Hundreds of fans lined up outside of Nashville’s historic Exit/In club in single digit weather expecting something special from country superstar Keith Urban. And once they got inside, boy did he deliver. Urban treated fans to an hour and a half of music, as well as the announcement of his brand new album Graffiti U, complete with a massive backlit sign of the title spanning the stage. He also announced the new 59-show Graffiti U World Tour. For the reveal, Urban asked fans to send in images of themselves holding a blank piece of paper. He then superimposed the cities on the paper to reveal the tour dates.
But that wasn’t all — he also revealed that Kelsea Ballerini is joining him on tour. And because it’s not just enough to say it, Urban brought Ballerini out to perform a few songs. She covered Camila Cabelo’s “Never Be The Same” with Urban.
Urban hosted the secret “pop up” show at the club, only disclosing its location and start time a few hours earlier. He also live streamed the event on Facebook, where hundreds of thousands more tuned in.
During the show, he invited a fan from the audience to help announce the Nashville date. They picked Ashley, a music business student at Belmont University, to come do the reveal.
When Urban asked Ashley what she wants to do, she told him she wants to be a country singer. Urban immediately said, “Let’s sing something.” She asked to sing “Without You,” and they totally nailed it. So much so, in fact, Urban invited her to come back and sing it with her when he plays in Nashville on August 24.
After the live stream ended, Ballerini returned to treat the crowd to her singles “Legends” and “Love Me Like You Mean It.” Then Keith Urban returned and talked a little more about the album.
He told the crowd that it isn’t quite done yet, so they don’t have a release date. In fact, he’s still whittling down the songs that will make the record. “I recorded too many songs,” Urban joked to the crowd.
But that didn’t stop Urban from playing a handful of new songs for the crowd. “Bare with us,” Urban says, since it’s the first time they’ve played the song out. The new songs he played are called “Steal My Thunder,” “Same Heart,” “Texas Time” and “Parallel Lines.”
On “Texas Time,” Urban let loose on a talkbox. Reminiscent of the famous tune “Tulsa Time,” it was a clear crowd pleaser. And “Parallel Lines” already sounds like a sentimental radio hit to follow up “Blue Ain’t Your Color.” Urban finished up by playing a handful of more hits spanning his career.
“Steal My Thunder”
He also told a particularly cool story about one of the first times he played Exit/In in the early 1990s. He was still trying to get a record deal and his manager somehow convinced the head of Capitol Records to come see a showcase.
But right before he was supposed to go on, his amp blew and he spent 45 minutes trying to figure it out while the head of Capitol waited in a limo out front. Once he finally got it going, the executive walked in, watched 30 seconds, then turned around and left.
Needless to say, the story has a happy ending and Urban did quite well when he eventually signed with the label.
Keith Urban “Graffiti U World Tour” Dates
June 15 – St. Louis, MO @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
June 16 – Indianapolis, IN @ Ruoff Home Mortage Music Center
June 22 – Clarkston, MI @ DTE Energy Music Theatre
June 23 – Pittsburgh, PA @ KeyBank Pavilion
June 27 – Saratoga Springs, NY @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center
June 29 – Toronto, ON @ Budweiser Stage
June 30 – Toronto, ON @ Budweiser Stage
July 5 – Gilford, NH @ Bank of NH Pavilion
July 6 – Gilford, NH @ Bank of NH Pavilion
July 8 – Canandaigua, NY @ CMAC
July 13 – Salt Lake City, UT @ USANA Amphitheatre
July 14 – Denver, CO @ Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre
July 15 – Albuquerque, NM @ Isleta Amphitheater
July 20 – Mountain View, CA @ Shoreline Amphitheatre
July 21 – Lake Tahoe, NV @ Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena at Harveys
July 22 – Lake Tahoe, NV @ Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena at Harveys
July 27 – Raleigh, NC @ Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek
July 28 – Charlotte, NC @ PNC Music Pavilion
July 29 – Alpharetta, GA @ Verizon Amphitheatre
Aug. 3 – Philadelphia, PA @ BB&T Pavilion
Aug. 4 – Mansfield, MA @ Xfinity Center
Aug. 5 – Bangor, ME @ Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion
Aug. 10 – Cleveland, OH @ Blossom Music Center
Aug. 11 – Bristow, VA @ Jiffy Lube Live
Aug. 12 – Virginia Beach, VA @ Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater
Aug. 15 – Rogers, AR @ Walmart AMP
Aug. 17 – Kansas City, MO @ Sprint Center
Aug. 18 – Chicago, IL @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
Aug. 19 – Cincinnati, OH @ Riverbend Music Center
Aug. 24 – Nashville, TN @ Bridgestone Arena
Aug. 25 – Orange Beach, AL @ The Wharf Amphitheater
Aug. 26 – Tuscaloosa, AL @ Tuscaloosa Amphitheater
Sept. 7 – Uncasville, CT @ Mohegan Sun Arena
Sept. 8 – Uncasville, CT @ Mohegan Sun Arena
Sept. 14 – Ottawa, ON @ Canadian Tire Centre
Sept. 15 – London, ON @ Budweiser Gardens
Sept. 19 – Winnipeg, MB @ Bell MTS Place
Sept. 21 – Saskatoon, SK @ SaskTel Centre
Sept. 22 – Edmonton, AB @ Rogers Place
Sept. 23 – Calgary, AB @ ScotiaBank Saddledome
Sept. 25 – Vancouver, BC @ Rogers Arena
Sept. 27 – Eugene, OR @ Matthew Knight Arena
Sept. 28 – Boise, ID @ Taco Bell Arena
Sept. 29 – Missoula, MT @ Adams Center
Oct. 4 – Phoenix, AZ @ Ak-Chin Pavilion
Oct. 5 – Laughlin, NV @ Laughlin Event Center
Oct. 12 – Peoria, IL @ Peoria Civic Center
Oct. 13 – Minneapolis, MN @ Target Center
Oct. 14 – Grand Forks, ND @ Ralph Engelstad Arena
Oct. 18 – Toledo, OH @ Huntington Center
Oct. 19 – Grand Rapids, MI @ Van Andel Arena
Oct. 20 – Louisville, KY @ KFC Yum! Center
Oct. 24 – Youngstown, OH @ Covelli Centre
Oct. 25 – Hershey, PA @ Giant Center
Oct. 27 – Brooklyn, NY @ Barclays Center
Oct. 28 – Charlottesville, VA @ John Paul Jones Arena
Nov. 1 – Little Rock, AR @ Verizon Arena
Nov. 2 – New Orleans, LA @ Smoothie King Center
Nov. 3 – Dallas, TX @ American Airlines Center