Keith Urban

July 18 • Riverbend Music Center

Truth: When I think of Keith Urban, I think of his Playgirl cover. Don’t get me wrong. No guy is hot wearing a banana hammock. But it was the way he cuddled his guitar. So cheesy! Especially with his weird little goatee and frosted tips.

When Urban toured through Columbus, Ohio, with Sugarland a few years ago, he brought that same cheesiness to the stage. There’s just something about that one-time cokehead that comes off as too much. Especially the minutes-long guitar solos. They’re a lot to handle. Urban is (perhaps surprisingly for some) an incredibly gifted guitar player. But, c’mon. Most fans don’t pay to hear Urban play guitar; they want to hear “You’ll Think of Me” or “Where the Blacktop Ends.” We get it. You’re a Guitar God. Now, shut up and sing your dang songs.

Urban’s latest music seems to stray from that sound, anyway. His newest single, “Little Bit of Everything,” is a blend of banjo, a few guitar-rifts and some random record scratching. In general, his new music is somehow more Country, despite not sounding like anything Country has been before. Hopefully, he’ll spend more time playing with that sound than with his electric guitar. Or maybe an outdoor environment will be more conducive to those solos.

It’s cool if he wants to take his shirt off, though.

KEITH URBAN plays Thursday, July 18 with Little Big Town and Dustin Lynch at Riverbend Music Center in Anderson Township. Buy tickets, check out performance times and get venue details here.

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