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Buffalo New York Marine Midland Arena

"Tracey Gibson's Review"

Here Goes!

Buffalo, where do I begin??? I had the pleasure of attending 2 of the 6 sold out shows in the Marine Midland arena in Buffalo, N.Y. I traveled there from Ontario, Canada, which was about a 3 hour drive. I always worry about finding my way around, and especially on the Fri. night show because I had my two daughters with me who are 7 and 9. This was to be their first time to see what exactly it is that motivates their mother to travel all over the U.S. to see Garth Brooks. You see, these were to be my 9th and 10th show for this tour. I had a couple of friends traveling with an extra set of eyes. We got to the arena at approx. 12 pm. I always like to be early because I like to hang around the buses hoping to catch a glimpse of either Garth, or Stillwater, his band. I have heard of many people getting invited in by someone Garth sends out to watch the sound check. No, that didn't happen to us, but that is okay because I had my Garth moments on both nights. We hung around the buses after we had some lunch, and around 3 pm we had some action. One of the buses pulled in with some white vans following. Knowing from experience what the white vans meant, I got very excited knowing people were starting to show up for the sound check. We saw James Garver, Dave Gant, Mike Palmer, Jimmy Mattingly, and Debbie Nimms all get out of the vans. I couldn't resist, I had to yell out to Jimmy and Mike who both turned and waved. Now if you have ever been to a Garth concert, you know that Jimmy (his fiddle player) and Mike (his drummer) get quite a bit of ribbing through the show, so I love getting their attention. Then, one more bus pulls up, followed by a white van that proceeds to pull into the venue. The other vans did not do this, so I know Garth is in this van. All that we could see was a shadow in dark pants turn and look at the crowd, then walk away. The bus, which is driven by Jim, Garth's personal bus driver, parks and Jim goes into the venue. A few minutes later, he walks back out, and walks strait up to my oldest daughter and hands her a guitar pick. I am going nuts at this point looking at the pick because the "G" is worn off it! He used this pick! How cool is that??? Then he asks me if the other little girl was mine, and I said yes, and he asked me to call her over, so I do, and he hands her another pick. This one was not worn, but it didn't matter. Jim tells me that he took those picks out of Garth's pants after a show. Too Cool! I know for a fact that Jim is always with Garth. When Garth is on stage, Jim is never far away. I even seen him once bringing Garth's pants into one of the venues. I had to touch them, just because! Jim got a good laugh out of that one! He jokingly told us that they weren't Garth's pants, but rather his own, and if you have met Jim, you would know that these pants would never fit him! Okay, back to memories! He was telling us how Garth intended to do as many shows in Tampa as he could sell out. I asked him how Garth thought he could get through the 9 shows he was to do in MI. and he just answered with "He thinks he's superman!" Well, isn't he??? LOL He said Garth needs to realize that he is not 16 anymore and I had to agree with that. I mean, I have heard him talk after doing 6 shows, and his voice is literally gone by then, how will he make it through 9? I remember reading a prediction by some guy near the beginning of the year, it said something about Garth opening his mouth this year and nothing coming out. Let's all pray he makes it through til December! Okay time to go to the show. I always get excited going to find my seats, and the excitement was even greater this time because I had floor seats 21 rows back. I worried about my girls being able to see, but everyone around there was sooo sweet, they all told them to stand on the chairs, and the guy in front of us made sure to not put his hat on so they could see. It was wonderful the concern they all had for my kids, and we had never met any of them before. Shows ya what kind of people Garth fans are- caring people! Trisha Yearwood was wonderful, gotta say, but it is Garth that I go to see, and Garth I wanted! Okay, G-minus 5 minutes the count is on! The light show at the beginning is spectacular and very difficult to describe. The noise is sooo loud, Garth himself d describes it like a rocket launch, and I tend to agree. Up comes the piano, and those sweet first few notes, "Oh I said a little prayer tonight before I came on stage as I came walking past the drivers and the locals on the union wage!" Unknowing people thinking that is him sitting at the piano. I know better, I wait for that cowboy hat to come out of the piano before I strain my voice. I look at my little girls whosw eyes are wide with wonder! I love seeing that look on peoples faces at their first concert! What a wonderful sight! "I ask the dear Lord up in Heaven, (theres the hat!) Let me treat the music right, then I pray that New York, goes wild tonight!!" The crowd goes wild, and Garth stands there for a few seconds taking in the crowd. You can always see the look of surprise on his face when he looks around. Like he didn't think we were all gonna be there. Silly Garth!! LOL He jumps down off the piano and runs to the center of the front of the stage! Those lucky gals out front get to touch his legs, oh to be that lucky to be in front row. I have never been blessed with the opportunity to be upgraded to 1st or 2nd rowm maybe next tour! Once done " The Old Stuff", he does his trademark, "helloooo Buffalo" How you all doing tonight, as tradition woul have it, thanks for letting us come back to the beautiful state of New York, we appreciate it. Have I been to too many concerts, or what???? Okay, I can't remember exactly what he snag, the concerts seem to all become like one after a while. Not that they are all the same, just the memories tend to bond. He broke into "Rodeo", which always brings back memories of 'Central Park' for me. He did other songs like, "Two of a kind", "The Beaches of Cheyaenne", "The River", "Papa Loves Mama" and many others. He introduced his band, and when he gets to James Garver, he picks up that steel guitar, and says, this don't look so hard, and goes to play it, and of course, no sound comes from it. He looks at James and says "Whats the matter with it?" and James tells him to turn it on. Soooo funny listening to him laugh and repeat, "Turn it on?" Then he jumps into "Callin' Baon Rouge", definitley one of my favorites to hear in concert. Before he does that though, the first person he introduces is always Dave Gant, the keyboard player. I know when he is introduc- ing him, he is gonna play one of my all time favorites, and that is "We Shall Be Free". In Garth's words, "It is a song that was meant to remind us all to love one another". I watch him go through the first words of this song. It is one of the songs that I love hearing live more than I like to hear it off the radio or cd player. He does it so much better live, and the song has so much more meaning to it after Buffalo, because dreams came true during this song. You see, I have never had floor seats and I always bring a gift to Garth at every concert I go to. I have even sent a huge cake backstage once for him and the band. I am crazy, I know, but I love it! So, this time, I baked cookies, and bought my girls a single rose each to give to Garth I knew I had to time it right so he was on the side we needed him on to give it to him, and I did. As soon as Garth saw us coming, he started digging in his jeans for guitar picks. He always gives them to the kids, and it wouldn't surprise me if he sent Jim out to give them to my girls earlier in the day. He drove right past us, so I am sure he saw us! He wasn't able to find any picks, and I could see the disappointment on his face. I felt bad knowing they already had some. He got on his knee, and took the roses from my girls, and shook their hands. I had already placed the cookies in front of him on the stage, they were heavy! He then looked into my eyes, (My dream come true!) and rubbed my arm. I almost fainted right there. He then stood up, and took a few more flowers, and I had to touch his foot before I walked away. The girls were excited, and I was extremely excited. The concert could have been over for me then, and it wouldn't have mattered. He went on introducing band members, and of course, someone had brought a sign for Jimmy. It was a woo hoo sign, and as usual, Garth made good use of it calling Jimmy, Jimmy "Woo Hoo" Mattingly. The next night,it was a "Taterbritches" sign, You know, so tight they have to be pealed off! Garth had so many potato sayings, it was so funny. One of them was separating the "Big Potato from the small fries!" I love those Jimmy moments. Then, boom, into "The Fever". Trisha came back on and they did "In Another's Eyes", then Garth sang backup for "Walk Away Joe". I have to say, next to my moment with Garth, the best moment for me was when Garth sang "Standing Outside The Fire". In a way this is like a signature song for me. It was the song that brought me into country music, and made me fall in love with Garth's music. I had never heard it live due to the law suit that was pending with it, and it was a pleasure to hear it two nights in a row. Thanks Garth! I was not blessed to hear "Shameless", and a few other songs, but I know he can't do everything, so no disappointment here! I ended up leaving early because my youngest daughter got sick. Got to hear "If Tomorrow Never Comes" while leaving the arena. Watched his bus pull out. So long Garth, until tomorrow. Okay, I have gone on quite long here, and have probably lost most of ya, the next night I had won tickets for a bus trip, and my husband went with me. I have never gone on a bus trip to a Garth concert, and it was a blast. I didn't have floor seats, but I knew it was my last concert for a couple of years, and decided to buy flowers and write a note on them to say thank-you and give it to the security before the show to put on the stage. Trisha came and went another great performance! "How Do I Live" sends shivers down my spine! I proceeded to take the flowers to the security, and to my amazement, she said I could bring them to the stage during the show. Now, out of all the shows I have been to, they have never let me down. The security in the place was amazing. So, I waited for the same song, I had such luck the night before, thought I would try it again. Brought a couple of girls with me, one had a camara, and I pray the pictures of me up there turn out! When Garth saw me coming, I am positive he remembered me from the night before. There were other people there,but he singled me out, and got on his knee again, and took the flowers from my hand while running his other hand down my arm. I don't know what kept me from falling, but somehow I mangaged to say "Thank-you" and hopefully he got the message. He then stood up and took flowers from other people, and before I walked away, I took both hands, and put them just below his knee, and ran my hands down his legs. I couldn't help myself, I had to do it. The rest of the concert is more or less a blurr. Through tears I watched him again do "The Dance", and "Ain't Going Down". I always pray he doesn't hurt himself on that ladder! He has fallen off of it a few times. He did "Piano Man, and "Alabama Clay" for my friend who got 2nd row. Lucky gals! I don't know how to end this thing except to say, that if you have never been to a Garth Brooks concert, I hope you have the opportunity to get to one on his next tour. I am going to miss the man, the music and the friends I have had the pleasure of meeting on my road trips. I hope to see them all again in the year 2000! Garth Rules!!!!! Tracey Gibson (c)1998

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Visits Since 10/8/98