Clair Brothers Powers Garth Brooks at First Concert in Notre Dame Stadium History

SOUTH BEND, INDIANA – NOVEMBER 2018: The moment Garth Brooks made his appearance in front of 84,000 fans at the sold-out, first ever concert at Notre Dame stadium, there was no doubt something historic was in the air – that and a whole lot of cold rain, wind and even a little snow! In fact, the high winds were strong enough that the production team had to coordinate with local and university meteorologists to evaluate and maintain the safety of the staging. Dan Heins, FOH engineer for Garth since 1989, described it, “By four o’clock in the afternoon, just hours before the show, we still didn’t know if the concert would go on. We ended up doing soundcheck with the PA on the ground! The wind finally let up, so we were able to raise the speakers. Thankfully, after all the weather drama, Garth’s show went on to become something for the ages.” And, though the show was delayed by an hour, nobody cared once the sound of Brooks’ latest hit, “All Day Long,” radiating gloriously through Garth’s exclusively-designed Clair Brothers PA, sparked energy throughout the recently renovated stadium. Said Garth after the song, “Hello, Notre Dame! We’ve been waiting for this for a long time. How y’all doing?” Thunderous applause amid tens of thousands of unadulterated screams more than answered his question.

Part of the show’s magic was the star-shaped stage with a 360-degree rotating centerstage on which Brooks and his band performed – a theater-in-the-round concept where Garth moves freestyle around the periphery playing to each side of the stadium. While playing one of his greatest hits, “The River,” the audience sang along with the chorus, setting an entrancing mood throughout the stadium. Cameras rolled as the multitude’s massive singular voice was recorded – a recording that will be mixed in as part of the TV special, Garth: Live at Notre Dame! – to be aired nationally on Sunday, December 2nd on CBS at 8:00 pm EST. “After this show sold out, I thought it could not get any more exciting than this,” Brooks said. “Then, CBS calls and in an instant, the show becomes bigger. This changes everything!”

Brooks recently announced his plans for a three-year stadium tour starting in early 2019. The confidence Brooks has in playing such huge venues is born from his record-breaking, recently completed three-year arena tour that sold over 6.3 million tickets, often in multi-night, multi-show runs per city. The plans for the stadium tour sound system are simply augmentations and adaptations from the successful sound design from the arena tour. According to Mr. Heins, “The Clair Brothers PA consistently sounds great, year after year. And I can say the same thing same about Garth. He pushes himself to deliver his best every time he performs.” The fundamental core of the stadium rig is the Clair Brothers i218 line array system that has been increased in size to cover stadiums in-the-round. The Notre Dame concert used a total of 96 i218 array cabinets and 48 i212 cabinets in the main array hangs, all eight hangs with identical equipment. The layout for the stadium effectively utilized two different array hang configurations depending on whether the array was facing the sideline or the end zone. Josh Sadd, sound designer for the tour, said, “The Notre Dame stadium, while obviously great for football, has a bright future for concerts. The rake of the seating is very amphitheater-like which is acoustically very musical sounding – a great feature!”

ABOUT CLAIR BROTHERS Clair Brothers is a world-class sound reinforcement company specializing in the design, manufacturing, and sales of professional loudspeaker systems. Founded by Roy & Gene Clair, the company is built on a tradition of excellence with fifty-plus years in the industry as the premier choice of top artists and audio engineers. Innovative engineering and impeccable attention to detail delivers state-of-the-art audio performance from every Clair Brothers product. Their headquarters in Manheim, Pennsylvania serves as the international distribution network hub facilitating product sales and support. For more information please call (717) 665-4000 or email

Main PA System:
32x Clair Bros. i218-LT
64x Clair Bros. i218-M
48x Clair Bros. i212-M
20x Clair Bros. CS218-M
All powered with CB-Lab.gruppen PLM20K

FOH Engineer - Dan Heins
Sound Designer - Josh Sadd
System Engineer - Rob Rankin
Crew Chief - Pat O’Neill
Monitor Engineer - Martin “Tike” Santos
Monitor System Engineer – Kevin “Kap” Kapler