Let’s begin here with full disclosure. This Friday, I’m covering the George Strait concert as a photographer. Usually, I’m the photographer and the reviewer, but in this case they’ve put a talented reviewer on the story with me. You’ll see the review and the photos at Louisville.com on Saturday as well as some on this website, too. However, I’d already written a preview of the show and wanted to publish it. Good thing I own my own website, huh? See the article below:
When you’ve had 60 number one hits to your credit since 1981, you may be perceived as an artist that knows your way around music. And when it’s your last tour, you will bring out as many fans as possible. All that contributes to the excitement around the final leg of George Strait’s “Cowboy Rides Away Tour” that stops at the KFC Yum! Center this Friday at 7:30pm.
As the cowboy rides into Louisville he holds what amounts to half a greatest hits show. On other tour stops, he’s had time to perform 33 songs in his allotted time, but fans don’t go away feeling cheated. Most of the time when you see an artist of this stature, sometimes you have forgotten some of those tunes you end up singing along with.
Fans also shouldn’t take this as a victory lap to a stunning career. He’s re-signed with MCA Records and plans to continue to produce new music as well as do select live performances. But the days of a different city every night are probably coming to an end. Never say never, though. After all, this is the music biz.
In previous shows on the tour Strait and his Ace In The Hole Band ran through the big ones like “Check Yes or No,” “Ocean Front Property,” “All My Ex’s Live in Texas” and many, many more. He even performed a Johnny Cash cover during the encore. It won’t be listed here so as not to spoil the surprise.
How much do fans appreciate Strait’s accomplishments? The “Cowboy Rides Away” was the number one ranking tour in February according to Billboard Magazine. Put that with some of his other accolades which include Artist of the Decade in the 2000s (Academy of Country Music) and his 2006 induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Just last year, he was voted the CMA Entertainer of the Year. It’s all deserved. Strait has sold 70 million albums in the United States. That makes him the 12th best-selling singer in America according to the RIAA.
Vince Gill, himself a country legend, opens the show. Gill has been a past CMA Entertainer of the Year and a fellow inductee into the Country Music Hall of Fame. That should guarantee a show full of country music passion and fun.