Mom and Daughter Facetime Dad at Manahawkin Home from Keith Urban’s Stage

By J.D. Watson | Aug 21, 2019
Courtesy of: Meghan Castro

Manahawkin — Meghan Castro is a big Keith Urban fan. BIG. She has seen him seven times over the course of her brief 17 years. So when the Manahawkin teen graduated from Southern Regional High School this past spring, and before her 18th birthday, her parents, Kristen and Lou, thought they’d buy her a pair of tickets for Urban’s concert last Saturday night at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City.

Meghan has written letters to Urban and has brought posters to previous concerts in the hopes of meeting the singer. She admitted she had felt confident in the past of meeting him but never had any luck. She said she felt confident this time, too. So, naturally, she brought a sign. A new sign. A sign to attract his attention.

It was a simple sign: One line of exposition written in early 21st century vernacular – “B4 I’M 18” – was followed by two bullet points. The first, “SEE KEITH 8 TIMES” had been checked off with a red checkmark, the color highlighting another check’s absence all the more from the second box, “MEET A Sweet Thing,” complete with a heart over the “i” in “Thing.” The intent of the sign: to meet him. A true Keith Urban fan would recognize the double entendre of the second point, itself the title of one of Urban’s hits, a song about young love.

Meghan, who goes by Meg, described the scene: “We weren’t that close to the stage, but the venue is small enough that you feel every seat is a good seat. It wasn’t that big. I had some very kind people in front of me who lit their flashlights on their phones so he could see the sign. He was (on stage) walking towards our area and saw us and was reading it and just said, ‘C’mon up!’ The rest of it is just a complete, insane, wonderful story. My dream came true.”

A video taken from the audience shows the rest. Meg and Kristen are up on stage and Urban is asking Meg when her birthday is. She replied, “Aug. 24.”

“The 24th? It’s coming up!” the singer said. Misreading her sign, he continued, “And you had to see me eight times between now and then?” After Meg corrected him, he continued, “Oh you’ve seen me eight times. I was going to say that’s impressive; you’d have to come to my house.”

After the gig in Atlantic City, Urban’s tour is on a two-week hiatus.

Urban continued the interview. “Is it just the two of you here tonight?” After the mother and daughter answered in the affirmative, Urban asked Kristen, “What do you do, babe?”

While Kristen explained she’s a social worker Meg peeled off to the front of the stage, “whipping the crowd into a frenzy,” in Urban’s words.

Referring to her mom as she returned to Urban and the microphone, Meg explained, “She is, like, the best person in the world. My parents, my family, are the most inspirational people. As well as you!”

“That’s so nice, that’s so sweet,” Urban said, with a hint of embarrassment. “Where’s your dad at?”

“My dad’s at home.”

“Home tonight? Are you sure he’s at home?”

And the impromptu interview briefly veered into weird territory. “He’s not bowling, right?”

Now, anyone who knows Lou Castro knows one thing: He loves bowling. And he’s good, too. Urban could have asked anything: Is he playing cards with the guys, did he go to the movies, is he home asleep on the couch? But, no, bowling. Weird, right?

But then, Urban took the fun to a next level. Urban’s publicist Paul Freundlich described the performer, a four-time Grammy award winner, as “a remarkably unpredictable, fun-loving musician whose performances often include unscripted moments, some which have never happened before.”

“Can we call him?” Urban asked.

Meg turned away in disbelief, hands over her mouth as Kristen whipped out her cell phone.

Urban muttered to himself, “Did not think this through …” And then he imagined Lou’s supposed Saturday night inner monologue. “They’re gone for the night. Whooo!”

“Oh, is it him?”

“Hello?” Kristen said. “Hi, we’re on stage!” as the audience cheered.

“Hang on a second, hang on a second,” Urban said. Taking the phone from her, Urban asked, “What’s his name?”

“Lou,” Kristen responded.

“Lou! Hiya, Lou. Can you hear me?”

And holding his microphone to the cellphone speaker, we hear Lou’s voice. “Hi.”

And the audience erupted.

“Lou, it’s Keith Urban.”

“How you guys doing out there?” Lou asked.

“Pretty good, Lou. Pretty good. Hanging out at the casino. Thinking about going to see somebody sing a little bit later on.”

“Where’s Keith? Is he coming out any time soon?” Lou said later that he could hardly hear who was on the other end of the conversation. “It sounded like he was a 100 feet away,” he said, which doesn’t quite explain how he mistook a 51-year-old New Zealand-born man for his wife.

Lou said he had stayed home because they had only purchased two tickets for the concert and thought his wife would appreciate the concert more than he (she’s almost as big a Keith Urban fan as her daughter) and spending the time with her daughter before Meg begins her studies at Georgian Court University in September. Plus, he’d be happy staying home and watching the Mets game.

“Do you like him? Are you a fan, Lou?” Urban asked.

“I love Keith Urban!” Lou proclaimed.

More cheers.

The conversation with Lou continued on and when Urban asked if they could Facetime Lou, Meg quickly grabbed her cellphone and dialed her dad.

While the call was going through, Meg handed Urban an envelope, saying, “Here’s a letter. I’ve wanted to give it to you forever. I’m sorry, this is, like, a dream come true. It’s a little beaten up because I’ve seen you so many times and I’ve tried to give it to you.”

“So sweet,” Urban demurred. Then he noticed her phone.

“Lou! Hang on a second. Lou, how are you man?” Still trying to work out the logistics of a video call on a cellphone and a wireless microphone, Urban repeated, “How are you Lou, are you good?”

“Hey Keith, I’m right here.”

More cheers.

“You’ve got some really nice girls here. They’re very happy,” Urban said. “Yeah, I’m taking good care of your girls. We’re gonna go spend all your money in the casino in a minute.”

Saying he would sing a song for them, Keith ended the call, “Nice to talk to you, brother.”

“You’ve got a good man right there,” Urban said to Kristen as he returned the phone to Meg. And as he handed the letter to a roadie for safekeeping, he said to himself, “Don’t want to lose that.”

Continuing, he added, “Let’s do a picture.”

Marveling at the phone call, Urban muttered, “Thank God Lou was home. I pictured him there in his underwear watching TV.”

He took Kristen’s phone and turning upstage, he said, “Let’s get everybody in. Let’s turn around and get the whole crowd in,” as Meg scurried in between her mother and the singer, taking a selfie she’ll not soon forget.

Kristen later explained how, after the concert, so many people came up to them with anecdotes and messages of good will, wishing to share pictures and videos of the encounter. “We were almost more famous than him,” she chuckled. “It was really a special community kind of feeling. It made it that much better.”

Kristen also recounted how, as they were leaving the stage, she hugged Urban and said, “God bless you and thank you so much.” And he said, “No, God bless you guys.”

“He’s just a really good man,” Kristen added.

To which Meg added, “Many people say he just smells good. It’s true. I can confirm that he smells like heaven.”

— J.D. Watson

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