Sunday, June 17, 2007

Neil Haislop Reviews Keith Urban's Staples Center Show

A&O pal, "The Nashville Answer Man," emailed his client list this morning with the headline "KEITH URBAN ROCKS STAPLES CENTER IN L.A."

Keith Urban's Love, pain and the whole crazy thing tour ranks as one of the must-see, huge shows of the summer of '07.

The presentation is simple but, powerful, ultra hi-tech, with staging and visuals that takes Keith as close up and personal with as much of the audience as possible.

How does he do that?

First, think of a 40 to 60-inch HD TV screen and how cool that, imagine an HD wall 56 ft. wide with HD clarity (best we’ve seen even when close up), and you can imagine how intimate any close-up shot of Keith, band members or the audience is when appearing on the screen providing a front seat experience for any of the 13 to 15 thousand fans that packed Staples Saturday night.

That includes those in Staples' sky-high, nose-bleed sections.

ALSO, THERE'S THE STAGE: The stage is 56 ft. wide, too, with a ramp leading some 125 feet into the center of the arena with a small, round stage at the end of the ramp. Keith works the ramp several times, including one point where the whole band walks to the small round stage at the end, where mics, stools and drum set have appeared from beneath floor in a tight in-the-round setup where Keith and the boys do an intimate jam session.

MUSIC...the last time we'd seen Keith on stage was when he made his surprise appearance at that quickly-arranged surprise show during CRS, shortly after leaving re-hab. It ranks as one of his best, most intensely emotional performances.

Saturday night ranks as one of his most un-tethered and joyful we've ever seen. As Keith and the band tore the a two-hour+ set and encore (including everything on the new album, and favorites like "Memories of Us"), he and his band and his guitar solos were so hot you half expected the L.A.F.D. to shut the place down.

VIDEO HUGE ELEMENT: Like many shows, It's all covered by multiple video cameras on platforms, and on foot. Creative iPod ad-style, sillouette video of Keith and band members separately appears in the background. And, the staging is covered a football stadium style Sky-cam that flies over the action by cable giving a very cool perspective.

Truly: great band and harmonies.
-- Neil Haislop (323 857-0760)

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