Keith Urban Rocks the Santa Barbara Bowl

Superstar Singer Put on Amazing Show

Keith Urban
Paul Wellman

“The plan tonight is simply to give you a hell of a good night — we are going to leave here having smoked the Bowl,” said singer Keith Urban from the stage on a recent Monday evening. And so he did. The country-music superstar treated fans to two and a half hours of outstanding music, witty banter, and audience engagement of epic proportions.

After Urban played “Coming Home” — a duet with Julia Michaels, who sang her part via video screen — from his latest record, Graffiti U, a woman jumped onstage. Urban was good-natured, asking her name — Amy Sharp — and then saying, “Amy, what are you going to do?” “Oh my god, I’m touching you,” was her response, which elicited laughter from the audience. “Let’s get you off Tinder,” Urban replied as he readied her phone for a picture. “Talk among yourselves,” he told the crowd, adding, “Do penguins have knees? Discuss.” Clearly grateful for his fans, Urban was sincere and generous — he gave away a signed guitar to a young woman who knew every word to every song — making the 4,000-plus-seat Bowl feel like a more intimate venue.

In addition to the delightful chatter, Urban and his stellar band played songs from the breadth of his catalog, including “Long Hot Summer,” “Parallel Line,” “Put You in a Song,” “You Gonna Fly,” and “Worry ’Bout Nothin’.” Fans hollered in delight when Urban performed the brilliant “Female,” Graffiti U’s lead single and an ode to women. Other musical highlights were a cover of Sam Hunt’s “Cop Car” and an acoustic “Stupid Boy.”

After his 23-song set, Urban returned for a three-tune encore. “Don’t want to go home?” Urban said, wrapping up the night with the gorgeous “Horses.” It was a fantastic evening for audience and performer alike: “We may never have played here before, but we’re playing here again,” Urban declared.


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