So many of today’s country artists were teenagers when Garth Brooks was in his hitmaking heyday. Which means that for a lot of them, Brooks was more than just their influence. He was their first concert.
David Nail was one of those teenagers.
He saw Brooks in 1992 in Arkansas when he was about 13 years old.
“My parents took us,” Nail told People magazine in their new country special issue. “I didn’t know a lot about him, and because I was in the heart of puberty and rebelling, I assumed it would be terrible. But it was truly an awe moment. I was hooked after that.”
And yet when the magazine asked Nail to name his best concert experience ever, the Brooks show wasn’t it. It was a much, much more recent one.
“Keith Urban in Nashville a couple of years ago,” he said. “Playing Nashville can be nerve-wracking because you know so many people in the crowd. But he totally killed it. I was extremely inspired.”
Other not-so-country music influences Nail talked about:
First album: Pearl Jam’s Ten because he thought he’d be cool if he listened to it.
Last album: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ The Heist because he feels like he’s watching a movie when he listens to it.
Album he can’t live without: Ryan Adams’ Gold because it’s genius.
Karaoke song: Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer” because everybody knows the chorus.
Rock out in the car song: Young MC’s “Bust a Move” because it takes him back to junior high.
I don’t listen to most of these other artists, but I can definitely hear the Urban and Brooks nuances that come through on Nail’s new album I’m a Fire.