09/05/2014 04:29 pm ET Updated Nov 05, 2014

Trisha Yearwood Lights Up Allstate Arena on First Night of World Tour

A few hours before the kickoff of his world tour on September 4, Garth Brooks gushed about his wife and tour mate, Trisha Yearwood, in a pre-show press conference. Brooks swore his band members "stand up a little taller" when she walks onstage to sing, and that her presence on the Garth Brooks World Tour bill "raises the bar" for everyone involved. After tonight's performance, it is clear Brooks' praise was justified: the three-time GRAMMY Award winner electrified the audience of 16,000 in Chicago, moving many to tears.

Brooks said on Thursday that Yearwood is joining him on the road in part because, "I can't stand to spend a day without her." That chemistry was visible onstage, beginning with the couple's emotional performance of their 1997 hit single "In Another's Eyes," mirroring Yearwood's cameos during Brooks' Las Vegas residency.

After the ballad, Yearwood took solo command of the stage (quipping that Brooks was backstage for a "costume change") and performed a half-dozen of her hits, including "Prizefighter," her current single and the title track of her upcoming studio album. Between songs, she shared the story of the first time she opened for Brooks, in 1991, when her debut single "She's in Love with the Boy" was just being released to radio.

Without a doubt, the Brooks/Yearwood combination makes this show a must-see. With a rumored three-year tour run (so far, only four cities on the world tour have been announced), country fans across the globe will have the opportunity to see Yearwood shine. In the mean time, fans can catch this multitalented entertainer on her Emmy Award-winning Food Network show, Trisha's Southern Kitchen.