As a music journalist, there's perhaps no greater feeling than meeting a couple of your longtime idols and discovering they're just as humble and down-to-Earth as you'd hoped they would be. After waiting 15 years for the country legend to bounce back from retirement, I had an idea of what to expect last night at Garth Brooks' and Trisha Yearwood's South Florida kickoff concert at BB&T Center, but I couldn't have guessed it would turn out like this.
After the preshow news conference, during which Brooks and Yearwood chatted comfortably in sweatshirts and jeans, individual press members were treated to a brief interview with each star. My hands shaking with excitement, I stood in line to interview Yearwood and then Brooks. After talking to Yearwood about healthy Southern food alternatives and charities, I made my way to her husband.
"Hi!" I said with a little too much enthusiasm approaching Brooks. If I was obnoxiously giddy, he made no mention of it and instead gave me a wide grin back. I immediately segued into my love for country: "I grew up listening to you and started listening to country thanks to my mom — she played 'Low Places' on repeat before dropping us off at school." At this point, I was full-on gushing. "Don't tell your wife," I continued in a faux low whisper, "but she wants to marry you."
Brooks laughed. "Well, if she's a Trisha Yearwood fan, we can work something out. I would love to meet your momma. How about this? Bring her backstage and we can chat."
I blinked, stunned. What?! Luckily, I regained consciousness, thanked Brooks, and continued with the interview. After speaking to one of his PR team members, I called my mother to cancel her dinner plans — we had bigger fish to fry.
Naturally, Mom was more than happy to skip out on dinner. After being led backstage, we sat down with Brooks and Yearwood. "Dr. Jones!" Brooks exclaimed upon meeting my mother. The fact he remembered my mom had a Ph.D. (of course, I teased him when he referred to her as "Ms." during our interview) only added to my love of him.
There was no security but instead only laughs, talk about healthy eating and Yearwood's cooking (she even left to grab
"Where did you get your tickets?" Brooks asked in between laughs. "Your PR person — they are great seats," I replied. And they were: floor seats, row K.
"Let me see if I can get you something better," said Brooks as he grabbed our tickets. He promptly returned with two tickets three rows back from the stage. Shocked, I thanked him profusely and, of course, accepted. After many hugs with Yearwood and Brooks, the Dave Grohl of country music, my mom and I were led out with huge grins and the giddiness of a young schoolgirl with a crush.
Natalya Jones is a food and music writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in entertainment and fun things to do in South Florida, follow her on Twitter.