Music fans pinching themselves ahead of Garth Brooks’ Dublin gigs

Anticipation is building ahead of Garth Brooks taking to the bespoke stage at Croke Park in Dublin tomorrow night to finally fulfil a promise he made to his fans in Ireland eight years ago.

e once compared the collapse of his 2014 Irish shows as being “like a death in the family” and he will eventually lay those ghosts to rest at the revered venue at 7.30pm.

The Grammy-winning star (60) landed in Dublin Airport yesterday to prepare for what could be the most significant shows of his career to date as he finally ends his three-year-long stadium tour.

He will be staying in Kerry during his time in Ireland as he flies up and down to do the shows, with the average flight time to Dublin taking 45 minutes. He was filmed by a camera crew as he exited his plane as a follow-up documentary and film will be made about his 2022 shows.

Meanwhile, for Garth Brooks superfan Adrian O’Reilly, he said the star’s music has a particular resonance for Irish music lovers. The Portlaoise native has fronted the Irish Garth Brooks Experience for the past decade but has been a long-time admirer of the iconic performer.

“It’s an Irish thing, isn’t it? I have learned this over the years, Irish people are very funny as in, they don’t like the big personalities so much. It’s that Irish attitude of ‘Who does he think he is?’ But they don’t like you to be too introvert either, they just like authenticity.

“And whether it’s genuine or from years of practice with Garth, he just seems to pull that off. It’s the whole ‘country boy make good’ kind of thing. There’s a very fine line with Irish audiences as they want you to be having the craic and entertaining them but if you cross the line into super-confidence, it falls back on you.”

He last saw him performing here at the Point Theatre, now the 3Arena in 1994. He had tickets to his 1997 concert but never managed to see him, which he has always regretted but will attend his final show on September 17. But he feels that the build-up to Brooks’ five big shows has been more muted this time around, given the recent memory of what happened with ‘Garthgate.’

“It feels a bit surreal this time around. I remember back in 2014, the hype was hard to describe – everybody was going nuts. This time around, it’s more quiet. I think people are like, ‘I’ll believe it when I see it.’ Even with a couple of days to go, they’re refusing to get excited in case something pulls the whole show down,” he said.

He loves the storytelling aspect of Brooks’ music and said his songs are “not like pop or rock music. Every one of his songs has a story to tell.”

He will be playing for many of the star’s fans himself, given that he’s doing two shows a day in a Dorset Street hotel as he gets attendees in the party mood. As to what ticketholders can expect, he reckons the star will go all out and is “going to throw the kitchen sink at it.”

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