Garth Brooks’ fans pack Protective Stadium for Birmingham concert

Country fans were out in force on Saturday, watching Garth Brooks perform

the first concert at Protective Stadium in Birmingham.

More than 45,000 people gathered at the new stadium downtown,

many of them wearing boots, cowboy hats or Garth T-shirts in homage to the star on stage.

The 7 p.m. show, with opening act Mitch Rossell,

was part of a stadium tour designed to delight Brooks aficionados with

high-energy performances and lots of radio hits.

“I’ll put our crowd up against anybody — loud-wise, listening-wise, sincerity,” Brooks said on Friday during an interview with reporters at the stadium.

Our goal is to have them leave the stadium loving each other more than when they came in.