Keith Urban is one of the most-loved Country stars in the world and until earlier this week, he hadn’t played a show in the UK for 12 years. Ahead of his headline performance at C2C: Country to Country, Urban played a more intimate show at O2 Forum Kentish Town and he brought the house down. Incredibly it made the crowd even more hungry to see him rocking an arena just two days later and it allowed Urban to reconnect with his UK fans. Last night he made his C2C debut headlining the opening night at The O2 Arena in London.
Over the course of his 90-minute set, Urban performed an abbreviated version of what fans saw at the O2 Forum Kentish Town earlier in the week, removing several songs from the set list. The show opened with the catchy new single Never Comin’ Down, whih went straight into Days Go By, one of Urban’s most popular hits. After singing Coming Home, with Julia Michaels appearing on video screen, Urban invited a very inebriated fan onto the stage for a comedic few minutes while he tried to understand his Scottish accent.
Oddly for the first few songs there were no video screens on meaning that those further away from the arena stage couldn’t really see Urban. Thankfully that changed around Somewhere in My Car, which fans lapped up. Long Hot Summer was one of the first showcases for Urban’s incredible musicianship and he spent the latter part of the song shredding his guitar, and making my jaw drop in the process. Parallel Line was dedicated to Ed Sheeran, who wrote the track, and it was the first change of pace in the set.
An acoustic rendition of Stupid Boy, complete with an elaborate and impressive solo guitar introduction, was one of the evening’s highlights. It’s not easy to hold the attention of a full arena with just an acoustic guitar but Urban made it look like it was. The audience was attentive and erupted into applause the second he finished. The one-two hit of Somebody Like You and Blue Ain’t Your Color came next before the tempo changed again with the soaring love story Cop Car, penned by Sam Hunt.
Anticipation was high when The Fighter started that Urban would introduce Cam back on stage but sadly that didn’t happen. Instead Carrie Underwood appeared on video screen to sing her parts and mid-way through the song Urban made his way from the Main Stage to the Spotlight Stage so that fans at the back of the arena could see him a bit closer. He held a sing-song to bring the song to a close before doing a medley of Kiss a Girl, Who Wouldn’t Wanna Be Me and You Look Good in My Shirt and giving his guitar away to a starstruck fan.
Returning to the Main Stage Urban headed into the final stretch of his set with Ripcord opener Gone Tomorrow (Here Today). The furious banjo during that song sounded incredible in The O2 Arena and it picked the energy up again. Urban closed the set with Wasted Time, one of his more recent huge hits and it transformed The O2 Arena into a massive party.
As confetti rained down on the audience, Urban thanked his fans and promised not to leave it so long next time (yeah 12 years was a bit much Keith!). Like with his set on Wednesday, Urban wowed with his relentless energy and incredible catalogue of hits. His headline C2C performance, and indeed C2C debut, was a huge triumph and it was a fitting end to a day packed with fantastic performances.
Set list: 1. Never Comin’ Down 2. Days Go By 3. Coming Home 4. Somewhere in My Car 5. Long Hot Summer 6. Parallel Line 7. Put You in a Song 8. Stupid Boy 9. Somebody Like You 10. Blue Ain’t Your Color 11. Cop Car 12. The Fighter 13. Kiss a Girl / Who Wouldn’t Wanna Be Me / You Look Good in My Shirt 14. Gone Tomorrow (Here Today) 15. Wasted Time Performance date: Friday 8th March 2019