The Time I Cried At A Keith Urban Show

Photo courtesy of Dana Gorab
In the spring of 2017, I was staying in Nashville on a songwriting trip. It wasn’t my first time in Music City, but on this trip I learned that everybody knows “somebody” or is “somebody”, and if you’re lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time, a “somebody” can change your career in ways that you can’t even imagine until it happens to you.

On one particular day, I was catching a shuttle when the driver shared that he was the son of Keith Urban’s international tour agent, or at least that’s what he said. He gave me the best insider tip I’ve gotten – ever. According to him, Keith Urban was playing a pop-up show at 12th and Porter that evening. It wasn’t being broadly advertised, except by word of mouth and one tweet from Mr. Keith Urban himself, a couple of hours before the show.

After hearing this, I thought about how I was going to sing with him that night. I called my mom back at home and said, “Mom, Keith Urban is playing a show tonight and I’m going to sing with him!” Of course, Keith had no idea…

I need to explain that I am a HUGE Keith Urban fan! I love his music and he’s hands-down my favorite male artist.

Off I go with my two other Canadian pals and bandmate. As we waited in line, I signed my Come Find Me EP with a note to Keith along the lines of “I want to sing ‘We Were Us’ with you!” I may have even left my number and email!

As about 300 people filed into this intimate venue, Keith Urban started playing “Little Bit of Everything”, followed by most of the fan favorites. I wasn’t super close to the front, so I had to make my way through the crowd, fighting for space and elbows. A few ladies weren’t about to give up their front row spot either, even when I said, “I just want to sing with Keith Urban!” So, I waited for a quiet moment, and said, “Keith, Keith! My name is Lisa Nicole, I want to sing with you”, and handed him my CD, to which he surprised me with a reply of, “What do you want to sing?”

At that time, “Fighter” was his big single, but I wanted to sing “We Were Us” as I’ve been singing that song live since it came out. When he pulled me on the stage, I really couldn’t believe what was happening and this is when I started to choke up, saying, “Honestly, you’re such an inspiration.” When I first got on that stage, I was at a loss for words, but he instantly made me feel so at ease, joking about how “I’ve barely met you and your name is tattooed on my arm, it’s crazy” – a reference to his wife, Nicole Kidman, who was also there at the show.

The moment I started singing, “the crowd went wild” as they say, and you could tell Mr. Urban was pleasantly surprised if I do say so myself. When the chorus hit, we faced each other and sang. Yes, Keith Urban looked into my eyes and I sang a song with him – on stage!

When the song came to an end, we hugged (twice)! Back when hugging was okay, thank God! And the last thing I said to him was, “You have no idea, that was such a blessing to me.”

When I got off that stage I was in complete shock. I went to the bathroom, where I ran into a few people. The first was Nicole Kidman herself, who so kindly said what an amazing job I did. I was starstruck again! I chatted with his band after the show as well, and then I went outside to call Garrett, my boyfriend. I could barely tell him that I had just sang with Keith Urban (!!) because I was so excited, when a girl tapped my shoulder and I hung up on him. That girl was Hayden Panettiere, also known as Juliette Barnes on the show Nashville. I chatted with her and her friend for 10 minutes outside the club and she said, “I never could’ve done what you did and sound that amazing.” I was flattered. We then took selfies and that was a wrap.

The moment was over, but it set me on a new path in my own career. I moved to Nashville a year later and spent the spring and summer of 2018 playing shows and writing as much as I could. One of the writers I connected with was Dave Pahanish – who co-wrote Keith Urban’s “Without You” – and we co-wrote two singles, “Wait On Me” and “Count On You”, for my 2021 album, Where The Wild Hearts Beat.

It’s safe to say that I might never have moved to Nashville if it hadn’t been for that special pop-up concert duet that started it all. Today, when I re-watch the video of me and Keith Urban singing, my mind is still blown. I’m literally throwing my hands in my face thinking, “What is life??!” I really can’t believe it happened, but I’m forever grateful for how much it inspired me and what a treasured memory it will always be - that time I cried when I sang with Keith Urban! 

-Lisa Nicole, singer/songwriter