Garth Brooks prepares for shows at Croke Park in Dublin
Thursday, May 15, 1997
Irish fans have waited five months for three sold-out shows at Dublin's Croke Park, slated for May 16-18. Brooks and his band will perform in front of 40,000 people each night, and the entire event will be filmed for a future television special.
When tickets went on sale December 13, two shows sold out in a matter of hours. Promoter Jim Aiken of Aiken Promotions said at the time, "This is unprecedented. We've sold twice as many tickets for Garth Brooks today as we've ever sold in one day before. There is obviously no decline in the affection the Irish people feel for Garth, and their anticipation of his upcoming concerts is overwhelming."
A third show, scheduled for May 18, went on sale January 4 and sold out in less than four hours. Aiken remarked, "The demand for Garth tickets continues to amaze us. It indicates that approximately 1 in every 20 residents of Ireland (a total population of 5 million) wants to see Garth in concert." Indeed, Brooks broke all existing attendance records at Croke Park by selling over 120,000 tickets in total.
Providing harmony vocals for Brooks each night will be two long-time friends -- MCA recording artist Trisha Yearwood and Sparrow recording artist Susan Ashton. Yearwood, whose hits include "She's in Love with the Boy," "Believe Me Baby (I Lied)," and "Walkaway Joe," among others, has worked with Garth on several occasions. In addition to singing background vocals on all of his albums, Yearwood was the opening act on Brooks' 1991 tour. Yearwood's second hit single, "Like We Never Had a Broken Heart," was co-written by Brooks, and he added harmony vocals on the recording.
Ashton, one of Contemporary Christian music's leading vocalists, was the opening act for the second leg of Brooks' European tour in 1994. She also provided harmony vocals on Brooks' hit "She's Every Woman," and performed with him on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," and "The Today Show."
Each concert will be filmed by Picture Vision, a U.S. film and video production company, under the supervision of Jon Small. Small, a Grammy-nominated director, has produced and directed more than 400 music videos and is noted for his work with Billy Joel, Madonna, Sting, Meat Loaf, and Reba McEntire, in addition to Brooks. Michael Salomon will direct the film production. Salomon's credits include work with Mary-Chapin Carpenter, Sawyer Brown, Alan Jackson, and Pam Tillis, in addition to previous work with Brooks on the "This is Garth Brooks, Too!" television special.
Brooks' visit to Ireland will be documented by a crew from Dublin-based Dreamchaser Productions. This B-roll and interview footage, combined with Picture Visions' concert footage, will form the content of a planned television special and retail video. Dreamchaser Productions, known for their work with U2, followed Brooks on his 1994 World Tour and filmed the documentary "Tryin' to Rope the World," which aired in the U.S. on NBC-TV in December 1995.
Brooks' last Irish concert appearances were at the Point in Dublin, where he sold out eight shows in 1994, performing in front of 64,000 people. Listed below are some interesting facts regarding the concert production and filming:
-- Equipment for this event fills 60 trucks.
-- The weight of the equipment being used is 1-1/2 to 2 million pounds.
Equipment was flown and shipped on sea containers.
-- Each show will require 24,000 amps of power. By way of comparison, a normal house runs on 200 amps.
-- The shows will feature a newly designed stage measuring 460' wide and 65' tall.
-- The live production and filming will require the talents of over 200 crew members from Australia, France, Scotland, England, Ireland and the U.S.
-- The shows will be recorded on 96 audio tracks.
-- Equipment being used includes:
10 - 35 mm cameras
300 pounds of confetti 6 generators
350,000 feet of film (66.3 miles)
1 70-ft. crane