Imagine getting close enough to the stage at a Garth Brooks’ show that you can make eye contact with the country music superstar. Then imagine him handing the guitar he was just playing to you, but it isn’t meant for you. Would you be heartbroken?
Maybe for a second, but according to WDAF, the Fox affiliate in Kansas City, country fan Tara Pernice was touched by Garth’s gesture. That’s because the instrument was intended for the man with Down syndrome who stood next to her.
Tara had befriended Nick Bailey earlier in the evening at the Sprint Center. And before Garth launched into his mega-hit “The Dance,” he walked over to the crowd and lowered a guitar down into Tara’s hands, but it was for Nick. As soon as she realized who the country star’s target was, she handed the prized six-string over. Garth finished performing his song and then stopped the show to share what he saw.
“In touring, what defines an artist is the kind of people that show up when that artist comes through town,” he began emotionally before continuing, “I will forever remember what I just saw seconds ago. I handed the guitar down to a young boy and there was a young lady, a very beautiful young lady, right there that thought that I was handing to her. Her face lit up until she realized I was handing it to the boy next to her. And when she saw it go to the boy next to her, her face got even happier than it did when I was handing it to her. You are the people I want to play for. ”
When he finished, he walked to the edge of the stage with a second guitar — this one for Tara.
Afterward, the country fan told WDAF, “I’m so glad I got to spend that night with everybody, it was just so heartwarming. I’ve never felt so touched in my entire life.”