Garth Brooks filled US Bank Stadium to capacity Friday night for what would be the first of two sold-out performances in Minneapolis this weekend. Performing for more than two and a half hours, the record-setting country star churned out hit after hit, showing he still has the same stamina as five years ago when he performed 11 shows to some 200,000+ fans at Target Center.
After a brief opening set from King Calaway, a six-piece country band, which includes Minnesota-native Austin Luther on bass, an announcer began a five-minute countdown. When the clock struck zero, Garth Brooks rose through a trap door from below the stage, bathed in light and surrounded by thunderous applause.
Complete with skin-tight Wranglers, black shirt, black cowboy hat, and shiny belt buckle, Garth and the band jumped right into “All Day Long,” the lead single from his upcoming album. After that, though, a steady flow of smash hits from his 90s heyday opened up and didn’t stop until it was time for everyone to go home.
At one point, he even performed five No. 1 songs in a row: “Two of a Kind, Workin’ on a Full House,” “Two Pina Coladas,” “The Beaches of Cheyenne,” “Ain’t Goin’ Down (‘Til the Sun Comes Up)” and “The River.”
There were even more sprinkled throughout the performance as well, including “Unanswered Prayers,” “Friends in Low Places,” “The Thunder Rolls,” and “The Dance.”
With concertgoers singing and dancing along to every song, Garth scurried back and forth along the entire in-the-round stage, slapping hands with front row attendees, throwing his hands up in complete awe between songs, and appearing to truly enjoy every minute of the performance. I lost count of how many times he said he loved performing in Minneapolis, but it was apparent how much the Twin Cities means to him and the immense pleasure he gets from performing here.
How much does he enjoy it? Well, he went to lengths we have not seen before to ensure that the sound for these shows was satisfactory, something that US Bank Stadium has (not-so-secretly) struggled with so far. Taking advantage of the $5.2 million curtains that were purchased for the Final Four to cover the ceiling and glass walls, he also sent longtime sound engineer Dan Heins on a research mission to improve sound quality.
Dan’s research resulted in carpeting on the entire stadium floor, setting up speakers for different levels of the stadium, drapes hanging over the stadium scoreboards and the building of a canopy-like roof to go over the top of the stage. All these were brand new experiments for US Bank Stadium, and greatly improved the sound quality.
It appeared as though the other 69,999 attendees agreed, because Garth received his biggest round of applause yet when he stepped out once again for his encore – already over two hours into the performance.
What ensued was what Garth called “cleaning house.” He walked back and forth across the stage, performing impromptu the songs people requested with giant, colorful signs. These songs included “Ireland” for a group of fans who made the trip all the way from the country for this performance, as well as “Learning To Live Again” and “The Change,” both songs that often are left off his touring setlists.
It was likely the most impressive performance we’ve had the pleasure to see inside of US Bank Stadium, and that’s sure to be continued into night two. As much as Garth Brooks enjoys performing in Minneapolis, Minneapolis loves to have him even more, and although it might be a while before we see him again, it’s certain that he’s welcome back any time.
Garth Brooks Setlist – May 3rd, 2019 – US Bank Stadium – Minneapolis, MN
- All Day Long
- Two of a Kind
- Two Piña Coladas
- The Beaches of Cheyenne
- Ain’t Goin’ Down (‘Til The Sun Comes Up)
- The River
- Fishin’ in the Dark (Nitty Gritty Dirt Band cover)
- We Shall Be Free
- The Thunder Rolls
- Standing Outside The Fire
- Unanswered Prayers
- That Summer
- More Than a Memory
- Papa Loved Mama
- Ask Me How I Know
- Callin’ Baton Rouge (The Oak Ridge Boys cover)
- Shameless (Billy Joel cover)
- To Make You Feel My Love
- Friends In Low Places
- The Dance
- Learning to Live Again
- Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)
- The Change
- Wild Horses
- Night Moves (Bob Segar & the Silver Bullet Band cover)
- American Pie (Don McLean cover)