Music Review

Keith Urban adds to legend with close-up passion

Keith Urban, backed by a four-man band, performed at Comcast Center Saturday night.
Keith Urban, backed by a four-man band, performed at Comcast Center Saturday night.

MANSFIELD — Keith Urban likes to get up close and personal during his shows.

The country superstar walked through the ecstatic crowd several times during his jubilant two-hour show Saturday night, slapping hands, snapping pictures, and, in one woman’s case, gifting his guitar along the way, seeming as excited as the fans he was encountering at the Comcast Center.

When he wasn’t meeting-and-greeting, the guitar wonder from Down Under was giving an impassioned performance that ranked among the best of the summer, chock-full of soaring anthems and delicate balladry, sung in his creamy croon and flavored with his tart, economical soloing.


Backed by an all-secret-weapon four-man band, Urban was deep in the pocket, creating pinpoint moments of intimacy on tunes like the poignant “Stupid Boy” and the defiantly melancholy “You’ll Think of Me” and then busting things wide open on expansive rockers like “Long Hot Summer,” and a cover of the Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again.”

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That last tune was among a handful played on a small stage up by the lawn giving folks in the back a closer look and, in one woman’s case, placing the singer within bra-throwing range. (It was a bra-centric weekend as Adam Levine of Maroon 5 was dodging D-cups in Mansfield Friday night.)

Urban was joined by Little Big Town for a harmony-drenched “You Gonna Fly” and opener Dustin Lynch looked like he’d won the lottery when he appeared to duet on “Kiss a Girl,” such was the wattage of his grin.

Returning in a “Boston Strong” T-shirt Urban belted out a bit of the Bee Gees classic “Massachusetts” before bringing the night to a close with the cellphone-glow-assisted “Tonight I Wanna Cry” and an epic “You Look Good in My Shirt.”

Little Big Town held down the middle slot with their its usual harmonious aplomb, taking a well-deserved victory lap for an award-winning stretch brought on by the hazy-lazy-sexy-silly single “Pontoon.” The quartet opened with the foot-stomper “Little White Church,” and kept the full-court press
going across a 70-minute set, switching up aching ballads like “Your Side of the Bed,” with playful backwoods rockers like “Pavement Ends” and the enduring ode to hometown pride “Boondocks.”

Sarah Rodman can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @GlobeRodman.