Published Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012 | 11:24 a.m.
Updated Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012 | 2:46 p.m.
There is no plug to pull in Garth Brooks’ acoustic show at Encore Theater, but he’s packing the guitar and heading out of Vegas.
Announced today is the final performance date for Brooks’ solo shows at the Wynn Las Vegas enclave: Nov. 17.
In a statement, Brooks said: "I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Wynn. Mr. Wynn told me that the Wynn audiences were some of the best in the world, and he was right. As for Steve Wynn, he is one of the smartest guys I have ever had the pleasure of talking to or listening to. He does everything top notch and is the easiest and best boss I have ever worked for … I just love him!"
Wynn was quoted as saying, "I have always thought of Garth Brooks as a brother, and this will always be a home for him. Personally, I've never stopped being amazed at Garth's talent, nor have I ever stopped admiring the wonderful balance that he has maintained as a father and a superstar. He is, to me, the rarest of all combinations: incredibly gifted and a man of great character."
The show is ending its run two years earlier than expected. When the show was formally announced in October 2009, the hotel and Brooks presented the partnership as a five-year commitment. Wynn officials have not yet given a reason why the show is closing after three years of what was expected to be a five-year run. In an e-mail Wednesday afternoon, a Brooks representative said the contract was written to last, at the most, five years. Brooks did three years and called it “good.”
Three years ago, Brooks was lured out of retirement by Wynn, who was eager to bring a superstar performer into a theater that had most recently staged “Monty Python’s Spamalot” and was the final performance stage for the late Danny Gans. Brooks’ warm, story-laden and stripped-down performance debuted in December 2009 and was widely applauded by fans and critics.
"In 2001, I retired to take care of kids at home," Brooks said from the stage at the announcement of his performances at the Wynn. “(Steve Wynn) came to me, and he didn’t throw money at me, but talked with me and my 17-, 15- and 13-year-old kids, how I'd be able to go to soccer games, to practice, all this stuff. Taking care of my children and family is so important to me, and that will be the same for the next five years, except I'll play music."
Wynn famously provided a jet to Brooks and his wife, country star Trisha Yearwood, so they could soar to and from Las Vegas from their home in Owasso, Okla. Yearwood frequently joined Brooks onstage at Encore Theater.
The Nov. 17 closing date means Brooks will pull out of town before this year’s National Finals Rodeo from Dec. 6-15, a period when Brooks’ show is at peak popularity, and also before his fellow country superstars Faith Hill and Tim McGraw open their 10-week “Soul2Soul” residency at the Venetian on Dec. 7.
Just a half-dozen dates and 12 shows remain for Brooks, now commanding $225 a ticket (absent fees) and with tickets available at Ticketmaster.com or by calling 1-877-65-GARTH. Show times are 7:30 and 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 26-27 and Nov. 16-17.
In luring Brooks to Vegas, Wynn was clearly thrilled and heaped praise upon the country icon.
"On Dec. 1, 1965, I saw the Rat Pack at Sands, and never since then have I seen an artist create such love for an audience until I saw Garth Brooks," he said at the time.
Not announced was Brooks’ plans after his residency ends. He turned 50 in February and has stated that the shows in Vegas could serve as a sort of extended rehearsal period for an upcoming, full-scale tour.