Concert Review: Garth’s Still Got It!
I heard my boss say in my first year of radio, “I don’t go to concerts anymore…I just don’t care.” I was so puzzled and I vowed not to become that person. I loved music. I loved concerts. How could it be possible that I would ever NOT like to go? Seven years later, I didn’t think it had happened to me, yet. It took the show of a lifetime to change my mind.
Friday, December 17th at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville wasn’t just another concert for me, it was the man who defined a “good show” for me for the last 12 years since I saw him for the first and only time. Garth Brooks shocked the world when he announced his retirement from touring, and besides a few shows here and there over the last decade and a recent intimate run of shows in Las Vegas, Garth has kept his word. Being the master marketer he is, that’s why he can create so much buzz for shows like the 9 he is performing in Nashville in support of relief efforts for the May 2010 floods.
From the moment the lights went down, til the time when Garth disappeared from sight for the last time, the feeling I used to have when I went to a show was back! I, along with the sold-out crowd hung on every word he said, sang along with every word he sang, and danced like it was 1998, when Garth was on his last world tour. It was as if nothing had changed. The songs like “Rodeo,” “Shameless,” “Unanswered Prayers,” “Callin’ Baton Rouge” rang from the speakers as clear as ever. Garth covered all sides of the huge stage, filled with the energy of a kid, making us (many of us who were just kids last time we saw him) feel just as young! Garth seemed to enjoy every moment just as much as the crowd and mentioned numerous times how great is when a crowd sings back to him.
As predicted Garth, wound down his show with all-time favorites like “Friends in Low Places” and “The Dance,” then returned to the stage amongst a roar for an encore of “Ain’t Goin’ Down (Til the Sun Comes Up).” After returning to the stage once more, Garth gave the boisterous crowd a small taste of the Vegas show he’s been doing as he searched the crowd for signs and played requests for some of the more obscure songs of his career…just Garth and a guitar! For the rabid fan like myself, it was a thrill to hear songs not heard quite as often these days like “The Red Strokes,” “When You Come Back To Me Again,” and the KISS cover “Hard Luck Woman.” And probably the highlight was “Belleau Wood,” a tribute to the troops watching on the Armed Forces Network! After about 2 and a half hours on-stage Garth waved goodbye one last time, and I realized, I was a concert fan once again. I had back something I didn’t know I lost. You know what, I think Garth might have had the same feeling!