Whether you label this man as a superstar, legend, performer, icon, entrepreneur, philanthropist, family man or entertainer, Garth Brooks remains who he is. Brooks rolled in Thursday night at Target Center in Minneapolis Minnesota for the first of 11 shows and it was a grandiose moment in history.
Brooks, now 52, hasn’t performed in Minneapolis in about sixteen years after he took a brief hiatus to raise his children with wife Trisha Yearwood, who is also on the tour. Brooks was like a little kid in the candy shop Thursday night, he just wanted it all from his fans; whether it was screaming as loudly as they could competing with the other side of the arena as Brooks walked back and forth egging each side on, or singing Brooks’ songs back to him, they gave it to him. It was something else to watch him perform, the theatrics with the staging and lighting was perfect; which was quite noticeable during “The Thunder Rolls” as the lighting matched and mimicked lightning in the sky during a storm.
There wasn’t a dull moment in Brooks’ 125 minute set as he had some terrific introductions about some of his biggest hits which are now classics each in their own right; such as “Unanswered Prayers,” “The River,” and “The Dance.” It appeared that Brooks lost composure a few times while the arena took charge of the chorus in “The Dance.” Which was something that not many artists of Brooks’s stature maintain and allow fans to see them vulnerable.
Brooks didn’t care he wanted to make sure they understood why he was on that stage tonight, that it was about the 18,000 people that sold out the arena tonight and more specifically the people in section 203 and he pointed, shouting to them that he sees them; the people who refused to sit down through the whole show, the fans in the front who danced along with him all night, the few people sitting directly behind him, who held up their phones as lights the whole time. It was incredible to see him interact with the fans; he was loving them, and they loved him back.
At one point Brooks quipped about how he never really played the guitar during some of the set; that the guitar simply covered up his big gut. One particularly powerful moment in the show was when Brooks and wife Trisha Yearwood shared the stage during “In Another’s Eyes.” Yearwood’s voice sent goose bumps up your arms it was so convicting. Yearwood would go on to sing “How Do I Live” and the place went crazy, her voice never sounded stronger or better. She sang as if she’s been touring and singing all along, it was electric.
Brooks may now be a middle aged married man with children grown up, but he certainly has not lost his charisma or humility and he still knows how to put on one heck of a great time. If you have not made it out to one of these shows you are going to miss out on what is being labeled as the biggest party of the year.
Brooks would conclude the show and hop on his private jet to be ready for Good Morning America tomorrow, and then return to Minneapolis for Friday’s show. Not a bad life eh? Brooks wouldn’t have it any other way and he doesn’t take that lightly, tearing up as he gushes about his fans, he knows that if it wasn’t for them, he wouldn’t be here right now living the dream; and he’s grateful for each and every one of them.
GARTH BROOKS Set List Nov 6.
Man Against Machine
Two of a Kind, Workin’ on a Full House
The Beaches of Cheyenne
Papa Loved Mama
Ain’t Goin’ Down (‘Til the Sun Comes Up)
The Thunder Rolls
People Loving People
In Another’s Eyes
(with Trisha Yearwood)
XXX’s and OOO’s (An American Girl)
How Do I Live
She’s In Love With The Boy
(Billy Joel cover)
Callin’ Baton Rouge
Friends in Low Places
Two Piña Coladas
Standing Outside the Fire
Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)