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Garth Brooks Reigns As the King of Country in Nashville

by Rich and Laura Lynch

"I shouldn't say this. But, size matters," Garth Brooks enthused as he surveyed the large crowd gathered at his "Stadium Tour" concert at Nissan Stadium on Saturday, April 16, 2022. The country superstar asked twice during the performance for a show of hands to see how many were in attendance during the lightning shortened event nine months earlier and about 70 percent of the crowd raised theirs in the affirmative.

Garth Brooks was all smiles at the Nashville makeup date.

This show had it all - girth and length as the audience swelled to over 73,000 fans - up two G's from last year's attempted outing that was scrubbed due to an intense electrical storm followed by an elongated downpour of torrential rain and flooding.

"I had never seen rain like that in my life," Brooks continued as the subject of the canceled concert played into this evening's theme and banter when Garth informed midway into his main set that, "Even so, Nashville you can rest assured that the thunder's gonna roll tonight."

Country star Chris Young reprised his role in the opening slot at Nissan Stadium.

Sure enough "The Thunder Rolls" was impressive when it was presented nine songs in. Backing up a bit, Garth emerged from underneath the drum riser with the illusion that he was raising it himself as the show opened with "All Day Long" and quickly followed with "Rodeo" to set a pace that often found him audibly gasping for air. These moments gave him time to pause and gaze out upon the massive audience with a mixture of unbelief and awe.

In some ways, it's hard to comprehend that Garth Brooks would have trouble believing that his fans are going to be there at his shows. He is a proven commodity and the biggest country superstar on the planet who is in the midst of an unprecedented run of selling out stadium gigs throughout the United States. And, he is doing all of this now after essentially walking away from it all at the top of his game in 2000 for 15 years in order to raise his family.

Perhaps that is the secret to his enduring appeal. Garth Brooks is living the American Dream that is clearly rooted in faith, family, honor and a humility that is truly lacking throughout much of the music industry. We met Garth's talented daughter last year in August and she relayed to us just how disappointed her famous dad was to have not pulled off the show at Nissan Stadium for his hometown fans and community. But, several months later the party was truly on for Garth and all the assembled with Brooks proclaiming before the night was out that this was in fact the favorite concert he has played in Nashville so far.

Garth fans lit up the night in Nashville throughout the hit filled concert.

Brooks talked about the importance of cover songs to his own career and he offered up many that were well received by the fans as he has made them his own over the years. He talked about how one of his favorite groups was the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band before introducing their playful and catchy "Fishin' in the Dark". He slowed things down just a bit for Billy Joel's "Shameless" that once again found Garth just a tad breathless upon its completion but he wasn't quite done with the piano man just yet.

Throughout the night Garth thanked God and his fans for allowing him to have this amazing life that from our seats in Section G, Row 7 looked pretty amazing indeed. Later on in the spotlight, Brooks once again thanked God for the beautiful weather that was rain free, calm and just a bit chilly - and much different from last year's high heat and humidity that created the stormy spectacle. Garth also touched on the trauma caused by the pandemic and its impacts when he emphasized that "love" is the answer. That - or just being together again and singing a song in unison might help heal the world a bit.

The first part of the evening concluded with arguably his two biggest hits "Friends in Low Places" penned by Dewayne Blackwell and "The Dance" written by Tony Arata that according to legend was first heard in this town many years ago when it was played by the artist at The Bluebird Cafe.

More scenes from an amazing night that we won't soon forget.

For the encore, Garth emerged solo with his signature Takamine and proceeded to pay tribute to a pair of his heroes Keith Whitley and George Strait. "Piano Man" once again saluted his pal from Long Island and gave homage to his dive bar days. But, it was during "Standing Outside the Fire" - a sign request from a young fan attending his first concert - that the crown might have been passed to the next generation as 7-year old Charles grabbed a microphone and proceeded to impress on a duet with Brooks that was beamed throughout the stadium on the big Diamond Vision screen. A slice of Don McLean's "American Pie" was a tasty way to end the night and to close out this portion of Garth's own unprecedented American dream come true.

The opening slot on Saturday showcased a mini version of the Grand Ole Opry radio show. For 95 years the Grand Ole Opry has been spreading the gospel of country music. Its Barn Dance broadcast hit the radio waves in 1925. Today, the show is heard and seen around the world via modern forms of communications but it still shines a light on the past, present and future of the genre. Bill Cody the well-known Opry announcer/host was on hand to welcome fans and introduce Chris Young who performed the popular "Gettin' You Home (The Black Dress Song)". Chris introduced Chase Rice who delivered a catchy two song set that included some singing along to "Eyes on You".

Garth Brooks was loving life in Nashville on a beautiful Saturday night.

Next, Trisha Yearwood with Lauren Alaina shared vocals on "She's In Love With The Boy". Chris Young returned to pay tribute to everyday people before going into "Papa Loved Mama" and the crowd went wild as Brooks joined Young. Then, Garth spoke briefly about the importance of the Opry before inviting the other guests back to the stage along with Larry Gatlin and Jeannie Seely. The Super Opry group sang "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" an anthem of hope and perseverance with its message that life and (country) music continues even when faced with adversity, death, floods and pandemics.

Garth Brooks demonstrated why he is the king of country with an energized and engaging two night stand in Nashville. Both evenings were packed with the hits yet included a tip of the cowboy hat to the history of country - especially on Saturday with the Opry portion of the show. He also returned to his roots recalling his early days and influences. Garth is truly a master at his craft whose enthusiasm was infectious as his substantial passion poured out from the stage at Nissan Stadium. So, it's no wonder why Brooks still reigns as one of the biggest names in the business.

Size matters!!! The Stadium Tour has been a huge success for Garth & Co.

Related Links: For more information on GARTH BROOKS and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links - Garth Brooks | Grand Ole Opry | Nissan Stadium | Garth Brooks Fans Flood to the Bridgestone Arena | The G-Men are Inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum


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