Brooks goes solo in Vegas
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Brooks goes solo in Vegas

Thursday, October 15, 2009 – Garth Brooks is abandoning retirement to play Vegas solo for 15 weeks per year for the next 5 years starting in December.

Brooks made the announcement during an afternoon press conference at Wynn Resorts in Las Vegas. Brooks will play one show on Fridays, two on Saturdays and one on Sunday at the Encore Theatre. There will be one price for tickets - $125.

Tickets will go on sale Oct. 24 for the first 5 weekends - Dec. 11-13, Jan. 1-3 and 22-24 and Feb. 12-14 and 26-28. Shows are expected to be about 90 minutes with occasional special guest performers.

"It's a one-man show, so there's going to be a lot of disappointment after that first weekend," he joked. "Coming out and just playing - just me and a guitar - takes me back to the first days I got to play. I was lucky enough to do a place called Wild Willie's Saloon in Stillwater, Okla. before I moved to Nashville and started touring. That's what this is going to be for me. It's a chance to slowly get back into it to see what people like, what they don't like. It's going to be very intimate."

"I'm always in buildings that are built for sports," he said. "I love sports, and I feel lucky to have arenas and stadiums. But I've never played in a place built for sound like this. When I hear myself, I go, 'Who the hell is that?' It's a beautiful hall."

Tickets will go on sale quarterly as Brooks' schedule for that quarter is known. Wynn Hotel head Steve Wynn said he bought a jet to transport Brooks between Las Vegas and his Oklahoma residence each Friday and Sunday.

The idea for the concert series began with conversations between Brooks and Wynn. The singer performed an informal show for Wynn's friends and guests. Wynn then asked Brooks about the idea of an extended engagement.

"He said it was something he thought people should hear," Brooks said. "That was sweet. I told him he couldn't afford me." He then said, "I was wrong."

Measures will be taken to deter scalping of the tickets.

Brooks announced his retirement in 2001 to spend more time with his three daughters. His youngest daughter is now 13. Brooks has performed in Los Angeles and Kansas City since 2000, but only a handful of dates.

"I am a fortunate guy that has got to live his life playing music for people, and the people have always taken care of me," Brooks said. "In 2001, I announced my retirement to go home and raise our kids in Oklahoma. When Steve Wynn approached me about playing, he did something different than anybody else had. He didn't throw money at me."

"Every argument you ever had of why you didn't do this, he had an answer for," he said.

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