After twenty years, one of the biggest stars in country music returned to Memphis for four sold out shows at the FedEx Forum. Garth Brooks finishes up his stop in Memphis on his world tour tonight, and we got the chance to be one of the lucky ones to see the show (opening night, yay us ;) )
Garth Brooks is one of the world’s best selling artists, right there next to Elvis Presley and The Beatles. Beginning his record breaking career in the mid-80’s, Brooks has passed through the past three decades of music finding incredible success the entire way. Taking a short break from the spotlight, Brooks stepped away from touring in the early 2000’s. But in 2005, his partial comeback began, and in 2014 Brooks announced his comeback tour, The Garth Brooks World Tour, and it couldn’t have been a better show if you ask me.
I’m pretty picky when it comes to country music. Maybe I’m guilty of being one of those people who only likes new country, sue me...but Brooks had a seriously awesome stage presence and an energy like you don’t typically see in a 54-year-old performer, not to mention an entire arena of fans that made every song seem like their favorite one.
Even though Brooks’ latest album “Gunslinger” was just released in November of 2016, he has a long list of classics and made it a point to “play the old stuff.” And we all know that that’s the reason we go to concerts, to see the old stuff, right? He played every hit from “Two Pina Coladas” and “Ain’tGoinDown Til the Sun Comes Up” to “Unanswered Prayers” and “Callin’ Baton Rouge” (which he reported was his favorite song to perform live, and it showed).
Brooks’ wife, Trisha Yearwood, showed up on stage about half way through the show and performed a duet with Brooks before singing some of her own biggest hits, including one of my favorite country songs from the 90’s “How Do I Live Without You.” That adorable country music couple had so much fun on stage together and even had their own little kiss cam momentwhich had the crowd in many “aww”s.
It was really an awesome experience to see such a legend performing with the same guys he’s been (literally) running around the stage with for over 20 years. He introduced each member by name, instrument, and memorable story, all the while showing a series of 80’s and 90’s tour photographs in the background.They were running around singin’ and fiddlin’ and climbin’ on the set…and they’re not exactly young and resilient these days, you know?! Young at heart (don’t worry, Garth was the first one to make jokes about hisage). It’s without a doubt second nature for them to be up on that stage together, and itwas a different kind of show; a really cool contrast from the shows we usually cover.
From the two absolutely incredible openers (seriously, check them out- Mitch Rossell and KarynRochelle ) to the band and the back up singers, no one wanted to be anywhere but there. Especially Mr. Brooks. Man, what a happy guy, that Garth. Such an incredible show!
Photo credits: @TimSimpson