History was made on Saturday, October 20th inside Notre Dame’s iconic Notre Dame Stadium when Garth Brooks performed the first ever live stand alone concert in the venue’s storied history. This Sunday, December 2nd, CBS will broadcast that show at 8:00 PM ET/PT for fans from all over the country to enjoy!
CBS Local’s Matt Weiss spoke to Brooks earlier this week to discuss his experience at Notre Dame, country music fans and his part in helping the Fighting Irish complete a perfect regular season.
MW- Hi Garth, how are you today?
GB- I’m doing well Matt, how about you?
MW- All’s good here my man! I want to start by saying congratulations on being the first ever concert inside Notre Dame Stadium. What does that mean to you that you’ll always be the first?
GB- I tell you what, to get the call to be the first concert ever in iconic Notre Dame Stadium was a blessing and a cure. First of all I was flattered and humbled and I couldn’t say yes fast enough. Then I was just so scared. Scared nobody was going to show up, scared of if they did show up because this is THE place. It was fun, Notre Dame made me feel at home as much as they could but the truth is when the rubber meets the road I just totally forgot about everything but the music. The crowd really responded, they were fantastic and it was one of the best nights of my life.
MW- What a year to be at Notre Dame as well with the football team going undefeated in the regular season.
GB- Matt, I’m taking credit for that [laughs]!
MW- Maybe they should make this a yearly thing, bring you back every season!
GB- You know what, I’m not going to push my luck on that [laughs]. I’m going to get out while the gettings good. They’re such good people there. You can joke about this stuff all day long but they’re such nice people and something magical is happening inside those walls. I say it about the Ryman in Nashville and I’ll say it about Notre Dame Stadium – when you walk out there there’s something underneath your feet. There’s something going on there and it works well for a concert.
MW- You mentioned the Ryman and Nashville which speaks to a bigger point that you as a country artist were the first to perform at Notre Dame. What does that say about the genre as a whole that country music was the first to be played live within those walls?
GB- This isn’t a statement of humbleness, it’s a statement of honesty – I think the reason why they picked Garth Brooks to be the first artist to play there was because of the crowds that come see us. We’re blessed to have the coolest crowds on the planet. The crowds are genuine, they’re sincere, they’re very loving and Notre Dame knows that they’re full of respect.
Notre Dame knew that their stadium was going to be in as good, if not better shape, as when the people came in. I truly think that’s why we got the call because of the people who come see us and I couldn’t agree more with that idea.
MW- I’m a big country music fan myself and it is such a unique environment. The vast majority of people going to a show are in a good mood and just want to be happy and have a good time.
GB- Amen! That’s what country music is. We do a handshake before every show and usually the speech is talking something about the fact that the people who come to see us work their butts off, they take their kids to school, they work hard for their money. We owe it to them to give them three hours where they don’t have to think about anything. I can just sing and they can escape anything that they came there to escape. That’s the fun part of getting to play for a country music audience.
MW- Another bonus for this show is not only do you have the audience in attendance but the show will also be aired December 2nd on CBS. A whole bunch of folks across the country are going to be able to tune in and experience the fun. How did this partnership with CBS come about and what was that process like?
GB- Well the concert was already at Notre Dame, that’s enough pressure right there, and then CBS calls and asks if I wanted to film this thing and show it to the world. That really doubled the pressure. The truth is I went and handed it out to the people. I got on stage and told the crowd there was 85,000 people there that night and there was going to be millions of people watching it, how are you going to represent? And man, did they show up! It was phenomenal.
You’re going to see a lot of my face on the special but what’s going to steal your heart are those people in the crowd.
MW- I can’t wait to see it all on December 2nd and I’m definitely going to make it out to see you in person one of these days. Thanks for talking to me today Garth and all the best to you!
GB- I would like that, Matt. Thank you and happy holidays to you!
Catch Garth: Live At Notre Dame! this Sunday at 8:00 PM ET/PT, only on CBS. Check your local listings more information.