Those Keith Urban concert tickets are sizzling in your hand. You’re a huge fan of the pop-country superstar, who’s married to acclaimed actress Nicole Kidman, so this show comes mighty anticipated. You even persuaded your boss to let you cut loose early today, giving you plenty of time to arrive at American Airlines Center July 6. But don’t just go to the gig and then go home; make it an event. Start with dinner at Luna de Noche, the upscale Mexican restaurant at 2300 Victory Park Lane. Valets are waiting for your car, and the restaurant will validate your ticket, so it will cost you only a tip to avoid the parking hassle. Inside you’ll immediately feel comfortable.The Luna decor is totally urban chic (glass-bubble chandeliers, abstract paintings, beige and chocolate brown color scheme), but the dress is casual. When we dined there recently, some folks were in shorts and flip-flops.
The food is delicioso and affordable. The Luna Supreme appetizer is a heaping mix of mini kebabs, grilled-shrimp quesadillas, bacon-wrapped chicken strips and beef tacos. Guacamole mixed with sour cream sits inside a hollowed tomato. Get the small platter, which feeds three people easily. It’s worth the $14.As for the entrees, take your pick. You could spend $30 on the whole portobello mushroom with beef tenderloin, and that one should probably be shared. Or you could go frugal and get the spinach enchiladas plate for a mere $11. It comes with refried beans and Mexican rice.A specialty is Camarones de la Casa, which features huge shrimp that are stuffed with pecans and blanketed in bacon before they’re grilled. They come with a cup of tortilla soup, rice and veggies. That will set you back $20. Oh, and before you leave, please visit the facilities. OK, I can speak only for the men’s room. But check out those sinks, ultramodern bowls that really catch the eye. Now it’s time for Mr. Urban. Expect an energetic performance with plenty of fiery electric guitar work. One thing that can certainly be said about the Aussie artist: He’s a great six-string picker. He’s in the ranks of Steve Wariner, Vince Gill and Brad Paisley. Yes, he’s that good. But folks, he ain’t country. Just a cursory listen to Love, Pain & the Whole Crazy Thing, the disc he’s supporting with this tour, and you’ll hear palatable pop-rock (think Bryan Adams without the raspy voice). Earlier in his career, Mr. Urban paid more attention to fiddles, banjos and steel guitars. Not anymore. If it were 1988, these songs would instantly be heard on mainstream pop radio. None of that will matter to fans. They’ll be there to hear hits such as “Days Go By,” “Making Memories of Us,” “Somebody Like You,” “You’ll Think of Me” and “Where the Blacktop Ends.” The ever-stubbly Mr. Urban will deliver in spades, no doubt. He’s been doing this full throttle since 1999’s Keith Urban, his first solo effort after leaving country-rock-bluegrass group the Ranch.
And let’s say that after Mr. Urban performs his final encore song, you’re still in the mood for more music, more partying. No problem. Walk on over to Ghostbar inside the W Hotel. You can have a few drinks, jam to continuous tunes from the DJ and dance the night away. This may require fighting the crowds. It is Friday night, after all, and the W remains a hot spot. A word of warning, though: Don’t look down. Ghostbar is 33 stories up. Talk about dizzying. Whew! You’ll get cool views, though, and plenty of ambience. Oh, one more thing. Ghostbar does have a dress code, so check the club’s Web site. There you go, on the town in Big D. You might even feel a bit sad it has to end. Still, keep this in mind: You can sleep in Saturday morning. Putting it all together:
• Go: Keith Urban performs July 6 at 8 p.m. at AAC. Ticketmaster. $45 and $55.
• Dine: For information on Luna de Noche, go to http://www.lunadenoche.net/.
• Dance: For information on Ghostbar, go to ghostbar-dallas.n9negroup.com.