Garth Brooks returned to San Diego for a record-setting 5 shows after a nineteen year absence. Garth, along with his wife Trisha Yearwood took over the Valley View Casino Center for the whole weekend with shows on Thursday through Sunday with two shows on Saturday. This was a really interesting set of shoots for me as the house photographer. First up was the press conference on Thursday before the show. Garth and Trisha met with the local press to answer questions about the tour, the show, their music and what it’s like to get back out on the road.
Garth and Trisha were both really down to earth and open about the tour, their lives and the multi-date tour concept. They are playing multiple shows in a row in each city and doing all the work themselves without Live Nation or AEG Live, which gives them a huge amount of control over every aspect of the tour. I shot the press conference with the Nikon D750 and Nikon D4 with the 70-200mm f/2.8 and 24-70mm f/2.8 lens combination.
Then it was time to cover the actual show. the shooting restrictions for the tour are pretty extreme. We get to shoot the second half of the first song and the first half of the second song from he soundboard. For the record i shot 269 photos with the first frame taken at 8:41.03 pm and the last frame shot at 8:43:58 pm. From that I needed to get two images that were going to be printed and installed at the Valley View Casino Center by Saturday night as a two new wall wraps. Now, the pressure is one because not only did I need to get two shots to use, but for the first time they were going to show the artist the photos on the wall and have him sign it on Sunday.
All the photos were taken with the Nikon D750 and the 400mm f/2.8 lens. I used the Nikon D750 due to the larger file size knowing that the images (at least 2 of them) were going to be printed huge to wrap the walls. As a professional, my job is to make sure that no matter the circumstances, I get the images and that was never more true than this show.
On Sunday afternoon before the final Garth brooks show, I was back at the Valley View Casino Center to photograph a trade shot with Garth and the GM on the venue, Ernie Hahn. The Valley View Casino Center creates a limited poster for each tour, a poster that is not sold or given away but is signed (if possible) by the artist and then hung somewhere in the venue. For the first time this poster presentation and trade photo was not going toe taken somewhere backstage but instead it was going to be taken in front of the photos that I took on the Thursday evening. Garth even signed the wall wrap and you can see it next time you go to a show at the Valley View Casino center.
What a great end to the weekend and the Garth Brooks Experience.