Home Lifestyle Entertainment Garth Brooks kicks off Croke Park concerts

Garth Brooks kicks off Croke Park concerts

US country music star Garth Brooks, 60, kicked off the first of his five Croke Park concerts – over nine days –  in style concerts at the home of GAA.

The singer of hits like If Tomorrow Never Comes, Friends In Low Places and Callin’ Baton Rouge among other well-known tunes took to the specially made stage to rapturous applause and told 80,000fans he was tearful.

He wore a black Stetson and jeans and broke down in tears as he told the crowd he had come on stage for one reason and that was to “raise hell”.

“Tell me it’s going to be like this the whole night long,” he said, adding he just wanted to “enjoy the moment”.


“We’re pumped and ready to go.”


Some 400,000 fans have bought tickets, five per cent of them from outside Ireland.

Brooks was due to play five concerts in 2014 but the gigs were cancelled following a licensing dispute with locals around the venue and the local authorities.

Dublin City Council said at the time that it would only grant licences for three of the concerts at the Dublin venue but the singer refused to perform unless all five went ahead.

Ahead of the gig, Brooks became emotional as he said he had waited all his life for this moment.

So did many of his fans.

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Cora McHugh was not born the last time he sang in Ireland.

But she said she had been brought up on country music since she was knee-high.

(l to r) Shauneen McGuire and Alanna Coyle from Tyrone, as they wait for the gates to open in Croke Park for the first of Garth Brooks’ Irish concerts. Photograph: Sam Boal / RollingNews.ie


She travelled with her mother Caitriona from Donegal to see their favourite artist.

She said: “I love country music, I love Garth Brooks.

“I’ve always been brought up on country music and I was jiving since I was wee with my nana. I just love country music.

“I’m so excited because I feel Garth Brooks will never be here again so it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

She was expecting an “unreal atmosphere” in the stadium.

Marie-Claire Meehan, from Newry, Co Down, travelled with a group of friends to watch the performance.

“What better place to be than at Croke Park where Garth Brooks is about to make his debut performance after a damp squib in 2014,” she said ahead of the show.

“We’re pumped and ready to go.”

Paul Prendergast described Brooks as a “country music idol”.

Street trader Derek Kidney told the PA news agency he was hoping to sell a lot of Stetsons and ponchos over the five nights.

Excited fans going to Croke Park for the first of Garth Brooks’ Irish concerts. Photograph: Sam Boal / RollingNews.ie

He said: “There will be Stetsons everywhere, please God.

“Hopefully the rain will stay away.”

It has been 25 years since the music legend last played in Dublin.

In November last year Brooks returned to Ireland to announce he would play in Croke Park this month.

After huge demand for those two gigs at the venue, a further three dates were added.

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