A week before he kicks off his Ripcord World Tour next Thursday in Kansas City, Keith Urban gave a select audience a preview of his two-hour-plus-show Wednesday afternoon at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena.
Clad all in grey, from jean jacket to T-shirt to torn jeans, the Aussie superstar blazed through a mini-version of his set, starting just as his album Ripcord does, playing ganjo on “Gone Tomorrow (Here Today).” He plans to do nine songs from the chart-topping record, including his duet with Carrie Underwood, “Fighter,” and his collaboration with Pitbull on “Sun Don’t Let Me Down.” The American Idol winner will join him via videotape, except during his December trek “Down Under,” where she’ll be with him in person. Keith wasn’t quite ready to reveal how the Miami rapper will materialize.
An eye-catching motion lights package makes way for a super-widescreen display at the back of the stage, where images like the ones from the “Wasted Time” video can fill the space. Keith’s set also features a second smaller stage, where he revealed tourmate Brett Eldredge will join him for a song. Newcomer Maren Morris will sing the Miranda Lambert part on “We Were Us” each night.
“I can remember lyrics from songs I haven’t sung in a decade, but I lose my car keys like that!” he joked after delivering an impromptu request for the song “Homespun Love,” recorded by his band The Ranch back in 1997.
While that tune may not often make the list, Keith offered up a blistering version of “Where the Blacktop Ends” as an example of how he’s tweaked the sound of some of his biggest hits to match the energy of the new material. Given the fact that he has 36 top tens to choose from and many of his fans attend more than one show, he plans to swap out his hits from night to night.
Keith officially pulls the Ripcord June 2 in Kansas City, Missouri, before continuing on to St. Louis and Indianapolis on his opening weekend.
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