I have been in Country Music for over 30 years now on the radio. I am also a Northeast Ohio native and love this area. And I like you, have been defending this area to those who are not from here as they rib us for what the national media and joke-sters say about us, our cities and our teams. It's part of the deal.
That's why what happened last night at Blossom Music Center was so cool. Last Thursday of course the Keith Urban concert was shortened simply because he was stuck in New York City, so he didn't make it in. He vowed to make it right last night, and he did. But what Urban did far more than that was permanently endear himself to us, in an area that needs more of that. It was simply respect for an area that needs more of that as well.
(Picture above: Sue Wilson with Keith Urban at a concert two years ago.)
I think it's safe to say that I am not the target audience for an Urban show or his music. If he had to rely on guys like me to make a living, he would be on the bread line by noon. I don't think you'll see too many car loads of guys riding to play golf rocking out to You Look Good In My Shirt. But a whole lot of women love Keith Urban and you understand why. He is the perfect confluence of so many things many find desirable. He's a rock star playing country music. He is a bit James Dean, a bit Richie Sambora, a bit grunge, with an accent reminiscent of Davey Jones and he's from Australia. Plus he has a guitar in his hand which is a leg up on the rest of us. Case closed, he wins!
He also seems like a good guy. He's a family man seemingly in love with his wife and family. He also has faced a ton of tough demons in his time, and has come through. Now he derives his high from his performing onstage. Mix all of that with the fact that he vowed to make it right with a city that seldom is made to feel right, and last night was the perfect musical storm.
Sure he played, Where The Blacktop Ends, and Sweet Thing, but he could have played Mary Had A Little Lamb and Three Blind Mice and I don't think most would have cared. It was the fans special night. A concert specifically for them, even more than it would have been last Thursday. All they cared about was that a superstar made right, what many would not have. He made the negative into a positive, and more than likely in the minds of his adoring fans made it into the concert event of the season.
And made an area feel extra special that has been trained not to feel so. It's the stuff of Urban Legend.