The rumors have swirled, but today it was confirmed: Garth Brooks is back. Arguably one of the most award-winning country artists, Garth makes a return to performing after more than eight years in retirement. Brooks will start an ongoing show at the Encore Theatre at the Wynn in Las Vegas. Why come out of retirement after nine years? Apparently because Steve Wynn had the answers to all of Brooks’ objections.
Brooks and his wife, fellow country star Tricia Yearwood, had decided on his retirement in order to spend more time in Oklahoma with his daughters. It’s not surprising that tours, performances, and travel can make family life and normalcy difficult. So how did Wynn change Mr. Brooks’ and Ms. Yearwood’s opinion on family? Apparently, he didn’t. He simply showed Brooks how this could fit with his family life. Apparently a gig in Sin City can work with a simple life in Oklahoma. All you need is a private jet. Word is Wynn is providing a private jet so that Brooks can travel to Las Vegas to perform on Friday, Saturday and Sunday on select weekends (about 15 a year), and be back in Oklahoma for the normal family and school routine on Monday mornings. And you can’t blame Garth Brooks for thinking Mr. Wynn couldn’t afford him. In fact he actually voiced that, but Mr. Wynn had that covered as well. (And to this point, note that ticket prices have not been disclosed yet.)
Like many Vegas shows, folks might expect the usual glitz and glam, as well as some of the big-time productions for which Brooks is popular. But Wynn and Brooks have another idea. A man and his guitar - stripped down, classic, country. Aside from country, this might not seem like Garth’s style, but if you think about it, it makes sense. Garth has already done some of the largest shows with the most over-the-top productions for the biggest crowds. So you come out of retirement, and where do you go from there? Nine years later, you’re unlikely to top yourself again, one would think. But strip it down to the basics, to your roots, raw talent, for an honest, intimate performance – there’s potential there.
Brooks’ performances are said to be geared toward his roots and influences. Some lucky fans may have already seen a sneak peek of what’s to come… Garth referred to some previous shows where crowds outlasted the set list for a show and wanted more. Never the one to let down a crowd, Brooks would head back out on stage and perform some of his favorite songs impromptu, obviously without the big production because one wasn’t planned. That’s the type of show that’s expected at the Wynn; Garth performing a mix of his own hits along with some from artists that made a mark on him, including the likes of Bob Seger, Cat Stevens, Tom Rush, Merle Haggard and George Jones. Some country influences you might expect and some that might surprise you.
While the show is being described as simple and stripped-down, it wouldn’t be Vegas without some extravagance. Appears plans are in place for a huge animated frog perched atop a video screen over the Wynn’s Lake of Dreams. Of course the frog will be decked in boots and black hat singing what else but, ”I’ve Got Friends in Low Places.” The first performance for Garth Brooks will be Friday, December 11, 2009 at the Encore Theatre at the Wynn. Tickets are scheduled to go on sale Satruday, October 24, 2009 at 8am PT.