I was raised on the country music’s greats like Garth Brooks and George Straight. I remember road trips with my parents listening to these classic cassettes from the backseat. Once I got to school and learned there was a whole other world of music out there, my tastes expanded greatly and no longer included country music. In fact, country music turned into my least favourite genre, except when it comes to those classic songs from my childhood.
Needless to say, seeing country music legend Garth Brooks has been on my bucket list for a few years now. I was devastated when I wasn’t able to get tickets to his sold out show in Calgary for Stampede several years ago and had hoped for an opportunity to travel to Vegas while he had his residency. When he announced a show in Edmonton a few months ago, I knew I had to find tickets somehow because there was no way I was missing out again.
Huge thanks to Ange, we had tickets secured in early December and the countdown to Garth Day was on. We arrived at Rogers Place in Edmonton bubbling with excitement but it wasn’t until the lights went down and the thousands of people in attendance starting screaming and cheering that it all set in for me.
20,000 people under one roof, singing at the top of their lungs to all of Garth Brooks’ hits together gave me goosebumps and tears at the same time. I was instantly taken back to all those car rides where I learned all the words to these songs, not knowing that I’d see the country legend take the stage 25 years later. The energy and passion Garth Brooks has for his music are unlike anything else you’ll ever witness. Even after playing a full show that afternoon, Garth ran around the stage with the energy of a twenty-year-old, playing all the hits, the songs that his fans came to hear.
And you can’t mention the Garth Brooks concert without noting the addition of his beautiful wife Trisha Yearwood. While she wasn’t as memorable from my childhood, I still managed to know all the songs she sang. But what stood out for me was the way Garth and Trisha gazed at each other and interacted on stage together. So clearly full of love for each other, it was just adorable and inspiring. And boy do they make beautiful music together.
Maybe you are one of the ones who didn’t understand the hype about Garth playing nine sold out shows in Edmonton this month. Maybe country music truly isn’t your thing. And that’s ok. But there’s something to be said about witnessing a musical icon who became etched into your heart from the earliest of memories on stage bringing back all the nostalgia.