Garth Brooks surprised an estimated 60,000 fans at the University of Oregon's Autzen Stadium on Saturday (June 29) with a rendition of The Isley Brothers' "Shout," featuring an 800-piece choir.
Per the Register-Guard newspaper, the song served as a tribute to two locals behind the choir's formation. Brooks' longtime backup singer Robert Bailey and filmmaker and author Katherine Wilson were both involved in classic comedy Animal House, a film shot on-campus and associated with "Shout." Bailey appeared in the movie's infamous musical scene thanks to Wilson, its casting director.
"Shout" also plays during every University of Oregon football home game.
Bailey, a Portland native, attended the University of Oregon, making the packed show a homecoming.
The 1959 hit's call-and-response vocals and cheery vibes suited a singalong-friendly set featuring Brooks' hits plus crowd-pleasing, genre-crossing covers of The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's "Fishin' in the Dark," Billy Joel's "Shameless," Bob Seger's "Night Moves," George Strait's "Amarillo By Morning" and Don McLean's "American Pie."
Brooks and his sea of singing partners also performed "We Shall Be Free" in a move that somehow upped the stadium rock quotient of one of popular music's all-time-great showmen.
On this week's Inside Studio G web series, Brooks rides the natural high of entertaining a sold-out, rowdy crowd as he describes "watching this stadium do what they did for 'Shout,' what they did for Robert Bailey."