There will likely be a fifth time, before too long.
“We are hoping to at least be able to go to the Nashville show at the end of his tour,” says Mauntz, who is coming to Fresno from San Jose with her husband, Sam. The pair have tickets to the Sunday night concert, the last of four performances for Brooks over the weekend. His first is 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 23.
Obviously, the Mauntzes are not above traveling to see Garth Brooks perform.
In fact, the first time they saw him was in Buffalo, New York. They left their son home with family and flew close to 3,000 miles to see the show. Even with a flight cancellation and freezing weather, they were back in California the following day. It was a whirlwind trip.
And totally worth it, Mauntz says.
“It was a crazy, fun trip flying across the country just to see Garth Brooks,” she says. “I would do it again in a second.”
She is not alone.
Brooks was instrumental, if not wholly responsible, for bringing modern country music to mass audiences (and pop-music charts) in the 1990s. Songs like “Friends in Low Places” became part of the cultural subconscious of the time. His live performances were ground-breaking for embracing stadium rock stage production. Country artists weren’t known for wearing headset microphones or for swinging above the crowds from a harness.
Brooks did both.
Two decades later, his concerts remain popular. His current tour – his first in 13 years after coming out of retirement – kicked off Sept. 4, 2014, with 11 sold-out shows at the Allstate Arena in Chicago. The Garth Brooks World Tour with Trisha Yearwood has sold close to five million tickets since. That puts him in league with mega-star groups like the Rolling Stones.
Already, Brooks’ four Fresno concerts have sold more than 50,000 tickets, a number that exceeds the singer’s five-night stand at Selland Arena in 1997.
50,001 tickets were sold for Garth Brooks’ five-night stand at Selland Arena in 1997.
Mauntz has been a fan of Brooks (and his wife and tour mate Yearwood) since she was a girl, but she never thought she’d get a chance to see the singer perform live.
“He was a country legend, a guy who was so famous that you’d imagine ticket prices being crazy high,” she says.
You would be wrong. Brooks actually sets a single ticket price – $74.98 with facility fees and service charge for the Fresno shows – for all seats, making the concert affordable for just about anyone, Mauntz says.
It can be kind of crap shoot for ticket buyers, with everyone competing for the front row, balcony and nose bleeds seats, but then it doesn’t really matter where you are in the arena, Mauntz says.
She and her husband have seen the show from pretty much every angle. They’ve been up close to the stage on the side, a bit further back up in the stands and in seats that are probably the “farthest you can get from the stage.”
“Every single place we sat was the same,” she says. “The experience was the same.”
He makes you feel like you’re doing this show together.
Garth Brooks mega-fan Stephanie Mauntz
She was a little worried at the last show that her seats were too far from the stage, but the sound was clear and loud, and Brooks was totally visible the whole time – even if it was on a video screen.
“Garth puts so much into making his show about his fans,” she says. “One of his crew even came all the way up to our seats and gave my son a guitar pick.”
For anyone on the fence about going to a Garth Brooks concert – whether you’ve seen him before or not – Mauntz makes the hard sell, as in “the best show of your life,” she says.
“The concert definitely leaves you wanting more, leaves you wanting to go to all of the shows, even if you had never been before that, even if you don’t know Garth that well.”
with Trisha Yearwood
- 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23; 7 and 10:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24 and 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 25
- Save Mart Center
- 800-745-3000, www.ticketmaster.com