Garth Brooks didn’t have to think too outside the box when the coronavirus pandemic shut down his concerts.
The country superstar had a regular livestreaming series on Facebook. But his Monday night conversations inside Studio G — sometimes a room inside his house or wherever Brooks wants it to be — seem made for times of crisis. Brooks has met viewers there each week to talk about quarantining, celebrate George Strait’s birthday, play a few songs and offer a soothing or funny or uplifting word.
His 15-minute videos also make fans feel sane. As one Twitter user wrote, “In this period of confinement, I say thank you to Garth Brooks ‘cause I finally know what day of the week it is: It’s #AskGarth Monday.’”
We know Brooks as one of the music industry’s top entertainers. Maybe it should be no surprise he’s seemingly going the extra mile even when he can’t play arenas and stadiums like usual.
In the past month or so, he performed an online concert from the Grand Ole Opry and another one for CBS. He covered two Strait songs for the viral Deep Cuts Challenge, which has country stars nominating each other to cover their favorite songs. He even made time to go offline for a quarantine date night with his wife, Trisha Yearwood.
On top of all that, Brooks is about to make history. His Saturday concert airing at over 300 drive-in theaters will be the largest one-night concert to play outdoor theaters across the U.S. and Canada.
While other artists have stuck to virtual concerts to follow social-distancing guidelines, Brooks is going bigger.
Days before Brooks’ drive-in concert announcement, I happened to watch his two-part documentary that dropped on Netflix. It shows a man who goes big in every way.
His rise to fame was shockingly fast, and he broke record after record in the music and touring industry. He’s a man who cries instantly when he thinks about his mother and who abruptly left his music career to focus on being a father. He has a bit of humble wisdom and a story for every good or bad thing that’s happened to him. And he tells stories almost like a preacher.
When Brooks started out, everyone was so confused about how a cowboy hat-wearing guy from Oklahoma could out-chart pop singers.
His universal appeal is strong as ever. Even my friends who hate country music know “Friends in Low Places.”
And that’s what people are clinging onto. His online concerts and conversations are bright spots. I’m betting his unprecedented drive-in concert will be a big bright spot, too.
Fans have told him they’ve been listening to “The Change” and “We Shall Be Free” when they need an uplifting tune.
Last week, Brooks added another one to the mix. He released a new song as an answer to how he feels “about what is going on in the world right now.”
Called “We Belong to Each Other,” the song is an anthem for unity. “We belong to each other,” Brooks sings in the chorus. “We are sister and brother. Born to love one another.”
He always knows just what to say.