Garth Brooks Wows at First Ryman Show

Haggard. Jones. Strait. Those are just a few of the artists Garth Brooks paid homage to Thursday night when he stepped onto the hallowed stage at The Ryman Auditorium in Nashville to play his first-ever headlining show at the famed venue.

The iconic entertainer made a decision to never bring his show The Ryman until the time was right. That time finally came last night when he celebrated the launch of The Garth Channel on Sirius XM with a live broadcast of his concert from the award-winning venue. Earlier in the day, Brooks hosted a press conference where he opened up about his why he’s never brought his show to that stage. The reason, he revealed, is simple: he didn’t think he deserved to perform there.

“That’s where the legends live, it’s always killed me,” Brooks told Sounds Like Nashville and other reporters as he looked out at The Ryman from inside the Sirius XM studios. “People that walk in and play that building without going ‘holy shit,’ I don’t know if they get it. Is there anything in your life that you go, ‘I would never. . . that’s where the cool people are’? Whatever that is, that’s that building for me.”

After an acoustic tribute to the legends who graced the Ryman stage before him, Brooks brought the “Mother Church” back in time to the 90s for what became a two-hour sing-a-long to his endless catalogue of hits. Brooks and his longtime touring band kicked it into high gear with “Friends In Low Places” and kept the energy up throughout the entire set.

The Oklahoma native went on to sing “Rodeo,” and “Two of a Kind, Workin’ on a Full House” before slowing it down a bit with “The River.” “Two Piña Coladas” picked up the pace again, but not for long as Brooks gave his band a break and took lead for a performance of “Unanswered Prayers.”

After the “The Thunder Rolls” and “That Summer,” Brooks’ wife, the incomparable Trisha Yearwood, joined him on stage for a stunning performance of their duet “In Another’s Eyes.” Their chemistry is truly unmatched.

Brooks then begged Yearwood, who he believes is one of the top five female voices in country music, to sing her hit “Walkaway Joe.” Much to the pleasure of the audience, she happily obliged. Her performance more than proved Brooks’ theory.

Before bidding farewell to The Ryman audience, Yearwood stuck around for the debut of a brand new duet, “Whiskey To Wine.” The song, which follows the story of a divorced couple who run into each other while out with their new significant others, has potential to be a major hit. Brooks told the audience that it was from his upcoming album, set to release in the fall.

Brooks rounded out the live broadcast with “Papa Loved Mama,” “Callin’ Baton Rouge,” and a show-stopping rendition of “The Dance.”

“I don’t know why I stayed away from here for so long,” Brooks told the audience. “I didn’t feel like I belonged here. But I tell you what, if you could have ever sent a message to an artist tonight, you sent it. I feel the love in this room!”

Although the radio broadcast had ended, Brooks returned to the stage for a handful of songs, including “Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old),” “Longneck Bottle,” and “Shameless.” He closed the show with “Standing Outside the Fire” as the audience gave the last of many standing ovations for the stuperstar.

Brooks’ show at The Ryman was billed as “once in a lifetime,” and it was just that. He proved that good music and great songs transcend time. Now we just have to hope that he realizes that he’s more than deserving to play that stage and that it won’t take him so long to return!

The Garth Channel is live on Sirius XM channel 55 now.