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Kansas City crowd welcomes Brooks back to the stage
Updated 2h 1m ago | Comments6 | Recommend8 E-mail | Save | Print | Subscribe to stories like this
Garth Brooks, seen here during a September show in New York, began a nine-show stint in Kansas City on Monday.
By Bryan Bedder, Getty Images
Garth Brooks, seen here during a September show in New York, began a nine-show stint in Kansas City on Monday.
The event: Garth Brooks plays the first of nine sold-out concerts in Kansas City, Mo., a stand that translates to 160,000 tickets sold. The final performance, on Nov. 14, will be broadcast live in movie theaters around the country.

The venue: The Sprint Center is the just-unveiled centerpiece of Kansas City's ongoing downtown renaissance. Later this month, the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame opens right next door and, this spring, a nine-block, mixed-use entertainment district is set to open right across the street. Brooks was on hand for the arena's ribbon-cutting ceremony in September.

Outside the arena: A group of young performance artists passed out ironic "missing person" flyers. The person in question: Chris Gaines, the invented pop persona Brooks briefly adopted in 1999.

The opening act: Trisha Yearwood, the headliner's wife and a country star in her own right. The standout moment of her short set was a powerful version of the 1992 hit Wrong Side of Memphis, which rocked as hard as any song all night and showed off her voice's bluesy lower register.

Sign of the times: When Brooks released the single We Shall Be Free in 1992, its pro-gay and anti-racist themes amounted to what was at that time one of the least successful singles of his career. Fifteen years later, it brought down the house, receiving one of the show's biggest ovations during an evening that was sometimes almost more ovation than music.

FIND MORE STORIES IN: Kansas City | Mo | Garth Brooks

Overheard, repeatedly, throughout the arena: Men shouting "We love you, Garth," as they slow danced with their wives.

Onstage quotable: "Even though I only use this guitar to hide my gut," Brooks joked, "I can still play."

The final encore: Brooks alone with his guitar and singing the hits of his idols — James Taylor, Merle Haggard, Bob Seger, George Strait and Don McLean — because he and the band had already "played all of the songs we practiced."

Most memorable moment: Brooks seemed surprised and overwhelmed throughout the show by the duration and intensity of the crowd's applause; the arena's big screen revealed the singer tearing up more than once. Near the end of the concert, he commented to the crowd about his long time away from the stage: "For the last nine years, I've watched my children grow. I don't love that any less now. But tonight you've made me feel like I used to feel."

Posted 3h 22m ago
Updated 2h 1m ago
E-mail | Save | Print | Subscribe to stories like this
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Comments: (6)

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JDMO64 wrote: 14m ago
I still think he's an over hyped arrogant pain in the rear. Why can't the reired celebs stay retired? Bob Seger? That dude ROCKS!!! His music stands the test of time. Mr Brooks? His music makes my ears bleed & head hurt. I saw him years ago as an opening act for Reba & he was ok. When he decided he was Elvis, I lost interest. His ego is huge. I knew he wouldn't stay out of the spot light for too long.

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picklesmith wrote: 27m ago
Ozzy floor tickets $69+
Police - $200 +
Bon Jovi - $62 +
Hanna Montana - $50+
Garth - $25 (t-shirts $18)

Garth is a true entertainer who respects his fans - he could have milked this......

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Chad in Chicago wrote: 35m ago
davyd83 - um, I think they are referring to Bob Seger from Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band fame. No clue who this "Segar" dude is you are talking about. Check out http://www.bobseger.com/ for more info.

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meagain wrote: 40m ago
What the article does not mention is that the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) officially recognized him as the best-selling solo artist in American album history - beating Elvis. Pop stations in town are even giving his tickets away. They feel he is an Entertainer - not just a country musician and recognize that in KC, it is ok to like country music as well as other genres at the same time. They interviewed people from Australia and Europe who travelled in. He puts on an excellent show. Maybe Landtuna should leave his/her cubicle and find out what else Garth bought with his mega amount of dough.

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landtuna wrote: 1h 10m ago
Ah'm gonna be-a big kuntry star, I ahm.

Gonna git me a big belt buckle an a big hat.

Gonna make me lotsa dough from those tobacca chewin squares.

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davyd83 wrote: 2h 21m ago
Too bad USA Today can't get the spelling of "Bob Seeger" correct. The correct spelling of the legend's surname is S-E-G-A-R. Unless, of course, you were referring to 60's folkie Seeger...Pete Seeger.

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