Sunday, June 14, 2015

Garth Brooks World Tour

Before I launch into sharing about my night at the concert, I wanted to talk a little bit of why I love Garth Brooks. Garth Brooks to me represents a major part of my childhood. I grew up in the age of The Thunder Rolls and Friends in Low Places. His songs were always on the radio. My friends and I sang those songs on the play ground, and I remember my babysitter going to a Garth Brooks' concert, and thinking, "I want to do that." This was a 1992 bucket list item, people!

I also feel some of his songs were my first introduction to having a social conscience. I really loved the song We Shall Be Free.  Especially the lyrics, "when we're free to love anyone we choose, when the world's big enough for all different views." And his new song People Lovin' People is amazing too.

I'm not a big concert person, I hate the crowds, and I can feel claustrophobic. So I have to really love the artist to get me to a concert. Garth Brooks was a big enough draw for me.

Friday afternoon, after work, my mother (who I bought a ticket to the concert for her birthday) road tripped the 90 miles down to Birmingham. We stopped by Starbucks for some frappichinos. Now that they have the 6 fan flavors, I'm determined to try them all! So far Lemon Bar has been my favorite! But this red velvet one was pretty awesome too!

We checked into the fancy schmancy Sheraton when we got to Bham, which was adjacent to the concert arena!

I got dressed and ready for the concert, and then we met my friend Anna and her family (who just happened to be going to the concert by coincidence) for dinner. Our service at the restaurant in the hotel was laughably bad, but I'll chalk it up to the hotel being unusually busy, and hey the food was good. So that is all that matters.

When I got to the arena, and saw the big "G" on stage, I became so excited. Karyn Rochelle, a singer/songwriter (she wrote Red High Heels sung by Kellie Pickler), opened the show. She did an excellent job! And I loved that Garth is using little known people for the opening act, considering he could pull in nearly any musical act that he wanted to.

The atmosphere in the arena was electric as Garth made his appearance, I actually felt a little tearful because I was just so overwhelmed by my excitement. Everyone was screaming and hollering and chanting Garth! He immediately launched into his first set of songs Rodeo, Two of a Kind, and the Beaches of Cheyenne. Everyone was singing at the top of their lungs, including yours truly.

For the record, I did cry when he played Unanswered Prayers, and the whole stadium was lit up by people holding up their cellphones. It looked beautiful, and the song has such a special meaning. That sometimes there is a reason we don't get what we desire most. And it's for the best.

Trisha Yearwood joined him on stage for a duet of In Another's Eyes, and then she stuck around and sang X and O's, How Do I Live, and She's in Love with the Boy. She was so sweet and fun, and you could tell how much Garth & Trisha care about each other.

Of course, Garth came back to sing some of his greatest hits, and everyone lost their minds over Friends in Low Places, and his singing of the "secret" third verse. I also want to talk about the energy that man had throughout the whole show. Especially during his performance of the song Calling Baton Rouge, just unreal. He was jumping and dancing around. I hope I can do that when I'm 53!!

Garth did two encores after the "ending" of the show. I stayed for every minute. My mother and I talked all night about how amazing the show was. It was the best concert I've ever seen, and one of the best nights of my life.

I've included some video I took from the concert. I don't necessarily expect anyone to watch these (the first is Friends in Low Places, the second is Shes in Love with the Boy). I'm just including it for my own memories!

Here's to knocking off one goal on my summer manifesto (#4).

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