Last night iHeart Radio presented an intimate, special event with Garth Brooks sponsored by Marathon in New York City which featured a live on YouTube Q&A with the country music superstar and then a special performance for the audience in the room. Unlike Brooks’ recent world tour concerts, his quaint appearance last night for iHeart Radio was certainly a once in a lifetime opportunity for the lucky fans in the room.
iHeart Radio host Joe Levy took the stage first to quickly run through some of Brooks’ achievements before he introduced him, including being the number one selling solo artist in U.S history with over 148 million albums sold. With his brand new Anthology Part 3 Live available everywhere now and his CBS Notre Dame special airing in 2 weeks, Brooks’ answered questions for Levy and entertained the studio audience with his responses. Right off the bat, of course, they discussed the new book, which features stories and photos from the people who have worked closely with Brooks for his entire career including crew members, members of his band, management team and people who worked at the label. He told Levy that he was pretty hands-on with the decisions made for this book stating “If it’s going to end up in the people who allow you to be an artists hands, you want it to be the best that it can be because you want them to be proud to have it.”
The conversation continued and Brooks and Levy discussed his upcoming stadium tour that was announced a few weeks back. He explained that the demographics of his concerts show that 48% of the tickets were sold to fans who were 10 years old or not even born the last time he went on tour, deciding to make this next run a retro tour and bring back elements of the 90’s while also keeping up with new technologies and mixing the old with the new. He also talked about his wife, Trisha Yearwood hosting a giant tailgate party before each of his shows on this stadium run featuring great food, furniture, cookbooks, and even music stating graciously “Every day is the Super Bowl when you are married to Trisha Yearwood”.
Watch the rest of the Q&A below.
After the YouTube live cameras stopped rolling, Brooks performed acoustically for the in-studio audience a slew of his biggest hits and even obscure album cuts that only his longtime fans would know. He kicked off the night with “Callin’ Baton Rouge” but then kept the rest of the night to slow things down and address the audience members and sing some of his more poignant ballads, always taking the time to explain the writing process or the thoughts he had when recording the songs. Throughout his set, he performed “That Summer”, “Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)”, “Thunder Rolls” and “The River”.
He also took requests from the crowd, always asking their name and why that particular song was the one they wanted to hear. He even answered our Managing Editor, Christina’s request to sing “Mom” which she asked him to play in honor of her newborn son, Jack. Take a listen to the touching conversation and a clip from the beautiful song below.
Brooks engaged with every member of the audience who wanted to talk with him, listening to their stories and giving genuine, honest answers. One interesting question was if there was one artist he could perform with that he hasn’t yet, who would it be. Without hesitation, he answered, “Adele”. He explained how his daughter introduced him to her music and how much he loves her voice.
The special event certainly wouldn’t have been complete without a venue-wide sing-a-long of “Friends In Low Places” which quickly became a highlight of the evening. Throughout the night, Brooks was clearly emotional whether he was talking about his children, his wife or even the fans that have been there since the very beginning. Closing the night with his inspirational song, “The Dance”, Brooks ended by saying “You guys are sincere every time I play for you. Thank you, I’ve had the best time”. As the world’s arguably biggest success and entertainer of our time, humbly tipped his ball cap and walked off the stage, you could feel the affection and true warmth that was spread throughout the room. There is certainly a reason that Garth Brooks continues to attract crowds of all ages with his musicianship, his personality and the way he truly cares for each and every fan that he comes in contact with.
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