Lee Brice Says He Was ‘So Nervous’ While Performing With Garth Brooks
Lee Brice took a little detour during the first weekend of his tour, to see Garth Brooks perform in Boston, Mass., on Jan. 24, but even he didn't expect to be invited to join the country legend on stage.
Brice was playing a show at Foxwoods casino in Connecticut the day before Brooks' Boston performance, and he decided to make the 90-minute drive to attend the concert, just hoping to see him perform 'More Than a Memory,' which Brice penned.
"I had planned to go do this Make-a-Wish thing, so I went and saw this kid, and it was in between where I was and Boston. So then I was like, ‘Well, heck yeah, I've never seen Garth do ‘More Than a Memory’ live, since I wrote it,'" Brice tells Big D and Bubba. "I haven’t even seen him play since 1997, and he was my hero; he still is."
Brice pulled some strings and got backstage during Brooks' meet and greet, where he was surprised to hear that Brooks wanted him to get on stage during the show.
"We’re hanging out, and he’s just doing this normal meet and greet thing, just like 10 of us in a room, and he’s in his big, blow-up, marshmallow-orange ice jacket and sweatpants and untied shoes and a beanie on his head, and he’s just like, ‘Hey, so you feel like working tonight?’" Brice explains. "I was like, ‘What? What’d you say?’ ... I’m thinking, ‘Oh, he’s about to make a joke, like they need somebody to wash dishes or something’ because Garth’s a funny guy."
But it wasn't a joke at all: Brooks wanted Brice to join him on stage for 'More Than a Memory.' The only problem? They didn't plan the performance out at all.
"[The band] starts playing, and he goes, ‘Go.’ He does it completely different than my version, and I have only been doing, like, the first verse and first chorus recently in my show ... so I haven’t done the second verse or the second chorus in, like, two or three years," Brice says. "[Before the performance,] I’m like, ‘Garth, so ... I haven’t sang the second verse or chorus in a couple years,’ and he’s like, ‘Oh, dude, whatever makes you feel comfortable, we’ll figure it out. Never heard another word about it until they put me on stage."
Before getting on stage, Brice's nerves started to hit -- something he says rarely happens anymore. He shared a video of the performance on his Facebook page, and his nervousness and excitement is evident in the shock and awe on his face when he walks out on stage.
"I mean, I’m on big stages all the time, so it wasn't that. It’s just the fact that it was Garth, and it doesn't happen," Brice says. "... They pulled me up to get ready and my mouth -- have you ever woke up, and you couldn't swallow you were so dry? Tense, literally can’t swallow until you get something in your mouth? I was that way. My mouth just went like that right before I went on stage … So I saw a bunch of half-empty water bottles around, and I just started grabbing them, and I’m not sure whose they were, but ..."
But after his nerves settled and he performed the song, Brice was able to appreciate the experience. He ran into Brooks' promoter after the show and found out that performing on stage with the icon is a rare experience.
"[His promoter] was like, 'Dude, I’ve been with Garth since ’89, I’ve never seen him bring up an artist on stage on his indoor show ever,'" Brice recounts. "Then we get on the plane, and he comes back, and he’s like, ‘Man, I made a mistake. Billy Joel.'
"I was just so flattered," he adds. "I’m usually a more animated guy, but I really was just kind of like, ‘Wow. I’m up here, I’m on Garth’s stage.’"
Listen to Brice tell the complete -- and pretty hilarious -- tale below.
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