Garth Brooks is notorious for giving everything he’s got to deliver a high energy performance on some of the world’s biggest stages, but when Brooks reflected on the recent 25th anniversary of his performances at Central Park in New York City and Croke Park in Ireland, he decided to make a change.
Ahead of his return to Dublin, Ireland for five shows at Croke Park that started September 9, Brooks told the Irish Daily Mirror at the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) headquarters, “What happened was, weirdly, at the 25th anniversary of Croke Park and Central Park, and I was sitting there looking at it thinking everyone looks the same… what is wrong with your fat ass, here we go.”
“But try to remember, this is one of the things I’m going to give myself credit for. For 16 years, I was a soccer dad. Last on the list. And it takes awhile to get back to the artist feel. It has taken me eight years to get back to it. And I’m the same weight I was when we played here in ’97, that’s what I want.”
Brooks revealed he has dropped 50 pounds to be fit to run around the stage during his long-awaited five-night run at Croke Park. At 60 years old, Brooks proudly shared how he is the same weight now that he was when he played the venue for the first time in 1997 at age 35.
The “Friends in Low Places” singer, who is filming the historic stadium concerts in Ireland, added laughing, “This film is going to come. I lost 50lbs and the film is going to add that right back.”
He went on to emphasize that it’s not so much about how he looks, telling the Irish Daily Mirror, “What you want to do is set yourself up for the best chance of success. So, how do you get ahead of these people, hopefully they spend the first 30 seconds going ‘wow dude’ and now I’m ahead of them. But we just want to feel good.”
“You want to try to be as fit as you can. Because my job is to get to everyone in that stadium. And we have two and a half hours to get it done. So we will be moving a lot. And physically I wanted to not have that as an obstacle.”
Brooks shared photos from the massive first weekend of shows at Croke Park, with the caption: “When we sang The Dance together tonight, I realized… As great as 2014 could have been, it could not have held a candle to 2022 at Croke Park with YOU!! I LOVE IRELAND 🇮🇪 !!!!!! love, g #GARTHinIRELAND
On his downtime during the week, Brooks said he and his wife Trisha Yearwood would be embarking on a “second honeymoon” in Ireland.
“Well Miss Yearwood, we are going to try to use it as a second honeymoon, so we are just going to run around the place. But we are also filming this, so the cameras are coming with us.”
Mr. Brooks and Miss Yearwood were spotted enjoying a stroll through Glendalough, delighting fans in the region, with Visit Wicklow saying in a tweet: “Great to see Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood taking some time out to visit Glendalough while in Ireland. Welcome to Wicklow 💚 #Wicklow #Glendalough #garthbrooks #discoverireland Photo: OPW – Office of Public Works”
Great to see Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood taking some time out to visit Glendalough while in Ireland.
— Visit Wicklow (@visitwicklow) September 12, 2022
The Irish Daily Mirror reported that the couple were also spotted around Dublin, performing an impromptu singalong with fans at Portland Place. An enormous crowd formed around Brooks and started singing his hit ‘The Dance’ as he posed for pictures.
The mother of Gary Gannon, a local politician, was one of the fans lucky enough to meet her hero. Gannon shared footage of the surreal moment on Twitter, writing: “Cynical as you can be about the whole thing, Garth Brooks is currently having a sing song with me Ma and all the women of Portland Place in the playground and it is absolutely lovely.”
Cynical as you can be about the whole thing, Garth Brooks is currently having a sing song with me Ma and all the women of Portland Place in the playground & it is absolutely lovely.. ☺️ #GarthInIreland pic.twitter.com/kWxE4ocgfb
— Gary Gannon TD (@GaryGannonTD) September 10, 2022
The sold-out gigs will see 400,000 fans throughout the five-night run, which wraps up on September 16 and 17.