‘Shameless’ for Garth Brooks

GARTH BROOKS Y’ALL! Oh my God, I can’t even tell you how freaking amazing his show was.

As a child, I remember my first introduction to country music was watching my tía (Latina) get ready to go line dancing. She always looked so glamorous, wearing her boots and big teased 80s hair, cowboy hat to the side so not to smush her ‘do.  She is the one who taught me how to line-dance and to this day I can do the ‘four corners’ thanks to her.

That was my introduction to country music and we’ve been going strong ever since. In my childhood, I listened to all the greats, Reba, George Strait, Randy Travis, Dwight Yoakum, Tanya Tucker, Brooks & Dunn and the old icons like Loretta Lynn, Dolly, Barbara Mandrell, Johnny Cash, June Carter, Patsy Cline, Hank Williams, etc…to name a few. One of the most beloved artist that captured my heart during those early years, and to this day, was GARTH BROOKS.

Now I am from Texas, currently residing in Washington DC and his tour wasn’t coming out this way; when Garth Brooks doesn’t come this way, you find your way to Garth Brooks, so I found tickets for the Philadelphia show. I bought one for myself  and hopped on the train,  let me tell you, it was ABSOLUTELY worth it.

He completely brought the house down. I may have been only like 1 of 12 Latinos in the audience and the white people sitting around me gave me nasty looks, but I didn’t care, I sang my little brown heart out TO EVERY SINGLE SONG. The entire audience did. Oh it felt so good to go to show filled with good song and love. He projected a lot of love out to us. As a Latina, who is a fan of country music, this has been a hard year, to hear artist that I love so much, like Loretta Lynn, support Donald Trump; you are saying you support his negative rhetoric and his hate of people like myself… Smh.  I say this to say, the love that Garth Brooks poured out was heavily needed by my Texas Latina soul. I read somewhere online that he declined an invitation to perform at the inauguration, which made me so happy because I could continue to love him, he and Trisha don’t hate me.

The show kicks off with an intro of how phenomenal his career has been, I had no idea he is one of the greatest selling artist of all time, international and nationwide. He then took us down through memory lane and it was like having a beer with one of your favorite friends. His voice ROCKS, he sang ALL 3 hours live and gave us such emotion, grit, depth, sentiment…  a true entertainer. When we got to the ballads, I almost teared up they were so beautiful and took me back to those childhood memories, and when he sang “The Dance” my eyes really welled up, because I once read that he wrote that song as an ode to Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy. He wrote it through their eyes, like asking the question, if they knew the outcome would they have changed anything? And to find comfort that they didn’t know, because if anything would have been altered,  then how different our world would be.

“I’m glad I didn’t know
The way it all would end
The way it all would go
Our lives
Are better left to chance
I could have missed the pain
But I’d have had to miss
The dance…”

Ugh, I want to cry now just remembering.

He and Trisha are Johnny & June all over, I want a love like theirs. When she came out, I had no idea I knew so many of her songs! Her voice is STELLAR, like I can only imagine how beautiful those two sound just singing stuff Sunday mornings over breakfast…

During the breaks in the show, they introduced each member of their very diverse band. They have all been together over 16 years. When they finally got to the AMAZING electric guitarist, I almost lost my mind, he is a LATINO…FROM TEXAS!!! His name is Johnny Garcia from Weslaco (hey, hey shout out to The Valley!) Johnny was with Trisha for something like 12 years before they combined bands and now he’s been with Garth & Trisha close to 26 years total.

Oh and it was so funny, the two old white ladies that were sitting next to me, just kept making faces at me, and acting super bothered every time I was standing and singing, (even though the ENTIRE audience was standing) they made it known that I was annoying them, I guess. So one of the last songs was “Friends in Low Places” and of course the crowd went nuts, as we got into the extra chorus it was perfect, I turned to them right on cue as if we rehearsed it and sang:

“Just wait ’til I’ve finished this glass
Then sweet little lady
I’ll head back to the bar
And you can kiss my ass!”

HA! YES!!!! it felt so good to get that out after they had singled me out the whole concert. They totally hated me even more, I could feel it. But I don’t care, if someone is going to hate on me that I damn well better earn the hate. When they song was over the got their coats and had to step by me, EXCUSE ME, they said. I stepped aside, waved and said BYE!

All in all, I left one very happy girl. HE IS GORGEOUS and his songs just make me…SWOON! In the words of Sissy (Urban Cowboy) “Hey you a real cowboy ain’t ya?!” It was a FIRED-UP, BOOT STOMPING AWESOME SHOW!!! I cried, I laughed, I SANG. EVERY. SINGLE. SONG. stomped my boots and tried to not have my phone out, so I can enjoy the moment. Fell in love all over again. I hope he never changes, he is truly an artist that is one with the people, that’s why we love him so much.

The ONLY thing that could have made this better, was if I would have been able to enjoy this back home in Texas with all the amigas.

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