The Story Of Garth Brooks Singing “Friends In Low Places” With Timberlake

By Danielle Hathcock | Monday Monday Staff -    2018-03-21

Garth Brooks joining Justin Timberlake  for “Friends In Low Places” is 8 solid minutes of music orgasm. Timberlake was performing at his own concert in Nashville when Garth Brooks surprised his hometown crowd. The moment Brooks stepped on stage, the audience went wild. And for good reason. First of all, he is Garth Brooks. But even more than that, this particular performance is completely amazing. There are just so many things to love about this, we simply had to put together a list.

10. Justin Timberlake Stops The Show

Justin Timberlake, Garth Brooks, Friends In Low Places
Justin Timberlake (photo from Grammy.com)

Timberlake, dressed in anything but cowboy clothes, begins “Friends in Low Places.” But at around 2 minutes in, he stops the show, telling the crowd that something wasn’t right. So as he looks to figure out how to remedy the situation, Garth Brooks appears from backstage. And the crowd goes insane.

9. Garth Brooks – The Entrance

Justin Timberlake, Garth Brooks, Friends In Low Places
NEW YORK, NY – JULY 08: Garth Brooks performs at Yankee Stadium on July 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

When Brooks steps on stage, he literally looks like the guy you just saw downing chicken at the local Jack In The Box. He has baggy jeans from 1986, a flannel shirt, oversized khaki rain jacket, and a black baseball hat. He is certainly not easily identifiable as Garth Brooks. (So maybe he was incognito with that chicken.) But it didn’t matter. He immediately connected with the crowd and had them eating out of his hand. Side-note: He completely kept them there, screaming even minutes after the song ends.

8. The Song

Garth Brooks | Photo Credit WikiMedia Commons

Most of the complaints about country is that it has become too pop. (Taylor Swift, Luke Bryan, Shania Twain, and Sam Hunt, to name a few.) And maybe it would be ok if country artists went pop, if there was some reciprocity. (Darius Rucker may be the one exception.) But pop artists don’t push their music in a country direction. They don’t even do country cover songs. Whitney Houston covering “I Will Always Love You” is one of the only times a pop artist did a country cover, and she remade it as anything but country. So the fact that Timberlake chose to do a country cover–that actually sounded country–is amazing.

7. Young Meets Old

Justin Timberlake, Garth Brooks, Friends In Low Places
Justin Timberlake with Garth Brooks (photo from Whiskey Riff)

At one point in the song, Brooks invites the audience to join him. Because, he explains, “we gotta show the young guy how we do it.” Timberlake died laughed and politely replied, “I’m not that young anymore, sir.” It’s great seeing Brooks singing a drinking song while also playing the wise old sage. 

6. Justin Timberlake Bows Down

Justin Timberlake, Garth Brooks, Friends In Low Places
Justin Timberlake (photo from The Daily Beast)

Brooks made the point that he’s been performing “Friends In Low Places” for the last 16 or 17 years. When he did, Timberlake bent the waist with arms outstretched, bowing down in the Wayne’s World “I’m not worthy sort of way.” It was awesome to see the respect he gave to Garth Brooks.

5. Brooks Shared The Spotlight

Justin Timberlake, Garth Brooks, Friends In Low Places
Garth Brooks performing with Justin Timberlake (photo from The Boot)

It would have been easy for Brooks to steal the show. “Friends In Low Places” is his song, after all. But he didn’t. Brooks completely shared the spotlight. He traded verses with Timberlake. He stepped back when Timberlake sang as a gesture of giving him the stage. Brooks even shared his own mic. It was also awesome to see the respect Brooks gave to JT. Plus you could see that Brooks simply loved that someone else was having such a great time with his hit. 

4. Justin Timberlake Having That Much Fun

Justin Timberlake, Garth Brooks, Friends In Low Places
Justin Timberlake (photo from HotNewHipHop)

At one point, Garth gives one his primal growls in his song, and even JT can’t contain himself. He jumps up and down across the stage, guitar still strapped over his shoulder. The grin on his face was ear-to-ear. And the look on his face is complete “I cannot believe that I am singing with Garth Brooks.” His delight is totally infectious.

3.  That Third Verse

Justin Timberlake, Garth Brooks, Friends In Low Places
Garth Brooks (photo from The Hollowverse)

Brooks told the crowd that he doesn’t do the third verse anymore. (He only did that at live shows, because he liked to have something special for ticket buyers.) The crowd was clearly disappointed and unhappy with this. But he decided to make an exception. Garth said it was for Timberlake, and because they were in “the greatest city in the land of the freedom.” (They were at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville). So they did it together. 

2. Seriously, That Third Verse

Justin Timberlake, Garth Brooks, Friends In Low Places
ROSEMONT, IL – SEPTEMBER 05: Garth Brooks performs on stage at Allstate Arena on September 5, 2014 in Rosemont, United States. (Photo by Daniel Boczarski/Redferns via Getty Images)

Watching Garth Brooks engage the crowd for that final verse of “Friends In Low Places” left no questions as to why he has the most wins in history as the CMA Entertainer of The Year. (He has six, including the most recent in 2017.) Garth Brooks interacted with his crowd in such an intimate way that every fan there had to think he was talking to them. And as they sang the words, “I’ve been there before,” Brooks tapped his chest and said with a smile, “My favorite line.” He is so much at ease with them, it’s incredible.

1. The Selfie

Justin Timberlake, Garth Brooks, Friends In Low Places
Justin Timberlake and Garth Brooks (photo from Entertainment Tonight)

At the end of the song, Brooks pulls out his iPhone and starts recording the event. He pans to the crowd and to JT. But then there’s this awesome moment where we turns the camera around and leans into the Timberlake. It’s the universal sign for selfie. And you can see the delight Brooks has as he snaps the photo with a distinct laugh. It’s such a cute moment. And do we ever wish we could get our hands on that photo. 

You can watch the whole performance of “Friends In Low Places” in the video below. And then post in the comments and let us know what you think about it and if you love it as much as we do.

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Danielle Hathcock

Danielle Hathcock is a Midwest native now living in southern California. A staff writer for MondayMondayNetwork, writing is one of her a lifelong passions. When she isn't obsessively reading country music news to write about, you can probably find her on a horse, a hike, or hitching a ride to travel anywhere!

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