The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, September 25, 1997, Page 7, Image 7

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

    Thursday, September 25,1997__Page 7
Country legend
relishes packed
Devaney crowd
By David Wilson
Music Critic
On the night he was named the
Country Music Association’s
Entertainer of the Year, Garth Brooks
was in the middle of a stage in
Lincoln doing what he does best:
Touching his fans’ hearts.
In the first of five sold-out per
formances at the Bob Devaney
Sports Center Wednesday night,
Brooks sprinted across the stage
singing his hits until he was drenched
in sweat and out of breath.
“The people always come first,”
Brooks said.
Brooks, who performed 21 songs
in 2 hours and 20 minutes,
announced he had won the award
after returning to the stage for a sec
ond encore.
“If I knew we were going to win,
I’d still have come here tonight,”
Brooks said.
From the moment he emerged
from the bowels of his stage, which
covered half the Devaney Center
floor, Brooks attempted to reach out
to every fan by waving, winking,
blowing kisses and pointing.
And the crowd responded.
“It’s our job to play the music,”
Brooks said at a press conference
prior to Wednesday’s show. “How
wild it gets is all up to the crowd. If
they want to go, we’re ready.”
The last time Brooks played in
Lincoln, in August 1993, he pro
claimed it was the “wildest time” he
ever had. Before Wednesday’s show,
Brooks said he hoped to have that
same night in Lincoln five times over
If the first night was any indica
tion, Brooks will have his way.
He returned for two encores,
adding five songs to his show -
including his finale, Don McLean’s
“American Pie.”
Brooks and his seven-piece band
have been on a world tour since
March 1996, but Brooks said he had
yet to get tired of playing live shows.
“I’m probably happier now than I
have ever been in my whole career,”
he said. “That actual two hours on
stage cannot get here quick enough.”
During “Friends In Low Places,”
Brooks encouraged the crowd to sing
the “mysterious” third verse for a live
album being recorded during the
tour. He also said he would release
another album, “Sevens.”
Through all the hype, Brooks
remains focused on the people who
made him who he is today: his fans.
Though he drew more than 600,000
fans at his August show in New
York’s Central Park, small-venue
shows are still his favorite.
“This is our baby,” Brtoks said.
“New York wasn’t our show. Would I
much rather you guys see this show
than Central Park?
“You betcha.”
Thanks to Garth
some lucky fans
move to front
By Ted Taylor
Assignment Reporter
There were 96 extremely lucky
fans at Garth Brooks’ opening night
performance Wednesday.
Lucky because they walked into
the Bob Devaney Sports Center
\uifli in flip nACpKIparl caa_
tion, but walked out after watching
the show from the front row* ?«
“This guy just came ucp to us and
asked if we wanted to sit down
front,” said Kim Norrie, a
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
freshman advertising major.
“I was like, what the hell are you
talking about? I thought he was a
scalper,” Norrie said. “This is a
major rush.”
The anonymous person wasn’t a
scalper, he was a member of Brooks’
road crew. And he was just doing what
the road crew and band members do
before every Brooks concert — find
the people with the worst seats and
give them tickets to the best seats.
Nicole Baehr, a freshman at the
University of Nebraska at Omaha
said her surprising seat change
turned a good night into a great night.
“It was going to be fun,” she said
moments before the show began.
“Now it’s going to be the best.”
But those lucky enough to find
themselves in the front weren’t the
only ones who had a shit-kickin’
good time at Brooks first Lincoln
concert since 1993.
And when tank tops and sandals
were as common as cowboy hats and
boots, Brooks catered to everyone.
“It doesn’t matter what walk of life
you’re from,” Danny Brennenstuhl
said. “The more people who like his
music, the better.”
But what exactly brought so many
people together Wednesday night?
“It’s just Garth,” Brennenstuhl
said. “He’s a whole lot of country and
a little bit rock, and that appeals to
liJ.v'; .
Photos by
Matt Miller/DN
■ \