What all can I say about Garth Brooks that hasn't already be said? He truly is a legendary performer. I had the chance to see him and Trisha Yearwood in Little Rock, AR about a month ago and again in Tulsa, OK at BOK Center this weekend. Since Garth is from Tulsa and has lived in the area for the last 10+ years, the town has been Garth crazy! They changed the names of the streets to things like “Low Places Lane”, “Thunder Rolls Road” and “Shameless Boulevard”. He is playing 7 sold out shows here over a 2 weekend period and even played 2 shows the night I went. Everyone is going to see the show at some point!
Full Disclosure: I personally know Trisha Yearwood. She was a student in my Zumba class and I had the amazing opportunity to be on her cooking show “Trisha’s Southern Kitchen”. She is a really great person and they are some of the most generous and genuinely caring people I have ever met.
So, what is my non-biased opinion of the show? IT WAS AMAZING!!! I can honestly say that in the 50+ concerts I have attended through the years NO ONE does it better than Garth Brooks! He just has it all. From the songs to the stage presence to the connection with the audience, it really is the best concert I have ever attended! And I got to do it twice!
I attended the Saturday night 7pm show and he was set to do a 2nd show that night at 10:30pm. Both were sold out shows so over 17,000 people were there for each. The opening act was singer songwriter Karyn Rochelle. She is also one of Garth’s backup singers. She said she was nervous but I thought she sounded great! She sang “Red High Heels” which she wrote with Kellie Pickler along with a few more of her songs. She has a great voice and I hope she is able to make it on country radio.
After about a 30 minute intermission we were given the announcement that Garth would be coming on in 5 minutes. Of course, the energy in the room started growing. I’ll admit that I was a bit confused and didn't really like the way they started the show. After the 5 minute warning the big screens started to act as if they were malfunctioning. There were crew members looking around trying to figure out what was going on. You could tell it was an act and to be totally honest, I didn't care for it.
Then the lights went out and on the screen a silhouetted Garth started singing “Man Against Machine” and suddenly he appeared out of nowhere in the middle of the stage. The crowd went nuts! They rocked out the rest of the song and seemed to be battling the lights as if they were the machine. Again, I was a bit confused.
But that was the last time all night I had any reservations. The rest of the show was exactly what you expect and want to see from Garth. At one point he said “When I go to see a show I want to hear all the old stuff. So that’s what I’m going to do.” And that’s exactly what he did. The crowd sang every word of every song. There were several times when he just stopped singing and let us do it for him.
He did sing his newer song “People Loving People” and they put the words to the song on the screen. Let me tell you, his band and crew members are complete pros! During this song, he missed the intro to the next verse and kept singing “Whoa, whoa”. They never skipped a beat and followed him like it was supposed to happen! The person running the screens dropped the words so fast I’m sure most people never even realize it happened. I love seeing that kind of thing because it makes me appreciate how hard they work even more.
I saw him back in 1997 at Drillers Stadium in Tulsa and remember that he was a mad man running all around the stage. It is now 17 years later and he is still a mad man running all around the stage! And it was awesome. He even climbed up on the drummer’s cage at one point.
They sold every seat in the house including the ones behind the stage. He made a point to go back there several times and acknowledge all the fans. He really knows how to play to everyone in the place. The very large screens were in a cube, so no matter where you were sitting you didn't miss a single thing. He does it right!
After a little over an hour he started singing “In Another’s Eyes” and up the stairs came Trisha Yearwood. Again, the crowd went nuts. It is such a great duet and they sound so good together. They are the perfect couple!
Then Garth left the stage and let Trisha do her thing. She sang “American Girl” and put a highlight reel of her show on the screens and then a few more songs. She sang “She’s In Love With The Boy” and they did a kiss cam on the screen during the choruses. At one point they even had Garth and Trisha on the kiss cam as if they were in the crowd. So cute!!! And then we notice that in the crowd a guy had proposed to his girlfriend and they put it up on the screen. Trisha saw it and said “Did someone just get engaged?” She was tearing up about it. It was perfect!
Garth came back out and had even more energy than before – if that’s even possible! He played several more songs including "Shameless", “The Thunder Rolls” and “Friends in Low Places”. I loved how they started “The Thunder Rolls” with all the guys in their hats looking down at the floor just like the video. They even had crew members come out with confetti cannons at one point during a song. He ended with my favorite “The Dance”.
But of course he wasn't done yet! He started the encore with “Fever”. At this point things got really crazy! The drummer’s cage lifted up and started spinning, they were all running around the stage and there were 2 moving platforms that started going. In Little Rock, Garth looked like he was about to fall a couple times as he ran on these treadmills of sorts. It made me nervous for him. Well, this time about half way through the song the fiddle player fell. But he had a few notes to play right about then and so he did it on his back! Then about 30 seconds later Garth fell too. But in true Garth style, he rolled onto the platform and rode it to the end.
He played a couple more songs then at the end asked Trisha to come back out and sing his favorite song (and mine too) “Walkaway Joe”. It was just him and her on stage with him playing guitar. They did not do this in Little Rock. I loved it!!! It was the perfect way to the end the show.
So, I mentioned earlier that he had a 2nd show to do that night. He ended our show a little after 10:00. The BOK Center had everything turned around and ready for the next crowd in 29 minutes but it takes a while to get 17,000 people inside so the show didn't start until midnight. I heard it was just as amazing as the first one.
Concerts are my version of a roller coaster. Garth is playing 4 more shows here in Tulsa and I want to go again and again!!!