Good fortune and an understanding husband allowed a Kansas woman to attend all six of Garth Brooks’ shows in Omaha.
“I knew I was coming up to Omaha for at least one show,” said Shelly Kavanagh of Wichita. “Then I got a good seat for the first show on Thursday and I found two more for Friday, and ... I just kept going.”
Speaking before the sixth and final show on Sunday, Kavanagh, 35, said this is the longest she has ever been away from her 4-year-old son, Andrew. He is at home with Kavanagh’s husband, Michael, who took a week off from his duties in the Army.
“Mike has been awesome,” Kavanagh said. “He said, ‘Go have fun and don’t worry about anything.’ ”
The concerts have been physically taxing, Kavanagh said, with many in the crowd on their feet the entire time. She stands out in a yellow T-shirt emblazoned with “I love Garth” and yellow and red hearts.
“It’s really exciting,” she said of the concerts. “I love it, but I don’t know how Garth does it. Watching him gives me my energy. I could stand on my feet all day for Garth.”
Kavanagh, who has now seen 14 Brooks concerts, said other fans are “kind of blown away” when they find out she is attending every Omaha concert.
“I haven’t met anyone else who is doing this. I think I’m the only one.”
She holds up two signs at the Omaha shows, reading: “Going to #All 6;” and “Please Play Red Strokes.”
Her request to hear the 1994 ballad, “The Red Strokes,” hadn’t been granted entering the Sunday evening show, but Kavanagh still had hope before the last show, partly because she thinks her signs caught Brooks’ eye on Friday night.
“He pointed to me, and then he pointed to the seat I’d been in that afternoon. I picked Red Strokes because it’s not one he plays in concert very often.”
The song was part of Brooks’ “In Pieces” album. It reached No. 49 on the U.S. country charts and No. 38 in Canada and became one of his most popular songs in the United Kingdom, peaking at No. 13.
The song’s narrator describes a romantic tryst as if it were a painting. Lyrics include, “When love picks its shade it demands to be seen.”
Each concert has been slightly different, Kavanagh said, with some “little changes in the (song) lineup, especially the encores.”
If she could, she would see every concert the Oklahoman plays.
“I love it, but I don’t know how I still have a voice, because I’ve been singing along to every song,” she said. “I’ll never forget this trip. Omaha has been awesome.”
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