Country music superstar Garth Brooks is heading back to Edmonton next month as part of The Garth Brooks Stadium Tour.
Brooks, one of the biggest selling musicians of all time, launched the tour in 2019 playing a sold out Mosaic Stadium in Regina, Sask., in August of that year on the tour’s first Canadian stop.
The concert at Commonwealth Stadium on June 25 will be the tour’s only other Canadian venue where the 60-year-old will perform.
Brooks has a fond relationship with Edmonton having played nine sold-out shows at Rogers Place in 2017 with about 160,000 people attending those shows in the city.
Brooks reminisced about his concerts with CBC’s Edmonton AM Thursday. Here is an excerpt from the interview. Answers have been edited for clarity.
Edmonton AM: Those nine straight sold-out shows at Rogers Place. What was that feeling like?
Garth Brooks: You never forget that. It’s one of those feelings, you think somebody is pulling your leg.
First of all, when they call you and say, ‘Hey, you’re doing nine nights out,’ and you’re like, ‘Yeah, right!’ And then when people show up and then the crazy thing for people who remember that show, each night just kept getting louder and longer and it’s like, ‘You gotta be kidding me’.
A.M: Can you remember the first show you ever did in a stadium?
GB: yeah. The reason why it took us so long to get there, you think, common sense as an entertainer. You’re going well, stadiums are going to be far away, they’re going to be distant, they’re going to be cold. oh man. Nothing but the opposite.
I had tens of thousands of people last week. It was 100,000 people singing river. It’ll make you cry. You’re sitting there, you’re a grown man, you’re a professional, and you find yourself weeping at this because it’s one of those things I don’t know… in our country, and I don’t know how it is with you guys, we’re probably more divided than we’ve ever been.
But for that moment in time, people are standing next to people they would never talk to, singing the exact same lyrics. That’s a beautiful thing, man, and a much needed thing for me as a human being to get to sit and watch, too.
A.M: Your show in Louisiana last Saturday in front of 102,000 people registered as a small earthquake. Did you hear that news? What did you think about it?
GB: Yeah, we heard that news. It’s pretty good. They called it the ‘Garth Quake of ’22’, which is pretty cool. We’ve never had a Garth quake before. But I got to tell you, man, I’ll put Edmonton up against Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I think they’re kind of the same city. They do everything very passionately. And I’m not from Baton Rouge either, but just like Edmonton, for some reason, people have taken me in so I feel very lucky for the opportunity that’s about to happen.
A.M: What are the chances you’ll add more shows to your Edmonton stop if it sells out?
GB: I can’t imagine it because it’s a stadium, right? Right. No, let me restate, it’s a frickin’ stadium! And we play in the round. So it’s not like they partition the stadium off. That’s why we kind of were lucky enough to get records where we go because we use every seat in the house. These are big facilities. I can’t imagine. But, you know, I didn’t imagine the nine nights last time. But my thing is just I’ll feel lucky if somebody shows up and all you are looking for sincerity in the crowd. I think the same way. All they’re looking for from their artist is sincerity.
A.M: We’ve had all these banners in the arena from the Oilers, we’ve got from the Oil Kings and then they put up a banner for you. Have you’ve ever had a banner in an arena before?
GB: I have been lucky enough to. And trust me, you know, the honor of it. You know, when it’s being raised, you cry. You see all these great athletes in time sit there and cry when their banners go at me go, ‘Wow, I wonder why they’re doing that’. And then when they start to raise that banner and you start to see your name go up with other names that you think are history, you start weeping like a kid. And it’s pretty cool.
So we’re lucky to have banners in an arena. And trust me, it is never, ever taken for granted what that means.