Garth Brooks’ Notre Dame Concert Everything Fans Hoped It Would Be
Garth Brooks picked one heck of a time for his first outdoor stadium concert, but the fans at Notre Dame let him know that mid-October in northern Indiana is the perfect time and place for a country music celebration. High winds, snow and rain all subsided for a few hours as Brooks played for more than 80,000 fans on Saturday (Oct. 20). It was all filmed for an upcoming CBS special.
Memorable cover songs seasoned as dependable of a set list as you'll find in country music. In fact, the singer's nostalgic impulses guided this show. He played just two new songs, if by new you mean released after he went into retirement. Current single "All Day Long" led off, and "More Than a Memory" came during his "Housekeeping" encore.
"Live Again," a little known song by Nashville based singer Gabe Dixon, began what Brooks called "The Trilogy" midway through the show. Both the original and Brooks' version were Beatles-esque, so the transition into "Let It Be" and "Hey Jude" were seamless. Fans who didn't sing along were encouraged to do so during a second take, but the made-for-TV moments never felt like an intrusion. Brooks brought the crowd into the production, at one point even microphoning the instruction he was getting from his director.
"That Summer," "The River" and "Two Pina Coladas" were amog the early hits, with songs like "Ain’t Goin Down Til The Sun Comes Up," "The Thunder Rolls," Friends in Low Places" and "The Dance" saved for the final moments before his encore. By this time, the weather had seemingly warmed. Snow and rain delayed the crowd's arrival by about an hour, but aside from an early gust or two, the nasty weather was just an opening act no one wanted.
See Photos from Garth Brooks at Notre Dame
The two Beatles songs and a glorious cover of Bob Seger's "Night Moves" were highlights of the main set, while Seger's "Turn the Page" and Don McClean's "American Pie" helped close the show. Brooks rarely goes sideways with his covers, choosing the most well-known singalong songs he can find. This makes the Gabe Dixon cover so interesting. If you were to guess that the always intentional Hall of Famer were going to record this song (perhaps it's even his secret next single?), that'd be worth putting a small bet on. It was set up with little fanfare, as if by the time Dec. 2 rolls around — the air date for this special — everyone will know all about it.
Brooks' Notre Dame show could have just come and gone and it'd have been a huge, historic night, but the singer gave everything he could on stage and asked the same of his band and fans. The show is his first stadium show (five more stadium dates will go on sale soon), and he all but promised he'd come back to close the tour here in a few years.
Brooks' Live at Notre Dame is a two-hour Sunday night event, starting at 8PM ET on Dec. 2.
Garth Brooks' Notre Dame Set List:
"All Day Long"
"Two of a Kind Workin' on a Full House"
"Papa Loved Mama"
"Two Pina Coladas"
(Cover) Bob Seger, "Night Moves"
"Standing Outside The Fire"
(Cover) Gabe Dixon, "Live Again"
(Cover) The Beatles, "Let It Be"
(Cover) The Beatles, "Hey Jude"
"Ain’t Goin Down Til The Sun Comes Up"
"The Thunder Rolls"
"Callin’ Baton Rouge"
"Friends In Low Places"
"She’s Every Woman"
"More Than A Memory"
(Cover) Ashley McBryde, "Guy Goin Nowhere" (originally "Girl Goin' Nowhere")
"Turn The Page"
(Cover) Don McClean, "American Pie"
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