Sigh. I have been wanting to write this post since I purchase my tickets to George Strait’s “Cowboy Rides Away” tour stop in Houston. I knew this would be a historic moment and it was. I knew I would get upset and I did. I knew I would want to write about it and I do. However, I am finding it very difficult to put my feelings into words and onto paper (virtual paper, whatever). I will do my best…. here goes nothing!
I remember the day I read the headline about George having a press conference. It sounded strange, as I hadn’t heard of him doing this before. I immediately expected the worst and knew deep down in my bones that the ending of an era was immanent. I hate it when I am right, some times. I tuned into the live press conference via the internet. I sat there in shock as I listened to what was said. I was shocked to hear the announcement, even though I knew it was coming. George has been singing longer than I have been alive and nothing can last forever. Troubadour was my first clue. Then came I Will Always Remember You. That one just about did me in. I still have a hard time listening to it. So I saw the proverbial writing on the wall, but I still didn’t want to hear the words that came from George’s mouth.
As soon as the press conference was over I headed strait over to George’s website and purchased my first ever fan club membership. Why I never did it before now I’ll never know, and I am kicking myself in the arse for my mistake. I purchased the membership for a couple of reasons. 1. I wanted anything GS related during his last tour. 2. I wanted to be able to purchase tickets before the general public. I knew this would be the hottest ticket in town for the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo. Heck, it would have been the hottest ticket in town with out the rodeo being involved. FYI there was no rodeo that night, the floor of the stadium was filled with seats. After I purchased the tickets for my bestie and I, I felt a little better. I would actually get to see him at least one more time. (the cities and dates have not been released for the second leg of his final tour – so I might get to see him one more time, good lord willing)
Lucky for me I had lots going on from the time of purchase until the day of the concert. I would have gone nuts in anticipation, had I not. Finally the day of the concert was upon us! I was so consumed with the importance of seeing George one more time that I failed to notice that the concert was on St. Patty’s Day. A few days before, my bestie told me to wear green to the concert. I looked at her and told her I already was. I didn’t understand her reason for the order but I didn’t question it. The morning of the concert I noticed why it was important I wear green. It was a real DUH moment for me. Since I am still in my twenties (for a few more weeks, at least) it was imperative that we take in the day’s festivities….. so we did….
Before we made it to this particular part of our day we stopped at Torchy’s Tacos and look, we were blessed with more green stuffs…..
Aside from spending five minutes with the King himself, that there is pure heaven. You see that little container of orangy-red stuff. That is called diablo sauce, for a reason. It took a few days for my insides to recover from that container! But like I said, it was pure heaven consuming that darn taco.
After we ate and partook in St. Patty’s Day we made our way to the stadium. We were giddy with excitement and I am sure we looked and acted like little school girls….. but we didn’t care. We were a little late to the show, but several thousand others were too. There was a mob of people on the ramps. But the funny part is that as soon as we got to our floor and got in line for drinks, we looked out and there wasn’t a sole on the ramps. Great minds think a like, I guess. So we purchased our drinks and headed to our seat to see Martina McBride sing (Randy Rogers Band was on first and already off the stage by the time we made it inside). Martina is a lovely singer and really belted out the tunes. I like her and all but I was there to see one person and one person only, so she needed to exit the stage with a quickness. Once she was gone, the stage had been readied for the Ace in the Hole Band the lights dimmed and the stadium became electrified. I can still feel it now, it was almost un-containable.
The announcer did his job and ushered in the man of the evening, King George Strait….
God I love the was he just saunters around like he is at total easy and in no hurry at all. Maybe that is just how he is.
George played for two full hours. Two glorious hours. He sang songs I haven’t heard live since the late 80’s. My Mother would say he sang songs I was born singing. I can’t remember the last time I was able to sing along with Live George to 80 Proof Bottle of Tear Stopper, and A Fire I Can’t Put Out. I was transferred back in time to when I first realized how much I truly loved George’s music. I was 4, maybe 5, and I had received a tape player and his Ocean Front Property album for my birthday (my first on both accounts). I am still so grateful that Gloria gifted me those items so long ago. I would sit in my Great-Grandma’s drive way, in a lawn chair and listen to that tape over and over again. I was also reminded of the memory of me watching TV, at my Great-Grandma’s house, and a music video came on. I didn’t know it was a music video at the time, as it was the first one I ever saw. The song was new on the radio and I wasn’t positive that I knew who sang it at the time. The voice was familiar, then again I thought every male singer was George back then. But then I saw THE HAT, and I knew. I could pick out his Resistol hat a mile away, even at that age. The video was Baby’s Gotten Good at Goodbye.
Oh how the memories kept flooding in with each song. I was reminded of various stages in my life. It was so neat how I could be taken back to an exact point in time and relive it while he was up there singing. To say the least I was in heaven for those two hours. Well almost. He burst my happy bubble when he played I’ll Always Remember You. The tears started and their was no stopping them. For a moment I was reminded of the dreaded future. The future with no more live George. But when he came back for his encore I was back in my bubble and able to keep my tears at bay. I stood, well the entire stadium stood on its feet for the entire encore. The crowd went absolutely bonkers when he sang All My Ex’s Live in Texas, as they should. We are a proud group of people, us Texans. 😉 But like all good things, the concert came to and end. Of course he sang The Cowboy Rides Away. He has sung this song at the conclusion of most of the concerts I have been to, but this time it was different. For all of us.
His goodbye definitely hit me in the heart. I have been quite down and out since the show. Pandora isn’t making it any better. I have my Sawyer Brown station playing but I swear it is playing more George than normal. Maybe it is because George knows I am sad and is sending his voodoo to Pandora and making them play his songs for me. But more than likely it is just me being a bit more sensitive to his music right now. Either way, I really am not complaining. The more George the merrier! It is a love with out end, Amen!
Anyhoot, the show was amazing and I am truely bless to have seen it. I highly recommend anyone and everyone to try to get to go see history in the making.
I should dry my tears and remenance in my memories of George…… until next time!
Psssst….. how many lyric/song titiles/quotes did I through into this post? Anyone……anyone…..