Garth Brooks Revisits The ‘90s For SiriusXM Concert At The Ryman

Garth Brooks. Photo: Moments By Moser Photography

Garth Brooks. Photo: Moments By Moser Photography

Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood are two of a kind, but they didn’t have to work on a full house at their Ryman Auditorium show on Thursday night (Sept. 8). The filled-to-capacity venue, which Brooks often refers to as “The House,” erupted in applause when an announcer encouraged the audience to take a few photos, and then put away the phone and enjoy the music. This was clearly an audience who longed for a ‘90s concert experience.

Brooks had never performed a full set at the Ryman until this show, which served as a launching pad for his SiriusXM station, known as The Garth Channel. The show was streamed live on the new channel. At a press conference earlier in the day, he explained his programming philosophy by indicating that if he liked someone’s music, he’d play it, regardless of genre.

Garth Brooks. Photo: Moments By Moser Photography

Garth Brooks. Photo: Moments By Moser Photography

But for his opening number, Brooks and his guitar relied solely on the classics, mashing up a medley of songs and artists that inspired him. This ranged from Cal Smith’s “Country Bumpkin” and George Jones’ “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” to George Strait’s “Amarillo By Morning” and Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You,” as well as Randy Travis’ “I Told You So” and Keith Whitley’s “Don’t Close Your Eyes.”

Garth Brooks. Photo: Henry Diltz, Copyright Blue Rose, Inc. 2016

Photo: Henry Diltz, Copyright Blue Rose, Inc. 2016

But the place went berserk when the curtain lifted to reveal his band and a simple set with no enormous screens. Suddenly the opening lines of “Friends in Low Places” resonated through the rows of wooden pews. From there it became one big sing-along: “Rodeo,” “Two of a Kind, Workin’ on a Full House,” “The River,” and so on. The live renditions were punctuated with fist pumps and teary eyes from the audience as well as the performer.

Brooks’ undeniable charisma was on full display all night long. After “Unanswered Prayers,” he shaped his thumbs and index fingers into the shape of a heart, a la Taylor Swift. After delivering “That Summer,” he exclaimed, “I’ve never been here before but they’re gonna have to get rid of me now!” When the rumble of “The Thunder Rolls” arrived, the singing along resumed at full volume.

Pictured (L-R): Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood. Photo: Moments By Moser Photography

Pictured (L-R): Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood. Photo: Moments By Moser Photography

Of course, it’s always refreshing to hear Yearwood sing and she graced the set list for a duet of “In Another’s Eyes” as well as a lovely rendition of “Walkaway Joe” accompanied only by Brooks on guitar. Indicating that they are in the midst of recording a duets album, they unveiled a satisfying new duet, “Whiskey to Wine,” about former lovers who have mellowed out with new partners. Brooks mentioned that the new album will be “the most Garth thing” he’s ever done.

Crowd-pleasers like “Papa Loved Mama” and “Callin’ Baton Rouge,” along with a band introduction, set up the big broadcast finale of “The Dance.” Brooks quietly introduced it by saying, “I hope you remember it,” and naturally, everyone sang along.

Pictured (L-R): Jimmy Mattingly, Garth Brooks. Photo: Moments By Moser Photography

Pictured (L-R): Jimmy Mattingly, Garth Brooks. Photo: Moments By Moser Photography

When the main program ended, only a smattering of people left. After a few minutes, Brooks returned for a handful of hits and rarely-heard songs, ranging from the enduring “Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)” and “Every Time That It Rains,” to “In Lonesome Dove” to “Longneck Bottle.” On “Shameless,” he looked near ecstasy, an expression that carried through “Standing Outside the Fire,” and likely well past the time he exited the hallowed stage.

Brooks will rekindle his world tour on Friday (Sept. 16) in Anaheim, California.

Comments

Powered by Facebook Comments

Follow MusicRow on Twitter

Category: Artist, Featured

About the Author

Craig Shelburne is the General Manager at MusicRow.

View Author Profile