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Last night we saw Keith Urban live in Youngstown, Ohio at the Covelli Centre. This was our wedding anniversary trip. I bought the tickets almost two months ago, and I’d really looked forward to this last vacation outing before the snow flies.  Let me just say that the concert was awesome. He put on a phenomenal show, playing for nearly two hours with high energy and enthusiasm that showed clearly how much he loves what he does for a living.  

I had never seen him play live before although I’ve been a fan for about fifteen years. 

Much like the Def Leppard concert we saw early this summer, I’d wanted to see him but never got around to it. While I really enjoyed Def Leppard, I think I enjoyed Keith Urban more. Here’s why:

1. He played longer. He played for two hours vs Def Leppard’s ninety minutes. He played more songs – 21 to Def Leppard’s 16. 

2. Keith sounded better. He’s an awesome guitarist, and his voice is always reliable. He sounds incredible. Joe Elliott’s voice is hit or miss. He can no longer hit the high notes. He needs his bandmates to cover for him. 

3. The arena last night was smaller. Covelli Center is a more intimate setting – approximately 5,000 people instead of the 10,000 who were at the Lakeside Amphitheater. 

4. We were indoors in a relatively comfortable setting vs sitting outside in sweat-soaked ninety degree heat and humidity. 

5. The seats were closer. We looked Keith in the face and could see the whole stage instead of being off angle and only seeing part of the stage from the extreme left as we were at the Amphitheater. 

6. Keith’s banter with the audience was better. He talked more. He was entertaining. Joe Elliott is a bit stiffer, usually just announcing songs and not much more. 

7. Keith is more personable. He invited a girl and her mother up on stage. He gave another young girl a guitar he was playing. He stopped, autographed it and handed it to her. I loved that he ended the concert by acknowledging how much he appreciated everyone coming. He acknowledged the cost of tickets, the logistics and challenge of getting there, and he said he loved everyone for coming out. 

8. Keith sounded pretty much the same in person as he does on recording. Def Leppard did not. Their live show (the vocals) just sounded “off” at times. 

9. I enjoyed the opening acts more. At Def Leppard, I enjoyed REO Speedwagon but did not care for Tesla at all. Last night Brett Eldredge was very good, and Maren Morris was good, too. Keith brought Morris and Eldredge back on stage with him, too. 

10. The tickets cost less in Ohio. One Def Leppard ticket was the same price as two tickets at the Keith Urban concert. 

11. We were able to park right outside the arena last night. Yes, it was horrendously expensive, but it was convenient. We did not have to ride or wait for a shuttle bus for two hours. 

12. I think Keith was louder. I think that was the logistics. Inside vs outside. The fact that my ears were ringing afterwards was not necessarily a positive, but it does prove the acoustics were better. There was no distortion or loss of sound. 

13. His stage setup was better. Maybe it was our seats, but we could see the big screens better. We felt more like we were part of the show. He also set off confetti cannons at the end. That was fun. I have a pocketful of confetti to make me smile some day when I’m having a bad day. 

The only negative I can come up with was the fact that we had aisle seats. Being on the aisle, we had to stand up repeatedly to let people in the row come and go. I wanted to hit someone after a while. We were the fourth row up from the floor, three sections back from the stage so our seats were great. He was right there in front of us. 

Overall it was just a massively entertaining good time. We had a lot of fun, and I’m glad we went. I would recommend his show highly, and yes, I’d see him again if circumstances allowed.