These next two are basically neck and neck – but for the sake of a countdown I had to choose a number one and a number two. So here we are with number two in my top five concerts countdown.
When I was three years old, my parents took me to my very first concert ever back when we lived in Boca Raton. I have absolutely zero memory of said concert, but somewhere deep inside me remembers because that concert led to an entire life outlined by that music – the one and only Garth Brooks.
Growing up, there was no such thing as a Garth Brooks concert. It wasn’t even something I thought of because he’d always just never been on tour. I have distinct memories of car trips where we didn’t listen to anything other than Garth Brooks. I kind of remember standing in a line at a Walmart for something to do with Garth Brooks. My favorite GB song ever recorded was on the soundtrack for the movie Frequency (if you haven’t seen it I recommend you go watch it right now – it rules). So imagine my delight when he announced a world tour. At the time, there were only three cities announced, one of them was Jacksonville, and it was MY BIRTHDAY WEEKEND. All of these things together equaled Gina is going to see Garth Brooks if it’s the last thing she does.
Per photographic evidence above, that is exactly what we did. I got a group of my best friends together and had an absolute blast. I cried, I won’t even deny it. It was everything I wanted. I may have been in the LITERAL last row of the arena BEHIND the stage, but I did not care at all. I was in the same room as Garth Brooks and he was singing to ME and it was amazing.
If you thought that was all I had to say about Garth, you’re very wrong.
6 months or so later, he announced he was coming to Tampa. Now this time I didn’t want to be selfish so I didn’t buy tickets and everyone I knew was going and I was almost annoyed that I wasn’t going and then…the Tampa Bay Lightning made the Stanley Cup Playoffs and they CANCELED the whole concert. Awful for people who had tickets, but I kind of felt like I lucked out. Why you ask?
Because then he announced a show at the BB&T Center and my best friend knows what to get me for any birthday/holiday ever and bought us tickets. This was our first concert of the 2016 concert season and it was the (almost) perfect way to kick it off. I say almost because (I’m about to rant) PEOPLE ARE RUDE.
Here we are, two lovely ladies surrounded by middle aged folks in pretty high up seats at a Garth Brooks concert, just looking to have some fun as people do at concerts. Except the people around us were NOT about having fun. As one might do at a concert, we stood, danced, sang, etc. during the entire concert. The people behind us? They wanted no part in our desire to have a good time at a concert. Since they are grown adults and not petulant children, you are thinking that they kindly asked us to sit down so that they could enjoy the concert – or perhaps they moved to empty seats to enjoy an unobstructed view as they chose to sit through GARTH BROOKS, but you would be wrong. Instead, as grown adults do, they threw water on us. I shit you not. They took their water bottles (that they prob paid $9 for so who is the real winner here?) and continuously tossed water on us. Since I had to be the adult in this situation (no lie these people were roughly 50), I interrupted my concert-going experience to tell the nice usher gentleman that we were being harassed and….nothing happened. We were eventually the bigger people and moved so that we could continue to enjoy ourselves but NEVER in all of the concerts I have been to with the most obnoxious people on the planet have I ever experience anything remotely close to these ADULTS actions. Moral of the story – don’t be a dick when you go to concerts, please and thank you.
Suffice it to say, it was still a great concert because Garth, but I’m lucky enough to say that that experience wasn’t the last one I have to hold onto until who knows when.
Since I’m still on the Garth mailing list, every once in a while I’ll check what cities he’s announcing when the email comes out. It was one of those days when that beautiful flashing image said ORLANDO – October 8th. Ya’ll that’s my ACTUAL birthday. So for this one I recruited my beautiful sister who spent a good amount of money to get us tickets that weren’t in the back of the arena, or behind the stage, and set me up with the 2nd best concert of my life (it’s like basically a tie for first but…you’ll get it when #1 comes out).
We get to the arena and we have aisle seats which is always a win and I’m amped because I’m still obsessed with Garth – it’s not changed even a little bit – and I can just feel that it’s going to be a good night. Well, this man and…we’ll call her his date…came up to us to take their seats directly next to us. She sits down, but he stands in the aisle, looks at us and says, “actually, if you guys don’t mind – I will buy you drinks the entire night, here’s my credit card actually, if we can have these aisle seats.” You might think I’m lying, but matching bruises I received after falling on my way out of the concert will tell you that we took him up on it and it was the greatest decision we’ve ever made. He no joke bought us every single drink we had that night and all we had to do was get them one whenever we went. They also went missing for a good amount of the concert, too, so all in all it just worked out really well for us. These are our friends below.
There has been only one other concert where I have danced as hard, laughed as much, cried like a little baby, fallen to the ground with excitement as I did at this concert. At the end of every concert, he’ll come out to the very front of the stage and look around the crowd at the signs that people are holding up with songs they want him to sing, and since probably 30 seconds to a minute of them. WELL. Since it was my birthday and the concert gods were smiling down on me – someone had a sign that said “When You Come Back to me Again”. That’s when I lost it – THAT (like I said before) is my all-time favorite Garth song. He sang the shit out of it, I crumbled to the ground, crying, and sang the shit out of it with him.
It was at this point that I had a flash back to people throwing water on me, and I turned around to apologize to the people behind me for the dramatics. To which this darling girl said, “you guys have been the absolute best part of this concert.” SO SUCK IT CROTCHETY OLD PEOPLE I’M FUN.
Long story(ies) short, Garth Brooks is the actual GOAT. If you EVER have a chance to see him, go buy a ticket right now. And if you don’t know many Garth Brooks songs, I have the box set of CDs if you’d like to borrow it. Sup.