Garth Brooks Philadelphia PA. Concert
"FIRST UNION CENTER" SEPT. 13,1998 7:00 P.M.
Well, finally the big day arrived. I had been counting down the days ever since I got my tickets back on August 1st. This being my seventh and quite possibly my last Garth concert the anticipation was killing me. The most ironic thing of all is that the first Garth concert I ever went to back in 1993 was on September 13,the same day that this concert was taking place. Garth would be in Philly from the 8-13th so we got the last night and more than likely the best (if that is possible). Saturday night before the concert I couldn't sleep so I was awake when my friend Diane called. She was going to the concert the same night as me so we just couldn't stop talking about it. So it was Sunday morning. My best friend Brandi slept over the night before since she was coming along. She and I met my mom, brother and sister for breakfast at Bob Evans then while my mom came home to finish getting ready Bran and I went and got Garth's flowers and ran a few more errands. Finally, at about one o'clock my friend Mike and his mom Ginny picked us up and the five of us were on our way. The trip went pretty fast. Bran, Mike and myself played games in the back while my mom slept and Ginny drove. We only stopped once so they could eat. (I couldn't because of all the anticipation). So we got there and immediately I began searching for Garth's buses. The funny thing was I had just been complaining how my contacts were blurry but then way off in the distance I could see the trucks and buses. I went over and looked and got my picture taken standing next to one of Garth's trucks with the "g" logo. While Ginny went to sit down my mom, Bran, Mike and I kept walking around. That's when I looked up and saw none other than Garth's brother Kelly. They didn't know who he was so I went up to him and we talked for a couple of minutes. He signed something for me and then took a picture with me. He was just as sweet as Garth. Then, we kept walking as they made fun of me because I spazed over meeting Kelly. Then, we realized that the rest of the buses were over the hill. So we stood there for a while trying to catch a glimpse of someone. Then, I found my friend Diane and we talked for a while. I decided to go back down where I met Kelly so Bran and Mike followed. That's when I looked over and saw Dave Gant (the keyboard player) walking next to us. So, I stopped him and got my picture taken with him. I asked him if he remembered me from Evansville, Indiana and he said yes. He was telling me that Garth was next door at Veterans Stadium watching the Pirates vs. Phillies game. He said they didn't have to do sound check which was nice. He said Garth had batting practice with the Pirates and hit two homeruns. I knew he had to go so I asked him one quick question. I told him that I had some gifts for Garth and asked him if he could give them to Garth for me. He said sure he'd do it right then. So he left. Next thing we know we're looking over the hill and there's Dave with my gift going on to Garth's bus and when he came out he didn't have it. I turned my head and saw Jimmy Mattingly (the fiddle player) and James Garver (the lead guitarist). They were going for a jog but waved to us. So we finally made it back down to where I met Kelly and were hanging out. We made friends with the security guard so he let us stay there. We hung out for a while and talked to people and made a couple of new friends. Then, for some reason I turned around and there I saw Mike Palmer(the drummer)! Now, if you know me you know I like Mike. My friend leaned over and was like, "Who is that? That guy's been standing there for a while now". I said that's Mike Palmer, why didn't you tell me? So I went over to him and asked for an autograph and picture. I gave him the same piece of paper that Kelly signed so Mike was looking at it. He said he thinks that's the first autograph Kelly ever signed. He was making fun of the way Kelly writes. Then, we talked about how we're both from the same area. He was born in Beaver Falls, PA. I said that my aunt still lives there. I said he should sneak me backstage since we were from the same town and he might've grown up with my cousins or something but that didn't work. We also showed him a sign we made that said "Mike, can I feel your muscles?" He thought it was so funny. After we were all done talking with Mike he left and we were getting ready to go, too. For some reason I didn't want to go in quiet yet so I told them to wait a few minutes. By then, everyone was filing in and it was really busy back there. We saw Garth's best friend Mickey and Dave drive away in mini-vans. But we kept waiting and just as we started to leave Jimmy and James came back and came over to us. So, we got pictures and autographs with them. We showed Jimmy the sign we made for him that said "Yee Haw Sugar Britches". He laughed and said he hoped not to be sugar britches that night. We also told James about our "We Love Stillwater" sign that had all of their names on it. He said that he appreciated that so much. They were all so sweet. Then, finally we decided to go in. After we got drinks, souvenirs and everything else it was almost show time. We had great seats right at the side of the stage up a little bit. Before Trisha came out I ran her Birthday present down for a security guard to give to her. Then, Trisha came on. She opened with "Perfect Love". She sang all of her big hits. Once again "The Song Remembers When" was the best song she did live. Everyone was jamming with "She's In Love With The Boy". I was waving my arms like a rescue call and pointed to her. She looked right at me and did the same thing. Trisha rocked. After a brief intermission and we got settled in, the countdown was announced. I ran my flowers down and asked them to give them to Garth. Then, I quickly blew up my beach ball and started throwing it around. We were screaming and yelling already. Before we knew it, it was time for Garth. The beginning was the same with the whole spaceship/piano thing singing "The Old Stuff" but it was still awesome. Mike and Ginny stood in amazement since it was their first Garth concert. He sang all his big hits like "Rodeo", "The Beaches Of Cheyenne", "Longneck Bottle", "We Shall Be Free", "Papa Loved Mama", and "That Summer". One of the coolest things was when he sang both "You Move Me" and "To Make You Feel My Love" (during which I yelled "Hope Floats") which I have never heard before live. "Two Pina Colada's" was like "Friends In Low Places" all over again. You have to hear that one live. Everyone was into it even my mom who was screaming and yelling and even had a Garth shirt on which was a first. And let me tell you the way he moves that body in "Shameless" is enough to make someone pass out. I think I nearly ripped Bran's shirt going crazy over that. "Unanswered Prayers" was "gorgeous" to quote Garth. "The Thunder Rolls" and that third verse are something else. And he breaks out that electric guitar you know what that means. "Callin' Baton Rouge" is a party within itself. Trisha also came back on to sing "In Anothers Eyes" and "Walkaway Joe" which was beautiful. They were messing with each other. Garth was bothering her because he didn't get to do "Walkaway Joe" with her on her album. They are so good together. You know he can't get through a night without making fun of Jimmy. There were signs that said "Jimmy can I feel your tator?". So they were calling him Tator Britches. Garth said all we were worried about was feeling Jimmy's Jimmy. There was even one that said Jimmy For President. So, Garth made a crack about that referring also to the President. He said,"So are you going to play or screw aroung?" He also kept calling him spud. He said the only sign he got was the one that said "GB's Our Genuine Cowboy" (he really did have more signs). Then, of course, they sang "The Fever". When he introduced Mike Palmer everyone went crazy. He was dancing all over the place and got a couple of standing ovations. "Friends In Low Places" was as crazy as ever. They broke out the cannons and shot streamers and everything. After "The Dance" he went off. For the first oncore, he sang "Ain't Going Down..." He jumped on the ladder and swung. Then, he climbed on the spaceship and when it got as high as it could beach balls with the "g" logo came out from the light rig. They went everywhere. Since Sandy was back there the whole time she was even passing some out. It was crazy! Then, he came back on and talked about how we communicate to him with our signs. There were a lot of different signs. A lot of requests for songs like "Dixie Chicken", "I Don't Have To Wonder" and others. I had been holding up a sign throughout the entire show that said "Sing Face To Face". He came over once and pointed to it, I of course spazed out. Then, he went on to play part of "If Tomorrow Never Comes" one of my favorites. Then, he said how he really appreciates it when we request songs that weren't singles or big hits because thery're on the album for a reason. He came over by where I was sitting, pointed to my sign and said "This song is the last cut off of "The Chase" album and was written by Tony Arata who wrote "The Dance" and "The Change". I couldn't believe it! I started jumping up and down waving my sign everywhere. Bran and Mike were hugging me even the lady behind me hugged me and said how sweet that was. Then I had to sit for a second. He was messing with me by stalling, trying to tune his guitar which took forever. Then, he came to the side of the stage where I was at and sang "Face To Face" for me. I couldn't believe that out of all the requests and all those thousands of people that Garth Brooks was singing a song for me. I don't ever remember crying that hard. It truly was a dream come true. After that he sang Billy Joel's song "Piano Man" and it was over. All too fast! I did happen to notice that people were on stage video taping the entire show and I've heard rumors of two Garth NBC Specials in November so who knows maybe I'll get all this on video tape? I have now seen Garth seven times and I have to honestly say that this was my favorite because not only did I go with my closest friends and met some friends there but I met most of Stillwater and Garth Brooks sang to me. I haven't stopped listening to "Face To Face" since nor have I slept or eaten. I'm just to excited. Plus of course, my throat is killing me but it's worth it. I just can't believe it! I would do anything to see Garth Brooks again! (C)copyright Amber Getsay
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