The King and Queen Bring Country Home to Austin

Written by on February 3, 2011 in February 3, 2011, Live Reviews - Comments Off on The King and Queen Bring Country Home to Austin

George StraitThe “King of Country”, the legendary George Strait is a good ol’ Texas boy for sure. On January 14, 2011, he chose the “Live Music Capital of the World,” Austin Texas, as the opening stop for his new tour.  Co-headlining with George on this tour is the “Queen of Country,” the incomparable, Ms. Reba McEntire. Opening the show for the duo was special guest and fellow Texan, Ms. Lee Ann Womack. The show, with a sell-out crowd of 16,737, set a record as the highest grossing event in the history of the Frank Erwin Center, taking in $1,336,500.

When Ms. Womack took to the in-the-round stage, she promised the audience a night of “real country music” and they were not disappointed. Lee Ann opened the night with “Bukaroo”, “Talk to Me” and Hank Thompson’s “San Antonio Rose.”  Along with other hits covered tonight, Lee Ann performed my personal favorite of hers, “I Hope You Dance.”  Ms. Womack left the stage to a standing “O” following “Ashes By Now.”

Reba McEntire promised the audience to take them “on a journey” by performing “some older songs and some newer ones too,” and that she did. Starting with songs like “Strange” and “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia” her songs ran the gambit of her career, including the single from her newest album “All the Women I Am”, her cover of Beyonce’s “If I Were a Boy,” and “The Bridge You Burn.”  Paying tribute to her father, a three-time world champion steer roper and rodeo star, Reba sang “The Greatest Man I Never Knew.”  Ms. McEntire performed many #1 hits and fan favorites before exiting the stage. As the audience anxiously awaited Reba’s return for an encore, her music video for “Fancy” started to play. Perfectly in sync with the video, Reba returned to the stage in a taxi cab to perform the finale of her set.

Lee Ann WomackBefore arriving in Austin for his concert, George Strait asked his fans to wear RED to his Friday shows to show their support for our troops and they were happy to honor this request as they appeared as a sea of red. George Strait and the Ace in the Hole band followed suit. Mr. Strait, donning a striking red western shirt with his traditional blue Wranglers and black hat, looked every bit the patriot cowboy.

George started the show with the only song appropriate for the occasion, “Deep In the Heart of Texas.”  He followed with a mind-boggling 30 other songs including “Ocean Front Property,” “I Can Still Make Cheyenne,” “Wrapped” “Check Yes Or No,” and “The Fireman.” George told the crowd that “We started a long time ago, playing honky-tonks here, so I want to play a George StraitLee Ann Womacksong by the “King of Honky-tonks” Mr. Merle Haggard, “The Seashores of Old Mexico.” A crowd favorite was “Texas,” a song that lists everything that we wouldn’t have, if it weren’t for the Lone Star State. The crowd cheered as George told them that “I can’t think of a better place to start than right here,” as the big screens showed the “Austin City Limits” sign and Bevo, the University of Texas mascot, along with other Texas images.

George covered many favorites before leaving the stage including “Amarillo by Morning,” “The Breath You Take” and “Troubadour.” For an encore, Mr. Strait brought out the big guns with “High Tone Woman,’ “All My Exes Live in Texas,’ and Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues.”  George chose just the right number, “The Cowboy Rides Away,” to close out this night of “real country music” where once again it was proved that, Texas, and good country music,  is still the king.