Garth Brooks Says He’s Happy to Influence Younger Artists
Garth Brooks changed the face of country music when he exploded onto the scene in the early '90s. The rock concert effects that Brooks used in his live shows, including fire and massive lighting rigs, paved the way for country artists to become some of the overall biggest-selling live acts. But while the Oklahoma native may have been one of the very first to introduce such detailed production, he is happy that others followed suit.
"I think this happens to all old guys in any business," Brooks told The Boot and other media before his recent concerts in Buffalo, N.Y. "Soon they're going to start looking to you and going, 'Hey, did you notice somebody's doing what you did when you were a kid? And my only answer to that is, if you've ever seen a Garth Brooks show, and you saw a Chris LeDoux show, you would have said, 'Garth Brooks stole his show from Chris LeDoux,' and they'd be right. And Chris stole it from somebody else, and it goes on and on."
In fact, one of the highlights of Brooks' current World Tour comes from a concert he saw more than 35 years ago.
"My early influences as a kid, one of the groups was Queen. My high school sweetheart surprised me with tickets to go see Queen. I think I was 17, and I think in the 13th row," he explains. "There was a place -- this is funny -- where Brian May, the guitar player, comes out, fans start blowing with the long hair, and this piece of light rig comes down. The crowd's going crazy.
"Watch the opening number [at my shows]. That's where it's from -- something from Queen," Brooks continues. "So, those influences never go away."
Much of the music industry has changed over the last two decades -- and not entirely in a good way -- but the singer remains optimistic about the future of country music.
"Tail's wagging the dog right now. Very much. Technology is king. When I left this business in the '90s, content was king, but the truth is, content is always king," Brooks says. "They might be able to put curtains in front of it, but content will always be king, because technology right now is wagging the dog, but technology is dying for content. And, where content used to be king, great content is getting to be king now because there is so much content."
Brooks is continuing to break records as he sells out concerts on his World Tour, which also features his wife Trisha Yearwood. His upcoming tour dates includes stops in Denver, Colo., Sacramento, Calif., and Portland, Ore. An updated list of shows is available here.
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