Garth Brooks talks coming out of retirement ahead of Louisville concerts

Garth Brooks hits the stage in Louisville

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Thousands of people made their way to the KFC Yum! Center Friday as Country singer Garth Brooks performed back-to-back concerts.

Brooks ended his 14 year retirement to go on tour again - his concerts have already broken 30 attendance records.

"For an old man, that is pretty good," Brooks said.

Brooks admitted he was nervous coming back into the limelight after focusing on his family, but he's grateful for parts of the industry that never seem to change.

"It is the same band and crew. I look to my right and Jimmy Mattingly was here last time I was in Kentucky. Jimmy Mattingly is here tonight He is going to be there every time," he said.

Hours before his Friday night show, Brooks wore a hooded sweatshirt in honor of the late Merle Haggard.

"So, it just seems logical to wear it today," he said. "I think Haggard is the reason why all of us are here. Jones has the greatest voice to ever grace country music. Haggard is the greatest male artist to ever grace country music. I wore this sweatshirt the day Jones passed away too."

Brooks saluted Haggard during Friday night's concerts, two back-to-back shows that he said he laughs his way through thanks to the crowds that help give his voice a break.

"But, the people that come here to see us just make you feel like your family. So, you'll embarrass yourself in front of them and they'll forgive you, it's pretty cool," he said.

Priding himself as an entertainer, at 54 years old Brooks admitted it's not as easy as it once was, but said his technique will never change.

"I was lucky enough to get to dabble in the singer song writer world and lucky enough to get to dabble in the entertainment world. So, I feel comfortable in both. But I tell you what, if I was entertaining a crowd that wasn't here for Garth Brooks, I wouldn't feel comfortable," he said.

Which explains why Brooks didn't have an opening act tonight at his concert.

He said 48 percent of ticket buyers on Ticketmaster for this tour, were 10 years old or younger last time he performed in Louisville.

It was 19 years ago when Garth Brooks performed at Freedom Hall.

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