Keith Urban live in Toronto, July 8, 2022It’s very rare that an artist I know about impresses me enough to drop my usual journalistic flair and just flat out tell the raw truth. Keith Urban did just that for his recent shows at Budweiser Stage in Toronto on July 8 and 9 and there’s no recovery from the ass whipping I got. The Whangārei, New Zealand-born and Australian-raised country superstar kicked my ass about as hard as any musical act has ever kicked it. It’s almost as if I got kicked just to be brought up to speed on what I’ve been missing all these years.

In the 32 years Urban has been playing, I heard the hits and saw the long gold locks, but for some reason it didn’t connect with me. Maybe it was my hard rock up-brining that kept me away from country music, but I just never cared to listen beyond hits like The Fighter with Carrie Underwood or One Too Many with P!nk.


For all those years I spent proudly exhibiting KISS logos on my t-shirts telling people that they had to experience the band live to really understand, I never thought the same applied to someone like Keith Urban.

In all fairness, Keith Urban isn’t your typical country singer. He’s got some edgy rock and pop elements that take his songs to new areas many country artists fear to tread. But most country singers can’t play guitar like this man. Armed with a few different makes and models throughout the night, Urban never missed the chance to just wail on those instruments. He’s better than your average rocker and I would dare say more melodic and entertaining than guitar virtuosos like Yngwie Malmsteen and the like.

The show kicked off with Urban emerging from behind two long stage lights at the back of the stage looking like a rock star from the classic years of rock. The sounds of Tumbleweed starting filling up the area and 15,000 fans went crazy.

The 23-song set was loaded with a majority of the songs coming from his multi-platinum albums Ripcord, Be Here, Golden Road and his latest release The Speed of Now, Part 1. For this entire tour, Urban has pledged to perform one unique song in each city he plays. For this, the stage is equipped with a giant game-show lever, which he pulled to reveal the name from a revolving list on the screen. Toronto was granted Good Thing from his 2013 album Fuse, and a newer non-album single Nightfalls. For my show, it was Good Thing. For the second show, Urban also added You Gonna Fly from the album Get Closer.

A few times during the show, Urban made references to the large Rogers Internet and cell outage across the country and joked about going old school for the night.

A show like this requires a killer band with members like long-time bassist Jerry Flowers, or the incredible multi-instrumentalist Nathan Barlowe – both of which has a few moments to showcase their instrument and vocal skills. Barlowe was most impressive with his electronic sample machine called “The Phantom”, pulling off his own dance track. I’d heard about The Phantom before, but this new version is a bit more scaled down and far more powerful than previous incarnations. You can literally watch what pads he plays by the touch-light system it has.

The combo of Flowers on bass and Barlowe on The Phantom gave some of the loudest, biggest and deepest bass notes I’d ever heard at a concert.

Halfway through the show, Urban took to the crowd and played a small acoustic set for the folks in the cheap seats, including John Denver’s Thank God I’m a Country Boy, which he used to explain how he first wrote songs on the guitar. At the end of You’ll Think of Me closing off the acoustic set, he signed what looked like a brand-new Urban Guitar from Yamaha, which he just finished playing, and handed it to a fan as a keepsake.

His affection for the fans even continued well past the actual end of the show, where he spent about 10 minutes at the edge of the stage signing autographs and taking photos with as many fans as he could.

It was just like a big rock show of old, with massive lights, moving stage parts, raised platforms and tons of confetti, with Urban using all of the above to elevate the show to “must see” levels. But behind it all, was a man who looked like a 10-foot rock star on that stage, but had the heart, passion and emotions of the humblest of men.

It took my ass getting kicked all the way to Whangārei to understand what all the fuss was about, but I’m now a fan for life. He earned my respect, my attention and my hard earned money – now I just need to play a little catch up to become a certified member of the The ‘Ville.

Ingrid Andress

Ingrid Andress live in Toronto, July 8, 2022

Support act Ingrid Andress was a bundle of energy on stage, prancing from one side to the other. She wore a small white tank and pants with large portion of sheer lace around the back. It was her debut appearance on the tour and she was on the money for her inauguration.

Kicking off the show with her Gold single Lady Like, it was a short and sweet six-song set that closed with her new single Wishful Drinking from her upcoming new album. Fans reacted to well to her biggest hit More Heart Than Mine and this short sample shows a young woman with a promising career ahead.

Keith Urban
Budweiser Stage
Toronto, ON
July 8 and 9, 2022
All photos by Dan Savoie

Keith Urban Setlist July 8, 2022:

  • Tumbleweed
  • Days Go By
  • Wild Hearts
  • John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16
  • Somewhere in My Car
  • Brown Eyes Baby
  • Where the Blacktop Ends
  • Long Hot Summer
  • Coming Home (Julia Michaels onscreen)
  • Good Thing
  • Tonight I Wanna Cry
  • God Whispered Your Name
  • You Look Good in My Shirt
  • One Too Many (P!nk onscreen)
  • Thank God I’m a Country Boy (Acoustic)
  • Better Life (Acoustic)
  • You’ll Think of Me (Acoustic)
  • Somebody Like You (With part of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight)
  • Blue Ain’t Your Color
  • The Fighter (Carrie Underwood onscreen)
  • Wasted Time


  • Dreamers, Drinkers and Broken Things (Acoustic)
  • Stupid Boy (Acoustic)

Ingrid Andress Setlist July 8, 2022:

  • Lady Like
  • Waste of Lime
  • Seeing Someone Else
  • Whipping Post
  • More Hearts Than Mine
  • Wishful Drinking

Keith Urban:

Ingrid Andress

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