As I mentioned last week, I saw Garth Brooks on Friday. He was AMAZING. Amazing. Definitely a life highlight for me.
Garth was playing in Hamilton all weekend (also affectionately known as The Hammer around here), which is about an hour from Toronto. It worked out well that Emily and Corey had tickets as well so we could just carpool to Garth with them. We knew we were on the right track when we saw this sign on the drive there.
We went early so we could stop for dinner at the Mandarin (massive Chinese buffet), which kicked off my weekend of overeating. Every time I’m there I want all the fried meat, specifically the chicken balls in that delicious red sauce… Can’t get enough. We arrived at FirstOntario Centre and even though we spent at least half an hour finding parking we still had enough time to get merchandise and beer before the openers started at 7pm. I was after a Garth Brooks shirt.
Emily and her bump were beautiful in her Garth shirt.
(my caption on instagram for that was “The thunder rolls…AND THE WATER BREAKS” but it didn’t actually, thankfully.)
Emily is due this week so we were all excited that her baby stayed in for Garth. I was praying the entire day that she wouldn’t go into labour, or literally have her water break during the concert so we would all have to leave…can you even imagine?! But all was well. Baby liked!
We were on the floor, closer to the back of the floor than the stage but we still had a good view. We were so excited.
The first opening act was Brett Kissel, who I wasn’t sure if I had heard of before, but I recognized at least three of his songs — he’s played on our local country station all the time.
And songwriter Karyn Rochelle. LOVED HER.
My favourite thing about her was she just looked and acted like a normal person. She wasn’t completely shellacked with makeup, I could see her natural features. She seemed like someone I would want to be friends with. And I especially loved her song BETTER OFF (which she wrote for Sara Evans). The lyrics really resonated with me. She played it and right before said it was for those in the crowd who were wondering if there was someone out there who might be better for them…because if you are asking yourself that question then yes, there is. Been there. I completely agree.
And then Garth made his appearance.
Looking as dapper as ever. I don’t think there is a person on this earth who could put on a better show than him. He is the definition of entertainer. He is an ANIMAL.
It was the best concert I’ve ever been to (and that includes Jack Johnson and you know how much I love him). I can’t believe the amount of energy he has, especially for being 54 years old. I was exhausted just from watching! He was crazy running around the stage, climbing on things, and was just SO INTO IT. It was so entertaining! He sang all of his hits. It was wonderful. At one point I was straight up weeping with joy. I know that it is a show, and it is basically the same show every night and he says the same things (how he only wears his guitar to cover his gut) and does the same moves (climbs on top of the drummer’s cage), but it didn’t feel staged at all. It felt genuine and the energy of the crowd was insane. Even though FirstOntario Centre is a large arena, it felt intimate (unlike the concert I attended at the ACC on Wednesday). I felt like I experienced something really special with every person in the arena that night. (That magical feeling left me as soon as we were outside after the concert and everyone was trying to get to their cars and shoving and yelling at each other to get the F out of the way.)
Also, Garth seems so humble and genuinely grateful for his fans. The interaction he had with the audience was unlike anything I’ve ever seen during a concert, especially during his encore when he came back out and tailored his songs around the signs people had in the audience. I especially loved that he introduced all his buddies that he plays with, who have been with him since the beginning. That says a lot about an artist I think. Though if my job was playing the fiddle for Garth Brooks I don’t think I’d ever leave either.
That fiddler was fantastic.
Trisha Yearwood (who is also married to Garth) came out for a bit and sang a few of her hits, including How Do I Live, which I enjoyed serenading to/screaming at Evan (he liked it). Trisha looked and sounded amazing. I love their love.
Just look at those lovers!
So, it was wonderful. Blew me away. Garth played for nearly three hours and I loved every moment.
Evan is not even that big of a Garth Brooks fan and he said it was the most amazing show he’s ever been to. He told me that he was so glad he went because otherwise I would have come home and been like “it was amazing!” and he would have been all “oh good, I’m glad you had fun,” but not quite getting it. But because he was there and witnessed it himself he could be right there with me in that IT WAS AMAZING. We were all raving about it on the car ride home, and Evan and I were on a high all weekend. I did hear that Garth’s show on Saturday wasn’t quite as good as ours was on Friday, probably because he was playing two that night and there were no openers. I talked to a few of my coworkers who went on Saturday and they said their crowd wasn’t as enthusiastic as ours was.
The rest of the weekend we were doing all the Easter activities. My dad and Mona are in Florida right now and my mom and brother live in BC, so we spent the weekend with Evan’s family. We drove to Belleville on Saturday with Brotherman and Kelly and their eight-month-old nugget Landon, and spent Saturday with Evan’s mom and nana, and then his dad and Loulou on Sunday. Good times both days. I ate a lot. Like constantly ate. I lost track of how many chocolate eggs. Oh well.
On Sunday I was reunited with my favourite donkey Zeke.
Just a muffin. He warms my heart. It was a great weekend all around. Hope you all had a great Easter! And if you have a chance to see Garth Brooks YOU NEED TO GO!