Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood brought the thunder and rolled into Detroit to kick off their six show stint at Joe Louis Arena.

The world has long awaited the revival of the legendary Garth Brooks tours, and Detroit was no different. The line of cars waiting just to get into the parking garage before the show trailed well out onto the highway, and Joe Louis Arena was packed body to body as fans waited to see Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood. The show began with a countdown, shown on a large cube of screens in the center of the stage. In unison, fans counted down together in anticipation. As the clock struck zero, a flaming red skull appeared, signifying that the bomb had gone off—Garth was here to take the stage by storm.

Band members ran to their places as Garth opened with “Man Against Machine” from his likewise named album, Man Against Machine (2014). The stage was lit up with flashing red lights as Garth danced and sang across the circular stage, engaging every corner of the crowd in his charismatic style. After his first opening number, the crowd settled, and Garth told his adoring fans how the show was going to be—he said that he knew what it was to pay your money and come to a show, and that when you did that you came to hear all the old stuff, so in honor of that, he was going to stick to the old Garth. Which, with the exception of “People Loving People” he did.

He played a fantastic two and a half hour show filled with his classics including “Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old),” “Beaches of Cheyenne,” “Papa Loved Mama,” “The Thunder Rolls,” and his self-proclaimed favorite song to play at shows, “Callin’ Baton Rouge.” He also swore up and down that he absolutely wouldn’t be singing the third verse to “Friends In Low Places,” which he immediately tore into, third verse and all. Multiple times Garth stood in awe of the crowd, emotional as they took over the show. They were forewarned a few times as he joked about himself: “People, I’m like 105 years old,” he said at one point. “The only way this old ass is getting through six shows is if you help me out.”

Of course, as incredible of a show as Garth put on for Detroit, Trisha Yearwood held her own for a several song mini-show, including “In Another’s Eyes,” which she sang with Garth. The two’s chemistry on stage is still incredible after their many years together, and watching them shine individually and together was a treat.

The show closed with two amazing encores, at the end of which Garth donned his own, personal Detroit Tigers jersey with “Garth 77” written on the back, a wonderful end note for the show and an homage to Detroit, the first city he ever played a show in as a recording artist.

GarthBrooks-PressConf-Detroit_MI-20150220-SteveSergentBefore the show earlier in the day, Garth hosted a press conference taking questions for about 30 minutes.  He touched on everything from his history in Detroit, to his wife, to becoming a “techie” on social media. One question most seem to ask is why come back, and why now?  His answer was pretty simple, he was bored and had an empty nest.  His kids are now away in college and “I didn’t have a job” he joked.

He talked about ticket prices and why every seat in the building is priced the same. He said he could not imagine going to a show and having his kids ask ‘hey, why can’t we sit down there? Now it’s the luck of the draw. The tickets, priced at $66 with fees are very competitive for the show he brings. He’s also breaking all attendance records in every city, except two, losing only to himself which is a good problem to have he added.  He also touched on the fact that it’s not him making his earlier tours look small, it’s the attendance. The fans

Garth also took some time to talk about the ever changing country music scene, both the sound and the business. Stating that in the 90’s content was king and now technology is king. Speaking one-on-one with us he talked about how he has embraced technology, the Internet, and social media, stating “you’re the future”. He says his favorite is twitter and loves how it has broken down a barrier between artists and fans. He loves the one-on-one interaction with fans and the occasional “OMG you replied!” response when he tweets back.

Whether you are a new country music fan, an old country music fan, a live concert fan, or even if you only know one Garth Brooks song, he and his showmanship will blow you away. His current world tour continues with upcoming stops and multiple shows in Buffalo, Denver, and Sacramento.

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Article by Zoe Kremke & Steve Sergent | Photos by Steve Sergent