NASHVILLE – It’s been well documented that many, many, many fans who attended Garth Brooks’ Oct. 12 concert at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the inaugural music event at the venue, were disappointed and angry about problematic sound.
When asked on the red carpet at Wednesday’s Country Music Association Awards if he had been made aware of the issues following his sold-out show, Brooks’ eyes grew wide and he reached his hand out to my arm in incredulity.
“No!” he said, emphatically. “I’m a little confused (because) I have never heard a crowd sing more. A sound problem means they can’t hear you and they were singing every word. That shocks me. I thought the crowd was awesome. I loved the venue, I loved the crowd. Playing Atlanta, though, you could play a field and it’s still great.”
Brooks was rushing to get inside Bridgestone Arena for the ceremony (he stood in the same security/metal detector line behind me, patiently waiting his turn), but also took a few seconds to talk about the special moment at the Atlanta show – when former president Jimmy Carter appeared to present Brooks’ wife, Trisha Yearwood, with a proclamation.
“She loves him to death, he loves her – he calls her his second favorite Georgia peach,” Brooks said with a smile. “But any time he shows up to honor her, she cries like a baby because that’s what she was raised on. He loves her to death and like anybody, you want to see somebody around the people you love to death who loves them to death as well.”
Backstage after the CMA Awards, where Brooks claimed another entertainer of the year trophy, he talked about nearing the end of a multi-year world tour next month and his plans following those final shows in Nashville.
“Christmas, sleep. New Year’s Eve, sleep. I just think we’re all going to sleep for awhile,” he said. “We’re all exhausted, but at the same time you’re having the best time of your life and don’t want it to end.”