Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Garth! Partie Trois!

On Saturday, I went to the Garth Brooks concert in Columbus, Ohio.  I went with my fellow Garth Brooks-obsessed friend, The Angry Taoist. We went in September of 2014 in Chicago and February of last year in Detroit, but this time we were in OHIO which is like the best place to see a concert ever (sorry, Detroit). Seriously, Brooks has definitely upped his game since early on in the tour. He's in better physical shape now and he played for over two and a half hours. It was great fun.

Obligatory blurry concert pictures no one cares about but me!
The opener was Karyn Rochelle. She sang four songs: "Jezebels," "Better Off," "Red High Heels," and "Summers Like That." She's great - she has a fun stage presence and her music is good.  I'd go to one of her shows.

Then Garth came out. He opened with "Man Against Machine," which is apparently a song from his "new" album (which seems to be only available in strange places, like Walmart and his GhostTunes.com website) and, thankfully for all of us attending the concert, it was the last "new" song he played. The photo in the upper left is from this song.

The rest of the playlist:
"Rodeo"
"Two of a Kind, Workin' on a Full House"
"Beaches of Cheyenne"

(It was at this point in the concert that I realized that Brooks' songs are SO MUCH BETTER than anything on contemporary country radio and that I really, really can't get behind Luke Bryan and his ilk.)

"The River"
"Two Pina Coladas"
"Papa Loved Mama"
"Ain't Goin' Down ('Til the Sun Comes Up)"
"Unanswered Prayers" - the photo in the upper right is during this song
"If Tomorrow Never Comes"
"That Summer"
"The Thunder Rolls" (complete with the third verse!)

At this point, Trisha Yearwood came out and Brooks and Yearwood sang "In Another's Eyes." I am not entirely sure I am 100% behind the Brooks/Yearwood relationship, but after a bad first note on Yearwood's part, this was very lovely despite any misgivings I might have about their personal lives.

Then Yearwood sang a few of her hits:
"XXX's and OOO's (An American Girl)"
"How Do I Live"
"Prizefighter" (calling this a "hit" is generous, but let's go with it)

And then she sang "Purple Rain." I'm not a big Prince fan, but the sentiment was nice (although I will admit that it was at this point that I didn't know the words to a song and I was a bit sad). It seemed to go over well with the audience, although I was absolutely not the only one who didn't know the song. The photo in the bottom left is from this song.

She finished with "She's in Love with the Boy."

(I kind of wish she'd sing "Walkaway Joe" and/or "The Song Remembers When," but since less Yearwood means more Brooks, I'll get over it.)

Brooks came back out.

"Shameless"
"Callin' Baton Rouge"
"Friends in Low Places" (which I wrote as "Roots" in my chicken-scratched list from the concert)
"The Dance"
"The Fever"

And then the band went away and Brooks took requests from posters around the arena.  He sang the first verse and the chorus of a bunch of songs, some album tracks that never saw the charts. It was just him and his guitar and it was awesome. I really loved this part of the show, mostly because it didn't happen in either Chicago or Detroit.

"What She's Doing Now"
"Every Now and Then" (never a hit, but a great song from The Chase)
"Learning to Live Again"
"Same Old Story" (probably one of my least favorite songs, but an album track from No Fences and it's pretty much been in my head nonstop for the last 48 hours)
"The Red Strokes"
"Alabama Clay" (an early song from his first CD - EEEEEHHHH - awesome)
"Ireland" (this is in all caps in my hand-written list - I LOVE this song - people in the audience were crying with this one)
"She's Every Woman"

Then the band came back out and they played the following three songs in their full lengths:

"More Than A Memory"
"We Shall Be Free"
"Standing Outside the Fire"

And then we went home, hoarse and overly excited.

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