It might be surprising, but Keith Urban channels none other than Hulk Hogan every night before he takes the stage! The country music superstar just revealed his new pre-show tradition, which he credits to one of his favorite musicians, who turned him on to the wrestling great.
"Matt Chamberlain, a great drummer who plays on a lot of our stuff, I was at his studio the other day and he had a cassette deck," Urban recalled to Billboard. "He just bought this old boombox and he wanted to make sure it worked. So he found a tape. The only cassette that he found was a whole Hulk Hogan's Hulkamania workout from 1985. It's a riot. So I found a copy of that and we cranked it backstage and we did this ridiculous workout with the band with Hulk. It's beyond absurd, I mean, in all the right ways. It's heightened. So I went crazy on that."
Urban has also relied on the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley, for pre-show inspiration as well.
"And then last night, I was cranking up Elvis performing in Vegas, doing a song called 'Patch It Up' with the band just going nuts," Urban recounted. "It was good inspiration. My tour manager has done a lot of things in his career. The best one is, at one of these Vegas runs, he was the guy offstage responsible for feeding the mic cord out to Elvis and then pulling it back in. And so that's pretty awesome."
Urban is spending much of his year in Las Vegas, performing as part of his residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace. The New Zealand-born star actually did a trial run in September, which convinced him that he was ready to return for a long-term commitment.
"We played this room so I could get a feel for it," Urban explained. "It's actually three venues in one. It's got an arena stage and the stage is ginormous. It's crazy how big it is up there. It's got a lot of theater seating, but it's got a club floor because it's all general admission on the floor –– so three of my absolute favorite kind of venues to play all rolled into one. Putting the show together was and is still a lot of fun to do because you can play around a lot and we can change it up from night to night too."
Photo Credit: Getty / Carmen Mandato