C2C REVIEW: Keith Urban – The O2, London

Credit: Luke Dyson

It’s crazy to think that 12 years had passed since Keith Urban last played a show in the UK. This was a trip that was long overdue, and he’d been at the top of many C2C-goers’ wish lists for some time. Prior to his set at C2C, Keith played an intimate show at the O2 Forum Kentish Town and played for over 2 hours, delighting fans with an electric show full of songs from across his impressive back-catalogue. At C2C, Keith was restricted to a 90-minute set and had to cut a few songs out, but that didn’t hold him back from raising the roof and sending 20,000 people away with huge smiles on their faces.

With the O2 Arena buzzing as anticipation ramped up, Keith took the stage with his latest hit ‘Never Comin’ Down’, a song that was absolutely made for big arena audiences. Anthemic, powerful and full of energy; much like Keith’s performance throughout the 15-song set. ‘Days Go By’ and ‘Coming Home’ (featuring Julia Michaels on the video screens) followed to get the place rocking and singing along.

It seemed like hit after hit after hit, with the likes of ‘Somewhere In My Car’ and the more recent Ed Sheeran co-write ‘Parallel Line’ (rumour has it that Ed was in attendance). Keith has such an unbelievably strong back catalogue to choose from now that it’s difficult to get the balance between new material and the fan favourites. As it turned out, we didn’t hear a massive amount from the new album; he played it safe for a crowd that just wanted to party to the singles.

Credit: Luke Dyson

It wasn’t all modern material though. Keith took us on a trip down memory lane with a gorgeous acoustic rendition of ‘Stupid Boy’ following a mesmerising guitar introduction. No band, no elaborate lighting effects, no video screens – just Keith, a guitar and one spotlight. To command the attention of 20,000 people in that scenario, you have to be an absolute master of your craft, and Keith passes that test with flying colours. It was easily one of the evening’s big highlights, and it showcased his raw talent better than ever.

We also had a medley of old favourites ‘Kiss A Girl’, ‘Who Wouldn’t Wanna Be Me’ and ‘You Look Good In My Shirt’ from the small ‘Spotlight’ stage at the back of the arena, which ended with Keith giving his guitar away to a lucky member of the audience. He does this at every show – that must be one hell of a guitar sponsorship he’s got!

Returning to the stage for a triumphant finish to the set, the band ripped into the banjo/EDM-infused ‘Gone Tomorrow (Here Today)’, followed by ‘Wasted Time’ which was an awesome way to end, leaving everyone on a high. As C2C headline sets go, this was right up there with the very best – a true master at work.

Dan Wharton
@LifeInASong_Dan

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