Superstar rocks Covelli

YOUNGSTOWN — Hours after Sunday night’s Keith Urban concert ended, ears of concertgoers still were ringing.

If you didn’t already know, Urban — Australian country music superstar — is also quite the rocker.

Sliding his hands masterfully up and down the fret board, Urban made his guitars scream. As such, the crowd screamed, too.

Throughout the more than two-hour set, Urban switched among at least 10 stringed instruments, including a banjo, multiple electric guitars and at least one acoustic guitar that he played as he stood alone on the stage for an encore.

He left for the night, however, with one fewer guitar than when he arrived. Inside the sold-out Covelli Centre, Urban pulled the black Gibson Les Paul guitar from his shoulder, autographed it and placed it carefully into the raised hands of a young fan. She mouthed simply, “Oh my God!”

She wasn’t the only one who went home with the memory of a lifetime.

Early in the show, another young fan had caught his attention with her flashing pink sign, “Will you adopt me?”

Urban proceeded to call the young soccer player from Pittsburgh and her mother to the stage for chat, a short duet of “Somewhere in My Car” with the girl and, of course, a selfie to preserve the moment.

“Forget soccer, baby,” Urban praised the girl. “Be a singer!”

Urban did not disappoint the audience hoping to hear his many hits including, “You Gonna Fly,” “Days Go By,” “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16” and “Wasted Time,” along with ballads of “Making Memories of Us” and “Stupid Boy.”

He also performed his most recent bluesy single, “Blue Ain’t Your Color” from the new album, “Ripcord.”

Urban sang his part of a new duet, “The Fighter,” with Carrie Underwood, who performed her part via video, and he introduced the audience to funky new release, “Sun Don’t Let Me Down.”

Urban, known for interacting with the crowd while on tour, skipped down to the floor and powered along pathways opened by security as he headed to the rear of the arena. There he perched atop a small stage, joined by opening act, country singer Brett Eldredge. Together they performed “Somebody Like You,” and “Little Bit of Everything.”

“I wanted to perform on this small stage for two reasons. I got started playing small stages with a three-piece band,” he said. “But mostly it was because I get to say to all of you, ‘Who’s got the good seats now!'”

He closed the night with his usual routine. House lights on, Urban lingered, tossed signature “KU” wristbands and other items into the audience, shook hands, posed for photos and signed autographs.