I met Garth in Vegas, more than met i got to hang with him and Trisha for an hour after the show.

I had found out only days before flying our that we were going to Vegas to see Garth, my first time seeing him live. It was my dads birthday weekend (in fact yesterday was 8 years to the day).

As we were picking up the tickets for the show that Sunday night, my dad was asking the box office clerk all these questions trying to see if anything else had been dropped off with them.

While walking to dinner, I asked my dad about the interaction a few moments earlier. He proceeded to explain that within the 5-6 months that the famil had kept quiet on this surprise, he had written a letter detailing my love of Garth’s music, my ever growing collection of memorabilia and media, and my history with Autism (as I write this I stand 4 months med free and no bad effects). He had sent it to a connection he had at the Washington State Convention Center (we live in Seattle). His connection sent it to her college room mate, an employee of the Las Vegas Convention.

Eventually the letter was sent from Wynn to Garth’s reps, where things had fallen silent. But we were told regardless it would be a great show.

Mere minutes before the show is to start, a lady comes in looking for my dad. He acknowledges, she walks over, and somehow knows my name too. Come to find out her name is Natalie, Garth’s road manager at this particular point in history. She informs us that Garth sent her to find us before the show to let us know he had read my dads letter on his flight to Vegas (he has been home for his girls soccer tournament) and wanted to meet me and the family backstage after the show.

Fast forward to the end of the show. We leave the theater and walk to the backstage door to meet Natalie. She takes us to the back, AND TO HIS DRESSING ROOM!!!!

The man shakes my hand, say “you must be Nate” and ushers us in to have a seat on his couch. Offers a Dr. Pepper (like I was gonna say no......I have the bottle in my keepsakes) and kneels next to me on the floor.

Like I said, we chatted for a solid hour, talked career, musical likes and dislikes these Days, country artists we think are gonna do well, talked about the girls and his and Trisha’s rules for dating. Was amazing. He got a big kick out of my Mo Betta Chase shirt. Didn’t hesitate to get out a pen and sign it on the spot, I never even said a word, he just knew.

One of the coolest highlights for me was when my mom asked if I was okay if she told my Red Strokes story. Quick summary, the video came out when I was 5, the visual of red paint splattering everywhere scarred the royal crap out of me. Fear lasted until at least middle school when I fully listened to the song and then watched the video. Has been one of my favorites since. I calendar to find out he felt the same dear when it came to his siblings playing Monty Python. He asked me “was it like when someone in Monty Python would get a small cut and it would go everywhere?” I said yeah and his response was “I know how you felt. I was around that age when my siblings would watch those movies, I’d see those moments and be absolutely terrified.”

Biggest question I asked was “you talk a lot on stage about how a lot of songs from your career are your favorites.. If you had to look back on your career and pick one song that would be your number one?”

He had the best response “I look at it as you have to pick a song from your past and your present as your tops. I know I say it profusely on stage, but for the past it would be The Dance. And for two reasons, the way people have taken the message and molded it to fit multiple different situations, and that the video was so simple and yet so powerful. If I had to pick current, it would be More Than a Memory. There’s something raw and real about the emotion to the song, and nothing says badass like shooting a video where it’s raining INSIDE a house.” To which Trisha perked up and noted her favorite part of that was the opening scene of him in the shower, he just rolled his eyes ��.

Was an amazing night, and an incredible memory and encounter I will never forget.