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John Lamb, Published August 06 2010

Keith Urban caters to crowd at WE Fest day one

Detroit Lakes, Minn.

Keith Urban may be Australian, but he sure knows how to engage a Midwestern crowd.

The singer/guitarist headlined the first night of WE Fest just outside Detroit Lakes on Thursday.

Urban took the stage to his hit “Kiss a Girl” and immediately won over the crowd, or at least the female demographic.

Even men enjoyed the energetic performance and the fiery fret work he whipped out on the chart-topper “Days Go By.”

With his stage moves and facial expressions shown on the Jumbotron, he had fans singing along with “I’m In.”

“Some performers want crowds to sit and listen to music and be on their best behavior,” he said before “Sweet Thing.”

“This is not one of those concerts,” he continued. “We want you to be on your baddest behavior.”

Montgomery Gentry really got the party started. In fact, that was their stated mission a number of times early in their set.

The duo’s energy and catchy choruses make for immediate stadium anthems like “Hell Yeah.”

While singer/guitarist Troy Gentry stuck close to his illuminated microphone stand, singer Eddie Montgomery prowled the stage, twirling his stand, thrusting it toward the crowd to encourage sing-alongs.

For whatever reason, “My Town” didn’t prompt quite as enthusiastic response as I expected (maybe people are tired of the ubiquitous ode to civic pride), but “One in Every Crowd” hit closer to home.

The testosterone twosome brought the show to a close covering KISS’ “Rock and Roll All Nite” before ending with their own “Gone.”


If you go

WE Fest lineup

Readers can reach Forum reporter John Lamb at (701) 241-5533

WE Fest coverage

We’ll have reporters at WE Fest throughout the music festival. Here’s what you can expect:

In The Forum