Monday, January 28, 2008

Staples Center. Friday night. Garth Brooks.

So…where were you Friday night?

I was somewhere I never, ever expected to be.

At a Garth Brooks concert.

He's adorable. No, I'm not crazy. Leave me alone.

My mother called me up the previous Tuesday and, in her sugary sweetest “favor” voice (everyone’s got one and I can pick hers out within the first two syllables that she speaks) asked me to accompany her to the Staples Center on Friday night to see one of the five benefit concerts – for the firefighters and families affected by the California wildfires last year - that Brooks was “coming out of retirement” to play.

With very few exceptions, I cannot STAND country music. In fact, if I hear a song with any of the following things in it, I run as fast as possible in the other direction:

- faded blue jeans
- a cheatin’ heart
- Texas
- a fiddle
- drinking troubles away
- a tractor
- a horse
- the first wife

However, she IS my mother and it WAS the week of her birthday, so I agreed. I promised to go in with an open mind; but the thousands of people in cowboy hats, boots and more leather than I’ve ever seen worn outside a rodeo made it difficult. So did all the crazy drunk, fake blonde, middle-aged women showing WAY too much cleavage. But, you know, I persevered. Because despite having unfortunate taste in music, my mom is pretty awesome.

I sat through the first few songs wondering why the hell all of these people were on their feet screaming and whooping like Garth Brooks was musical Jesus. Yes, the opening number was pretty rockin’ and had a serious beat – but you kind of HAVE to open with a number like that (and everyone seems to have one - except, perhaps, Sarah McLachlan). I entertained myself by looking around and internally giggling at the craziest fans and thought about counting the minutes until my suffering was over.

But then a funny thing happened.

I actually started to enjoy myself. By the time he brought out Huey Lewis (HUEY FREAKIN’ LEWIS!) bearing a harmonica to duet on ‘Workin’ for a Livin’” I’m not gonna lie, I was standing up and dancing.

A man who can play the harmonica is one you want to keep around...

Here’s the thing. I still, in general, don’t like country music. But damn can that man put on a show. People LOVE him. Hell, I kind of fell in love with him a little bit on Friday.

I’ve seen my share of concerts. I’ve seen a few GREAT concerts. But I’ve never seen a performer who genuinely enjoyed himself as much as Garth Brooks. A lot of artists, no matter how good they sound live, seem to treat concerts as just another part of the job. I’m not one to use this expression lightly, but there was sort of a magical thing going on Friday night. Brooks was so happy to be performing for his fans and seemed sincerely awed and touched at the raucous, enthusiastic response he got from the crowd.

His joy was infectious and really shone through in his performance. There was a great energy throughout and it was damn near impossible for even the staunchest of country haters (me) to not have a good time.

It takes a lot for me to admit this, but…Garth Brooks is kinda cool. *sigh*

1 comment:

danielletbd said...

Hahaha and you make fun of me for liking Mariah!