Tampa Fl. (June 17th, 2022)
It’s a sultry Friday night and Tampa’s MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheater is packed to the rafters. Everyone is there to kick off the weekend with some live music to get the party going. Tonight, country singer and guitar wizard Keith Urban has chosen to debut his Speed Of Now for all his fans. Yes, after nearly four years the country super star is hitting the road to bring his brand of music to all of his fans.
Barely minutes into the show Keith excitedly said to the audience “We made it!” and that he was a little bit nervous. After all this was the opening night of the Speed Of Now World Tour, his first in several years. You couldn’t sense any nerves though. After opening up the night with “Tumbleweed”, he went into a particularly earnest performance of “Days Gone By”. His guitar work that he is so well known for was well on display and bode well for the rest of the night.
After the first two songs, Keith took a few minutes to interact with the fans. Indeed a very a nice touch as it makes for a more personal and fun night. While he is known for occasionally bringing up a fan to the stage to play guitar with him, tonight would be unique. After seeing a large sign in the audience that asked if the woman’s husband could drum with Keith, he went to his drummer to see if he would mind stepping aside to let the fan have some fun. Which of course he did. While Kenny, the fan had no clue what to play, obviously he never thought that would happen, he and Keith decided to jam. To everyone’s surprise he was good. But Keith would have fun while making up lyrics to the whole thing.
That fan interaction gave everyone a clue how to how much fun Keith was going to have throughout the night. He was quick to make joke or deliver a funny quip. After stopping to tie his shoe he said I have to do this right now, it’s right there on the setlist. Having a laugh at Florida’s notorious heat, he said isn’t it much better now that the sun has gone down and it’s in the nineties. As he thanked everyone for showing up he even quipped that without the fans this would just be a two hour soundcheck. No matter the point in the show he always found the perfect point to share a laugh with everyone.
For fans of his guitar work, two songs really showcased his enormous ability. During “Long Hot Summer” he extended the song out when he took to the front of the stage and not only did a wonderful solo, but he also was rhythmically hitting the strings with his picking hand while setting the notes and chords with his right on the neck. It was definitely a sight to behold. During his rendition of the John Denver classic song “Thank God I’m A Country Boy”, he demonstrated to everyone how he progressed learning the guitar, from simple strumming to adding chords, then to adding notes. To see something like that along with the explanation was worth the price of a ticket.
The night was filled with plenty of memorable moments. Whether it was the live debut of “Brown Eyes Baby” or how they would be using the tenth song of the night to play a different song every show. But for the fans out back on the lawn at the amphitheater he took special care of them. During his guitar solo on “One Too Many” he left the stage and played while walking all the way to back of the amphitheater. Once there he broke out the acoustic guitar and played several songs including a very heartfelt version of “You’ll Think Of Me” that had everyone there singing along. During “Somebody Like You” he had the venue lights shut off and got everyone to turn on their cell phone lights. What a remarkable sight it was, the venue actually brighter than during a concert caused by all the fans, then everyone singing the chorus.
If there was a perfect way to kick off a weekend, this night would easily be at the top of the list. Keith Urban and his supremely talented band put on an exceptional show. For over two hours he gave everyone more than they could possibly have asked for. From humor to personal fan interactions to incredible music performances Keith Urban delivered a damn near perfect show. If the Speed Of Now World Tour comes to your area get a ticket you won’t regret it.
MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre: