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Garth Brooks says he’s ‘over the moon’ to be back in Salt Lake, ready for Saturday’s show

(Garth Brooks, at a press conference at Rice-Eccles Stadium ahead of Saturday's show. Photo: Paul Nelson)

SALT LAKE CITY – Country legend Garth Brooks is set to greet 50,000 screaming fans at Rice-Eccles Stadium Saturday night, and the singer says he’s “over the moon” to be back. 

He wants to thank Utahns for showing an amazing level of support. 

Brooks’ crew has been in Salt Lake City for the past week, building the stage in the round and getting the rest of the stadium ready for show time.  He said the reception his workers have received has been amazing.

“It’s what you know when you come here.  Every time, it’s just polite, sweet people,” he said.

The singer admits, he feels a lot of pressure being the first artist to perform in stadiums since the pandemic.  He said they want to ensure everyone stays safe while at the stadium, but he has missed performing in front of crowds, desperately.  Brooks said playing in smaller arenas and private venues can be wonderful, but there’s something very different about playing in a large stadium.

“That’s what I love about the stadium shows.  Hearing 50,000 people sing ‘The River’ as opposed to 13,000 people in an arena singing it, it’ll just go somewhere in your bones like you’ve never felt,” Brooks said.

He has one regret, though.  He wishes they had added a second date in Salt Lake City since so many people in line weren’t able to buy tickets before they sold out.  Brooks says 50,000 tickets sold out in 30 minutes, setting a Ticketmaster record.  He believes Salt Lake City sent a message to the world that people are ready to take part in large events, again.  Brooks says more than a dozen other artists announced tours after seeing tickets sell so quickly.

“It’s fun to roll into cities like this and see that you have things that compete on a national or global level with anybody else.  At the same time, it’s damn good people.  That’s what makes it fun,” he said.

However, he warns concert-goers that the show might not start exactly on time.  They don’t want people baking in the heat at Rice-Eccles Stadium while waiting for the show, so Brooks said the start time might get pushed back until temperatures go down.  Brooks said the production staff will keep a close watch on how many people arrive at the stadium to determine when they should open the doors.

(I told him that “Utah Standard Time” was always late, anyway.)

He said, “I like ‘Utah Standard Time.’  It sounds like ‘Musician Standard Time.’  I like the thought.”

Brooks was asked if his wife, Trisha Yearwood, would also be performing.  He said, unfortunately, she will be filming episodes of her cooking show and won’t sing in Salt Lake City this weekend.  He jokingly explained that the difference between a Garth Brooks concert and a Trisha Yearwood concert is that, at a Trisha concert, nobody asks, “Where’s Garth?”

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