The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Country star George Strait ends nearly 4 decades of touring with final performance in Texas

  • Print

ARLINGTON, Texas - Country music king George Strait capped off the last tour of his career with an epic, star-studded final performance at the billion-dollar stadium where the Dallas Cowboys play, dazzling an audience of nearly 105,000 people with duet after duet with some of the biggest names in country music.

The attendance shattered the previous record set by The Rolling Stones at The Louisiana Superdome in 1981. More than 10,000 fans alone took in the three-hour show from the stadium floor.

"Oh, man. I tell you what. This is too much fun," he said.

Known for his honky-tonk style, classic interpretation of Western swing and Texas cowboy get-up, Strait is the undisputed patriarch of a generation of country music stars, none of whom left the stage Saturday without paying homage to or receiving a hug from the country music legend.

"In the early 80s when I was a young man in Georgia, I was a big fan of 'Unwound,'" Alan Jackson said of the 1981 hit that propelled Strait to stardom. "You're the reason I came to Nashville, Tennessee. God bless you."

Jason Aldean credited Strait as "not only a huge influence for me but everyone else in Nashville."

After Martina McBride joined Strait to sing "Jackson," the country classic made famous by the Johnny Cash-June Carter rendition, she remarked on the fun the two had on tour together in 2011 and 2012.

Kenny Chesney called the two years he spent on the road with Strait early in his career "the most educational" in his touring life.

Strait's son, Bubba, a pro team roper on the rodeo circuit, even joined his dad on stage to perform his songwriting debut, "Arkansas Dave."

The unusually chatty Strait appeared to bask in the enormous crowd of fans, standing at their seats, swaying and singing along, regularly raising his arms like a band conductor to raise the volume.

"That's what I'm going to miss the most right there, I tell you what. Thank you so much," he said.

Strait, 62, is also beloved by his legions of fans for his gracious, everyman demeanour, which was in ample display Saturday.

During the second half of the show, he played the 2011 hit "I'll Always Remember You," which he said was inspired by his fans.

"When I take the stage for the last time, you won't be far away," he said, inspiring some enthusiastic female fans to tear up.

"Damn, I'm so lucky," Strait said so many times, it became almost a refrain.

All of Strait's guest stars returned to the stage for an encore.

The show brought an end to Strait's nearly 40 years on the road, starting in 1975 with the Ace in the Hole Band. Many of the 11-piece band's original members played back up Saturday, "the best band anybody could have out here on the road," Strait said.

Born in Poteet and raised in Pearsall, about 60 miles southwest of San Antonio, Strait has more gold and platinum albums than any other music act except The Beatles and Elvis Presley.

And while he's quitting the road, Strait may yet add to his chart-topping total after renewing his deal with MCA Records last year to produce five more albums. He has said he will continue to play the occasional gig.

Strait began this last tour, The Cowboy Rides Away, last year. Each of the 45 stadiums and arenas he's played in 31 states has sold out. He's performed for an estimated 1 million fans.

As he sang the tour's eponymous song at the end of the set, fans waved, cheered and did the two-step. And the cowboy rode away.

___

Online:

http://georgestrait.com

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Tree remover has special connection to Grandma Elm

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Challenges of Life- Goose Goslings jump over railway tracks to catch up to their parents at the Canadian Pacific Railway terminalon Keewatin St in Winnipeg Thursday morning. The young goslings seem to normally hatch in the truck yard a few weeks before others in town- Standup photo- ( Day 4 of Bryksa’s 30 day goose project) - Apr 30, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A young gosling prepares to eat dandelions on King Edward St Thursday morning-See Bryksa 30 Day goose challenge- Day 17- bonus - May 24, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Should Manitoba support the transport of nuclear waste through the province?

View Results

Ads by Google