About a third of the way through his set on Saturday night, Garth Brooks said that he’s just like us, he goes to concerts, and when his favorites have a new album coming out, good for them, but he goes to their show to hear THE OLD STUFF!
Therefore, it wasn’t too surprising that during the course of the show, only two new songs were played: “People Loving People,” the new single, and the song he kicked off the concert with, “Man Against the Machine.” Even with the stellar acoustics at the Allstate Arena in Chicago, when the first time you hear a song is in a live element, it’s difficult to catch everything. Therefore, commenting on the content of the song is difficult. However, the sound is what we’d expect from Garth, probably what more people were hoping for from his comeback single. It was very up-tempo Garth and had a great song. And live, “People Loving People” added a different dimension, so that even those who aren’t fully enthralled with the song may appreciate it more in its live environment.
That being said, Garth hasn’t missed a step.
He’s still got the same energy, the same charisma, the same love for what he does.
After kicking off the show with a new song, he led right in to “Rodeo,” showcasing his high-energy. At one point, after several fast-paced songs, he remarked that perhaps the older folks like him needed a breather, so he would perform a “tender love ballad called ‘Ain’t Goin’ Down Till the Sun Comes Up.”
After that song, he really did slow it down, moving into his classic “Unanswered Prayers.” As is a tradition, he allowed the audience to sing the chorus, and as they sang every word, he marveled “that never gets old.” Even back on Double Live, the crowd knew every word to the song which Garth, even back then, thought was “very cool.”
After “People Loving People,” Trisha Yearwood joined Garth on stage for their duet of “In Another’s Eyes.” After this, Trisha took over the stage for a four song set, including her new single “PrizeFighter,” which is officially releasing to radio on Monday. Trisha was as fantastic as she’s always been…an amazing vocal talent and an amazing performer, completely genuine.
Garth then retook the stage for four final songs, including the required “Friends In Low Places,” and the concert closer “The Dance,” which he proclaimed “will live forever, not because of me, but just because of the message of the song.” It couldn’t have been a better way to end the show.
At the start of this review, I claimed that Luke Bryan is in trouble. As we are all well aware, his camp and his fans made a huge stink when George Strait was awarded the Entertainer of the Year award this past winter at the ACM Awards. Now, at the CMAs, Luke is again competing with George Strait, who just broke all kinds of attendance records on his final show of his final tour. After that, he’s going to be competing with Garth Brooks, a performer world-renowned for his shows. His odds of winning the Entertainer of the Year Award just took a massive hit. With a tour that he has claimed will last all of three years, Garth is going to be nominated for a LOT of Entertainer of the Year awards.
George Strait may be retiring from the road, but at least one mainstream act is returning and worth seeing, because he has consistently shown that he can deliver. And now, he’s shown that sixteen years off of the road hasn’t changed that, either.
I’d also like to take a quick minute to mention the opening act, one of Garth’s backup singers, Karyn Rochelle. Karyn is most notable for some songwriting credits, including co-writing Sunny Sweeney’s “From a Table Away” and Kellie Pickler’s “Red High Heels.” I was very impressed with Karyn’s performance. I liked her voice and her style. I picked up her new album at the show and you should see a review of the album posted here on my site no later than Monday evening.
Man Against the Machine
Two of a Kind
Beaches of Cheyenne
Papa Loved Mama
Ain't Goin Down Til the Sun Comes Up
If Tomorrow Never Comes
The Thunder Rolls (long version)
People Loving People
In Another's Eyes (w Trisha Yearwood)
XXX and OOOs
How Do I Live
She's in Love With the Boy
Callin' Baton Rouge
Friends In low Places (long version)