Posted by: Amy | December 6, 2010

December 3 – Keith Urban’s Walmart Soundcheck Taping, Ocean Way Studios, Nashville, TN

This year I have been so fortunate to attend some of the biggest tours and festivals. And, I’ve seen most of my favorite artists multiple times. The one artist I hadn’t seen was Keith Urban. He also happens to be my absolute favorite artist. Unfortunately, he didn’t do a full-scale tour and the shows that he did play weren’t anywhere near me. With the release of his new album, Get Closer, I hoped that he would launch a major tour. A couple of weeks ago, Keith announced the major tour that I’d hoped for and I’m already planning to see at least two shows on the tour, which starts in June.

Last Monday night my hopes for seeing Keith in 2010 were resurrected. I got an e-mail from Monkeyville, his fan club, about entering to win tickets to Keith’s taping for Walmart Soundcheck, a concert series which airs exclusively in Walmart stores and online. I immediately entered to win and waited to see if I would win. The show was being taped on Friday night. By Thursday, when I hadn’t gotten an e-mail, I assumed that I hadn’t won. I even checked the message board on Keith’s website and saw that several people had gotten their invitations on Wednesday. Then I really gave up hope that I would get to go. But, at 5:30 on Thursday evening, I got an e-mail saying that I’d won. It was soon followed by an e-mail with all of the details about the location and the time to arrive, etc.

I invited my friend Lauren along for the trip. She’s one of my best friends and she usually goes along on our Keith road trips. She was as excited as I was that I had won. On Friday afternoon I picked her up and we made the four and a half hour drive to Nashville. We made great time until we got to our exit. Traffic on the exit ramp was completely stopped. We sat on the ramp for probably 20-25 minutes and we were getting nervous that we were going to be late. Thankfully, we were finally able to escape the traffic around 6:50, which was good because we had to be at the venue by 7:00. We later found out that Nashville was having its Christmas parade, which is what caused the traffic jam. We made it to Ocean Way Studios just before 7:00 and got in line. There were only about 30 people ahead of us in line. I had assumed that there would be a small crowd, but I was surprised that it was this small. I’m not complaining because it was certainly nice to see Keith in such an intimate setting.

Once we got in the doors, we saw a stage set up and standing room only for the guests. We picked spots near the center of the stage and about four rows back. Ocean Way is an old church that has been converted into recording studios. The building has retained the beautiful stained glass windows and hardwood floors and features gorgeous high ceilings all of which make for a unique venue. The production crew was testing the lighting and cameras and making sure that everything was set before Keith came on stage. We had to wait about 45 minutes before the actual show started. We hadn’t gotten any instructions about whether or not we could bring our cameras, but I had brought mine just in case. I had doubts that we could use them, but we were told that we could as long as we didn’t use our flashes. With the lighting in the room, we didn’t need flashes, so it worked out well that I had decided to bring it.

Keith came out to cheers and applause and then as he was strapping on his guitar and getting ready, the crowd got really quiet. He seemed a little nervous about playing in such an intimate setting and he commented on how quiet the crowd had gotten. I think everyone was in awe of being so close to a superstar. Once Keith and the band started playing the first song, the nerves disappeared and the audience was as enthusiastic as a crowd at one of Keith’s arena shows. He started the show with his current single, “Put You in a Song.” Keith told us that the band hadn’t yet performed most of the new songs live and after they played “Without You” he asked us if it would be okay if they played it again to get it just right. During the show they played four songs from the new album and three older songs. Between songs Keith was laughing and chatting with the audience. When the film crew had to reset the lighting or cameras, Keith and the band would break into spontaneous jam sessions. I am constantly amazed by his raw talent. His guitar playing is unreal. The film crew asked Keith to play “Put You in a Song” and “I Told You So” again so that they could get some alternate camera angles. I don’t think that anyone minded hearing the songs more than once. For the last song of the night, Keith took requests from the audience. There were several suggestions, but no unanimous decisions, so Keith started calling out songs and having people cheer for their pick. He finally settled on “Days Go By.” It was a great song to end with because it’s so upbeat and happy. Everyone was jamming out and enjoying the moment. When it was over, Keith waved to the crowd and thanked everyone for coming out. As we left studio, we were handed t-shirts to commemorate the event. It was a nice surprise and a great way to remember the awesome show that we had just witnessed.

IMG_6772-1

Keith Set List

  • Put You in a Song
  • You Gonna Fly
  • Without You x2
  • Til Summer Comes Around
  • Shut Out the Lights
  • I Told You So
  • Put You in a Song
  • I Told You So
  • Days Go By

After a yummy dinner at Demos’ in downtown Nashville, Lauren and I made the drive back to her house in Montgomery, AL. It was a fast trip to Nashville, but one that was well worth it! Ironically, the only other time that I’ve driven to Nashville and back in one day was for Keith’s inaugural All for the Hall event in 2009. I guess I’ll do just about anything to see Keith!

Thanks to Monkeyville for such a wonderful evening with my favorite artist!  And, thank you to Keith and to Walmart Soundcheck for allowing fans to experience such a unique moment!  It was a once in a lifetime event and I’m so glad that I got to be a part of it.

See all of the pictures here.


Responses

  1. That’s awesome! This type of event sounds like it beats a fan club party because of the intimate gathering. It reminds me of the old MTV “Unplugged” concerts. I saw Urban perform at Marty Stuart’s “Late Night Jam” at the Ryman on the first night of CMA Fest back in June, so that was about as intimiate a setting as I’ve seen a major artist.

    • It was definitely better than a fan club party! Anytime you get to see such a huge star in an intimate setting, I think it’s really special. The only other thing that I’ve done that’s remotely close to that is seeing Kenny Chesney the first year that he did the Keg in the Closet college bar tour. He played at the Supper Club in Auburn, which was absolutely insane!

      • I can imagine that Chesney’s Keg tour was wild. He played several bars in a few SEC towns. I’ve seen Eric Church at three college bars in Tuscaloosa, Starkville and Oxford, but I’m afraid that he might be close in his career where he’s going to stop playing those smaller venues.

  2. So cool! Can’t wait til June!

  3. Good Article! I was there and apparently just to the right and a few rows of people in front. Great pictures and such a great time! Can’t wait until the video comes out so I can relive it!! I am so bummed I didn’t get a tshirt though! I didn’t see anyone handing them out and we even stayed about 20 minutes after the show. 😦 I was also bummed that Keith didn’t stick around for a meet & greet with so few people there. Would have been a great opportunity for a quick m&g! Overall, one of the best events I have ever been to and so fortunate to have gone!

    • You can view my photos from the night here on facbook: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=96569&id=1505670018&l=275dfc39a0

    • Thanks, Katie! I checked out your pictures. You got some great shots! I, too, was hoping that he’d hang around and meet everyone since there were so few people there. But, I guess I won’t complain because the show itself was SO awesome!! I’m sorry that you didn’t get a t-shirt! That stinks!

      Glad that you had a great time! Keith really is the best!!

  4. I didn’t get a shirt!!!! Wahhh, that makes me sad!!! I had a great time though too!!! My son has been sick so haven’t got my pics up but maybe i can tonight…


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