Garth Brooks: Hell, Yeah, He’s Still Nervous

Busy Backstage Agenda Assuages Fears

Thirty years. That’s how long Garth Brooks has been playing live, starting with his hometown shows in Oklahoma when he was in his early 20s.

But he still gets a little nervous.

In a recent press conference about his upcoming New York City show, Brooks told reporters that before every show, he still does what he’s always done: stay busy.

“You don’t want to be ready too early, to where you are just sitting around,” Brooks explained about his pre-show ritual. “So you try to book your backstage things right up to the second when you go out on stage, so you don’t have to get nervous.”

That lack of any downtime backstage keeps his anxiety at bay.

“Hell, yeah, I still get nervous,” he said of the nightmares he has that the crowd is walking out in the middle of his show. “That’s fun part of it. You have those natural fears.”

“The more you just go from hectic to being thrown out on the stage,” he said, “the more you feel at home.”

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