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Concert central: Garth Brooks comes to Buffalo

With six shows over the next four days, Garth Brooks will essentially take over downtown Buffalo.

Regardless of whether Brooks' country twang is your cup of tea, he's the best-selling artist in his genre, and he carries the level of gravitas that would draw roughly 100,000 people into a city.

Here's the list of shows, plus ticket-buying options from First Niagara Center.

To prepare you, here's a slew of links from and

*Jeff Miers' definitive column on the return of Garth Brooks

Teaser: "Brooks simply wrote memorable, hook-heavy songs – songs that sounded great when everyone sang along with them in an arena, or rolled down the windows and blared them incessantly as they enjoyed their mythical American summer."

*Tim O'Shei's five facts about Garth Brooks' current tour with Trisha Yearwood

Teaser: "By all accounts, Garth and Trisha sound like a fun couple. After a show in Chicago, they hit a bowling alley. Trisha won, 92-85, according to the Chicago Daily Herald, and they snacked on stuffed mushrooms, beef skewers, pulled pork sliders and ginger wings."

*The News' review from Garth's last appearance -- from Sept. 24, 1998

Teaser: "Brooks drove the audience wild, and they responded with ear-shattering screams and cheers. The pace remained energetic as the singer went into another of his early songs, "Rodeo," with its spooky guitar licks and a touch of blues. A steel guitar and swaying country beat kept "Beaches of Cheyenne" moving."

*How to avoid, or at least plan for, the Garth Brooks traffic snarl

Teaser: "The NFTA has added additional trains throughout the evening; Metro Rail service will be extended 30 minutes after the Thursday and Sunday concerts and 90 minutes after the conclusion of the Friday and Saturday shows."

*If you come early downtown, here's a photo gallery of bars -- new and old -- that are worth considering

Teaser: "If you've walked down Washington or Perry streets on the way to First Niagara Center recently, the buzz surrounding local bars is palpable before a Sabres game or concert."

*The News' former country music reviewer, Dan Herbeck, chimes in on Brooks' popularity

Teaser: "I was lucky enough to be there at the old Memorial Auditorium, notebook in hand, as Brooks made his first Buffalo appearance ever, in March 1994. Brooks, then 32, really rocked the house that night, in a show that had 18,000 people on their feet."

*Buffalo is radically different than the last time Brooks visited, Miers penned

Teaser: "More significantly, however, it seems that Brooks has made the generational leap – even if he has lost some of his old fan base, younger country fans seem to respect him as the Godfather of their scene."

*Miers digs deeper into the music of "Man Against Machine" in November 2014 disc review

Teaser: "It’s sturdy, well-played, and happily, not particularly over-produced. It also can’t help but seem totally unnecessary."


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