Why Hasn’t Keith Urban Played New Zealand in 30 Years?

Carrie Underwood to Join Him at Stadium Wellington

Keith Urban’s Ripcord World Tour really is a world tour.

Even though his schedule already included a long line of tour stops in the U.S. and Canada with Brett Eldredge and Maren Morris, plus six stops in Australia in December with Carrie Underwood, Urban just added one more destination: New Zealand.

He and Underwood will play the Westpac Stadium in Wellington on May 6.

“I’m so psyched about finally getting to play a real show in the country of my birth,” Urban said in a press release.

And while he doesn’t say why it’s taken him more than 30 years to get back home, it does sound like he’s looking forward to the trip down memory lane.

“The last time I played music there, I was in a duo playing every weekend at a pub called the DB Onerahi in Whangarei,” he said of his house-band days, “and I was 17.”

That duo, called California Suite, was the one he’d formed with his longtime friend, Angie Marquis. They did mostly cover songs when they’d play these pub gigs: Fleetwood Mac, Linda Ronstadt, Eagles, Jackson Browne, John Mellencamp, James Taylor, UB40 and, yes, some George Strait and Alabama.

California Suite reportedly won Urban and Marquis a top 10 spot in a Starmakers talent-show event in 1986.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.