ORCHARD PARK, NY (WIVB) — You know how it goes. “Well, I’ve got friends in Buffalo places.” At least, that is what country music superstar Garth Brooks jokingly said the song was Friday when he spoke to the media.
Brooks is returning to Buffalo for the first time since 2015. He has headlined at the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium and at the arena downtown, but this is the first time Brooks will play at the home of the Buffalo Bills, Highmark Stadium.
The Garth Brooks Stadium Tour has traveled around the country and its second to last stop is in Buffalo. Brooks makes a point to return to the Queen City and he has played here during every major tour he’s played.
“The reason I’m in Buffalo is because of Buffalo,” Brooks said. “It’s a guaranteed good time.”
The country music legend has played in front of millions of people around the world. He’s won two Grammy’s, 17 American Music Awards and received a Kennedy Center Honor last year. Now, Brooks is returning to Buffalo one more time to bring a little bit of country to Western New York in front of fans he knows and loves.
“People are like, ‘Garth you don’t know these people’. Are you kidding me? I’ve been here for 20 years. The early tour in the 90s, the late tour in the 90s, the comeback tour, all four of our major tours ran through Buffalo,” Brooks said.
He says playing a stadium is as intimate as playing a small bar, like the Blue Bird in Nashville. He feeds off of the crowd’s energy and excitement; it’s almost like they are on stage with him. As for the set-list, he didn’t tip his hand too much. He loves playing surprise songs that fans want to hear and he is always looking at the signs in the crowd for inspiration.
“The first two songs of the set list out there. And for everything else we just watch and they’ll bring their signs and they’ll steer the show,” Brooks added.
Trisha Yearwood, who has been married to Brooks since 2005, is also in Western New York. Brooks wouldn’t confirm or deny if she would be joining him Saturday night, but she did perform at least two songs during soundcheck Friday afternoon.
There is one moment in the show that stands out from the rest for Brooks. He goes back to how his career began, just him and a guitar.
“[During] Unanswered Prayers, you just sit there; you try not to weep. You try to keep it together, but its just cool because it all started out with just me and a guitar,” Brooks said.
He’s played for several Presidents of the United States. He’s received some of the biggest honors in music, but it’s the people, his Friends in Low Places if you will, that keep this superstar coming back to Buffalo.
“At this age, you don’t pick a spot that you haven’t enjoyed playing. We’re not here to see what’s going to happen. We’re here because we do know what happens when you do come in here,” Brooks added.
- The section of Abbott Road in front of the stadium closes to north and southbound traffic at 4:00 pm;
- The road will remain closed until after the concert;
- Lots 2, 3, Camper lot, and Bus & Limo lots are accessible from Rte. 20a;
- Lots 4 and 6 are accessible from Rte. 20.
Route 20a (Big Tree Road)
- Shortly before the conclusion of the concert, Rte. 20a from Fieldhouse Drive will be two-lane, one-way traffic headed eastbound. Vehicles west of Fieldhouse Dr. can only travel westbound.
- All stadium lots open at 5:00 pm, and drivers are asked not to park on the shoulder of the roadways for pedestrian safety.
Tara Lynch is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team as a reporter in 2022. She previously worked at WETM in Elmira, NY, a sister station of News 4. You can follow Tara on Facebook and Twitter and find more of her work here.