Garth Brooks Yankee Stadium Live was a spectacular concert event designed and built for Garth’s return to NYC, the first since his epic Central Park show in 1997. Bruce Rodgers and Bob Peterson teamed up to make this happen, resulting in two sold out July nights and the largest multi-camera 4k music shoot to date.
The directives from the beginning were clear; make it big, make it unique, and embrace the stadium and every attendee in it as part of the show. This drove Rogers’ design, as he describes, “Garth and Jon (Jon Small, Producer/Director) came to me with a concept of a giant circle representing a circle of family and friends. Garth wanted to be able to get out there in the midst of the audience and touch as many people as possible. Being a Garth fan myself I totally got what he was trying to say and we went forward from there. It’s always an adventure designing for musicians, taking an idea from scratch and bringing it to life. To me the design represents Garth and the way he embraces each person in the audience with his music and himself. After meeting Garth in person I was reminded how friendly and wide open he is. So I wanted the set and stage to be a reflection of him."
The lighting and screen design continued this embrace of the Stadium and audience as the central driving force for position and focus. A stand alone event scheduled smack in the middle of Garth’s world record setting tour afforded Peterson and Rogers the freedom to utilize whatever was best for this unique venue, no compromise.
After two tech scouts and months of planning, the team created a 24hour round-the-clock schedule that started the night of July 4th and continued straight into the first show on July 9th. Custom lighting positions were rigged on every level of the stadium, to assure that every fan and every surface of this historic ballpark were lit right along with Garth, the band, and the music. Jenny Steinbrenner-Swindal exclaimed “Yankee Stadium never looked so good!”. Peterson took advantage of Yankee Stadium’s recent LED lighting system upgrade, incorporating the stadium’s lights into the design. A 4k screen system that measured 300’w x 50’h made up of 2234 discrete video panels. Over 1200 lighting fixtures, 740 LED Blades, 21 followspots and a Sony 4k camera compliment from AMV of over 27 units.
It was an historic event and all involved were honored to contribute. Bob Peterson and Bruce Rodgers chose each teammate for their work ethic and experience. Floyd Rodgers Art Directed for the Tribe team, Monica Rose steered Real World Lighting. Brian Petree, Garth’s production manager brought in the Garth team on Thursday the 8th, led by crafty longtime veterans Dave Butzler, Brad Wathne, John Kinsch and Dan Heins. Chris Balogh, Dan Parise and DPS provided all the logistical support, and BIG crews from Bandit, Upstaging, VER, All Access, and Clair made it all happen. With the professional support of Local 1 IATSE and IBEW Local 3, the entire team exceeded all expectations.
Video still image credits to Todd Kaplan and Paul Skaife; all photos and images property of Garth Brooks and 8Ten, Inc.