Night number one of his worldwide “Escape Together World Tour” took place Thursday at the Mohegan Sun arena. Keith Urban stated that he wanted to start his tour here because the Connecticut crowd always showed an amazing amount of love and comfort on past tours and tonight would be no exception.
The evening began with a short, but energetic set from Jason Aldean. Aldean became a last minute fill-in when original openers Sugarland had to cancel due to illness. It seemed that Aldean had no trouble winning over the crowd with a cover of Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down” and his soon to be released new single “Big Green Tractor”. But, it was his latest single, “She’s Country” that brought the audience to their feet in preparation for headliner Keith Urban.
As tribal beats rang through the arena, a large black curtain was drawn back to reveal country superstar Keith Urban rising from underneath the stage. With his electric guitar in hand he strolled down to the microphone awaiting him at the end of the catwalk, performing the appropriately titled “Hit the Ground Running”. Urban was flashing smiles all evening while he and his band were firing on all cylinders with performances of fan favorites “Days Go By” and “You’re My Better Half”. Slowing down only for a moment to catch his breath with the song “Stupid Boy” before ripping into a jamming solo. Urban was very interactive with the audience, trying to make them feel part of the show.
A smaller stage located at the opposite end of the arena is where Keith Urban took up residence for a solo version of “Once In A Lifetime” and “Making Memories of Us”, which was dedicated to a couple celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary. Keith Urban’s return to the main stage was signaled by “Standing Right In Front of You” from his latest release “Defying Gravity”. As the stage transformed and smoke covered the floor, Urban would go on to perform a timely ballad “Til Summer Comes Around” before blasting the audience with another new song “Sweet Thang”.
The giant background screen display a video collage of fans performing “You’ll Think of Me” before Urban stepped in to take-over the lead vocals. The audience was no boundary for Urban as strolled through the crowd performing the hit “You Look Good in My Shirt”. He finished his set with an explosive version of “Somebody Like You”, which shook the arena.
With no surprise, Keith Urban returned to roaring applause. The encore began slowly with the acoustic “Tonight I Wanna Cry” before blasting the roof and confetti with “Better Life”. Urban said he felt nervous about his first show of the tour, but these Connecticut crowds made him feel right at home. Upcoming shows at Mohegan Sun feature Hank Williams Jr., New Kids On The Block and No Doubt.