What may have mattered most to Keith Urban on Saturday night (June 18) was wasting time, while he could have been rocking out with thousands of fans on the Ripcord tour in West Palm Beach, Florida. But a big time was had by all despite a 75-minute rain delay.
Maren Morris got the party started at the Perfect Vodka Amphitheater with selections from her debut album Hero, including her breakout smash “My Church.” But shortly before 8 p.m., those on the lawn were instructed to join the party under the pavilion as thunderstorm activity rolled into the area. A playlist of pop hits and ‘90s country kept the energy up until Brett Eldredge started around 9:15 p.m.
Giving a little theater, Eldredge hit the stage in a straitjacket for the first two verses of his set opener “Lose My Mind” before his guitarists stripped it off him. During “Drunk On Your Love” he flower-bombed the audience and asked the crowd to light up the amphitheater in cellphone lights for “Mean to Me.” Eldredge got fans jumping during “Beat of the Music” and he poured on the passion while performing his next single “Wanna Be That Song.” His first No. 1 “Don’t Ya” wrapped his portion of the show.
Next, Urban emerged onstage at 10:06 p.m. and set the tone to live in the moment for the rest of the night as he picked a sinister banjo on “Gone Tomorrow (Here Today).” His 90-minute set featured new arrangements of fan favorites “Long Hot Summer,” “Where the Black Top Ends” and “Days Go By.” The raw emotion felt with a solo rendition of his first No. 1 “But for the Grace Of God” swept the audience away.
Fans slow-danced in the aisles to his latest No. 1 “Break On Me” and the Ripcord track “Blue Ain’t Your Color.” He touched on John Mellencamp’s “Jack & Diane” and Bob Marley’s “No Woman No Cry” during the Grammy-nominated “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16.”
Video elements of Carrie Underwood in a Ripcord t-shirt played as Urban and his band lit up the stage with “The Fighter.” Morris sang Miranda Lambert’s part on “We Were Us,” and Eldredge re-emerged for “Somebody Like You.”
But what really keeps fans coming back tour after tour are Urban’s sincere moments of fan appreciation. When he speaks to you, he genuinely makes you feel like you’re the only person on the planet.
Four songs into his set, he picked two sisters from the audience in town for their 28th Urban concert. They were holding a sign that read, “Two sisters, One wish, Meet KU.” Both had their favorite Urban song titles tattooed on their backs and one sister will be adding to the ink. With a sharpie, Urban autographed one of the sister’s sweaty backs for a future tattoo. He also gave away a black Gibson to a young boy in the audience during “You Look Good in My Shirt.”
For the closer “Wasted Time,” the night ended in an explosion of confetti, which stuck to the bottoms of cowboy boots like fun souvenirs as they left the venue.
Hours before show time, the new tour starts with the Keith Urban Backstage Experience. Sponsored by CiscoTelepresence, the private tent offers select fan club members, radio winners and sponsor VIPs an intimate Q&A, acoustic performance and a meet-and-greet opportunity.
The Ripcord tour continues June 23, in Clarkston, Michigan.