Wednesday, December 22, 2010
For the past week I had been kicking myself for neglecting to buy a ticket to one of Garth Brooks nine flood benefit concerts in Nashville (Which marked his first time performing in Nashville since 1998). So when I found out that a friend had two Garth tickets up for grabs… I was, needless to say, one very happy country fan.
My concert buddy and I were late leaving for Nashville, due to circumstances beyond our control (Obviously I wouldn’t keep Garth waiting if I could help it). Thus, we missed the first three songs of his set. But when Garth launched into a showstopping performance of my old favorite “Shameless,” I quickly recovered from the disappointment of having missed “Papa Loved Mama.”
As Garth performed his classic anthem of hope, “We Shall Be Free,” the video screen displayed photos of Nashville flood workers in a tribute to the enduring spirit of Nashville. Not long afterwards, the sound effect of crashing thunder announced that Garth was about to sing “The Thunder Rolls,” and we in the crowd responded with a thunderous roar of our own.
And then it was time for the appearance of a special guest as country star Steve Wariner walked onstage with a guitar strapped on.
Steve responded by… smoking it. The two pals then performed their toe-tapping hit duet “Longneck Bottle.” Garth complimented his cohort on his instrumental prowess, admitting that “I only carry the guitar to hide my gut.”
But the talented Steve Wariner wasn’t Garth’s only special guest that night. When Garth sang the opening lines of “In Another’s Eyes,” a beautiful blonde-haired woman ascended the stairs onto the stage, and a familiar voice filled the arena. Thus began a passionate and romantic duet between Garth Brooks and his lovely wife, Trisha Yearwood. After they had finished the song, the couple proudly announced that they had recently celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary. A spotlight was then shone on an elderly couple in the audience who were celebrating their fifty-ninth anniversary that night.
“Anyone who’s been married six or more years is a hero in our eyes,” Garth quipped.
Trisha Yearwood then took the stage for a performance of two of her best-loved hits, “She’s In Love with the Boy” and “How Do I Live.” The audience sang along with every word, as they had with every song in Garth’s set. To be honest, I was nearly every bit as excited about Trisha’s three-song set as I was about Garth’s 23-song set.
When Garth returned to the spotlight, all he had to do was play the opening guitar chords to “Friends In Low Places” to elicit a deafening cheer from the crowd. As he was performing his signature classic, he happened to notice one fan’s bright pink sign which read “Hey Garth, I drove 14 hours – How about a guitar pick?”