Just the beginning: Keith Urban anticipating “electric” CMA Fest


Keith Urban headlines Nashville’s Nissan Stadium during the city’s CMA Fest this week, an event that he’s expecting will be extra exciting this year after two years of pandemic cancellations.

“Electric, I think. Electric,” he says of the onstage experience he’s anticipating. “CMA Fest is unlike anything I’ve ever played, and I think the fact that it’s been absent for two years, I think you’re gonna feel that in the audience that night. Whole weekend, too.”

But that’s just the beginning for Keith: After his CMA Fest show, he’s jetting out to Tampa, Florida, where months of tour rehearsals will pay off with a June 17 stop on his Speed of Now Tour.

For this tour, Keith is as involved behind the scenes as he is with his role as a headliner. He’s using his lighting background to help dream up a production plan that will be truly spectacular.

“I love lighting. I love the fact that it’s an emotional support and an energy support for the song,” he says. “And I always prefer when they’re used in that way, to heighten the emotion of the energy or the drama.”

Drama is a major component of Keith’s show, he points out, such as with songs like “Tumbleweed,” his set list-opening song.

“That song is all drama: absurd, heightened, over-the-top drama,” he describes. “And so we were here till, like, 11 o’clock last night shaping all of that. Lighting cues and openings and various things. So yeah, [I’m] fairly involved.”

Head over to Keith’s website to see a full list of his upcoming Speed of Now Tour dates.

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