The relatively small crowd gathered at Joe's on Weed Street in Chicago on Monday (July 15) witnessed a full-sized Garth Brooks experience, complete with a covers repertoire including The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's 1987 hit "Fishin' in the Dark."
The classic hit by country-rockers with a jug band past fits well with today's party anthems. That's why it gets name-dropped in Luke Bryan's recent single "Knockin' Boots" and incorporated into Brooks' cover song and medley repertoires. Like Brooks' own songs, it strikes the ideal balance between party-hearty singalongs and sentimental country songs about simpler times or places. Had the song been written a little later, it might've fit perfectly on Brooks' 1989 self-titled debut album.
Footage posted on YouTube by the US 99 radio station's Kenny Jay proves that a crowd of about 650, per the Chicago Sun-Times, thoroughly enjoyed the final song in a covers portion of the set, also featuring renditions of Randy Travis' "I Told You So" and Keith Whitley's "Don't Close Your Eyes."
The show kicked off Brooks' seven show Dive Bar Tour, with additional dates and cities to be selected by tour sponsor Seagram's and announced in those markets through local country radio stations.
The tour promotes Brooks' new single "Dive Bar," a duet with fellow Oklahoma native Blake Shelton. The tour and single come at a time when Brooks' three-year string of stadium shows has set attendance records in such major markets as Denver, St. Louis and Minneapolis. An upcoming stadium date of note, July 19 at Albertsons Stadium in Boise, Id., will feature the first live "Dive Bar" duet by Brooks and Shelton.