My second trip to see Garth Brooks in the fall of '98 was my favorite. I had to drive to Winona to pick up my best friend (at the time) Arthur Davis. He did not have a license, so if I wanted him to go with me, I would need to obtain him in the Island City. I left in the early afternoon and picked the native Floridian up.
The trunk of my car was a bit dirty. To salute our upcoming trip, I wrote "Garth" on it with my finger. From Winona, it was a 2 1/2 hour drive to Minneapolis. We took scenic Highway 61 to get there (the road basically hugs the Mississippi River so spectacular views are commonplace when driving on it).
We listened to Garth's newest CD, "Sevens", on the way up there. Something rather amusing happened on the ride up. There was an Oriental fellow in a van whose fuel tank door was ajar. On passing him, we gestured and pointed towards the back of his vehicle. I don't think he understood. However, he did pull over (he probably feared he had a flat tire or something like that). We just kept going and had a bit of a laugh.
Once in Minneapolis, I parked my Neon and we headed over to a small mall located just a few blocks from Target Center. Art wanted Sbarro while I was in the mood for Mickey's. So we went our separate ways for a short time. After I finished my nuggets, I went over to Sbarro. He had just gotten his food. He was quite excited about the concert. He had been a fan of Garth's for quite a number of years.
After some browsing in the stores, we headed to the concert venue. We entered and took a look at some of the souvenirs for sale. I ended up buying a GB keychain while Art bought a keychain and a cap.
We then headed to our seats which were quite good. They were on the lower level just a row or two off the main floor. Garth's speaker system which dangled from the ceiling had the words "Double Live" emblazoned on them. Some people didn't understand this reference, but I knew that his 2-CD live set was coming out in a few weeks (it went on to become the top-selling live album for any artist or group).
As showtime got closer, tracks from the Mavericks new CD were again played over the speakers. Trisha came out and sang her latest and greatest. Then there was a short break as we waited for the G-man. Upon Garth's arrival, everyone stood up. And they wouldn't sit down! Song after song, we were all on our feet. This wasn't something I had experienced before (at the prior show facing the back of the stage, no one had been standing up). But I dealt. Art didn't seem to mind. He was totally into it. When GB sang "Unanswered Prayers", Art was singing quite loudly along with him. Garth's big finale was the song, "Ain't Goin' Down" followed by "The Dance". Needless to say, we both got our money's worth that night.
Seeing GB 5 times in 9 days was turning into quite a trip.