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Garth Brooks at Notre Dame: Friday soundcheck in front of students, faculty raises money for scholarship fund

Indianapolis Star logo Indianapolis Star 10/20/2018 David Lindquist
a person standing in front of a car posing for the camera: Mishawaka Mayor Dave Wood poses with Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood street signs during a Saturday afternoon tailgate party at Notre Dame Stadium. © David Lindquist/IndyStar Mishawaka Mayor Dave Wood poses with Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood street signs during a Saturday afternoon tailgate party at Notre Dame Stadium.

Post-show update: Check out the IndyStar concert recap of Saturday’s Garth Brooks show at Notre Dame Stadium.

SOUTH BEND — Friday night’s Garth Brooks soundcheck served as an impromptu reunion for the country music star and Mishawaka Mayor Dave Wood.

Brooks and Wood toiled together on Habitat for Humanity’s annual Carter Work Project this summer in Mishawaka. Fellow country singer Trisha Yearwood, who’s married to Brooks, and David Letterman also swung hammers in an effort that built a 23-house subdivision.

Wood caught up with Brooks when the “Friends in Low Places” singer greeted fans at Notre Dame Stadium — one night before Brooks was scheduled to play the first stand-alone concert at the storied college football venue.

“I gave him an update on his house and told him we fixed some of his mistakes,” Wood joked Saturday afternoon in the stadium’s parking lot.

Garth Brooks at Notre Dame Stadium: What you need to know

Wind advisory: Wind gusts topple power lines around Indianapolis

Wood hosted one of the more colorful tailgate parties — amid high winds and sporadic rain — before 84,000 attendees entered the stadium for the 7 p.m. show.

Those winds would later delay the start of the concert.

At the tailgate, a vintage pickup truck sporting the Mishawaka seal was accented by street signs bearing the names “Garth Brooks” and “Trisha Yearwood.”

More than a pre-concert party favor, the signs will mark streets in the next phase of house-building in Mishawaka.

“He was just one of the crew,” Wood said of Brooks’ demeanor across a week of volunteer work. “He blended right in. And Trisha could outwork most of us.”

Nearly 80 homes will be built, renovated or repaired in St. Joseph County, Wood said.

Habitat for Humanity outlines its mission as helping “families build and improve places to call home.”

Brooks, who’s referred to his Notre Dame show as a “blueprint” for an upcoming run of stadium concerts, spent 90 minutes onstage Friday playing music and answering audience questions, Wood said.

The soundcheck audience was made up of 300 Notre Dame students (who attended free with their IDs) and about 3,000 faculty, staff and VIPs who paid $10 each to attend, Brooks said during a pre-show interview Saturday.

He said the money collected will be used for a scholarship fund at the university.

“I think that’s going to start the tradition for us of what we call ‘Student Soundcheck’ on Friday night,” Brooks told IndyStar. “It was fun.”

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Call IndyStar reporter David Lindquist at 317-444-6404. Follow him on Twitter: @317Lindquist.

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