Not a bad way to go out.

So, yeah, I went to see what very well may be George Strait’s last show in San Antonio last Saturday night…

…and suffice it to say, he was every bit as good that time as he was the first time I saw him back in 1996. Not a lot was different than the last time I saw him — or, for that matter, the last 15 times I saw him — but I really do think that’s a big reason for the longevity he’s had. Everyone knows what to expect from him by now, whether live or on record, and there’s a lot to be said for that. Of course, the fact that he never disappoints has a lot to do with that; after all, what good is being consistent if you’re consistently bad?

The set list held a lot of surprises this go-round, in the form of old songs that I don’t think I’d ever seen him play. As idiotic as the Houston Chronicle editorial mentioned here was, they were right when they said the set list was “almost like a history lesson of his discography.” He brought out a lot of old stuff, including “Blame It On Mexico,” “Honky Tonk Crazy,” and “80 Proof Bottle of Tear Stopper.” Man, it was great to hear them too. I had almost forgotten how great Strait’s early discography was. There was no “There Stands the Glass,” “Milk Cow Blues,” or “Cherokee Maiden” this go-round, unfortunately, but it was pretty cool to see him and Martina McBride duet on “Jackson” and “Golden Ring.”

And while I never went to see George for the on-stage banter, it was really cool to hear the stories he told about the early days — how when he and songwriter Darryl Staedtler drove from San Marcos to Nashville with a cooler full of Coors beer, the Nashville record executives took what was left of the beer and shut the door on them, about the time songwriter Frank Dycus popped in the demo tape of “Marina Del Rey” as they were leaving Billy Bob’s one night, and the reminiscing about the Cheatham Street Warehouse, Gruene Hall and all the other South Texas honky tonks he and the Ace in the Hole Band played.

Such points to another thing that’s contributed to Strait’s longevity and the respect so many people have for him — the fact that he never, ever forgot his roots. In an era in which so many in the “country” genre have so little regard for its roots, that is so very refreshing to see. We’re not going to see the likes of a George Strait again any time soon, if ever again. I am forever thankful that I got to experience the greatness that night, and the 15 nights that came before it.

(I’ll have more to say about his openers later.)

Setlist:

“Deep in the Heart of Texas”

“Here for A Good Time”

“Ocean Front Property”

“Check Yes Or No”

“I Saw God Today”

“Drinkin’ Man”

“Love’s Gonna Make It Alright”

“Arkansas Dave”

“The Fireman”

“Jackson”

“Golden Ring”

“Blame It On Mexico”

“Her Goodbye Hit Me in the Heart”

“80 Proof Bottle of Tear Stopper”

“Honky Tonk Crazy”

“Marina Del Rey”

“A Fire I Can’t Put Out”

“The King of Broken Hearts”

“Where The Sidewalk Ends”

“The Chair”

“River of Love”

“Give It Away”

“How ‘Bout Them Cowgirls”

“Amarillo By Morning”

“I Believe”

“That’s What Breaking Hearts Do”

“Give It All We Got Tonight”

“I’ll Always Remember You”

“Troubadour”

“Unwound”

=== Encore ===

“Same Kind of Crazy”

“All My Ex’s Live in Texas”

“Folsom Prison Blues”

“The Cowboy Rides Away”

Advertisements

Tags:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: