ARTIST: Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood with special guest Karyn Rochelle
VENUE: Greensboro Coliseum - Greensboro, NC
REVIEWER: Jennifer Smith
Follow Jennifer on Twitter at @LovinLyrics
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Back in the 90's, my musical "Must Do" was see Garth Brooks. That never happened. When I first heard that Garth Brooks was heading back on the road this year after years of retirement, my first thought was "I MUST cross this off the top of my bucket list!" Well, I can now say that I have crossed the #1 item off that bucket list and it included an extra bonus of Trisha Yearwood! Garth made it affordable at a standard ticket price of only $67.00 for tickets for ALL seats. If I were to leave this earth today, I would leave it with a huge grin on my face and a huge smile in my heart. It was a chance to relive the days when my worries were few and my good times were many, a chance I probably won't have again. It was a reunion of sorts with my past, one that brought back memories and unlocked doors that hadn't been opened in years.
This weekend, Sunday, 11/23/14, the only thing it took to get me stoned at this show was the music, the passion of the artist and the fans. To put it bluntly, this was the best orgasm a country fan could ever have, it even made me want a cigarette after and left me with an obvious glow. This was great sex is a music way. This was more than a show, this was on out of body experience, a connection that only Garth Brooks can make. This experience was truly about "people loving people", blaming it all on our roots, singing off key, loud and "shameless" and just roping the musical wind in one hell of a country music "rodeo". It was a family friendly event, one you wouldn't be have to be concerned about taking your kids to see. When I looked around this area, I didn't see people so drunk they were spilling beer on other people, they weren't so wasted that they couldn't enjoy the music .. this wasn't about "Burnin' It Down" and seeing who could reach their "Tippin' Point" first, it wasn't about pickup trucks, cut off faded blue jeans or Fireball Whiskey, this was about a night about the music itself and being able to enjoy it and remember it well after the first couple of songs. We'll remember this one for years to come. This was 3 hours of not listening to the misery of the world outside those arena doors, not worrying about how we were going to pay our next bill, not worrying about health issues or any other negative thoughts we would otherwise normally be thinking about, this was time with each other welcoming back one of the biggest artists in country music and welcoming back country's tradition with open arms and open hearts. For me personally, there is no other place I'd rather spend a Sunday night - just listening to the man that was instrumental in filling my heart with a love for country music, spending just a little bit of quality time with someone that I love, and simply appreciating the music that made me who I am. There was one added bonus, our seats were randomly upgraded! The only thing I can complain about is that it's over, but even so, the memories never will be.
It's been 16 years since Garth was last in Greensboro and man was it worth the wait! He hasn't lost a beat. He might have lost a little hair and his voice has an aged quality to it now, but the experience was pure Garth then and pure Garth now. The stage set up was incredible, the light show was fantastic and it was Garth as only Garth would do it, the bigger the better but yet he keeps it simple and about the music. First up was Karyn Rochelle, which was a huge surprise for me because I have been a fan for a long time, following her songwriting career the past few years out of Nashville. I never knew she was an NC native from Wilmington. She was fantastic, such a strong vocalist and a great stage presence. She performed her original music including "Jezebel" and "Red High Heels" which was cut by Kellie Pickler and was her breakout hit. I highly recommend her new self-titled CD. Her song, "Better Off" is my new theme song ;-)
The end of the show brought 2 amazing encores, including a heartfelt duet between Garth and Trisha of "Walkaway Joe".
I'd personally like to say thank you to Garth and Trisha for starting the curve to bring country back full circle, for giving fans a chance to appreciate the music again and for the 3 hours "outside of the real world" and immersing us into a world we've missed for so long.
If this tour comes to your area, GO! If you have to sell a kidney on the black market to get there, do it. It will leave you with a new appreciation and respect for the genre that seems to have lost both over the past few years and will make you wanna scream HELL YEAH just because.
Photo Credits: Jennifer Smith / Lovin' Lyrics