It’s no secret that I absolutely LOVE Country music. And, even though my grandmother introduced me to Country by way of Conway Twitty, Bobbie Gentry, and Merle Haggard, it was Garth Brooks who made me fall head over heels in love.
His music pulled through some very tough times and encouraged me to chase some amazing opportunities and dreams. And boy, have I had a lot of fun that involved Garth, beer and good friends! So, when he finally came out of retirement this year, seeing him in concert was happening come hell or high water.
I put the ticket release dates on calendar as soon as they were announced and was waiting with baited breath when they went on sale only to be left in an endless ‘1 minute waiting time’ queue for over an hour thanks to Ticketmaster’s *superior* online ticketing. Daring not to miss my chance, I gave Ticketmaster a call and managed to secure balcony seats to the show I wanted….but I didn’t want balcony seats. I’d waited almost 20 years for this concert and I sure as hell didn’t wait for balcony seats. I hung up. I immediately regretted it knowing I would hate myself if I called back and couldn’t get through or if the tickets all sold out. I called again and got through!
But, when the automated system said what seats were available, it was nothing but static. “There are seats available for the 10:30 show located in Section **static** seat **even more static**.” What?! #####. Isn’t pressing # supposed to repeat the options? Fearing that this was my last chance and resolving to be ok just being in the arena, I entered my credit card number. I was going to see Garth Brooks! I immediately logged on to Ticketmaster to see my receipt and hopefully my seats. WOAH! Not only was I going to see Garth Brooks…but I was going see him from floor seats 6 rows from the stage! The sheer feeling of bliss and excitement was simply indescribable. A high that would carry me all the way through November and December. It couldn’t get any better.
But then…it did!
The Monday before the concert, my friend Liz sent me an email, ‘Did you know Garth Brooks is going to be on campus Friday?’ Another 10 or so people emailed or called me throughout the week to make sure I knew (I’m probably their only Country Music loving friend, lol). Simply unbelievable. On the first ever bucket list I made back in high school when life was simple, #1 was Meet Garth Brooks, #2 was Go to a Garth Brook concert. Could I possibly have the chance to not only cross both things off, but to also cross them off on one day?
I did just that!
The event on campus was an intimate conversation with only about 40 people. I sat in the front row and was just really inspired by how wonderful both Garth and Trisha both are. To hear him and Trisha speak candidly about their careers, their struggles and their values rewarding and inspiring. A woman in the audience asked how they dealt with the fear of rejection as musicians. She was a musician and often turned down gigs because she was afraid to play. Garth encouraged her to keep pushing through and then invited her down to play his guitar and sing for the audience while he sat in her seat and listened. How many artists would do that? I’m sure she’ll remember that moment for the rest of her life.
I love how music makes me feel, how it prompts me to reflect, to understand, to inspire, strive. But what I love more is when the person behind the music can do the same. When you can strip away the guitars, the fancy stages, and tour buses, and that person and what they stand for, who they are, still inspires you. For more than a decade, Garth Brooks has been the ONLY person on my ‘must meet’ list. I’ve met tons of ‘cool’ people, dined with dignitaries, scholars, and famous folks and that was great, but they were not Garth Brooks. But what made it all worth the wait was the fact that he was every bit of the humble, value-driven, stand-up man that I have always thought him to be. We chatted about values and he is perhaps the first person ever to call me Ms. Rese, and…I loved every minute of it!
And the concert….it was incredible. The crowd was on fire, Garth Brooks and his band and Trisha Yearwood all put on one hell of a performance. And Jimmy, his fiddle player….omg he blew my mind! So basically, this past weekend was pretty much one of the best weekends of my life!