Growing up in a small farming town, I’ve heard country music all my life in the grocery store, at the gas station and everywhere in between. Except for at home. My father is a die-hard rocker. As a little kid, I knew all the words to two songs: “I Am a Child of God” and “For Those About to Rock (We Salute You).” I was surrounded by country music, but it was rock music I learned to love.
When my in-laws asked me to come with them to a Keith Urban concert at USANA amphitheater, my initial reaction was to dodge the invitation. I could find some homework that needed doing and tell them I wasn’t available. But I knew I couldn’t do that in good conscience, so I bit the bullet and agreed to go.
Thinking of all the country songs I’d heard growing up about drinking and beautiful women, I imagined the concert would be a giant beer fest featuring Daisy Dukes and crop tops. That wasn’t too far from the truth. Out of all the dozens of vendors selling beer, my father-in-law was the only one to find someone who sold bottled water.
With so much beer around, there were quite a few inebriated individuals as well. On one hand, it was hilarious to watch them slurring words and stumbling around, but on the other hand, it was kind of pathetic too. There was a couple in their late 50s in front of me and my fiance and watching them get drunk was kind of sad and annoying. The husband fell asleep about halfway through the main event and the wife was dancing like a 12-year-old at her first dance, awkwardly, with bony hips and greasy, lank hair.
I’ve been to concerts before, rock concerts at the Maverick center in West Valley, an acoustic show at the Great Saltair and metal shows at Mojos, but never one quite as loud as this one. Seriously, even the metal shows I’ve been to weren’t this loud. Sitting more than halfway to the back, the concert got so loud I felt like my ears were bleeding
Drunks and bleeding ears aside, the concert wasn’t that bad. I wasn’t into the music, but that was fine because I was there to enjoy my in-laws’ company, not the music. I could still bounce around and laugh with my fiance and his family, even with the insanely loud music and drunks.
I found it really touching how kind and generous Urban was, even from the stage. At one point during one of the encore songs, a woman in the pit was having a medical problem and Urban stopped playing in order to call attention to the situation. Because he stopped, medical staff was able to get to the woman and attend to her needs.
At another point, Urban started reading the posters that fans in the pit had brought. One poster said it was a teenage girl’s birthday. Urban promptly called the girl up on stage, wished her a happy birthday, gave her a hug and posed with her while another band member took their picture on the girl’s phone.
Urban also gave one of his guitars away to a girl sitting back in the cheap seats on the grass. From the look on her face, I’m pretty sure she wasn’t thinking about the thousands of dollars she could sell the guitar for, just about the fact that Keith Urban just handed her his guitar. I may not be a country fan, but I’m a fan of any guy who’s willing to go out of his way to make sure people have a good time at his concert.
Going to a Keith Urban concert didn’t make me a country music fan, but I did become a fan of spending quality time with family.