Garth Brooks broke into his current run of stadium dates with a smaller and more intimate appearance outside of Detroit Saturday night (June 15).
Brooks was the surprise guest during radio station WYCD's 37th Hoedown at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, a 15,000-capacity amphitheater in Independence Township, Mich. The 15-minute performance commemorated the 30th anniversary of Brooks' first and only other appearance at the festival, just a couple of months after the release of his self-titled debut album.
"I know a lot of you weren't even born yet," Brooks told the ebullient. "But I was lucky enough to play this gig 30 years ago, so I just wanted to come out and say thank God and thank you guys for the ride of my life."
Brooks also expressed appreciation to the fans for letting him take a sabbatical during most of the '00s to raise his daughters.
Brooks followed with partial versions of favorites such as "That Summer," "Two Pina Coladas," "The River" and "The Thunder Rolls," letting the crowd sing almost as much as he did. After "The Dance," Hoedown headliner Brantley Gilbert came on stage to request an encore and Brooks finished with another singalong, "Friends in Low Places," walking off as the venue's video screens displayed a photo of his 1989 Hoedown show.
"Funny how the circle sometimes completes itself," Brooks said. "I came her 30 years ago with just a dream, and you guys treated me like somebody. I came back tonight with just a guitar, and you treated me like everybody!"
The Garth Brooks Stadium Tour continues June 29 at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Ore., with four more dates to follow in the U.S. and Canada.
Thank you for surprising everyone @garthbrooks in Detroit tonight! Best @995WYCD Hoedown ever! Your 1st concert was the #wycdhoedown and you always said you would come back to play it. It was EPIC! ❤️-- pic.twitter.com/btSc2stGuH— Steve Grunwald (@Stevegrunwald) June 16, 2019