Growing up, I always dreaded when my mom would put on her country music. She warned me that when I got older I would change my tune, and she couldn’t have been more right. One of her favorites for as long as I can remember has been George Strait. When he announced his farewell tour, I hoped to go but his continued popularity denied me tickets. At least I was able to get the next best thing with the DVD release of his tour finale.
The Cowboy Rides Away: Live from AT&T Stadium features a star-studded line-up including Vince Gill, Jason Aldean, Eric Church, Sheryl Crow, Martina McBride, Faith Hill, Alan Jackson, Miranda Lambert, and Kenny Chesney. This impressive production was recorded on June 7, 2014 with a record-breaking attendance of 104,793. Strait played in the round with a rotating stage giving everyone in the audience a chance at a front view.
Strait has so many terrific songs, and I must admit that during my two favorite songs, “You Look So Good in Love” and “Ocean Front Property,” it was impossible to keep from getting emotional. During the finale of “The Cowboy Rides Away,” I managed to hold it together but as Strait left the stage for the last time he hugged each of his guests and as Miranda Lambert fell apart so did I.
Strait is the rare performer that even when I didn’t know the songs I was able to enjoy them. He still sounds so incredible and looks so fantastic it is hard to believe he is giving up touring. You can also tell he is having a great time during the show, especially with Alan Jackson, who is a longtime friend. What makes this concert stand out is that you can feel how truly special it is, not only for Strait, but for every one of his guests. For “All My Ex’s Live in Texas,” he brought back out all of the guests creating a truly memorable celebratory moment.
In addition to the 40 songs performed, the DVD has interviews with Strait and all his guest stars. He first let each guest pick the two songs they wanted to sing and then built the remaining setlist after that. They all have a unique story as to why they were honored to be part of this event.
Strait hinted that he might be back. I, and his many fans, certainly hope so.
“Blame It On Mexico”: