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October 1, 2014

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Keith Urban is happier, healthier and hotter than ever in concert at The Cosmopolitan

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Erik Kabik / ErikKabik.com

Keith Urban performs at The Chelsea on Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014, in The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

Keith Urban at The Chelsea

Keith Urban performs at The Chelsea on Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014, in The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Launch slideshow »
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Keith Urban performs at The Chelsea on Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014, in The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

Happy, healthy and hot.

Keith Urban was the epitome of all three Sunday night at The Chelsea in The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas in a sold-out, four-hour concert, with opening acts Brett Eldredge and Jarrod Niemann, more than two hours of which were the Aussie country-and-rock superstar singer-songwriter and guitarist setting the stage on fire with his mad talent and sex appeal.

I’ve seen Urban, one of the best guitarists and live performers in music today, about a half-dozen times, and I don’t recall him ever being happier and lighthearted onstage — cracking jokes, autographing guitars, teasing a fan who had masks of his wife actress Nicole Kidman (“That is odd, strange and awesome!”) and inviting fans onstage, including Matt and Brittany of Toronto who were celebrating their second anniversary.

Urban noted that he has been sober for a long time while talking about the trippy spring-boarded main floor of The Chelsea, and he’s never looked healthier, his bright smile a common occurrence during the concert.

And hot, not only in performance, in which the sound has never been better at The Chelsea, but also in looks — his tan, tattoos and physique on full display in his blue T-shirt with deep V-neck and his sexy, tight black leather pants. Tight black leather pants.

Highlights in a tight-ship evening in which every act started on time: Eldredge is an up-and-coming heartthrob. Niemann performed “Donkey” with a guitarist wearing — what else? —a donkey mask. The cover of Tim McGraw’s “Something Like That” with Niemann and Eldredge onstage with Urban was energetic and really, really fun.

And during “Days Goes By,” Urban walked to the back of the floor among the seats to sing on a small, raised platform — and walked by yours truly less than five feet away … twice.

Sunday night’s setlist: “Love’s Poster Child,” “Sweet Thing,” “Somewhere in My Car,” “Only You Can Love Me This Way,” “Long Hot Summer,” “Even the Stars Fall 4 U,” “Good Thing,” “We Were Us” (with contest winner Heatherle Spires of Las Vegas), “Kiss a Girl” and “Who Wouldn’t Wanna Be Me” (with incredible four-singer harmonizing).

Also, “Stupid Boy,” “Come Back to Me,” “Little Bit of Everything,” McGraw’s “Something Like That,” “Days Go By,” “Without You” (with an incredible high note at the end), “You Look Good in My Shirt,” “Cop Car,” “You Gonna Fly” and “Put You in a Song.”

And the five-song(!) encore: “Making Memories of Us,” “Tonight I Wanna Cry,” “Better Life,” “Raise ’Em Up” and “Somebody Like You.” The early departing fans really missed out.

At one point, Urban exclaimed, “Let’s raise the roof at The Cosmopolitan!” Mission accomplished.

Upcoming shows at The Chelsea: Kevin Hart & Friends Comedy All-Stars hosted by Kevin Hart for HartBeat Weekend (Friday); Juanes (Oct. 10); Seth Meyers (Oct. 11); Bruno Mars’ Unorthodox House Party (Oct. 17-18); The Black Keys with guest Jake Bugg (Nov. 8); and Amy Schumer (Dec. 6).

Thanks to Erik Kabik of Kabik Photo for his photo gallery of Urban.

Don Chareunsy is senior editor for arts and entertainment of the Las Vegas Sun.

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

Follow Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.

Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.

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