WARNING: When you attend a Garth Brooks World Tour 2016 show, you are not just going to watch artists and musicians work; you are going to be doing work yourself. If you aren’t ready to sing loudly, dance wildly, laugh constantly, and love the life you’re living currently, well, get ready! Because Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, and their band are bringing the party to a city near you and the last thing you want is to miss out on all this event has to offer.
The January 14, 2016 Garth Brooks World Tour show served as opening night of the 2016 run, which means that everybody involved was stir crazy and ready to let loose on the Sunrise, Florida stage. With more pent up energy in his little finger than the audience had in its bodies, collectively, Garth exploded on to the stage with the title track of his 2014 Man Against Machine album and then spent the remainder of his two hour set in “blast from the past” mode.
Barreling through recognizable hit after recognizable hit, Garth led off his “old stuff” with “Rodeo”, riling up the crowd even more before proclaiming that he’s “been off for far too long. Let’s raise some hell!”
And raise some hell, we did.
The show was a veritable sprint down memory lane, as Garth checked off Number 1 songs, award-winning songs, and his favorite songs one-by-one, keeping the crowd on its feet for the duration of the show. Once he realized that South Florida had no intention of letting up and was there to party with their favorite friend in a high place, Garth challenged the audience to go all night long.
I hope you’re going to work straight from here tomorrow. We’re gonna have fun! . . . I’m like 132 years old now, and the only way this fat a** is gonna get through this weekend is if you pick me up and carry me!
The crowd lifted Garth with applause, as he tore further into his deep and dynamic catalog. Never removing the audience from the palm of his hand, Garth encouraged ballad sing alongs and gave a lot of himself personally to the sea of people before him, behind him, above him, and all around.
We’ve played cowboy songs, drinking songs, love songs . . . and you treat them all like they’re your favorite.
He then shared one of his favorites with his fans, as the thunder boomed through the speakers.
Immediately following the powerful and formerly controversial “The Thunder Rolls”, Garth sang the opening notes of “In Another’s Eyes”, foreshadowing that Trisha Yearwood was about to take front and center and perform her part of the show. The two beautifully crooned about pining for a lost love, ultimately coming together and sharing a kiss before Trisha took over the energetic stage.
Similar to Garth, Trisha relied mostly on her hits, only singing one newer song, the title track to her most recent album, Prizefighter. Eliciting an equally excited response to her husband and performance predecessor, the woman with vocals of gold led the crowd in a sing along of power ballad “How Do I Live”, as well as “XXX’s and OOO’s” and “She’s In Love with a Boy”.
Garth then returned to drive the show home, tackling four of his greatest songs: “Shameless”, “Callin’ Baton Rouge”, “Friends In Low Places”, and “The Dance”. The audience erupted with each song, proving that an encore was very much necessary to send everybody home with full souls and heavy heads. Garth did not disappoint, returning with three songs and some “cleanup” by singing a few requests via audience members’ signs.
Taking a final curtain call was the incomparable Trisha Yearwood, who Garth went backstage and brought back out to sing his favorite tune from her catalog, “Walkaway Joe”. Garth strummed the guitar while his love sang the melancholy ballad, showing his appreciation for her and the song with his very expressive face.
Saying there are specific highlights to a Garth Brooks World Tour 2016 show is nearly impossible, as the entire experience is a life highlight. The level of energy put into every performance, the hilarious interaction with fans, the love for the longtime band and theirs for Garth and Trisha, and the contagious happiness in the room all add up to equal one of the best concert experiences of any show-goer’s life.
Before I invite you to scroll down and watch the extended version of “Friends In Low Places” from South Florida, I leave you with another warning. Garth has issued a challenge to all of the remaining tour dates in 2016, exclaiming “all of 2016, try to beat opening night in Florida!”
Go ahead, folks. I dare you to try.
Featured image photo credit: SouthFlorida.com