Garth Brooks will come out of retirement with a solo acoustic show to begin Dec. 11 at the Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas. Brooks and Steve Wynn, chairman of the board and CEO of Wynn Resorts, revealed the series of special engagements during a Thursday afternoon (Oct. 15) press conference at the hotel and casino in Las Vegas.
Brooks will be performing one show on Fridays, two on Saturdays and one on Sunday. Wynn is providing a private jet for Brooks to commute from his Oklahoma home where he lives with his three daughters and his wife, singer Trisha Yearwood. The five-year deal calls for Brooks to perform only during specific weeks each year to be announced on a quarterly basis. Tickets are priced at $125 and will go on sale Oct. 24 for the first five weekends. The specific dates are Dec. 11-13, Jan. 1-3 and 22-24 and Feb. 12-14 and 26-28.
Brooks has only played a handful of concerts since retiring in 2001. His engagement at Wynn Las Vegas evolved from a series of conversations he had with Wynn. He eventually performed an informal concert in the theater for several of Wynn's friends and special guests, including Bette Midler. Afterwards, Wynn broached the possibility of Brooks performing an extended engagement.
"He said it was something he thought people should hear," Brooks said. "That was sweet. I told him he couldn't afford me." He then added, "I was wrong."
Brooks reiterated his desire to spend as much time as possible with his daughters, who are now aged 13, 15 and 17.
"I am a fortunate guy that has got to live his life playing music for people, and the people have always taken care of me," he said. "In 2001, I announced my retirement to go home and raise our kids in Oklahoma. When Steve Wynn approached me about playing, he did something different than anybody else had. He didn't throw money at me."
Instead, Brooks said, Wynn understood the desire to devote time to his family.
"Every argument you ever had of why you didn't do this, he had an answer for," he said.
Brooks concerts are expected to run 90 minutes and will occasionally include special guest performers.
"It's a one-man show, so there's going to be a lot of disappointment after that first weekend," he joked. "Coming out and just playing -- just me and a guitar -- takes me back to the first days I got to play. I was lucky enough to do a place called Wild Willie's Saloon in Stillwater, Okla, before I moved to Nashville and started touring. That's what this is going to be for me. It's a chance to slowly get back into it to see what people like, what they don't like. It's going to be very intimate."
Brooks says he's especially looking forward to performing regularly at the Encore Theater.
"I'm always in buildings that are built for sports," he said. "I love sports, and I feel lucky to have arenas and stadiums. But I've never played in a place built for sound like this. When I hear myself, I go, 'Who the hell is that?' It's a beautiful hall."