Garth Vader, Best Ever

By Earl Meyers

Fog drifted in, thunder rolled and lightning flashed; the effect was that of a mighty cosmic-like storm. In the midst of that storm, wearing a black western hat, a man called Garth turned loose the lyric of "The Thunder Rolls" in his distinctive word-bending style and the emotion built.

The Garth Man had invaded Rupp Arena in Lexington on November 5 and the capacity crowd was his or was it the other way around'? Garth was so taken by the two-hour continuous standing ovation and the ever present thunderous roar of approval that he not only bent over backwards to show his own approval, but eventually handed this crowd the ultimate compliment, declaring, "No doubt about it, this is the best night on stage" in all of his career. Though he was the star entertainer, it was easy to see that he was overwhelmingly lap-legged-drunk happy with the pleasure of a crowd that was entertaining him. I confess that I sat down for short rest periods (I was tired from playing two hours of volleyball the night before), but most of the crowd didn't want to chance missing any of what Garth had to offer. It appeared to be of a sincere mutual respect for one another.

Garth performed his great songs, 'The "Dance," "The River," "Unanswered Prayers," "Friends in Low Places" and others, along with new songs, including the rocking "We're an American Band," planned for their European tour. He swung out over the crowd on a rope during one of this encores and covered every inch of the elaborate ramped stage at some time during the performance, It was worth the $18.25 ticket 10 rows up on the center line and the college couple next to us didn't show any signs of regret for having paid $100 a ticket.

I was in awe and somewhat humbled to sec the Garth Vader bring a crowd to its feet in a deafening, continuous frenzy, but equally impressed with an overwhelmed entertainer who admitted, "I'm speechless."