Relax, Royals fans. Your team will be all right.
“You guys are gonna be fine,” Garth Brooks said at a Friday afternoon news conference inside Sprint Center, where he is playing five shows this weekend and two next week.
He implied that a Royals game might be in the cards, though it’s hard to imagine when he’d fit that in. His schedule: a show Friday night; shows Saturday afternoon and evening; and shows Sunday afternoon and evening.
“Kansas City is like the next big thing in the Midwest,” he said. “It’s Chicago all over again, with heart and soul. And common sense. Kansas City will grow but stay its very sweet self.”
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Brooks was joined by his wife, country singer Trisha Yearwood, who will also perform at all seven Kansas City shows.
A Georgia native who lived in Nashville for years before moving to Oklahoma, Yearwood said Kansas City “feels very familiar, like home.” Kansas City, she said, is where a lot of friends and family visit or move to, so this weekend, “we’ll spend time with friends and family.”
The two were asked what song they most liked to perform live. Brooks said “ ‘Callin’ Baton Rouge’ is my all-time favorite song to perform live. You’ll see. Just when you think … it can’t get any crazier, this song comes and there’s a whole ’nother level of the show. It’s so much fun.”
“This tour is different from anything I normally do,” Yearwood said. “My ‘Evening With Trisha’ is a lot different from this, so I try to find ways to … keep the energy going and not create a void for him to have to come back and fix. I’m not as high energy as he is. … For that reason, I think ‘How Do I Live’ is my favorite song to perform live in this tour because of the audience participation.
“I am shocked by the number of people who weren’t born when ‘She’s in Love With the Boy’ came out or ‘Friends in Low Places’ and how they all know all the words.”
Asked about the paucity of women artists on the album, singles and radio charts in country music, Yearwood said: “When we first started this tour three years ago, I’d put out an album called ‘PrizeFighter.’ It was the first album I’d put out in years. The questions were, ‘What do you think about the lack of women in country radio?’ I didn’t really know it was a thing, I’d been away so long. When I was in the middle of it all there were so many women on the radio.
“I think it’s an issue that’s part of life. Garth will say, ‘Women have to do twice the work for half the recognition’ and that’s just a fact. Most of the women I know in the music business, they don’t say that; they just work, they work harder.
“I think it’s a mistake to believe that with all the women listening to the radio that only men speak to women. Women want to hear men; they like that feeling. But they also want to hear women speak to them. I don’t know the answer except that I believe as women we have to keep making good records and keep putting it out there and push harder.”
Brooks’ response: “I think it’s bull----. There’s a view that women bring to life. Men, for some reason, use these way too soon (shakes fist) because we’re not as intelligent. … The worst thing that women can do now is try to jump on the guy thing, to try and go rogue and speak that way. The women of country music should stay patient. The music industry will get smarter.”
As she did 10 years ago, Yearwood will play a major part in Brooks’ shows, performing her own songs and performing with him. Brooks said the goal, lofty though it may be, is to exceed what happened here in 2007.
“Our job,” he said, “is to come here and have even more fun than we did last time.”
If you go
Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood at Sprint Center. 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 6; 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, May 7; 7 p.m. Friday, May 12, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 13. Sprint Center. 816-949-7100. sprintcenter.com. $74.98 in advance.