Garth Brooks Shares Very Big and Very Small Tour Plans Ahead of Nashville Concert
Garth Brooks doesn't sound like he'll slow down when his stadium tour wraps in 2022. The Country Music Hall of Famer plays Nashville's Nissan Stadium on Saturday (July 31), but one day prior, he shared a loose sketch of what might be coming when he's done playing the big houses.
Country music's best-selling artist is far from bored with the task at hand, however. The 70,000 fans who pack Nissan Stadium (home of the Tennessee Titans) will set a record for the venue, something he's proud of. He spoke with familiar emotion about getting to perform at a venue he's literally looked over for decades. Brooks and wife Trisha Yearwood have a house (former Nashville Mayor Richard Fulton's old house) that overlooks the venue, so every time it's lit up for a football game or concert, he knows about it.
“When people go, ‘Do the numbers matter?’ No, they don’t. it’s the connection that you make," Brooks says. "But I’m going to be honest with you. 70,000 singing ‘The River’ is cooler than 13,000 singing ‘The River.'"
The stadium tour resumed on July 10 in Las Vegas, something he credits to his team being at the ready for months to press the green button should the CDC and local authorities allow it. Brooks is very aware of the current COVID-19 climate and the Delta variant, recognizing that his internal mask mandate's expiration date of January 2022 may not be long enough. Fans can expect a video ahead of showtime that asks for caution and empathy for your seat-neighbors.
“Here’s the important thing: our job is to gather people in mass numbers. If that’s a bad thing then we need to stand down. And that’s what we’ll do," Brooks says when asked about the long-term plan for his tour.
For now, it's full speed ahead with planned shows in Kansas City, Mo. (Aug. 7); Lincoln, Neb. (Aug. 14); Cincinnati, Ohio (Sept. 18) and more through early October. Not every show (including Nashville) has sold out, perhaps a sign that fans are a little slow to feel comfortable celebrating among crowds that large.
Saturday night's show comes with some extra incentive: the Grand Ole Opry will open and include members recreating the iconic stage and radio program from the 50-yard-line stage. Brooks said he's the only member he can confirm for that segment, but when it was pointed out that Yearwood was also a member, he laughed and agreed. Expect at least three more, likely a mix of veteran and traditional-leaning contemporaries.
The tour, Brooks says, will end next summer with a gig that is going to be the biggest of his career. But, then what? A full dive bar tour seems likely. It's something he's done at random since releasing the song "Dive Bar" with Blake Shelton and he spoke with the same level of enthusiasm for those gigs as he did the stadium shows.
“If there was some way for somebody to make money, like the dive bar, or record label or something, it would be great," he says, answering the question of "What's next?."
"I think the dive bar tour would be perfect. For me, I’d do it just for the fun of it.”
If only there was some way? If only there was a country star who was also a savvy enough marketer to figure that out.