Garth Brooks celebrated Trisha Yearwood’s birthday in Atlanta with a “surprise” party midway through his show on Friday night. There was cake, a birthday tiara, a “surprise” guest in Kelly Clarkson and a chorus of “Happy Birthday” sung by 16,000 of their closest friends at Philips Arena in Atlanta.
Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood are in town as part of their world tour. They have five shows in Atlanta including a second show on Friday night and if their first show was any indication it’s going to be one heck of a party.
Garth Brooks is the consummate musical stage performer; he engages the audience and his band and he, himself, is one hundred and fifty percent engaged as he constantly moves around the 360 degree stage to entertain all his fans. He points and waves at individual fans all over the auditorium making each of them feel like they’re the only ones there. And every once in a while he stops, looks skyward, and shakes his head in complete disbelief with his arms outstretched to embrace the incredible reception he was getting from the fans.
It truly was a “feel great” concert. It was obvious Garth Brooks was feeling great about being there and he wasn’t embarrassed to show it! It was obvious the fans felt great about being there as the applause was deafening all night long and the crowd participation singing during several of his biggest hits provided some of the biggest highlights of the night. The audience was in great voice particularly during “Unanswered Prayers” and “That Summer”.
Midway through the show, Brooks introduced Trisha Yearwood and sang a wonderful and heartfelt “In Another’s Eyes” in duet with her. He then took a brief break to recharge his batteries. There was no such break for the fans who were then treated to a short set from Trisha Yearwood who, like her husband, focused on the hits that provided lots of crowd sing-a-long opportunities with “American Girl (X’s and O’s)”, and “She’s In Love With The Boy”.
Late in her set, Garth Brooks surprised her with a huge birthday cake that appeared from under the stage and then had Kelly Clarkson deliver slices of cake before everyone inside Philips Arena sang “Happy Birthday”. Yearwood and Clarkson then sang “Prizefighter” with Brooks playing guitar in the background.
Brooks focused on his hits during the show that lasted almost two and a half hours and three encores as he argued that he believes that his fans are like him; when he goes to a show, when he’s a fan, he wants to hear the hits, not the new material. Only two songs were off his latest album, “Man Against Machine” and “People Loving People”.
Highlights of the second half of the show were “Friends In Low Places” and “The Dance”, and in the encore “Too Damn Young, To Feel This Old”. To highlight any single songs though really does a disservice to the rest of the set, this show is just total energy and adrenaline from start to finish. The sound was excellent, the stage was understated and that allowed everyone to focus on having a great time. Garth Brooks made sure that everyone did and, at the same time, looked to be having a great time himself! Just a fantastic way to celebrate a birthday and fantastic to be part of it!