After playing three of the most eagerly awaited concerts in Croke Park history over the weekend, no one would blame Garth Brooks for quietly retiring to a luxurious, gated enclave and reflecting on a job well done.
But far from hiding out with top-notch room service as he prepares to lower the curtain on his world tour at the stadium this weekend in Dublin, the country music legend appears to have been enjoying some very holiday time here.
Since first landing in Ireland with his wife Trisha Yearwood and his close inner circle on Wednesday last week, the 60-year-old Grammy winner has exceeded all expectations of his time in Ireland.
Not only did he do quite a whistle stop tour of our Fair Isle in a matter of days, he posed for selfies with all the beaming locals he met along the way.
It’s all a far cry from the reclusive demeanor we’ve come to expect from a superstar of his stature.
Much like Beyoncé Knowles, who took a leisurely bike ride through Phoenix Park with her daughter Blue before visiting Dublin Zoo in 2014, Brooks has wowed everyone with his own version of a Fáilte Ireland tour. Like a famous “Where’s Wally?” there’s no way of knowing where he’ll show up next.
First, he held an impromptu press conference last Thursday to talk about his upcoming shows and hand out free t-shirts to the assembled media crowd. There was also the unexpected performance at a playground on Portland Place in Dublin’s north city centre.
He smiled and posed for photos as the astonished residents spontaneously sang along.
Then, after garnering rave reviews for his trio of long-awaited shows at Croke Park, he was pictured with his singer Yearwood in Glendalough’s Wicklow beauty spot on Monday.
At first glance, he looked like a typical American tourist, cutting a relaxed figure accompanied by a guide in a high-vis jacket as he strolled through the monastery grounds.
Afterwards, he and his wife went to Wicklow Heather restaurant in nearby Laragh for lunch, where they posed for photos with enthusiastic owner Betty Kenny.
Ms Kenny said in a social media post how they had “friends in high places” after the celebrity couple stopped by for lunch and posed for a photo with her.
She said they are “such a lovely couple and we were so happy to show them our antique book collection”.
Then on Tuesday, Brooks made his way to Limerick where he greeted members of the Munster rugby team who were training at the University of Limerick. He willingly posed for a photo with George Murray and the entire team while simultaneously playing a game of basketball on campus.
According to Munster assistant coach Denis Leamy, Brooks “just showed up out of the blue” while they were in the middle of a session.
“We conducted an indoor prep session; moan a bit. So he came in with his camera crew and a couple of his people. It was really quite bizarre,” he said.
Rumor has it he stayed between Kerry and Dublin’s Merrion Hotel between his last two stadium shows, he was also filmed at Dingle Pub Dick Mack’s. There he not only drank a pint, but belted out a few songs for customers If tomorrow never comes and a cover by Billy Joels piano manwhich he also performs during his Croker shows.
But, lest we forget, he’s being filmed while he’s over here for a documentary.
A camera crew was already assembled on the tarmac, capturing the moment he first touched down on Irish soil, eight years after the 2014 Garthgate debacle.
And it’s fair to say that footage of him hiding in his hotel room for the duration of his trip wouldn’t make for a very compelling program.
That’s not to say his nationwide charm offensive hasn’t been well-received — especially by his devoted fans, who’ve avidly followed his progress. He’s provided an unexpected boost amid some grim news of late.
After waiting so long for him to come here, many will mourn his departure.
https://www.independent.ie/news/garth-brooks-the-cross-country-singer-mingles-in-dingle-wanders-in-wicklow-and-laps-up-limerick-on-tour-41990272.html Garth Brooks, the ‘cross-country singer’, mingles in Dingle, wanders Wicklow and tours Limerick