When asked what concert goers can expect from Thursday night’s two sold-out shows at the California Mid-State Fair, country superstar Garth Brooks had one word: “Chaos.”
“Don’t expect too much, that way you won’t be disappointed,” Brooks joked in a pre-show interview Thursday afternoon. “It’ll be loud, I can tell you that.”
It will be Brooks’ first time performing at the Mid-State Fair, though wife Trisha Yearwood, also performing Thursday night, has previously played at the fair three times before — headlining in 1995 and 1997 and opening for Don Henley in 2002.
Both said they were excited to be returning to a fair format after spending most of their time performing in traditional concert arenas in recent years.
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“It’s almost like with an arena you don’t ever know what you are walking out to,” Yearwood said. “With a fair, you have a good idea of what’s out there, and everybody’s had fun all day. Maybe they are hot. Maybe they are tired. Maybe they’ve had too much funnel cake, whatever, but they are there and they are ready and excited. There’s an energy that’s already out there before you get to bring your energy and hopefully be a part of that.”
Brooks had a simpler explanation.
“A fair is probably the best way to see us because it’s just going to be fun,” he said.
The duo of concerts shattered the Mid-State Fair’s previous ticket sale records in June, when both performances sold out in less than 30 seconds. Though fair officials later said most of the tickets to the first show were sold locally, some questioned the speed at which the tickets were snapped up, claiming automated bots and second-hand sellers had played a part.
“There was a lot of frustration here with the tickets, so you want the people who got in here to hopefully forget about that, and come in and have fun,” Brooks said. “I wish there was some way we could take care of the people that couldn’t get tickets because they were the ones on the other side of the frustration.”
Despite the frustration, Brooks said he hopes people will bring their “A game” tonight.
“The most favorite thing you can do for this artist is bring your voice,” he said. “Just let it out, let it rip.”