SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, June 17, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — Country megastar Garth Brooks spoke to reporters Friday in Salt Lake City, while 50,000-plus concert-goers were preparing to attend the first of two sold out shows this weekend at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
The master showman and downright nice guy took time out prior to Friday’s concert to chat with Gephardt Daily’s Daisy Blake about what makes the Utah shows special.
In total, Brooks has sold over 160,000 tickets for three record-breaking shows at the stadium; one last summer and two this weekend.
Brooks first played the stadium on July 17, 2021. It was his first concert in Salt Lake in 10 years, and it was the fastest stadium sellout in Ticketmaster history, with tickets gone in less than 30 minutes.
Fast forward to April 2022, when Brooks announced his return to Rice-Eccles Stadium on June 18. The show sold 50,000 tickets in 45 minutes. The next week, Brooks added a brand-new opening night concert for June 17, again, selling out in 45 minutes.
This will be the only return date in any North American city and is Brooks’ last Stadium Tour concert in the states of Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming.
Brooks said his goal with the Stadium Tour is that people leave the venue loving each other more than when they came.
“We’re probably the most divided we’ve ever been,” he said. “But out there tonight you’ll see people that if they were in a room together probably wouldn’t be getting along, they don’t know each other but they know that they love to sing, and here they are with their arms around each other, singing ‘Friends in Low Places’ or ‘Two Pina Coladas.'”
Brooks said that for those coming to more than one show, each will be a little different. He said an entertainer’s job is to get people to a certain level with the songs and not to let them come down from there. “There’s going to be somebody that comes to all three, so you’re going to try and make each one different, you try not to study nine months ago, ‘cos you want kind of be where you’re at now. This is something that always kind of bothered me anyway, it’s the same songs, you cover the same songs, it might not be in the same order, but yet people come to the show 50 times, 60 times, and they swear it’s different each time which I can’t imagine it being. The only thing that’s different is that sometimes my weight’s up here and sometimes it’s down here… the rest of it’s the same guys, the same players, the same fun.”
Brooks told reporters that his wife Trisha Yearwood will be appearing with him Friday and Saturday.
“Yeah, we’re here together; she’s already been here on the grounds, and everybody treats her like a queen, it’s like, who’s the guy with her; I always feel good until she shows up in the room then I’m a plus one,” he said. “But I keep saying this, there is no other human being on the planet I’d rather be next to, breathing the same air.”
Surprisingly, Brooks told us he doesn’t have a rider, which is a set of requests that a performer provides to the venue, such as particular food or drinks. Famously, Van Halen required concert venues to supply bowls of M&M’s in their dressing rooms — but with all the brown ones removed.
“I don’t have one,” Brooks said. “I’ve heard about riders my whole life… we’ll take all the brown M&M’s. I don’t know, I would say probably the Queen has more stuff, like she’s a water person so I’m sure they’ve probably got the exact water, but I don’t know, me, I like Taco Bell, it’s the only place you can stop with six buses and 58 trucks and not even get a $40 bill.”
Last May, Brooks was one of five artists to receive one of the most prestigious accolades an artist can receive, the Kennedy Center Honor. He spoke to Gephardt Daily exclusively about what that moment was like.
“It was very fun because of who you got to be confused with, you know, these are the greatest in the world,” he said. “The first thing you do when you walk in the Kennedy Center is you see the list, of people that’s received the Kennedy Center Honor, are you kidding me? I was happy for country music. But it’s always kind of a humbling thing to do anything award-wise with me, because always standing to my right is someone who probably is more deserving of the award, but females have to work a thousand times harder to get half as much, so it’s always very humbling and brings you right down to earth to know, however you good you think you are, you’re married to the best.”
We also asked Brooks who he would like to play him in a biography or musical. “Michael B. Jordan would be great,” he joked. “People say we look alike all the time. No, I don’t know who would play Garth. I don’t know if anybody would want to. It would be a fun story though, and what the fun story would be, was just a guy that totally fought the system the whole way. I mean that’s all we’ve done is fight the system, and because of it we’re lucky enough not to have to have gone through what Taylor’s gone through, to not have to go through what other people have gone through, where they have no control over their music. So we feel very fortunate to be in this position.”
We asked if Brooks would get to see his three daughters, Taylor, August and Allie, on Father’s Day. “Oh yes, I’ll go home,” he said. “But we’ve already texted and everything, because one of them works here, so I get to hug on her, all weekend, and the other two, I just saw. So I don’t know if I’ll get to see any of my babies on Father’s Day ‘cos they’re scattered all over the place, but trust me, there’s nobody that is reminded more of how much of a father he gets to be than I am, those girls take care of me.”
In November 2020, just after receiving the Billboard Music Icon Award, Brooks released two new albums, his 12th studio album, “Fun” and live album “Triple Live Deluxe.” In January of that same year, Billboard announced that Brooks was the first artist to make it on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in the ’80s, ’90s, ’00s, ’10s and now ’20s. He debuted “Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)” in 1989. With “Dive Bar,” a duet he sang with Blake Shelton, he made his appearance on the list in 2020. The single inspired a tour to dive bars in country music capitals around the country which will continue its run of stops through 2022. Sadly, there will not be a dive bar stop in Salt Lake this time around; last year, Brooks and his band played at The Westerner.
In November of 2019, A&E aired “Garth Brooks: The Road I’m On,” over two consecutive nights. Part of their esteemed “Biography” franchise, the documentary offered an intimate look at Brooks’ life as a musician and father. The show is now available on Netflix.
In 2017, he finished the three-and-a-half-year long Garth Brooks World Tour with Yearwood. The tour sold over 6.3 million tickets, making it the biggest North American tour in history and the biggest American tour in the world.
Brooks is the first-ever seven-time recipient of the CMA Entertainer of the Year honor. He is the first and only artist in history to receive nine Diamond Awards for the now nine diamond-certified albums at over 10 million album sales each. He remains the No. 1 selling solo artist in U.S. history, certified by the RIAA with 157 million album sales. Last year, he was awarded Country Touring Artist of the Decade at the 2021 Pollstar Awards.
Brooks also has Inside Studio G, a weekly Facebook Live series. It airs every Monday on Garth’s Facebook page at 5 p.m. MT. For more information about the tour, click here. For more about getting to and from Brooks’ Salt Lake shows, click here.