Garth Brooks last topped the U.S. country chart with a new boxed set late in 2013 and hasn't really been heard from on these shores much lately. Across the pond, however, he debuts this week at the top of the Irish Album Chart with a compilation originally released in 2007. The global entertainer's collection, The Ultimate Hits, which logged 30 weeks on that chart upon its original release, comes roaring back and keeps pop star Lana Del Ray's Ultraviolence from ascending to the pinnacle.
Obviously, Garth's chart action is thanks in no small part to Irish fans (about 400,000 of them) and their growing excitement for the Country Music Hall of Famer's comeback concerts at Dublin's Croke Park, a five-night stint set for July 25-29.
But as Garthmania grips the Emerald Isle, we can't help but wonder when he'll finally announce dates for the highly anticipated tour he's been teasing us with since late last year. With his youngest daughter graduating from high school in May and his wife, singer Trisha Yearwood, on board with him for the Irish dates as well as whatever tour plans he has in the coming months (or more likely, years), the pieces of a full-scale comeback seem to be falling into place quite nicely.
"I was worried it would be a wheelchair-and-walker tour kind of thing,” Brooks told ABC's Good Morning America back in December. “Now it sure feels good to get to throw your hat back in the ring. Ms. Yearwood is fine with it. All my babies are fine with it. My children are off on their own, so the guilt of not being there… I’m a phone-call dad now.”
Unlike the Las Vegas residency he began in 2009 at Wynn Resort and wrapped in 2013, the upcoming tour will feature a full band and presumably reintroduce many of the bells and whistles (and acrobatics) which distinguished the country superstar's live shows throughout the Nineties and influenced the current crop of genre-defying country acts. There's also little doubt that the shrewd businessman, who's already the top-selling solo artist of all time, will release new music (at the very least) in conjunction with the trek.
So the only question that remains is when, Garth, when?!