Garth Brooks has still got what it takes to grab your attention and hold it for two hours. I watched his special on CBS, Garth Brooks Live From Las Vegas. This was a live broadcast of his last show, of a three year run, at WYNN’s Casino.
Garth Brooks transcends genres of music. The thing I always admired about Garth Brooks was what a great performer he is and what energy he has on stage. Yet he is also a very humble man. He changed country music from Traditional Country to New Country but gives others credit for that. Tonight it was a one man show, just Garth with his guitar and a short appearance by his wife Trisha Yearwood.
The show wasn’t all about Garth but rather the people who influenced him throughout his life. He pays tribute to many of them including Merle Haggard, George Jones, James Taylor, Don McLean, Randy Travis, George Straight and Billy Joel. He sang “Piano Man” and I’m sure anyone in Memphis hearing that thought of the Billy Joel shows at Lafayette’s Music Room in Overton Square.
Garth seemed right at home talking to the audience, both at WYNN’s Casino and watching on TV at home, like they were friends in his living room.
As he talked about those who influenced him he explained which of his songs they influenced. This was a well-rounded and entertaining show. He didn’t play any song in its entirety and that not allowed him to include more music but also keeps the show moving at a faster pace.
Brooks is ready for his comeback now that his youngest is ready to head off to college. He retired in 2001 to spend more time with his daughters. He has just released a box set, Blame It All on my Roots: Five Decades of Influences. The limited, Walmart exclusive box set contains six CDs, two DVDs and a 68-page photo booklet.
According to garthbrooks.com, the CD's hold Brooks’ hits and covers of songs by his favorite artists in various genres as mentioned above, including an album that features country music classics performed by Brooks and his wife Trisha Yearwood. The DVDs contain a live recording of his show at WYNN’s as well as a compilation of Brooks’ videos.