Garth Brooks: Iowans 'treat ya like family’
Country music singer Garth Brooks talks about playing in Iowa during a news conference on Friday, April 29, 2016, in Des Moines.
Garth Brooks has landed in Des Moines.
Hours before his first show in Des Moines in more than two decades, Brooks addressed media at the Iowa Events Center downtown. He discussed topics ranging from the number of tickets sold to his six show residency in Iowa’s capital city — roughly 90,000 — to his thoughts on the Chicago Cubs’ chances of winning the World Series this baseball season.
“I was stunned,” Brooks told the Register when asked his thoughts on the ticket sales. “When they called me 10 minutes into the on-sale and said ‘You’re not gonna believe how many people we have in the queue…’ I was sittin’ there, thinkin’, ‘In Iowa?’ ”
The six shows from the Oklahoma native are scheduled to run Friday through Tuesday at Wells Fargo Arena. Tonight is the first of 16 shows in 17 days for the country star. The tour leaves Des Moines and heads to Fargo, N.D., for a series of shows.
TWEETS: Get ready for #GarthInDesMoines
Brooks previously played Des Moines at the Iowa State Fair Grandstand multiple times in the 1990s. What he said he recalls about those shows most is the people of Iowa.
“You just remember the people … that’s the whole thing,” he said. “They treat ya like family. This is the place to play, man.”
Packing more than 90,000 people into Wells Fargo Arena will prove to be both an attendance record for the arena and a sales record in Iowa for Brooks. He previously sold about 42,000 tickets to a multi-night residency in Ames in 1996.
“This is good,” he told the Register. “(The fans) have set the attitude for the weekend and we’ve come here to respond. This is gonna be good.”
Brooks is set to appear twice at the arena on Friday and Saturday and once on Sunday and Tuesday. His wife and Grammy Award-winning country star Trisha Yearwood is scheduled to also appear during the performances.
Having played Iowa in the past, Yearwood said she’s excited to be back and to play Wells Fargo Arena for the first time.
“The ‘Trisha’ tour, when I’m doing my own thing, is usually theaters or casinos … smaller venues,” she said. “What I’ve enjoyed about this tour is (it’s an) arena tour. To get to do it with him is awesome.”
During a news conference prior to Friday’s back-to-back scheduled performances, Brooks and Yearwood fielded questions ranging from their thoughts on cell phones and shows to if they think this is the Chicago Cubs’ year to win the World Series.
Fun fact: Brooks competed in the Drake Relays, which are taking place this weekend at Drake University, in the '80s. He tossed the javelin for Oklahoma State University.
He referred to his time being on a team as ‘great memories.’
“I think one of the greatest established sports ever (is) the Drake Relays,” he said.
What’s he think of the Cubs’ odds to finally win it all?
“I’ll be honest with ya’, I’m pullin’ for the Cubs … I really am,” he said. “My best buddy’s skipper for the Sox, right across town, (and) I’m pulling for him, too. I would like to see it happen in my lifetime.”
Brooks called returning to Iowa as being "full-circle."
“It’s funny how things come full-circle,” he said in the press conference. “The first time I ever left the state of Oklahoma was in Iowa … It’s cool to come full-circle.”
Country music singer Trisha Yearwood talks about her tour and getting to play with her husband Garth Brooks during a news conference on Friday, April 29, 2016, in Des Moines.