Garth Brooks told the crowd at the South By Southwest Outdoor Stage on Ladybird Lake Saturday night (March 18) that he “came her for one reason — to have fun and raise some hell.” Check and check.

Brooks’ first appearance at SXSW raised plenty of ruckus, of course. Saturday’s free show, his first Austin concert in 25 years, was a surprise announcement on Friday morning, putting in motion an intricate but, from all indications, smooth process for getting 16,000 fans — both SXSW badge holders and Austin residents — into the show. Then, on Friday night, he played a surprise solo acoustic show at the Broken Spoke Dancehall, filling in while the house band was on break.

So Brooks made his mark on Austin this weekend — and certainly did on Saturday with a characteristically high-energy, 90-minute show that was heavy on the hits and flaunted plenty of earnest showmanship. Few hype up a crowd like Brooks, after all, and his blend of genuine exuberance (lots of teeth and sweeping arm gestures) with practiced self-effacement to make the open-air concert feel like a backyard hoedown. It may have been scaled down a bit to comply with local noise curfews (“We don’t call it noise; we call it music,” Brooks noted), but it didn’t lack any of the punch Brooks and his 11-member band put into their arena shows.

Source : Billboard