CHICAGO -- Just hours before taking the stage to kick off his worldwide comeback tour, Garth Brooks rounded up local and national media for a press conference to talk about his own expectations of the opening night.
He says his expectations are low for Thursday's (Sept. 4) show at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois.
"The crowd's very sweet here. Hopefully, they'll be very forgiving, because tonight's show's gonna suck. Trust me, man, you want this show to be the worst show of the tour. Because you want it to get better every night," he laughed. "There's a lot of moving parts to the tour, and we're all old and slow. It's a work in progress."
As Brooks, 52, held court during the press gathering at the arena, he talked about how the band backing him is the same one he's had for years.
"It's the official Wheelchair and Walker tour. Same guys as we had the last time we played here. The guy who has been with us the shortest? This is his 19th year," he said. "During rehearsals, I was going down the steps, and I was like, 'Damn, I feel like I was just doing this last week.' But it was 14 years ago."
Fourteen years, but for Brooks, in some ways it has felt like it's been much, much longer.
"It's been a thousand years. The greatest gift I ever received in my life are my children. The second greatest gift I ever received in my life was the time to get to raise them," he said of his years spent off the road raising his three daughters. "You're looking at the luckiest, most blessed guy on the planet."