Superstar Garth Brooks Storms Stage for Surprise Performance at Honky Tonk


Most musicians like to rest on their laurels once they achieve a measure of success. Don’t get me wrong, I know that plenty of singers and bands like to shock their audiences.

Remember how Lady Gaga once wore a dress made out of meat? Then there was Mudvayne, a rock quartet who showed up at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards wearing makeup that looked as though its members had been shot.

But once both of those acts broke into the big time, their antics largely went away, and you can’t really blame them. I imagine artists get tired of coming up with surprises.

Or, rather, I imagine that most artists do. In the case of country music superstar Garth Brooks, he seems to thrive on them.

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By any measure, Brooks has enjoyed astonishing professional success. Though states that his first foray into music was a bust, he went on to become an era-defining voice.

Brooks has sold 100 million — no, I didn’t accidentally add in a zero there — albums and his live shows regularly break records. For instance, upwards of a million people attended his 1997 performance in New York’s Central Park.

Yet despite all that success, Brooks seems to thrive off of keeping people on their toes. He retired in 2000, only to come roaring back with a number of Las Vegas performances in 2009.

In 2017, The Tennessean reported that he never announced his appearance at the CMA Music Festival in Nashville. Instead, he simply walked onstage and started performing his hit “The Thunder Rolls.”

He did something similar at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo concert in March. PaperCity Magazine said his wife, singer Trisha Yearwood, a star in her own right, appeared next to him in the middle of his set.

Brooks also went out of his way to give a superfan the thrill of a lifetime. Karen Garrison loved the singer so much that she named her son Garth and daughter Brook.

In turn, the kids nominated their mom for Good Morning America’s 2015 “Garth Brooks Mother’s Day Surprise” — and she won. ABC News reported that the singer surprised her by sneaking up behind her at her house and then later flying the family on his private jet to a concert.

Yes, in big and in little ways, Garth Brooks likes to keep people on their toes. He did just that on August 9 in Nashville.

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Local performer Andy Gibbons was singing at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, a bar renowned for mingling live performances with liquor. Much to Gibbons surprise, who should take the stage beside him but Brooks himself!

WKRN reported that Brooks joining him in a rendition of his song “That Summer.” The pair clapped each other on the back and bellowed into their mics, giving it all they had.

Gibbons told the news channel that the moment was the highlight of his music career thus far. No doubt, Andy, no doubt.

Brooks is more than an impressive performer. He’s a fascinating person — and we hope he never changes.

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A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine.
A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine. Most days find him crafting copy for corporate and small-business clients, but he also occasionally indulges in creative writing. His short fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines. Loren currently lives in south Florida with his wife and three children.
Wheaton College
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