A Word from Cheryl:

Thank you for visiting my Concert Review Blog. I have enjoyed attending, photographing and writing about a variety of concerts over the past several years. I hope that my reviews and photos have made you feel like you were right there with me.

At this time in my life I've taken a step back, looked at what’s truly important and have begun to prioritize my time, energy and resources.

I retired from nursing in 2012 and was then able to be with my aging father, who later passed away in June, 2013.

My family is growing dramatically! We now have eight grandchildren and I take every opportunity to be available to help when needed. I also make sure I carve out plenty of time for my husband so that he knows how important he is to me.

Because of this I don't attend many concerts anymore. I try to be selective in choosing a show and do my best to relax and enjoy the experience. I no longer stress about getting the perfect photo or remembering some occurrence so I can write about it.

If you want to view a collection of some of my favorite photos from the past several years you may find them here:
Cheryl's Pearls Photos - Concerts

Thanks again for visiting my site.

May God Bless,

Friday, April 11, 2008

Keith Urban in Charlottesville, VA - April 10, 2008


All I can say is when Keith Urban holds your hand, looks you in the eye and says, “Hi there, thanks for coming,” you lose your mind.  That’s the only explanation I have for blurting out, “Keith, I think you’re the greatest thing since sliced bread!” (Oh my gosh, did I really say that to Keith Urban?!)  He threw back his head and laughed then said, “I think you need to get out more!”

I had the unique opportunity to attend the Keith Urban Back Stage Experience during the Love, Pain, and the Whole Crazy Carnival Ride Concert Tour with Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood at the John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, VA.  During this Experience I got to meet Keith, have a group photo taken, then gather in a room with about 50-75 other people.  I saw a video presentation about how the idea for the tour was created.  In the video you see both the creative and playful sides of Keith Urban,  meet the band members and crew and begin to understand just what an enormous undertaking it is to put on a concert the quality of which we were about to see.

After the video Keith walked in with a small, custom made acoustic electric Maton guitar to give an intimate performance just for us.  He asked what song we wanted to hear.   People were calling out various titles and I said, “Your Everything” (from the 1999 self titled Keith Urban album).  He acknowledged that was a good choice because he wasn’t going to sing it during the concert.  I was seated about 5 feet in front of him and it was wonderful to hear his voice so clearly.  When he concluded he said he had some time for a few questions.  I felt I simply must redeem myself for my “sliced bread” comment and at least ask a somewhat intelligent question.  I put my hand up and he called on me.  “Keith, you have performed duets with many artists in a variety of genres, both instrumental and vocal – Tommy Emmanuel, John Butler, Martina McBride, Rhonda Vincent, Leann Rimes, Trisha Yearwood – would you ever consider making a duet album?”   He replied that even though he has enjoyed singing duets with other artists he doesn’t see himself doing an entire album.  I told him that he has a talent for letting other artists shine when he performs with them and he said he’d much rather be the guy in the band and perhaps when he runs out of material he would resort to a duet album.  I asked if we would be treated to a duet tonight and he said with a gleam in his eye, “You just might!”

The next question from the group was from a woman in the front, “How many times did it take you to get your Tennessee drivers license?”  He laughed and said he’d never been asked that question before.  “Only once,” he replied.   A young man asked a guitar question: “What pick up does your 1957 Les Paul Junior have?”  Keith answered that it has a P-90.  When asked what is the most personal song he has written that he is the proudest of, he thought for a minute then answered “But For the Grace of God” which Keith co-wrote with two girls formerly of the GoGos - Charlotte Caffrey and Jane Wiedlin.  The last question involved his pending parenthood with Nicole Kidman and if he was looking forward to becoming a dad.  Keith replied he was definitely excited and the timing felt perfect.  When asked if he would he change dirty diapers he said, “You bet!”

Keith bid us farewell and we headed into the arena where Carrie Underwood was already on stage.  My goodness can this girl sing!  She has continued to blossom as an artist and entertainer managing several costume changes during her performance and even playing guitar for a couple songs.  She ventured down the catwalk a few times, walking gingerly in heels and high-fiving her fans.  At one point she asked if there were any “Prince Charmings” in the audience.  There were several volunteers but she currently prefers her dog, Ace, who was patiently waiting for her back on the bus.  She then proceeded to sing the fun song “The More Boys I Meet.”   During the concert Carrie revealed that she is technologically challenged and admitted she was unable to work her TiVo to record “Idol Gives Back.” She hadn’t seen it yet but the applause she received from those who had seen her performance of George Michael’s song, “Praying For Time” let her know it was a success.  Carrie closed out her set with the crowd favorite, “Before He Cheats” and it seemed as if the entire arena was singing along – well, at least the ladies were.

Keith Urban was energy personified as he worked the stage and the far reaches of the catwalk to connect with his fans.  His guitar riffs were stellar and his smile infectious as he engaged the crowd at the JPJ Arena.  Keith spied three teens holding a huge sign requesting a hug.  He granted their wish, calling them up on stage to get it.  He also had a young lady hoisted onto the stage so he could personally sign the cast on her leg.  He dared to venture out into the crowd, playing his guitar and stopped in front of a startled young boy, took off his guitar, signed it and gave it to him.  In the middle of his concert he walked down the catwalk with his band mates to a satellite stage at the end and camped out there for three songs, giving the rear of the arena a front row view.  His set incorporated the combined UVA Drumline and the Virginia Helmsmen Drumline into the song “I Told You So.”  And for an added bonus, Carrie Underwood strolled out on stage to join Keith in a cover of the Tom Petty/Stevie Nix classic, “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around.”

All these nuances threaded throughout the performance of his songs combine to make this one of the most entertaining concerts you are going to see this season.  It’s quite a ride!
Flat on the Floor
Get Out of This Town
The More Boys I Meet
Just A Dream
Jesus, Take the Wheel
I Know You Won't
I Ain't in Checotah Anymore
Last Name
Don't Forget
All American Girl
So Small
Paradise City
Before He Cheats

Once in A Lifetime
Where the Blacktop Ends
Faster Car
Raining On Sunday
Stupid Boy
Better Half
Making Memories Of Us
You'll Think of Me
Stop Draggin' My Heart Around (Keith & Carrie Duet)
Told You So
Days Go By
You Look Good in My Shirt
Tonight I Wanna Cry
Who Wouldn't Want To Be Me
Somebody Like You
Got It Right This Time
Better Life

Published in the Star Exponent 4/18/08An Amazing Carnival Ride
To view article go HERE

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