It's comeback time for Garth Brooks; his world tour kicked off Thursday (Sept. 4) in Rosemont, Ill. After taking an extended absence from touring, he admits the beginning of the tour may be rusty, but he wouldn't trade the opportunity to raise his kids during that time for anything.

"The crowd's very sweet here," Brooks told CMT before the show on Thursday. "Hopefully, they'll be very forgiving, because tonight's show's gonna suck. Trust me, man, you want this show to be the worst show of the tour. Because you want it to get better every night," he laughs. "There's a lot of moving parts to the tour, and we're all old and slow. It's a work in progress."

The 52-year-old elaborates on what it was like to focus on his kids instead of music. "It's been a thousand years. The greatest gift I ever received in my life are my children. The second greatest gift I ever received in my life was the time to get to raise them." he reflects. "You're looking at the luckiest, most blessed guy on the planet."

It's the best of both worlds: being a hands-on father, but returning to a solid country career with fans who are more than eager to see him back onstage with new music to share. Brooks comically explains that while his love for music hasn't changed, he and his band mates certainly have, nodding to the Wheelchair and Walker tour name.

"It's the official Wheelchair and Walker tour. Same guys as we had the last time we played here. The guy who has been with us the shortest? This is his 19th year," he says. "During rehearsals, I was going down the steps, and I was like, 'Damn, I feel like I was just doing this last week.' But it was 14 years ago."

It's an understatement to say the country world is hungrily awaiting Brooks' tour; he just broke a record in Atlanta for selling out seven consecutive shows at the Philips Arena.

Brooks announced his worldwide comeback on 'Good Morning America' in December, saying, "Our baby is a senior in high school. We’ve talked about it. All my babies are fine with it, Miss Yearwood is fine with it. So now I get to do what I love to do — play music — I get to be with the person I want to be with — which is Miss Yearwood — and my children are off on their own.”

Everything You Need To Know About Garth Brooks' Comeback