I Saw Garth Brooks Twice in Boise 

Despite a showy performance, large crowds make seeing Garth Brooks twice a chore

click to enlarge LINDSAY TROMBLY
  • Lindsay Trombly
My childhood consisted of car rides with my mother blaring Garth Brooks over the speakers. At times, it felt never-ending. If there is a number-one fan of Brooks, I believe it is my mother. My parents saw him in concert back in 1992 in Los Angeles. My brother saw him in concert with them, too. Inevitably, it was my turn to see the country super-star.

In my 21 years, I had never seen Garth Brooks in concert. Now I can say I’ve not only seen him once, but twice—two nights in a row.

click to enlarge LINDSAY TROMBLY
  • Lindsay Trombly
Having divorced parents can be a challenge and sometimes it can lead to strange circumstances. This was one of them. One day when I was spending time with my mom and dad on separate occasions they both approached me saying they had tickets to the Garth Brooks concert on separate nights. They wanted me to go with them and I couldn’t say no. So I went to see Brooks twice, even though I am a classic rock fan at heart.

When Friday night came I couldn’t believe the crowd size: 40,000 people.

The lines to enter the stadium seemed never-ending. Security didn’t let people in until 6 p.m., an hour before showtime. My dad and I waited in line for about an hour, and at one point I overheard someone in line say, “Do we like Garth this much?” I would be lying if I said I wasn’t thinking the same thing.

Once we found our seats in the bleachers, it felt like we spent the better part of the night talking, as the show took a while to start. Brooks’ crew, The Crew Band, opened with a few of classic rock hits. It’s what I needed to get me in the mood for a concert.

The last song they played “We Will Rock You” by Queen, driving the audience wild. We stomped on the bleachers and clapped our hands to this familiar beat. That’s when the stadium felt like a community.

After the band was done playing, it took longer for Granger Smith to come on stage. What got me was when he sang a song dedicated to his 3-year-old son who recently drowned, he let go of a balloon in honor of him and let it float to the sky. In my opinion, music isn’t music unless it comes from the heart. This time, I felt the heart behind the music.

Afterward, the audience became so bored of waiting for Brooks we even started doing the wave. When the sun finally started to go down at 9:15 p.m., Brooks ran out on stage.

Country music may not be my favorite, but Brooks is undeniably a showman, but during his third song the sound stopped working. When the sound came back on he admitted that his worst nightmare just happened and how “we were gonna be here all frickin’ night.” So he played and played.

Memories of my childhood sparked to life and I sang almost every single one of his songs. When Blake Shelton came out, the concert got even better, but it was a short appearance. Of course Brooks had to perform an encore, so the concert didn’t end until 11:30 p.m. At that point, I was not excited to be in the crowd again. We made it home and I slept like a baby, preparing myself for the next night.

click to enlarge LINDSAY TROMBLY
  • Lindsay Trombly
The next day my mom and I planned on eating dinner down the street from the stadium. Again, there were tons of people. However, the line for the stadium wasn’t quite as tiresome as the previous night. People seemingly got their acts together because lines were moving faster. I could have lived without the man in front of my mom and I in line joking, “I left my gun at home.” They searched him and don’t worry, he wasn’t armed.

Then it was time to fight the stairs. My mom got higher seats than my dad and they were in the endzone. After the huffing and puffing, I knew I wasn’t leaving my seat until the concert was over.

I don’t know what I was expecting for the second night but the concert was effectively the same as the previous night. The only difference was the concert started earlier, Dylan Scott opened and Brooks sang “Night Moves” by Bob Seger.

Brooks ended up singing “Dive Bar” four times between both nights and now that song is forever stuck in my head. I will never forget it.

I know what you’re thinking—was it worth it? You’re so lucky to go see Garth Brooks in concert two nights in a row. My answer is “no.” It wasn’t worth it. Don’t get me wrong, I loved spending time with my parents but the crowds were ridiculous. By the end of the second night I grabbed my mom as we were being transferred like cattle just to get down a flight of stairs. All I could think was, "Get me out of here."

Brooks is a spectacular entertainer and put on a fabulous show. It’s an experience I will never forget. I could, however, live without spending time around 80,000 people over two nights.

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