If one was to ever attend a Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood concert, opening night in Fresno on Friday (Sept 23rd) was the night to attend! The pair graced the stage to a deafening crowd that never stopped cheering or singing a long. Both artists made reference as to how loud the crowd was throughout the night.
“What is up with you guys?” Brooks exclaimed from the stage. “This is the best opening night I’ve ever had!”
Brooks opened with “Man Against Machine” before launching into “Rodeo” and hit after hit during a two and a half hour set. He commanded the stage and played to each section of the nearly sold out crowd.
“If you wanna raise hell, you picked the right guy!” Brooks stated to deafening cheers.
At one point in the show, Brooks led the crowd into a five minute scream fight between sections. All he had to do was point his finger and the crowd went wild! That’s how commanding Brooks is of the stage and crowd. He also grabbed a camera man and guided him to film the crowd and band.
Nearly an hour into the show, Yearwood graced the stage for the first time as she rose from the side during the pair’s duet, “In Another’s Eyes.” Afterward, Brooks left the stage and Yearwood performed a four song set that included “XXXs And OOOs” and “How Do I Live.”
She also acknowledged the volume of the crowd by stating, “I can be in another city [and hear you]. Bakersfield can hear you. [We’re] year three into the tour and not sure we’ve had a crowd louder than this. Honey, we may have to move to Fresno. This is too crazy.”
By the way, Bakersfield is two hours to the south and is where Brooks proposed to Yearwood at Buck Owens Crystal Palace in 2007.
Her third song was “Prize Fighter” which she dedicated to cancer survivors.
“If you are currently kicking cancer’s ass, and I know you are, this song is for you!” she states before launching into the song that included pictures of cancer survivors and patients on the large screens above.
When Brooks came back on stage to perform “She’s In Love With The Boy” with her, Yearwood made a special announcement that honors Brooks.
“I just found out today that for the first time, the only artist in the history of music to have seven Diamond Awards…Mr. Garth Brooks.”
Brooks surpasses his tie with The Beatles with six Diamond Awards. Diamond status means an artist has sold at least ten million copies of a single album.
Other songs Brooks performed include “Papa Loved Mama,” “The Thunder Rolls,” “The River,” “Callin’ Baton Rouge” and more. The main part of the show wrapped with the infamous “Friends In Low Places” — in which the crowd sang the third verse — and “The Dance.”
Before Brooks left the stage, he told the crowd, “The reason I’ll remember this night is not because of the seven Diamonds, but because I received the seven Diamonds on the greatest opening night of my life!”
Brooks came back for a mostly acoustic encore that included snippets of fan sign requests. “The Red Strokes,” “In Lonesome Dove,” “That Ol’ Wind” and “Wrapped Up In You” were sung with just an acoustic guitar. Brooks also paid homage to his country heroes that included Keith Whitley, George Jones, George Strait and Billy Joel. The full band came back to perform “Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)” and “Standing Outside The Fire” before the house lights came on.
This concert wasn’t just a Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood show! It was a full band show. The musicians and backup singers ran around the stage along with Brooks. They played off of each other and had so much fun. You can tell they genuinely love what they do. Despite a few members of Yearwood’s band joining the tour, Brooks says the “newest” member has been a member for 22 years with others dating back to the Eighties.
The lighting and effects were second to none. The lights lit up the entire arena and even turned the drums different colors. Special effects also appear on the screens above, but no spoilers here.
Three opening acts accompanied the superstars. Mitch Rossell performed three songs acoustically as did Karyn Rochelle, who co-wrote Kellie Pickler’s “Red High Heels.” Rochelle is also a backup singer for Brooks and Yearwood. Both of these acts may be unheard of right now, but are destined to be big. They seem more traditional and both are crafty singers and songwriters.
The surprise of the night had to be Joe Nichols walking out and performing an unannounced hefty twenty minute acoustic set that included a country version of Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “Baby Got Back” that he claims will be on his forthcoming album. Nichols also opened two nights in Anaheim the previous weekend.
For anyone who’s never seen a Garth Brooks concert or is long overdue like I was — The first time I had seen him was in 1996 — you need to catch this tour! It has about a year left on the North American leg before it heads overseas, although no dates have been announced beyond Orlando and Charleston. This was one of the best concerts I’ve ever attended! Brooks is a true entertainer and should win the big Entertainer Of The Year award at this year’s CMA Awards.
Author: Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.