Garth Brooks / On Tour

Garth Brooks Plays Impressive Record-Breaking Show at Knoxville’s Neyland Stadium But Confirms My Opinion on Stadium Concerts from a Fan Perspective

Garth Brooks
Photo Credit: 8 Ten, Inc

Reigning CMA “Entertainer of The Year” and in my opinion the ultimate G.O.A.T, Garth Brooks brought the house down with his tenth THE GARTH BROOKS STADIUM TOUR stop with a record-breaking concert at Knoxville, TN’s Neyland Stadium. Performing the first concert at Neyland Stadium in 16 years, Garth took the stage and gave an electrifying performance. Breaking the Neyland Stadium and the state of Tennessee’s attendance record for a single concert event, Garth was welcomed on Saturday night (11/16) with roars of over 84,000 eager fans gearing up for an unforgettable performance.

Before I go on, I will admit I have never been a big fan of any artist performing at a stadium. I feel that stadium shows should be reserved for events like CMA Fest. In the past, I have taken on the feeling that artists who perform at stadium shows are a bit lazy. Trying to pack as many fans into one venue so they don’t have to perform as many shows a year but still reach the masses of fans they would if they continued playing arenas.

In 2017 when I asked Garth before his final shows of the Garth Brooks World Tour in Nashville what comes next he told us his future plans would include, “how to make a stadium show just as intimate as the arena shows I’m playing now.”

When he said those words I thought to myself, if anyone can do it Garth can.

Fast forward to Saturday night in a chilly Neyland Stadium surrounded by 84,000 Garth Brooks fans.

The evening was spectacular, there is no doubt about that. Sitting in the 7th row of Neyland Stadium while my all-time favorite entertainer ran around the enormous stage for 2 hours singing and screaming along with his fans was every bit of fun, excitement, and adrenaline that I expect to receive from a Garth Brooks concert.

The size of the stage and 4 jumbotrons were impressive. It takes a large stage to fill a stadium field and make Garth available to all of his fans on all 4 sides that they filled.

The energy was electric, the fans came to sing and Garth showed up to perform but something was definitely missing. That intimacy and closeness I come to expect from Garth was just not there.

I have seen Garth from the 300, 200, 100 sections at Bridgestone Arena over the years. I have even been one of the lucky fans who had nose bleed seats but was moved down to floor seats by one of Garth’s management team! It didn’t matter where I was sitting, I had fun and I felt like Garth was singing to me!

This didn’t happen at the massive stadium show on Saturday night. The closeness was, unfortunately, lacking, even from my 7th-row seat on the field.

Some fans took to social media to express their disappointment on the set up of the stage and lighting.

Garth Brooks Neyland Stadium

There is no way these fans walked away feeling the intimacy from Garth in Neyland Stadium, they didn’t even have a clear view of the jumbotron screens.

This, of coarse, is not directly Garth’s fault but I am certain that is it someone on his team’s job to make sure that obstructed views like this don’t happen. A job that I am sure gets much harder and less manageable with larger stadium shows like this.

Please don’t think I am calling Garth lazy because of my aforementioned feelings on stadium shows. Garth is anything but lazy. His Stadium Tour is also simultaneously running alongside his Dive Bar tour that is the ultimate show of intimacy and closeness with fans. He is continuing to sell out stadium shows and break records because he is one of the hardest working artists on the road and because he understands the importance of keeping a relationship with his fans and with the media. He is smart, he is good at what he does and he is the ultimate entertainer. He just missed the mark, like many artists do, in creating a feeling of intimacy with fans in a colossal stadium show setting.

With all of that being said, I hope Garth never retires from the road and brings his shows back to arenas soon. Country music still needs him and the fans still love him.

There were a few breathtaking moments at Neyland Stadium that could have only happened and been as amazing as they were because they were in fact in a stadium setting.

Garth singing Rocky Top in its entirety to a stadium full of UT fans = EPIC.

And this moment brought us all back into the daylight once the sun had gone down. I have never seen so many lights. It was beautiful!


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