“THIS is why you start a tour in St. Louis” Garth Brooks yelled out to his sold out crowd last night at The Dome at America’s Center. Brooks transformed The Dome into a honky-tonk celebration last night, kicking off his multi-year stadium tour with a bang.
Close to 100,000 people packed into The Dome for Garth Brooks and from the moment the lights went down, the atmosphere was electric. Brooks took to the stage with a warm welcome, starting off the night with “The Road I’m On.” His excitement carried out to each and every audience member and continued to radiate through each song, including “Two Pina Coladas” and “Rodeo.” Within the first ten minutes of the show Brooks had already taken a moment to pause and soak in the crowd. “This is gonna be the best night of my life right here,” he grinned. Brooks’ passion for the music was evident, and this genuine love created an open invite for the audience to appreciate each and every song.
The show didn’t have a single dull moment, but instead raged forward with hit after hit. The set included a rendition of “The River” complemented by a stadium full of flashlights, a cover of Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s “Fishin’ In the Dark,” and a stripped down “Unanswered Prayers” accompanied by thousands of echoing voices… and that was just the first half.
Later in the evening Brooks apologized for the fact that his wife, Trisha Yearwood, had to cancel her pre-show tailgate due to weather. To make it up to the crowd, they decided to sing a couple of her songs as well. The couple sang “Walkaway Joe” and “She’s In Love With the Boy” and the crowd went wild.
By the time Brooks had reached “Friends In Low Places” the energy in the stadium was unmatchable, and as he sang out the lyrics of the live version, audience members joined him in embracing the moment and singing them as loud as they could. There were smiles on every face, and as he closed his set with “The Dance” the Dome had truly become what he could only explain as “home.”
Brooks left the stage, but was back for an encore within minutes as the crowd continued to bellow on. The encore was directed by the fans requests via posters and signs throughout the stadium. Brooks played sections of a variety of songs including “Wolves,” “Ireland,” and “Make You Feel My Love.”
After scanning the crowd, Brooks finally came to a poster that read “I’m a prize-fighter. Diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer at 28.” Garth Brooks did not miss a beat, but proceeded to encourage and support, stating, “There are times in this life where you take up both fists and you fight.” He then finished out the encore with one last piece of encouragement. Brooks sang out the lyrics of “Standing Outside the Fire” and the feeling of “home” intensified to its peak.
Garth Brooks inspired, loved, motivated, and laughed his way through a powerhouse performance in St. Louis, and reminded the audience of all that music holds. Brooks’ first night of his national stadium tour was more than a success; it was a night that that St. Louis will not soon forget.