Tag Archives: Garth Brooks

Brooks & Dunn Give a Long Goodbye to Chicago

I thought I could handle the Brooks & Dunn Last Rodeo show I saw last night (Aug. 8) in Chicago. I thought I’d seen them in concert enough that I’d be a bit cavalier about the whole thing and not get swept up in the emotions that come with the realization that this is it. The last time they will saunter down that catwalk. The last time Ronnie Dunn will bring out the “Neon Moon” guitar. The end of an era. But I was so, so wrong about keeping my cool. I was a mess.

And here’s why. I expected that I’d be watching the show from a seat, where I could see their faces and watch Kix Brooks charm the audience while Dunn strolled nonchalantly. But I had a pass to watch the show from the side of the stage. So for two entire hours, I watched Brooks & Dunn from behind Brooks & Dunn. And you know what that means? I saw what they saw. Roughly 25,000 people riding an emotional rollercoaster. Euphoria when songs like “Play Something Country” and “Brand New Man” were up. Then super weepy-eyed fans when they did “Cowgirls Don’t Cry” and “How Long Gone.” Video footage showed them going from rookies to superstars, along with clips of Billboard charts as they hit the top of the list over and over again.

At the very end, they left everyone on a high note with “Boot Scootin’ Boogie.” I remember when I had no idea who Brooks & Dunn even were. I was watching some country awards show in the mid-1990s, hoping Garth Brooks would win it all. I saw the duo win an award and thought, “Why are Hall & Oates on a country awards show?” Now, obviously, I know full well who they are. They can go ahead and move on, but I will never forget the joy their music brought to my life.

George Strait Outranks Garth Brooks in Billboard

“Eat it, Garth Brooks”? Is that any way to start a story? New York magazine thinks so, because that’s their lead into a little story about how George Strait is thebiggest country artist of the last 25 years. They say it because of a ranking that Billboard did by adding up numbers from the country songs and albums charts from 1985 to 2010. But while Strait and his 44 No. 1 hits did earn the very top spot, Brooks came in a very close second. And in a way, with Brooks holding the title of the top-selling U.S. album artist, with 68.4 million units sold since Nielsen Soundscan started reporting in 1991, comparing his sales to Strait’s ongoing airplay is a little bit of an apple-to-oranges situation. But I think most country fans would agree, there is room for at least two kings.