One day last summer I found myself at Sharon’s kitchen table, discussing important things, matters of deep philosophical significance. Who is the better country entertainer, Garth Brooks or George Straight.
Those that know me well, know that my allegiance is to Garth and it can not be swayed. Now, don’t get me wrong, George is great, a legend even. But Garth….Garth is it. No question, hands down. There was a time, back in 1990 something, that I pitched a tent and slept in the cold Wyoming wind, outside the Casper Events Center with my friend Lorinna, so we could be one of the first in line to buy tickets to Garth’s concert. And it was worth every teeth chattering minute. George is great and all but Garth is Garth!
Sharon on the other hand seemed to think George was the guy. But even though she seemed fairly certain about where she stood on the issue, I sensed that there was a possibility she might be swayed…..
I said, “you know Garth just announced that he’s going on tour again maybe we should go and just see what you think after that.” She said, “maybe.”
A few weeks later she sent me an email that said she and Brenda had been to a concert at Cheyenne Frontier Days and the guy who opened for Brad Paisley made everyone sing Friends in Low Places because it was a song that EVERYONE knew. And she said, “guess what? EVERYONE knew it and sang along.”
I replied, “obviously this is a sign from God. We must go to a Garth Brooks concert. It’s almost like a burning bush! If we don’t go there could be floods and famine and locust!” She said, “maybe”
A few weeks later there’s a big announcement here in Minnesota. Garth Brooks is coming to the Target Center! I emailed Sharon right away and said, “See it’s like the 11th commandment! We NEED to go see Garth! If I get tickets will you come?!” She said, “maybe”…..I don’t think she thought I would ever be able to get tickets but I was determined to pitch my tent and sleep in the cold if I had to! Thank God I didn’t have to pitch my tent and sleep in the cold. All I needed was my computer and cup of coffee. Standing in line for concert tickets has come a long way since 90’s.
So, I logged into the “waiting room” about 40 minutes before tickets went on sale. At 10:00 sharp my screen said, “You are in line. It will be your turn shortly” I stared intently at my screen for the next hour and half. I was just beginning to lose hope….and wishing I hadn’t drank so much coffee…and my eyes were kind of starting to burn, when bam! It was my turn.
And I very nearly panicked because all of the sudden there is a countdown clock on my screen and I have to enter all this information and make it sure its right and then it says, something like “here are you seats do want them, cause if you do you better say so quick because we going to give them to someone else in 1 minute and 15 seconds, 14…13…12…
Here is what went through my head: ok…ok…check the date…yep right date…check the time because we don’t want the 10:30 concert I can barely stay up that late anymore…ok the early concert….good…ok…credit card info…got it…ok…ahhhh only 1 minute left…ok…number of seats, obviously I’m going to get the most I can which is eight, I’m sure I can find eight people to go with me…got it…ok…where are the seats are they any good…does it really matter, I mean we kind have to take what we get right…but maybe I could try for better ones but if I do that we might not get any….ahhh only 45 seconds left…focus….ok date, time, credit card, number of seats…ok where are they….they look ok…they might even be good but….oh it doesn’t matter for crying tears in a bucket just buy the damn tickets already before you lose them! Click! Done. And we had ourselves some tickets to see Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood.
Then just for fun I went and looked at another website that showed the concert layout for the Target Center and showed views from all the seat locations. And what it said we could see from our seats was….a big speaker tower. I wanted to cry. When Joe got home I said, “I think I’ve just ruined everything!” He looked up a few different views on some other sites and said, “I don’t think it will be totally ruined. I think it will be ok.” I just couldn’t think about it anymore and I told Sharon, “well, we’ve got tickets. I’m not sure but they might be crappy seats, I just took what I could get” She said she would come anyway.
Mom and Brenda didn’t want Sharon to have to travel alone, so they came along to keep her company and also they wanted to see Garth. Jamie and Chad had planned coming out that weekend to watch Max play basketball and decided they could leave early enough to make it out for the concert. My eight tickets were snapped up before I even had a chance to wonder who to take.
And so we listened to Garth 24/7 to prepare. Max and Anne, I am so proud to say, now know almost all of his songs by heart.
And then finally the big night arrived! I counted the tickets fourteen hundred times between my front door and the Target center. I briefly let Mom hold them while I drove but told her she had to keep them where I could see them the entire time. After a somewhat tricky drive into Minneapolis (my husband is not fun to follow in traffic…not fun at all) we were there. We shuffled our way in with the crowd and finally found our way to our seats. It turned out they were ok after all!
It was fantastic! My ears were ringing and my feet ached and my voice was hoarse but it was so worth it. We talked about hiding out in the bathroom and waiting for the 10:30 show but we didn’t. I never did ask Sharon if she was swayed over the Garth side but I don’t even care anymore because I got to go the concert.
I told Joe I was thinking about just following the tour around. He said, “what about the children?” I said, “I guess they can come too.” We’re still working out the details….
Here are a couple of video clips that Joe took. Enjoy! And if you ever get a chance to go to a Garth concert, please go! And wear comfortable shoes.