Editor’s Note: This letter was sent to Saving Country Music by a Garth fan, and is posted with permission. Please be respectful to this contributor with your comments.
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I have taken the past two days to find the words I’d like to share in regards to the concert at Notre Dame.
I am a seasoned Garth fan, having seen him 17 previous times at various locations (Chicago, Denver, Wynn) over the past 30 years. Garth is my coming of age music. He began the tour scene as I got my drivers license, giving me the rebellion from my parents music and opportunity to drive to see him perform. His music provides a soundtrack to my life, as I grow from teenager to mid 40s adult.
I did travel from Denver for the Notre Dame concert. And though I enjoyed the concert, I feel I did not see a Garth Brooks concert, but watched a taping of a performance. The majority of the evening was dominated by CBS, prioritizing their footage over the genuine flow of a live performance. The authenticity of all that Garth concerts have been was compromised, as the evening was sold out to production versus a deep rooted fan base.
As a fan, I am outraged that the flow of the concert was interrupted multiple times for ‘re-taping,’ killing the magical vibe of every other Garth concert which I have attended. There was an invisible barrier between Garth and his fans on Saturday night, blocking the intimate connection which he has always provided even in the largest arenas.
It is unfathomable to me that he choose to cover multiple other artists’ material, over powerful Garth anthems. I am unclear about the set list, and who the target listener was. The decision to skip songs such as “Shameless,” “We Shall Be Free” and “People Loving People” was one that was made not for a Garth enthusiast, but for a bankroll bigger than what a humble fan is able to contribute.
I am disappointed and disheartened. Moreover, I am overall stunned that Garth would perform as he did to 84,000 fans who paid and traveled to see him, choosing wealth and publicity over a sincere performance. Garth has always been on a pedestal, the highest ranked musician in my life. The giver of the melody, the consistent yet innovative.
I’m not sure how to proceed and continue my support for Garth. When people ask about the concert, my heart breaks to tell them the truth. As he begins his stadium tour, I question everything. Were the last 30 years of musical performances bogus? Does Garth prioritize the human fan or the dollars? Has be always been a dancing puppet? Why did I pay to become one of his puppets at Notre Dame? Does he have dignity as a performer or will the person singing at the stadium tour continue to be a pawn for the industry?
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Garth Brooks announced on October 17th during a press conference at the Country Music Hall of Fame that his next tour will be a stadium tour, with 10 to 12 concerts every year for the next three years, with a total of 30 dates. Specific dates have not been announced yet. His CBS special taped at Notre Dame Stadium is set to air on CBS December 2nd.
THE NOTRE DAME CONCERT WAS *NOT* INITIALLY ADVERTISED AS A TELEVISION TAPING, AND THIS WAS NOT DISCLOSED WHEN TICKETS WENT ON SALE. THIS WAS NOT DISCLOSED UNTIL OCTOBER 17TH—DAYS BEFORE THE CONCERT.