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Concert Review: Keith Urban at Perfect Vodka Amphitheatre

Rain or shine, crowds gathered at the Perfect Vodka Amphitheatre on Saturday night to experience Keith Urban’s RipCORD Tour–and despite a typical Florida storm in the middle of the show, Urban and his opening acts did not disappoint.

Maren Morris opened the show with a seven-song set list, and the crowd went wild when she played her top hit, “My Church,” at the end of the set. Her voice echoed beautifully throughout the amphitheater, and she left the crowd wanting more when it was time to hand the show over to the next act, Brett Eldredge.

Storm clouds rolled in as the crowd waited patiently for Eldredge to take the stage. Concert organizers told everyone from the amphitheater’s lawn to crowd under the pavilion because of a severe weather warning. People began packing into the pavilion, and I quickly noticed myself talking to everyone around me as we waited for the storm to pass. We all had one thing in common: Rain would not keep us from Keith Urban.

After nearly hour of braving an intense lightning show and lots of rain, Eldredge finally took the stage. The wait may have made his belated appearance seem more special, but it also could have been the fact that he was wearing a straitjacket to complement the lyrics of his opening song, “Lose My Mind.” A colorful light show quickly replaced the lightning looming in the distance. He played six songs, and each one flowed perfectly into the next. When he played “Mean To Me,” he had the entire crowd turn on their flashlights to simulate fireflies and made everyone sing along. A sea of light took precedence, and everyone sang in perfect harmony amid the slight drizzle that still pattered the lawn of the amphitheater. It was beautiful.

When Eldredge walked off stage, I began to realize that I’d be seeing Keith Urban, in the flesh, within the next five minutes. When the time finally came, I may or may not have been hyperventilating. When he appeared on stage, all that could be seen was his silhouette playing a guitar. When the lights finally came on and he jumped toward center stage, the crowd erupted.

Just when I thought my Keith Urban fandom had hit its peak, he called onstage two girls who were holding a sign that said “2 SISTERS, 1 WISH, MEET KU.” These girls were the definition of obsessed. They explained that they traveled all the way from Raleigh, N.C., and that they’ve taken the poster to 28 of his shows hoping to be noticed. One of the women showed the audience a tattoo on her back of three of her favorite songs, and asked Urban to sign her back so that she could add his personalized signature to the tattoo. He was humbled by their admiration for him and was honored to sign her back.

When the girls exited the stage, Urban kept the show going, regularly switching guitars between songs. As the cameras on the Jumbrotrons panned to his hands, I wondered how someone could play guitar as fast as he could while constantly jumping around the stage. His stage presence was effortless. The lights and the atmosphere were so inviting that by the sixth song, it seemed as if everyone had forgotten about the rain and had become entranced by his vocal abilities (and his unforgettable, beautiful, wonderful Australian accent).

Typically, Urban would move to a “B stage” closer to the lawn toward the end of the show, but the weather didn’t allow for it. He still engaged the crowd on the hill as best as he could and made sure to include everyone who attended the concert as we all jumped around in perfect synchronization. Urban invited Brett Eldredge back on stage to sing “Somebody Like You,” and Maren Morris helped Keith sing “We Were Us.” Carrie Underwood even made a virtual appearance on the giant horizontal screen behind Keith to sing along to “The Fighter.”

Near the end of the show, Urban called a young boy on stage and handed him his guitar to play and keep. The boy’s face encompassed how all of us were feeling all night—simply awestruck to be in the presence of someone so great. It’s always reassuring to admire someone from afar and be instantly sure that they’re as genuine as you thought they were. I felt like I was watching a friend perform on stage, someone I’ve known for years.

Urban closed the show with his latest hit, “Wasted Time.” Although it was 11:30, much later than anyone anticipated being at the venue, the crowd was as energetic as ever as rainbow confetti shot out of cannons. On a rainy night in West Palm Beach, he proved to be a man who genuinely enjoys being onstage and making people happy while doing it.

Set List:

  1. Gone Tomorrow (Here Today)
  2. Long Hot Summer
  3. Break On Me
  4. Where The Blacktop Ends
  5. Somewhere In My Car
  6. But For The Grace Of God
  7. Blue Ain’t Your Color
  8. Gettin’ In The Way
  9. We Were Us (feat. Maren Morris)
  10. Cop Car
  11. The Fighter
  12. Somebody Like You (feat. Brett Eldredge)
  13. You Look Good In My Shirt
  14. John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16
  15. Jack And Diane/No Woman, No Cry mashup
  16. Wasted Time
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