CHICAGO (CBS) — The Allstate Arena in Rosemont was the setting for the restart of country singer Garth Brooks’ career Thursday night, as he performed the first of 11 shows in Chicago to kick off his world tour with his wife, Trisha Yearwood.

WBBM Newsradio’s Dave Berner reports it was just a few notes into his hit “Friends In Low Places” before the crowd erupted. Brooks said he couldn’t have asked for a better start to his first tour since the 1990s.

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Brooks’ wife, Trisha Yearwood, joined him on stage for several songs, and also did a set of her own.

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“Why do a joint tour with Trisha Yearwood? I’m madly in love, and … I can’t spend a day without her,” Brooks said. “That’s it; and the fact that she’s 10 times more talented than I am.”

Brooks, 52 entered semi-retirement in 2001 near the height of his popularity to raise his daughters in Oklahoma.

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In addition to his world tour, Brooks has announced the release of two new albums and his entire back catalog through his digital service, Ghosttunes, making his music available digitally for the first time.