’Nobody is coming on next. This is you.'”