by John Freeman, reposted from Rolling Stone (here)
On August 7th, 1997, Garth Brooks set one of his many career records when he gave a free concert in New York City’s Central Park and drew nearly 1 million people — the largest crowd in park history — to the scene. The performance was filmed for live broadcast on HBO and later packaged in Brooks’ 2006 The Entertainer box set.
That was the last time he played a solo show in New York City. But that will change on Saturday, July 9th, when the entertainer brings his Garth Brooks World Tour to Yankee Stadium. He’ll be joined there by his wife Trisha Yearwood, who has supported the singer on all stops of the ever-expanding tour to date. It will also be the first country music event ever at Yankee Stadium. Tickets go on sale May 20th.
Though it will mark the first time in nearly 20 years Brooks has headlined in New York, he was also present for another historic performance in 2008. Just before it was demolished, legendary Shea Stadium played host to two nights of shows from Billy Joel that were collected for the CD and DVD Live at Shea Stadium. Brooks joined Joel to perform “Shameless,” which he had recorded for 1991’s Ropin’ the Wind two years after it appeared on Joel’s Storm Front. Additional guests who joined Joel for the show include Tony Bennett, Steven Tyler, Paul McCartney and Roger Daltrey.
This weekend, Brooks’ tour will play four shows in Grand Rapids, Michigan. One month later, he’ll play a series of shows in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, the same weekend CMA Music Festival hits Nashville.