Last Saturday I made my way to the Bell Centre getting hyped for a good ol’ country night. What can you expect from a good ol’ country night, you ask? Well, it includes, but is not limited to; blue jeans, flannel shirts, cowboy boots, cowboy hats, daisy dukes, and the most important thing of all: country boys. ’cause like the great Trace Adkins once said, “Ladies Love Country Boys.” I can’t speak for the other ladies and gents in the crowd but I for one swooned.
Opening the night was the James Barker Band from Ontario, Canada, and I was really excited to see what these guys had in store. They did not disappoint. Classic country is how I can best describe these guys. Lead singer James Barker gave me a very Billy Currington and Dierks Bentley vibe. He had no care in the world as well as a very laid back way of singing which was apparent when they played “Lawn Chair Lazy” and “Living the Dream.” The latter got a few chuckles out of me. I was shocked when they decided to do a cover of Georgia Satellites “Keep Your Hands To Yourself.” It made me happy knowing I wasn’t the only one still obsessed with that song. To finish off their, unfortunately, short set they took the whole crowd by surprise when guitarist Taylor Abram took the mic for a short rendition of “Lose Yourself” which eventually turned into a medley with songs like “Killing In The Name Of,” “You Make Me Wanna,” “Superstition,” and “Play That Funky Music.” These guys were a delight and pure fun to watch. You made a fan out of me, boys.
At this point, the crowd was warmed up and ready to dance to some Keith Urban. So was I. Now, what I didn’t know was that it was Keith Urban’s first time in Montreal. This meant the crowd was even more excited. Opening his set with a bang, Urban got the already riled up crowd even more riled up and on their feet dancing from start to finish. He played a variety of new and old songs like “Gone Tomorrow (Here Today)” and “Where the Black Top Ends.” The crowd was going wild but it was a group of girls celebrating a bachelorette party in the front that caught Urban’s eye. He decided to bring them all up on stage and then ask where the groom was only to be told that he too was celebrating his bachelor party with his friends so Urban decided to call said groom only to be hung up on. After taking a few pictures with the girls the show continued. I’ve gotta say, the girls weren’t the only ones having a good time. During a beautiful rendition of “Blue Ain’t Your Colour” I spotted a bunch of topless guys swaying back and forth and swinging their shirts in a stripper fashion.
The night went on with more classic songs like “Wichita Lineman,” a beautiful tribute to the great Glen Campbell who passed away just last week.
No surprise, the man was nothing short of amazing. Urban was energetic, running from one end of the stage to the other, even going as far as into the crowd up in the seats and giving away one of his guitars after signing it. The talent on this man is just incredible. He certainly is a performer. As much as he made an impression on us I think Montreal made an impression on him too. Hopefully, that would mean more Keith Urban shows in the future.
Written and Photographed by Stacy Basque
*edited by Danielle Kenedy