Keith Urban Concert: What Happened to Country Music?

Monday, August 20, 2007

Last night, Keith Urban made his way to Richmond, Virginia to perform here at the Richmond Coliseum. I must say, in my many years of attending concerts, this had to be one of the best I’ve ever seen. Top 10 for sure, out of hundreds of shows. Urban really is a master of energizing and communicating is strong passion for music.

I had one major problem though. I was at a rock show. Don’t get me wrong, I loved what I saw, it was a great show. I have many musical tastes and have seen non-country acts like Billy Joel, Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, The Eagles, just to name a few. I felt like I was closer to a Springsteen show or the like rather than what I would think of a country show.

The lights, the energy, the literal feeling of the drums in your bones, the screaming crowds, and all the special auras of a well produced concert can all be brought into a country show. It has been done, I’ve seen it. However, I didn’t last night.

There is a certain respect of the music, country music, that is missing in today’s country music concerts. It’s not just Urban either that has taken this approach. Many of the artists these days take their influence for their shows from rock stars, and not using the technology of today to expand on the influence of country music legends.

It is not Urban’s fault, by any means, he is just one of many in competition for concert ticket sales. He knows what caliber of a show he had to do to sell the seats. Is it Garth Brooks that should be credited with beginning this trend and competition, with his high paced active shows? Probably. However, Brooks’ shows I believe kept in the tradition of a show, taking his influence from Chris LeDoux’s style of show.

Today’s hottest artists should take a nice deep breath when beginning to plan their performances and remember not only are they selling tickets, but also carrying on a tradition and teaching the younger generation (which there was plenty of young people at this show) what country music is in a live enviroment.

1 Comment:

garthgirl said...

I agree to some extent. I have been to many country concerts in the last couple of years. I have been looking for the kind of show that Garth put on - INCREDIBLE. But no luck. Others try, but all you get is louder music, to the point of not being able to hear the singer's words. Most, like Tim and Faith, Brooks and Dunn, just look tired and were just fulfilling an obligation. One of the few exceptions to this is Sugarland. They look like they are having as much fun as Garth always did on stage and that makes them fun to watch. I believe these artists need to watch all of Garth's live performances and see that it was his absolute joy at being out there on that stage, that made people pay any price to see him live. Until then, I'm just sticking with the cds. At least on those I can hear the lyrics.