Keith Urban’s Graffiti U Tour

Keith Urban is a few weeks into his 2018 Graffiti U World Tour, and he told Country Countdown USA’s Lon Helton that he’s thrilled to be back on the road: “It feels like it takes forever to get it together as a concept and put it in action. The challenge for me always is the setlist. What songs to do, which ones to leave out, and not play for four hours.”

Keith went on to say there are lots of surprises in this year’s tour: “Yeah, lot of surprises on the tour, the production, the way the whole stage looks, there are a lot of new songs in the show, and I have a lot of collaborations on the album, so I pre-shot all of these people for the visual collaboration, so we have them on the screen with us. Same with Carrie Underwood with The Fighter, but the audience ends up singing those parts.”

One thing that hasn’t changed since Keith’s last tour is his band, including the unique computer keyboard called The Phantom: “Nathan, my keyboard player, has this contraption called The Phantom, and he now has Phantom 2.0 on this tour, it’s totally intergalactic looking. It looks like the cockpit of a space ship. It allows him to trigger certain samples on the record. It’s great what he can do with it. It allows us to be free flowing with our arrangements.”

Tell me about the video screens: “Yeah, there are a few moments where the screens form different shapes and things. We have three video screens, and in this song “Gone Tomorrow,” there’s a pretty extraordinary visual moment in the show. Everybody’s been talking about that, it’s something you really have to see.”

How is the show organized as far as your elements? “There are three sections.  There’s the first part on stage, then I go out to the satellite stage, which on this tour is called the U stage, cause it’s shaped like a U, and it allows me to come to YOU. That’s the second part of the show, then I go come back to the stage, that’s the third part.”

Anything else new? “We’re still building it as far as elements within the show that I haven’t been able to put in yet. There are a lot of things I tried in rehearsal that we haven’t been able to figure out where to place and still keep it to 2 hours plus. So there are a lot of new elements that’ll come into the show in the next few weeks.  We’re also playing seven songs from the new album.”

Kelsea Ballerini is also part of the Graffiti U Tour: “It’s been fantastic having her out. We’ve only done a few shows, so we’re still working out which song to do together. A few nights ago, we did Stupid Boy, and we also did We Were Us recently as well, so we’re still working out which song to do.”


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