Keith Urban rocks Grand Forks
Keith Urban seemed to have just as great a time as his audience did in Grand Forks Sunday night.
He took the stage in dramatic fashion, jamming in the dark except for a few flashing lights on the stage. The audience couldn't see him until he started to sing the first few lines of "Never Coming Down."
Urban performed at the Ralph Engelstad Arena with Kelsea Ballerini. Ballerini took the stage at 7:30 p.m. There didn't seem to be an empty seat in the arena for either performance.
The New Zealand native hadn't been to North Dakota for several years but was excited to share his newest album and old favorites with the audience, laughing and joking with them all night long.
To read a fan's sign, Urban pulled out binoculars.
"Well, I still can't see it," he said, running back to the riser on stage to grab a ginormous spot light.
"Now that's better," he joked.
Later, Urban invited a young girl, her best friend and her mother from the audience to come on stage with him because it was her birthday. He asked the whole arena to sing her "Happy Birthday," to which they happily obliged.
"Have you ever had a whole arena sing to you for your birthday?" Urban asked.
Urban played songs from this newest album, Graffiti U, which released in April of this year, but he also performed old hits like "Days Go By" and "Somebody Like You."
While he collaborated with new artists for this album, Urban said that "under the hood" this album wasn't so different from his past albums.
Urban invited Ballerini back on stage so they could perform "We Were Us" together.
Urban told the Herald that Ballerini is a great performer and pleasure to work with.
"I love watching her get better every night," Urban said. "A show has got to be great from the very first beat, and she does it."
Ballerini came out on stage with a bang and flash of pink and blue lights, playing her hit "Unapologetically." She played her hits "Dibs," "Love Me Like You Mean it" and "I Hate Love Songs" and also did a cover of "Landslide" by Stevie Nicks.
Ballerini told the audience that Urban "loves sing-alongs."
And just as she said, Urban frequently asked the audience to sing along with him and his band, frequently pausing to hold the microphone out to the audience with a huge grin on his face.
"If you want to sing and dance and annoy the people around you, tonight's your night," Urban told the audience.
Urban and Ballerini are two of many country artists to perform in Grand Forks as of late. Tim McGraw and Faith Hill brought their "Soul2Soul" tour to the Ralph in July. Kane Brown will perform Feb. 17 in the Ralph with Granger Smith and Jimmie Allen.