by Matt Bishop | January 30, 2016
Neither snow nor ice could keep Garth Brooks from performing. Well, it did for a weekend as Brooks was forced to cancel his first two evenings in Baltimore, MD due to the big blizzard that rolled over the east coast. But, Brooks promptly rescheduled and returned along with Trisha Yearwood to rock the Royal Farms Arena as promised. With the schedule shake-up, all the shows were now back to back, with Brooks playing four of his five shows in 48 hours tomorrow and Sunday. “Just give it everything you got, and the good Lord is gonna pick you up and carry you,” Brooks said to his band and crew. “Just take it one show at a time.”
After an intense intro, Brooks took the stage and opened with “Man Against Machine,” the title track from his latest studio effort. He went right into his seminal swagger-soaked song “Rodeo,” with kicked off a barrage of big hits including “Two of a Kind, Workin’ On a Full House,” “The River,” “The Beaches of Cheyenne,” “Two Pina Coladas,” and others. Seven songs in, he took things up a notch with back-to-back burners – “Papa Loved Mama” and “Ain’t Goin’ Down (‘Till The Sun Comes Up).” With the crowd in a rowdy frenzy, he quickly calmed them back down with a solo acoustic rendition of his classic “Unanswered Prayers.” It’s become a live tradition for Garth to perform the song with just his guitar, and let the crowd sing almost every word. Last night was no exception, and there were certainly some misty eyes in the audience. The nostalgic feels continued with “That Summer,” and quickly turned dark with one of Garth’s most iconic tracks – “The Thunder Rolls.” After that, he was joined by his wife Trisha Yearwood for a passionate duet of “In Another’s Eyes.”
Trisha Yearwood treated fans to a four-song set that didn’t disappoint despite it’s brevity. She opened with “X’s and O’s,” followed by “How Do I Live,” a track with earned Yearwood a Grammy Award in 1998. Trisha performed the title track from her latest album PrizeFighter and wrapped things up with “She’s In Love With The Boy,” a signature song from her 1991 self-titled debut album. And now, in 2016, Trisha is reminding us all that she is one of country music’s most coveted female voices.
The G Man returned to the stage for another string of hits, starting with “Shameless” and then cranking it up a bit with “Calling Baton Rouge.” Then, it was time. It was time for Garth and all his friends to do the ultimate Garth sing-a-long with “Friends In Low Places.” And, of course, he tacked on that mysterious third verse for perhaps the night’s loudest moment. He closed out that portion with his haunting ballad “The Dance,” only to return and kick up more dust with “The Fever” for an encore.”
Then, Garth treated fans to an acoustic set with just him, his guitar, and a spotlight. He gazed into the crowd and found signs with song requests, and he honored them. He worked in tracks like “Every Now and Then,” “Much To Young (To Feel This Damn Old),” Wrapped Up In You,” “Standing Outside The Fire,” and many more. “I believe we’ve found a home here,” Brooks said to the sold out crowd. “We should’ve been here a hell of a lot sooner.”
Garth Brooks is the #1-selling solo artist in U.S. history, and one of the greatest country music artists of all time. A true music icon, Garth has sold over 150 million records worldwide throughout his career. He’s been nominated for 12 Grammy Awards, winning two of them. He’s won 16 Billboard Music Awards, as well as the Billboard Music Artist Achievement Award in 1997. He’s also garnered 12 American Music Awards, nine CMA Awards, 22 ACM Awards, among many other honors. In 2012, Garth Brooks was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.