Garth Brooks to Kick Off Tour in Chicago

He Tells Fan Andy Roberts, "Hey, Buddy, This Is Garth"

As promised, Garth Brooks called Andy Roberts on Monday (July 14). And then, Roberts called me and others to talk about the conversation.

So as of right now, here’s what we know about Brooks’ comeback tour: It will kick off in Chicago.

That’s all Roberts got out of him in a 10-minute phone conversation. So I asked Roberts if they didn’t talk venues and dates, what did they talk about?

“He just said, ‘Hey, buddy, this is Garth. I know we haven’t talked in a while.’ Then he told me how excited he was to do this, and I told him how much I appreciate being part of it,” Roberts told me.

“When I first heard his voice, my heart was pounding. But the more we talked, the more laid-back I got,” Roberts said of their chat.

Brooks didn’t say why he was choosing Chicago to kick off the tour. But I have my theories. I think he just misses the city. His last show here was almost 17 years ago — on Dec. 19, 1997. And the tickets for that string of shows went fast. He sold 139,000 tickets in less than four hours for his eight sold-out shows.

If Brooks wants to play that same arena he sold out in 1997, there are a couple of weeks open on the venue’s calendar in early September.

Roberts, as you may recall, was at one of Brooks’ Las Vegas shows in January and asked when and where his tour would kick off. Brooks told Roberts that as soon as he knew, he’d call him. Now that Brooks has made good on that promise, I wonder if he’ll leave Roberts a few backstage passes for that first show in Chicago.

In other Garth news — and there will no doubt be plenty of that in the days to come — Brooks also announced Monday he will definitely not be performing in Ireland anytime soon. City officials in Dublin refused to issue a license for the final two performances of a five-night stand at Croke Park stadium later this month. Even after the concert promoter announced that all five shows were canceled, fans held out hope for a resolution to the problem.

“I just received the news the Dublin City Council cannot change their earlier ruling to not allow the licenses for all five shows,” Brooks said in a written statement. “To say I am crushed is an understatement. All I see is my mother’s face and I hear her voice. She always said things happen for a reason and for the right reason. As hard as I try, I cannot see the light on this one. So it is with a broken heart, I announce the ticket refunds for the event will go as posted by Ticketmaster.”

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.