Fresh horses: Garth Brooks tribute band in concert

Photo used with permission of Les Smith Garth Brooks tribute band, Fresh Horses featuring Les Smith, will be performing at the Calumet Theatre for the first time on Dec. 1. The band brings the stage presence, sights and songs of Garth Brooks to venues accross the United States and Canada.

Fresh Horses, a Garth Brooks tribute band, will be bringing country music hits and charm to the Calumet Theater this weekend with one performance beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 1.

Les Smith, the front-man for Fresh Horses, is a long-time Garth Brooks fan and has seen him live in concert many times.

“Garth usually hits the main cities, so when we bring our show to smaller cities, people really appreciate that,” said Smith. “We’re the next best thing.”

Smith believes he is able to offer a quality Garth Brooks experience because he feels he and the country music star have a lot in common.

“We’re very close in nature. It’s not an act, it’s delivering the same act,” said Smith.

The feeling of similarity that Smith feels with Brooks isn’t only important to the tribute, he feels that it’s what draws people to the music in the first place.

“It’s his personal quality of reaching out to people. Garth Brooks fans are a special breed of people. He accepts everybody and reaches out to people,” said Smith. “People identify with people who are the same as they are. When Garth performs, he doesn’t put himself on a pedestal.”

Of course, Smith hasn’t always been with Fresh Horses. He had some success in the music industry writing and co-writing songs. Smith was initially more into rock and roll music, until he saw his first Garth Brooks concert in 1993.

“When I saw him live, I thought I was watching a rock concert. Country music took a large leap when Garth Brooks came onto the scene,” said Smith.

Fresh Horses will attempt to bring much of that energy to the Calumet Theatre Saturday with a yet-to-be-determined set list of Garth Brooks songs, including hits, classics, and recent material. Smith also tries to do justice to the stage presence and audience interaction that Garth Brooks fans have become familiar with.

“He has a certain quality and a certain humor about him,” said Smith.

Fresh Horses also tries to keep the lighting and sound authentic to a Garth Brooks concert.

Smith has never played in the Calumet Theatre before but is looking forward to the experience. Anyone who is also looking forward to the experience can learn more about purchasing tickets by calling the Calumet Theatre box office at 337-2610 or by visiting the box office Wednesday through Friday from noon-5 p.m. or two hours before the show. The Calumet Theater is located at 340 Sixth St. in Calumet.