Garth Brooks doesn’t officially take the stage at the Auditorium Shores in Austin, Texas, until Saturday, but he capped a day that included a South by Southwest keynote and the reveal of his new single with a surprise acoustic show at the Broken Spoke Friday night.
Strolling on the stage promptly at 11 p.m. wearing a Lone Star Beer T-Shirt with a flannel and a Garth Brooks hat, the country superstar immediately launched into “Friends in Low Places.”
What followed was a speedy 40-minute set that included 17 songs, mostly his, that the capacity crowd of old fans and young Spring Breakers was all too happy to sing along and dance to.
Brooks looked ecstatic on stage, and some fans in the crowd happily lucked into the St. Patrick’s Day show, arriving without knowing he was even going to be there.
After closing with early hit “The Dance,” he returned to do a quick rendition of “Callin’ Baton Rouge.”
“If the honky tonks were like this that I was in, I never would’ve left them,” he said as he left the stage.
Brooks plays Saturday night. Tickets are sold out.