A few hours before Thursday night’s kickoff of his three-night concert run at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Garth Brooks -- dressed in faded jeans, running shoes and a gray hoodie emblazoned with a shout-out to his wife’s Food Network cooking show -- exuded all the relaxed confidence of a man who has played to sold-out arenas from coast to coast.
But Brooks soon revealed, in his warm, exceedingly polite way, that when the idea of a tour first arose, after nearly two decades of retirement, he worried that the opposite might be true: Would he be ignored?
"I said, 'Oh, that’d be great, but do you think the people would show up?'" Brooks said. "I was scared to death. It's been pretty cool that they have so far."
Brooks promised a set list filled with the songs fans remember from his 1996 Miami Arena concerts, and he looks in good enough shape to handle the manic stage antics he used to pull off. But one advantage of the passage of time, he said, is all the new stage technology.
"I'll tell you what, you know that whole work smarter, not harder thing? You’ll see now the stage does a lot of the moving for you," Brooks said, with a laugh.