The Cowboy Rides Away

houston lsrThroughout my life, I never really had a preference of what kind of music I listened to. I mostly listened to pop music, but that’s really only because that’s what was on the radio every time I got in the car. On a Sunday afternoon in March of 2013, I was driving around, when I got a call from my friend. She told me that she had gotten two free tickets to the George Strait concert at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, and wanted to know if I wanted to go with her. I, of course, was in shock. This was THE concert that everyone wanted to go to that year.

It was the king of country music in his final show at the rodeo, and I was given an opportunity to go, for free. People paid hundreds of dollars for their tickets, and I was going for free. I didn’t really know what to expect as I entered Reliant Stadium that evening for the concert. I had never really been into country music, but I think that’s because I lived in Ohio for most of my childhood and it really isn’t popular at all there. When George Strait entered onto the stage riding a horse, I knew I was in for a wild ride.

GS 2013He played his set, with everyone going crazy every time he came to a popular song such as “Amarillo by Morning” or “How ‘bout them Cowgirls.” As the concert drew to a close and Strait left the stadium, my friend and I started to do the same. Luckily we hadn’t gotten too far when he turned around and came right back out on to the stage for what would be his first of two encore performances. At this point we were completely star struck; I had never experienced anything like that show. It was the most reserved of the shows I have seen at the rodeo, however it was also the most powerful. He didn’t try and amplify his performance with flashy lights and sound effects; all he needed was his horse and his guitar to make this one of the greatest performances I will ever see in my life.

Although I wasn’t the biggest fan before, I can now say that country music is definitely my music of choice. I never really thought I would stray from the comfort of pop music, what I knew and loved, but George Strait showed me what real music is like that night, and I now know that country music is really the only music for me.


Filed under Live Music, New Traditionalism, Reflection, Texas

7 Responses to The Cowboy Rides Away

  1. Gerrit Cook

    First, this is awesome. Second, this is awesome. I am trying to get into traditional country, but I know how important George Strait is to country fans in Texas. I can’t imagine how crazy the atmosphere must have been. It’s cool how he didn’t rely on any crazy effects or muffle his sound with a loud volume. Strait seems like an artists that really cares about the music, and less about the showy parts that other artists utilize during their concerts. The fact that it was at the Rodeo makes it seem that much more important and fun. I’m jealous!

  2. Carilu Martinez

    I can’t believe you went to see George Strait! Lucky lucky, Dena! When it was announced that Strait was going to be make his final show at the rodeo, a couple of my friends and I tried so hard to get tickets but unfortunately we had no luck. It was a very sad day for all of us when we found out that we were not going to be able to go. One of my favorite songs from Strait is actually “How ’bout them Cowgirls.” I feel like that song tells and awesome story about how females want to be accepted by men as independent women. I would had probably gone all crazy if I would have had the opportunity hearing it live!

  3. Thanks, Dena. We’ve been waiting ALL SEMESTER for you to share your story about falling in love with George Strait. Fortunately, it didn’t disappoint. On a side note, do you *really* think that he’s retiring never to return again? Brad Paisley made a joke on the CMA Awards that Strait says he’s retiring but doesn’t actually seem to be going anywhere. I wonder if after a couple of years taking a break he’ll return with a new album. Then again, Strait doesn’t seem to love the fame and money that other artists do, so maybe when he says he’s done with country music he really means it. I’d be curious about your opinion.

  4. Hannah Parmer

    I am so jealous you got tickets for free! I went with my family to the same concert as well and it was very hard to find good seats within a reasonable price. But it was well worth every penny spent. I think it is awesome that George Strait is the one who influenced you to love country music, because after all he is the king of country music. George Strait has always been one of my favorite artists and still continues to impress at the age of 60-something. I have seen George three times in the past couple of years and I would do anything to see him yet again.

  5. Jessica Jakobeit

    You are definitely one of the lucky ones. To see George Strait in concert must have been life changing. Well maybe not that extreme, but it seems that he did influence your change in heart for country music. I love George Strait and my favorite song would probably have to be “Carrying Your Love with Me”. Anytime I hear that song I just have to sing along. Strait is one of the most impressive ones in the country music world and it’s awesome that you were able to go to the concert. He is definitely one of the more classic country artists and has not strayed into the pop country culture.

  6. Makayla Markey

    I don’t know what it is about free stuff, but when something is free it always makes it about a million times better. I don’t know how a George Strait could get any better but I’m sure free tickets can definitely help! Wow what a great way to start your love for country music too! Also his simple set up is definitely a sign of a gifted performer. It says a lot that he doesn’t need a big flashy stage to get his audience into the show. Just goes to show what a legendary country singer George Strait is! So jealous you were able to catch him before he was done!

  7. Elizabeth Stack

    I have been wanting to see George Strait in concert my whole life. Somehow I haven never been able to, and it seems like I may never get to. I’m hoping Dusty is right and he’s just gonna keep on coming out of retirement. I’m from San Antonio where George lives, and he really is a hero there and throughout all of Texas. I hadn’t listened to him in a while, and the other night I played one of his songs and fell in love all over. I think its his delivery, which comes across so heartfelt and honest, that gets me. “Amarillo by Morning” with its heartbreaking fiddle intro will forever be one of my favorite songs partly due to the nostalgia and emotional response I feel from the very first note. I think it’s fitting that the King of Country would be the one to make you a fan of the genre.

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