Garth Brooks launched his World Tour with a sold-out concert at Allstate Arena outside Chicago Thursday night.
The show kicked off with a giant video cube dropping from the ceiling showing Garth’s logo as lights flashed around the stage. As the spotlight suddenly hit his face, Garth opened the show with a brand-new song, “Machines,” before delivering his classic, “Rodeo.”
He got emotional as the crowd sang along to “The River” and “Unanswered Prayers.” He also threw in “Beaches of Cheyenne,” “Callin’ Baton Rouge,” “Papa Loved Mama,” and also electrified the crowd with “The Thunder Rolls.” The lyrics to Garth’s latest single, “People Loving People,” were posted on the screen above the stage to allow fans to single along.
By the time Garth’s wife Trisha Yearwood joined him to sing “In Another’s Eyes,” he’d already sweated through his pressed shirt and jeans. Trisha then gave Garth a break singing her hits “XXX’s and OOO’s (An American Girl),” “How Do I Live” and “She’s in Love with the Boy.” Garth joined her to sing along on Trisha’s brand-new single, “PrizeFighter,” before directing her to take a bow at center stage.
After Trisha’s mini-set, Garth delivered big sing-along moments with “Friends in Low Places” and “The Dance.” For his encore, Garth tore through “The Fever” before inviting Trisha back to play guitar and sing harmony with her on “Walkaway Joe.”
Garth’s stage set was state-of-the-art with an orb of lighted ribbons surrounding the drummer at the center of the stage. While Garth never took his eyes off what was happening in modern country music during his time out of the spotlight, he admits there are a few pop acts that inspired his new stage presentation and music, too.
“Bruno Mars, does he influence me?” Garth says. “You betcha. Lady Gaga, does she influence me? You betcha. These are talented kids. I mean talented, talented people.”
Lady Gaga actually attended Garth’s show Thursday night with her boyfriend, Chicago Fire star Taylor Kinney. She posted an Instagram photo of Taylor singing “Friends in Low Places” in her ear with the caption, “At the Garth Brooks show with my country boy. So much fun we’re screamin’!”
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn was also on hand to declare Thursday Garth Brooks & Trisha Yearwood day in the state.
As for why Garth chose to open his world tour in Chicago, he reflected on the multiple sell-out shows he played there on his last major tour in 1997 and 1998.
He says, “I played here with Miss Yearwood last time as well, so it’s kind of like a completing of the circle. So, you’re looking at the luckiest, most blessed guy on the planet.”
Garth has nine more shows in Chicago before taking his tour to Atlanta and Jacksonville, FL. More tour cities will be announced soon.
Here’s Garth’s Chicago set list:
“Papa Loved Mama”
“The Beaches of Cheyenne”
“Two of a Kind, Workin’ on a Full House”
“Ain’t Going Down (‘Til the Sun Comes Up)”
“Much Too Young (To Feel this Damn Old)”
“The Thunder Rolls”
“People Loving People”
“In Another’s Eyes” (with Trisha Yearwood)
“XXX’s and OOO’s (An American Girl)” — Trisha
“Wrong Side of Memphis” — Trisha
“How Do I Live” — Trisha
“She’s in Love with the Boy” — Trisha
“PrizeFighter” — Trisha
“More Than a Memory”
“Callin’ Baton Rouge”
“Walkaway Joe”(with Trisha Yearwood)
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