Thursday, November 29, 2012

Garth Brooks at the Wynn

 us. before the show. november 2012.

I just couldn't end my chapter on Vegas without sharing not only one of the highlights of our trip, but one of the neatest experiences of our lives.  Many would characterize Vegas with its casinos, its over-the-top hotels, and its three-foot drink glasses, but Beau and I developed a love for the food and the amazing lineup of shows on the strip.  In what seems like a two-mile radius, you have the likes of Bobby Flay, Gordon Ramsey, and Emeril Lagasse, and shows for every age, every taste, and every mood.  When we first decided to go to Vegas, we scoured the lineup of shows and dreamed about eating at one of our culinary idols, Bobby Flay's, restaurant.  And thanks to our friends, Kyle and Jen, who offered rave reviews of Garth Brooks' weekend show at Wynn, we went out on a limb and booked two tickets for one of country music's all-time greatest performers.

Little did we know that two weeks later, Garth would announce that our weekend would be the last show he would perform at Wynn.

To say this news upped the ante of our expectations is an understatement.  While we both grew up loving Garth Brooks' music, we now got to be part of one of the last shows of this man's career.  While we considered selling the tickets for gambling money (this crossed our mind for 2.5 seconds), we looked forward to this truly once-and-a-lifetime experience of seeing Garth on stage.

Most fans of Garth Brooks know him as a gifted performer, and remember his concert for nearly a million people in Central Park, slamming guitars on the stage and running around flames singing 'Standing Outside the Fire.'  I think this image of Garth is what made the setting for his show at the Wynn so amazing.  An intimate auditorium, with maybe around three hundred seats, surrounding a single stage, a single spotlight, and a single stool for the entertainer himself.  The show was 2 hours and 45 minutes of Garth, his guitar, and the songs and influences that shaped his career.  He played everything from George Jones, to Simon and Garfunkel, Bob Dylan, and Bob Henley, and connected the songs in his own repertoire to these songs that influenced so much of music.

As he played his songs and his influences, and told stories of growing up, he sent his audience on a time warp, remembering the stories and influences that shaped our paths as well.  And most of all, he brought music alive in that auditorium in ways I've never really experienced.  My favorite songs included his version of Shameless, and his version of Dylan's To Make You Feel My Love.   

I'm not sure there are any other performers whose audiences and fans knowing every single word to nearly every single song of Garth's.  It's something that makes him unique and powerful.  Singing songs like 'Unanswered Prayers,' 'The Dance,' and 'That Summer,' a capella with the crowd, while Garth stood on the stage with his eyes closed, listening to the sounds of his own influence spread throughout the crowd, was something I will never forget.  In a way, we were his last evidence of that, the last choir of voices to emphasize his great music and great influence.  Beau and I sang our hearts out, and had so much fun together.                


  1. That would be so fun! I've loved Garth Brooks since I was a kids and would love to see him perform! Glad you guys had fun!

  2. I was just in Vegas two weeks ago, and I am with you - I am all about the food and shows! I bet Garth was amazing!!!



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