Keith Urban at Reliant Stadium, 3/14/2014
"This is the fifth time we've played the rodeo, and this is also the most amount of people we've played to in Houston," Keith Urban said halfway through his set at Reliant Stadium Friday, to an announced crowd of 74,054. "As a matter of fact, the first time we played was in 2005, and I have the buckle to prove it."
As Urban lifted his shirt, the cameras zoomed in on his belt. A bit of the New Zealand-born singer/songwriter's skin and crotch also filled the screens overhead as fans shouted their approval. At this point, the ladies in the crowd made themselves heard.
But Urban is already taken. He's a happily married father who credits his wife -- film star and fellow Aussie Nicole Kidman -- with saving his life, and his newfound passion for life bled into his songs Friday night. The 46-year-old musician was as spry as a twentysomething, displaying an infectious enthusiasm for life.
Six songs into his set, during "Kiss a Girl," Urban hopped off the stage and into the gravel. Carrying his guitar, stagehands followed closely behind him with his microphone stand. He posed for selfies with fans, attempted to engage a stoic security guard who barely let out a grin, and even smooched a pigtailed toddler after serenading her for a minute.
The only real let-up in Urban's set was an acoustic performance of "Come Back to Me," a soft, sweet song about supporting someone's dreams even when it's inconvenient. Besides this one romantic ballad, the entire evening was upbeat and energetic.
Urban has forgiven himself for past mistakes and is now focused on family and music, having found someone to love and continuing that commitment in his role as a father. If Friday night's performance was any indication, fans should be so lucky.
Personal Bias: Not all of Urban's songs make me tap my feet, but anyone who teams up with the legendary Don Williams can't be all bad.
Seen In the Crowd: A woman taking pictures from behind a window with the flash on. And she couldn't figure out why they weren't coming out well.
Somewhere in My Car
Put You in a Song
Come Back to Me
Kiss a Girl
Long Hot Summer
Somebody Like You
ROCKS OFF'S GREATEST HITS