When Garth Brooks took the stage for his Stadium Tour stop in Knoxville on Nov. 16, the country superstar was three days out from his 7th Entertainer of the Year win at the CMA Awards -- a subject of some debate among country fans (and even country singers). But for the 84,846 people inside Neyland Stadium, Brooks' much-anticipated stop at the home of the Tennessee Volunteers was a well-earned victory lap for the country icon. The concert broke the record for the largest stadium show in the southeast. It was clear from the moment the first note rang through the stadium that Brooks, known for his high-energy stage shows, was there to give everyone in attendance a night they won't forget.
Here are 5 moments that made Garth Brooks' Stadium Tour unforgettable.
Brooks' Band Members Take Center Stage
Brooks would be the first to admit that his shows wouldn't be what they are without his longtime band and crew. And the country superstar makes sure his team gets the credit they deserve. From fiddle player Jimmy Mattingly to vocalists Vicki Hampton and Robert "Bob" Bailey, Brooks introduced each member of the Garth road family to the audience, giving thousands of cheering fans further insight into the folks who make his stadium tour so special.
The Deep Cuts
Sure, you can't have a Garth Brooks concert without "Friends in Low Places," "The Thunder Rolls," "Unanswered Prayers" or "The Dance," but Brooks doesn't ignore his hardcore fans' lesser-known favorites either. After wrapping up his set, the singer returned to the stage to scope out the fan-made signs and play some Garth deep cuts, such as the gorgeous 1994 ballad from In Pieces "The Red Strokes," a U.K. hit that barely entered the country charts in the states.
"The River" Lights Up the Stadium
Even the most jaded person would get choked up at the sight of 80,000+ people swaying and singing in unison and raising their cell phones in the air during Brooks' 1992 No. 1 hit, "The River." Garth has always been a dreamer, and his stop in Knoxville was proof that his biggest dream came true.
Garth Gets Rowdy With 'Callin' Baton Rouge'
If you need further proof of Garth's undeniable prowess as an entertainer, his Knoxville performance of "Callin' Baton Rouge" is it. The song, originally recorded by the Oak Ridge Boys and covered in 1989 by New Grass Revival, is Brooks' favorite to play live and it's easy to see why. The soaring fiddles and Brooks' supercharged vocals had the entire stadium dancing along. The song may be a favorite of the LSU Tigers come game time, but for one chilly night in November it belonged to Tennessee.
Garth Salutes Tennessee with "Rocky Top"
Speaking of pre-game songs, it's safe to say that nearly everyone in Neyland Stadium had a hunch that Brooks would play "Rocky Top" before the night was over. Thankfully, they were right. The song, penned by Felice and Boudleaux Bryant and made famous by bluegrass band the Osborne Brothers, is a University of Tennessee favorite and Brooks' rambunctious cover of the song put the audience's state pride into overdrive.
— Garth Brooks (@garthbrooks) November 17, 2019
Brooks will wrap up his Dive Bar Tour with two stops on Dec. 2 in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey and Foxboro, Massachusetts.
The country superstar's four-part documentary The Road I'm On debuts on A&E on Dec. 2.
Garth Brooks' previous Stadium Show stops include Notre Dame Stadium, St. Louis, Mo., Glendale, Ariz., Gainesville, Fla., Minneapolis, Minn. Pittsburgh, Pa. Denver, Colo. Eugene, Ore., Boise, Idaho and Regina, Saskatchewan.
Brooks will bring his Stadium Tour to Detroit, Michigan's Ford Field on Feb. 22, 2020.