Garth Brooks’ Tacoma Dome concert was the show of a lifetime

Country superstars Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood performed five back-to-back shows at the Tacoma Dome Nov. 3-5 as part of the record-breaking world tour that began in 2014. At the afternoon show on Nov. 5, both acts played a massive set of hits, deep album cuts and cover songs that left the crowd singing along.

The shows marked the first time in nearly 20 years that Brooks has performed in the Seattle area. He last played at KeyArena in 1998.

To celebrate Brooks’ visit and the success of the tour, which is the biggest in North American history according to Komo News, the Tacoma shows were recorded for an upcoming live album.

The concert began with Brooks’ accomplishments spread across the screens above the stage, letting audience members know that Brooks is the best-selling solo artist in the United States, just above Elvis Presley. As the screens were hoisted into the air, Brooks and his longtime band emerged on stage with his new song “Baby, Let’s lay Down and Dance.”

He promised a concert of mostly the “old stuff,” starting the show with “Rodeo” from his hit 1991 album, “Ropin’ the Wind.”

“People, you’ve already got me on my heels,” Brooks told the audience after completing the song. “I’m thinking, Sunday afternoon, I might have a night off. You guys are ready to party.”

He then launched into his fan favorite hit “Two of a Kind, Workin’ on a Full House” and the ballad “The River,” which the crowd sang along to the entire time. Brooks then immediately began his ever-popular song “Two Pina Coladas,” to which he yelled, “Here’s the party!” when the crowd sang and danced along.

Other songs at the beginning of Brooks’ set included “Papa Loved Mama,” the ballad “Unanswered Prayers” and “If Tomorrow Never Comes.”

During his performance of “Ain’t Goin’ Down (‘Til the Sun Comes Up),” Brooks ran around the stage throwing water about and then jumped on top of the spherical drum cage, which began to rotate and spin. It added to the intensity of the song’s solo and its general upbeat nature. Once he got down from the cage, he took one of the video cameras being used for the screens and live album, and ran around with it to film the audience as he sang. This helped pump everyone up for the remaining hour and a half of the show.

Filming wasn’t the only way Brooks engaged with the audience throughout the concert. After finishing “Ain’t Goin’ Down,” he spent nearly five minutes hyping up the crowd as he pointed to each side of the dome urging them to cheer as loud as they could. He joked around about giving the audience the finger when he pointed and after it was all said and done, he claimed that it was one of the stupidest things he has ever said.

He also sang “Don’t Close Your Eyes,” a cover of George Strait’s “Amarillo By Morning,” “That Summer” and his new single, “Ask Me How I Know.” Lyrics for the latter were displayed on the screens so that concert-goers could learn the words and sing along for the live album.

Brooks then performed a slower, darker version of “The Thunder Rolls” complete with the extra verse from the music video. Brooks was then joined by his wife, Trisha Yearwood, for “In Another’s Eyes.”

After their duet, Brooks handed the stage over to Yearwood. She performed some of her greatest hits like “XXX’s and OOO’s (An American Girl),” “How Do I Live” and “Wrong Side of Memphis.” A fan near the stage held up a yellow sign asking her to perform “The Song Remembers When,” which Yearwood honored after joking that she recently forgot the words to the song and would try her best. However, she managed to get all of the words out.

Yearwood closed her set with her 1991 number one country hit, “She’s in Love With the Boy,” which featured a kiss cam for those attending the show.

Brooks returned to the stage for a few final tunes, including “Shameless,” “Callin’ Baton Rouge,” “Friends in Low Places” and the ballad “The Dance.”

During the second half of Brooks’ set, backup vocalist Robert Bailey led the arena with his rendition of “Shout” from the movie “Animal House.” This soulful, funk-infused moment wasn’t performed at all five Tacoma shows.

Even after all of these songs, Brooks still returned to the stage once again for an extended encore performance that left attendees satisfied. He honored a few song requests from audience members with signs. This encore included “Good Ride Cowboy,” which got everyone pumped again after a series of ballads.

Afterward, he led the crowd through a cover of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s song “Fishin’ in the Dark,” which was restarted to record for the live album after he gave the audience a chance to practice singing along.

Brooks never stopped entertaining the audience. He managed to energize the stadium for the entirety of the show, and it didn’t stop even when his voice began to crack near the end, despite having another Tacoma show scheduled for two hours later.

PHOTO BY CHASE CHARABA

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