Garth Brooks makes most of second chance during Nashville shows

Country star returned to Nissan Stadium for two shows

Garth Brooks is one of our most vigorously-covered artists. That is because with everything he does, there is always something unexpected. This weekend’s two shows in Music City proved no exception.

The unexpected in Nashville included the reveal that Brooks’ Lower Broadway honky-tonk will be called Friends in Low Places — something The Music Universe exclusively published first. The name reveal was paired with the opening of a small retail shop. Right now the shop consists mainly of overstock Stadium Tour merch.

But Brooks told members of the media at an April 15th press conference that leftover, official merchandise from the 1990’s will be coming to the store. Eagle-eyed fans will have to keep returning to 411 Broadway to find those exclusive items. Already, that includes First Edition prints of the album Sevens, Brooks’ seventh studio offering. These were first-run pressings that have not been offered since they appeared on store shelves (remember those?) in 1997.

But the retail store was just the teaser. 73,000 fans flocked from all over the country to attend Brooks’ concerts at Nissan Stadium. Tickets were initially refunded for a rained out July 2021 event. The success of the on sale for the April 16th concert prompted Garth and Co. to offer a second show a day earlier, on April 15th. The upper bowls were not sold in order to keep the 15th more intimate for fans who struggled to get good seats when the April 16th concert sold out so quickly.

“I know I shouldn’t say this because I’m a guy, but size matters,” Brooks exclaimed tongue-in-cheek at the Saturday show. “You sell 71,000 tickets, refund them, and you’re never doing that again. People! 73,000 of you showed up,” he screamed as if he had just experienced a miracle. “Thank you for my life!”

Over the weekend, Brooks performed everything for which a fan could hope. Setlist standards “That Summer,” “Rodeo,” “The Beaches of Cheyenne,” and “The River” were present. On Friday, “Ask Me How I Know” appeared. While Saturday’s behemoth crowd was treated to “Ain’t Goin’ Down (Til the Sun Comes Up).” Garth saved it for the bigger audience so he could whip everyone into a frenzy. Or quite possibly it was the other way around.

Friday’s concert was paced a little slower. The smaller crowd meant Brooks could take his time. He took requests in the middle of his set, including “To Make You Feel My Love.” Fiddler Jimmy Mattingly joined Brooks to saw the stirring hook on “Wild Horses.” And yes, the sign requested Jimmy play along. Garth fans are specific, because he always gives them what they want!

Fans on Friday were also treated to “Shallow,” complete with special guest Trisha Yearwood. And while Saturday did not get Yearwood duetting with her hubby, they did get a solo Trisha number as part of the “mini” Grand Ole Opry that opened the show. Oh, and Garth sang all 900 verses of “American Pie” in the encore. So that evens out, right?

“Shameless,” Callin’ Baton Rouge,” “Friends in Low Places” and “The Dance” always act as the crescendo to the main set. Brooks is well known for his from-the-heart messages after the latter, when he takes a victory lap to a power-ballad instrumental before exiting the stage. On both nights, he spoke of the gratitude he had for his beloved Nashville turning out to support this second chance.

Of course, no Garth show is really over after that. In fact, in many respects, the show is only just getting started.

The reason many people travel all the miles they do to see Garth Brooks is for what he does in the encore. People bring their signs labeled with what they want to hear. Some request singles. Some ask for deep cuts. Some of what is requested aren’t even his own songs. But Garth obliges as many as he can.

Readers can see in the below set lists what special treats were offered during the encores on both nights. But one special moment on Saturday, with a little boy named Charles, saw Garth hand him a live microphone to sing along to all of “Standing Outside the Fire.”

It was clear that all 73,000 people across both nights had anticipated this hometown show. Brooks is undoubtedly the pride of Nashville. Even the Opry returned to open for Garth.

Hosted by Chris Young and announced by longtime Opry voice Bill Cody, performers included the aforementioned Yearwood, Lauren Alaina, Chase Rice, Larry Gatlin, and Jeannie Sealey. The G man popped up for “Papa Loved Mama” with Young, and to sing “Will The Circle Be Unbroken.” This reporter has only ever seen one other person join their opening act onstage at the end like that: when Brooks’ hero, James Taylor, joined Bonnie Raitt on stage at the Prudential Center.

With every song Brooks sang all weekend, the crowd seemed to release tension. It is as if they were saying, “Yes, this is finally happening.” And with every note he belted, Brooks was nodding in agreement. On Saturday in particular, the crowd did not want to let him go. And he did not want to get off that teardrop-shaped stage. Though his tours may look different after the Stadium dates wrap, as he told TMU at the press conference, Garth is never leaving again.

Garth Brooks is on the last leg of The Stadium Tour. Only three cities have yet to be announced. All other stops are on sale or are going on sale soon. Check back here for the latest information.

Garth Brooks Nashville – Night One:

1. All Day Long
2. Rodeo
3. Two of a Kind (Workin’ On A Full House)
4. The Beaches of Cheyenne
5. If Tomorrow Never Comes (Acoustic) [Sign Request]
6. Two Pina Coladas
7. The River
8. To Make You Feel My Love (Acoustic) [Sign Request]
9. Fishin’ in the Dark
10. The Thunder Rolls
11. Ask Me How I Know [Sign Request]
12. Unanswered Prayers
13. That Summer
14. Wild horses [Sign Request]
15. Papa Loved Mama
16. Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)
17. Callin’ Baton Rouge
18. Shameless
19. Friends in Low Places
20. The Dance

ENCORE

21. She’s Every Woman (Acoustic) [Sign Request]
22. Piano Man (Acoustic) [Sign Request]
23. Ireland (Acoustic) [Sign Request]
24. Amarillo By Morning
25. Shallow (with Trisha Yearwood)
26. Walkaway Joe (Trisha Yearwood with Garth on Acoustic Guitar)
27. Standing Outside The Fire

Garth Brooks Nashville – Night Two:

1. All Day Long
2. Rodeo
3. Two of a Kind (Workin’ On A Full House)
4. The Beaches of Cheyenne
5. More Than a Memory [Sign Request]
6. Two Pina Coladas
7. The River
8. Fishin’ in the Dark
9. The Thunder Rolls
10. She’s Every Woman (Acoustic) [Sign Request]
11. Unanswered Prayers
12. That Summer
13. Ain’t Goin’ Down (‘Til The Sun Comes Up)
14. Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)
15. Shameless
16. Callin’ Baton Rouge
17. Friends in Low Places
18. The Dance

ENCORE

19. What She’s Doin’ Now (Acoustic) [Sign Request]
20. Live Ten Feet Away (Acoustic)
21. Miami My Amy (Acoustic)
22. Don’t Close Your Eyes (Acoustic) [Sign Request]
23. It’s Your Song (a Capella) [Sign Request]
24. Amarillo By Morning
25. Standing Outside the Fire
26. Piano Man (Acoustic)
27. You Never Even Call Me By My Name (Acoustic)
28. American Pie (Acoustic)

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Matt Bailey

Matt Bailey is podcast producer and writer located in the Northeast. Since 2013, Bailey has produced more than 160 episodes of his own online radio show, Talk For Two. In 2016 alone, he interviewed Kevin Bacon, Crystal Gayle, Bob Barker, and Gilbert Gottfried, among several other stars. As a Correspondent for The Music Universe, his focus is Broadway, country music and concert reviews.

Email: matt@themusicuniverse.com

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