Here we come, walkin' down the street
Get the funniest looks from
Everyone we meet....
Hey, Hey we're the Monkeys!
Okay, I know those are some really old lyrics from a really old song and I'm not sure if anyone else had them playing in their head while walking around downtown Atlanta this past weekend but I sure did. Over 4500 monkeys each night invaded Atlanta to attend Keith Urban's Fan Club Member only Monkeyville Album Preview Party. Urban is set to release a new album, Love, Pain & the whole crazy thing, on November 7th. This very special event was to give his Fan Club the first listen to some of the new songs.
Now I can't really review this concert without including some of the happenings from the whole weekend. Being a Fan Club member myself gives me first hand knowledge of how special an event like this is for the fans. Most of us consider ourselves Monkeys, since the Fan Club's name is Monkeyville. We come from all over the world with most from the United States, Canada, and Australia. It's a very special group of people. Most take the opportunity of a concert to meet each other in person after spending lots of time chatting through the online community Keith provides through his official website. If you don't surf the net, no worries. The Fan Club members wanted everyone to know about the pre-concert meet-up by placing signs in their hotel windows giving locations and times. Monkeys are a pretty generous tribe too. During the meet-ups, members donate heavily to St. Judes Children's Research Hospital's Country Cares Program to support Keith's Fan Club challenge to raise money for them. At one meet up on Sunday, members were treated to a special appearance by our Fan Club president, Sharon Eaves, who donated some fantastic door prizes from the Fan Club. Joining Sharon was another special guest, Jackie Proffitt from St. Jude. It was a great opportunity to finally put some faces to the familiar names we see including one couple who flew in from London for just these two shows.
After a two hour pre-concert party, we made our way down Peachtree Street to the incredibly beautiful Fox Theatre, (Urban chose this venue personally) where the streets were full of fans. You knew this because most were in groups of three or more, carrying cameras, signs, concert shirts, stuffed monkeys and huge smiles. Both shows were being filmed for a DVD that's due out hopefully in time for Christmas so fans were really excited about the possibility of being included.
The show was supposed to begin at 8:00PM but traffic problems due to this concert and an Atlanta Braves game left some in line still trying to pick up their tickets. The show was delayed for about 45 minutes but to keep us entertained on Saturday night, Jerry Flowers, Keith's bass player and Chris Rodriguez, Keith's guitar/banjo player, came on stage and treated us to a couple songs. Performing Prince's, "Raspberry Beret," and the classic song done by almost everyone, "Signed, Sealed Delivered, I'm Yours," the two did an incredible job of warming up the crowd. Both are musicians but equally talented vocally.
After a short break, the lights dimmed again, the crowd went crazy and a short video of Keith talking about his new album began playing on a large screen that had been set up on stage. In just a few seconds, the main monkey himself walked across the darkened stage. Then things got really loud. The set started with Keith's new single, "Once In A Lifetime." This song has to be heard live to be fully appreciated. It's a great, up lifting, fast paced song to begin with but add one of the hottest guitar solos I've ever heard to the mix and it's even better in concert.
Keith went on to "Days Go By" and then began talking about some new music. The crowd was loud and ready but Keith had to get a little teasing in on us. The intro music was new, the song an older favorite, an acoustical version of "Raining on Sunday." Now I've been to a ton of concerts before but I've never heard a crowd sing along so loud. Everyone knew the words and sang as loud as they could. You could see it across Keith's face how pleased he was.