Garth Brooks to 6abc: Philly knows its country music

ByDigital Producer Brock Koller WPVI logo
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Garth Brooks returning to Philadelphia
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Garth Brooks speaks to 6abc about his return to Philadelphia.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Garth Brooks, the 2016 CMA Entertainer of the Year, is returning to Philadelphia for the first time since 2001.

Tickets to three of his Wells Fargo Center shows sold out, so they added a fourth.

Tickets for the Sunday, March 26 7 p.m. concert go on sale on Thursday.

He last toured in Philadelphia in 1998 and then sang at the Welcome America celebration on July 4, 2001.

Garth sat down with on Wednesday to speak about his upcoming performances, his memories of Philly, his foundation, his wife, and his love of country music. Garth Brooks, it's been too long!

Garth: It has. Thank you for the gift of letting me be a dad and raise my kids. I didn't think there was a greater gift than that, then all of a sudden, you let me do this again, once all the babies were gone, so this has been a wonderful ride so far. Yes, you are coming back in Philadelphia. Do you have any memories of your last time here in Philly, I don't want to say back in the day, but - back in the day - in the late 90s and early 2000s? You sold out six shows back in 1998 and were presented with Philadelphia Flyers jerseys and a miniature Liberty Bell!

Country entertainers Trisha Yearwood, left, and Garth Brooks, right, join Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell on the stage on Tuesday, Sept. 8, 1998.
AP Photo/Chris Gardner

Garth: Everyone asks. Where have you been for 17, 18 years? Well, every city we have gone to on this tour, it's been 17 or 18 years, that's how long it's been since we toured.

Sure, you remember Philadelphia. That's why we're coming back. I got to wear the [Eric] Lindros jersey and it was pretty awesome. A lot of great pictures from there. So that's pretty much been our history, we were taping the live album at that time. We're coming back. The same group. The same guys. And we know what Philly can do. So we're coming back to get some more of that. Should be fun. So it was announced you would be coming for three shows at the Wells Fargo Center - Friday March 24 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, March 25 at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. But then they sold out and you had to announce another day! Now, you'll be performing four shows with the final performance on Sunday, March 26 at 7 p.m. What was your reaction when you heard Philly needed more Garth?

Garth: Philly gets a reputation for not being a country music town, but, trust me, this town knows its country music very, very well. They are the sweetest people to play for and they sing, sing, sing. So we've come back there. It doesn't matter if it's a Friday, Saturday, or now a Sunday, it's going to be like a wild Saturday night every night. It's going to be way too loud. It's going to be way too fun. I'm just telling you right now, if you're coming, bring your helmet, because it's going to be that kind of night.

WATCH: Garth Brooks on his memories of Philadelphia and why he's returning to the city On your Facebook show Inside Studio G, you said, "I love Philly, it's a party city for me." We know how to have fun in Philly. I think you'll agree with that.

Garth: You guys know how to do it. What I love is to just add music. And that's it. The sooner you can turn anything from a concert into a party, the better it all gets. Trust me, in Philly, that's not going to take 30 seconds. As soon as this thing starts, it's going to be a party. I'm going to go as long as they do and we're going to see who outlasts whom. I can guarantee Philly will give you a run for your money. We love our concerts.

Garth: I like it. (laughs) I welcome the challenge. To get your fans pumped up for the ticket sales, the Wells Fargo Center is asking fans put on their cowboy hats and share their pictures using #GarthinPhilly and "get their Garth on." Garth, how do you suggest someone to "get their Garth on?"

Garth: I don't know, man. If you're going to get your Garth on, it means you're going to love somebody, for sure. Post pictures of being kind to people. Loving one another. Unite. That's what "getting your Garth on" is about. If you have a cowboy hat on or not, that doesn't matter for us. We just play music and love to see the faces in the crowd. Hopefully, the more diverse that crowd is the more joyous we'll all be and reveling in our differences, loving one another set to music, which is a night for us, and we like as many of those nights as we can get. Everyone can connect with music. It's been called the universal language.

Garth: I think so. We just all watched the Grammys. It doesn't matter if you're a country fan, pop fan, rap fan, all that stuff is so entertaining because the artists are on such a tremendous level. That's kind of like this thing. If you've never been to a country concert - get ready! These things are crazy. And if you've been to a Garth show, get ready again. Because turning into the last year, these last few cities on the North American tour, there's an urgency and excitement like I've never seen before in my career. These are making for some really fun nights on this tour in 2017. Well, you are not coming alone to Philly. You're on tour with your wife, Trisha Yearwood. What's it like to be on tour with the love your life?

Garth Brooks, left, and Trisha Yearwood perform at the 50th annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn.
Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

Garth: What's it like to tour with the love of your life? What's it like to wake up with the love of your life? To spend every second with her? It's fantastic. The fact that she has more Grammys than I do in the house means she wears the pants in the house and she is the bomb. If you like her and have never seen her, you're going to love her. If you love her already and never seen her, get ready, cause she's going to take it to a different level. It's pretty cool being Mr. Yearwood. At the CMAs this past year, co-host Brad Paisley joking called you that.

Garth: Yeah, man, everyone knows she's by far the talented of the couple. I just try to hang on. What a dream she is. You'll love her. Anyone who watches your wife's show on Food Network knows she's a great cook. And we see you every so often in the kitchen helping her out. So knowing that you guys are foodies, are you looking forward to partaking in our Philly delicacies - cheesesteaks, soft pretzels, and beyond?

Garth: Are you kidding? Look at me. Do I look like I miss food? I love it. We'll all be together. It's kind of like a sports team analogy we do on tour. So band, crew, the whole bunch all goes together. It's about 50 of us. For some reason, we all wear black. It's the only color we have, so we look like a black cloud going around your city. We're going to try everything out. We're going to do some sports, going to do some shopping. We're just looking forward to getting up there. You'll be here for a full weekend! You'll be able to immerse yourself in all of Philadelphia has to offer.

Garth: You guys have great sporting teams up there. We'll be doing a kids camp for the Teammates foundation which has athletes in baseball, football, basketball, hockey, the all majors, MLS, so they'll be getting together for the kids up there, too. We'll be getting a lot out up there. But truth is we kind of live in the arena and just enjoy our time in there.

WATCH: Garth Brooks on his Teammates for Kids foundation and the popularity of country music You mentioned your foundation, can you talk more about Teammates for Kids?

Garth: Other than being a child of God, a child of my mom and dad, married to the love my life and being a dad to three daughter, it's the most important thing I've ever done in my life. The foundation just takes care of children. That's what it does. It takes care of children's health, education, and inner-city outreach, since over 60-some-percent of our kids in this country are in the major cities. So it's pretty neat to get to be part of this with these athletes. It started with about 60 baseball players and over the years it's over 4,000 athletes strong in every major sport, including rodeo, NASCAR, PGA. Just sweet souls that want to help children. Men and women. I'm very lucky to be a teammate with them, put them all together, and they raise a lot of money for kids who need it. Like I said, probably the proudest work I've ever got to be part of. We also want to congratulate you on being the 2016 CMA Entertainer of the Year. Your fifth!

Garth Brooks accepts the award for entertainer of the year at the 50th annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn.
Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

Garth: They reminded me that night we won it on the 25th anniversary and we also won it on the 50th. So 25 years of getting to do this is a sweet gift from God and the people. I tell you, we are all very grateful. And we're looking forward to getting there, turning it up way too loud, and staying up way too late. That's what we do. It never gets old, right?

Garth: How can it? It should be illegal is what it should be. I'm hoping it stays legal as long as I get to do it. And we do have to wish a belated happy birthday, Garth.

Garth: Thank you very much. It was really cool. It was really sweet. All my babies checked in with me through text or came and hugged my neck. That's what it's all about. I got to spend the day with the queen. And all the birthday wishes I got from people that just mean the world to me. It seems to be the day they say what's on their heart and that makes for a great day. Every day of my life is kind of like that. I feel very lucky and spoiled, but thank you. It was a fun birthday. There's something about February 7th that it's just in the right place at the right time every year for me to get lifted up and it's going to take me through this year on wings. Thank you. And your birthday is very close to Valentine's Day. How'd you and Trisha celebrate?

Garth: We kind of stayed together all day. We ended up sleeping in a little bit. She cooked breakfast which was the only meal we needed all day long. We were thinking of going to dinner and a movie, but we knew everyone was doing that, so we stayed inside and watched a movie ourselves.

WATCH: Garth Brooks on touring with his wife, celebrating his birthday, and what he did on Valentine's Day One last thing, that night when you won CMA Entertainer of the Year you said, "We are so lucky to be part of this thing called country music." What is it about country music that resonates with so many people? That makes your shows sell out time after time?

Garth: I think it's the people involved with country music. From the people that show up in those seats, to people that play it, to the people that write it. There's something about country music that's just real which I love to death. That explains why we have the largest format, the largest and most loyal audience that's out there, because trust me, the ticket agencies are telling us half of that arena were the people who saw the tour before back in the 90s, the other half weren't even 10-years-old or born yet. It's pretty cool. You get two different generations, but the same sincerity runs through both of them and that's country music. That's what I love. It's going to go on forever and it'll be sincere forever. And the day it's not sincere, then country music will be over, but I don't see that day coming.

To celebrate Garth Brooks' arrival to Philadelphia, the Wells Fargo Center will be unveiling a giant 40x40 Garth Brooks banner Thursday.

Tickets for the fourth show (March 26 at 7 p.m.) will go on sale on Thursday at 10 a.m. at or 1-844-442-7842.