George Strait: The Cowboy Rides Away Tour in Lubbock, Texas

Grade: A
photo by Sid Farbstein/UMG

George is bidding goodbye to the traveling life after 2014, hence the fitting monicker of his last series of shows, The Cowboy Rides Away Tour.

The King of Country kicked off the tour in Lubbock, Texas, and gave the fans who packed the United Spirit Arena a royal evening of hits, mixing all-time classics such as “The Chair” and “Amarillo by Morning” with more recent favorites such as “Give It Away” and his rousing opening number, “Here for a Good Time.”

But there were also a few unexpected surprises with “Arkansas Dave,” co-written by his son Bubba, along with “80 Proof Bottle of Tear Stopper,” one of the first tunes George ever recorded in Nashville.

George isn’t one for pyrotechnics or stage gyrations, so the in-the-round format, which will be utilized at all the tour venues, suits him well, allowing him to move to various sides of the stage and perform. Another solid choice is Martina McBride as opening act. George and Martina share essentially the same audience and Martina’s hits are more than familiar to the fans, among them “Teenage Daughters,” “A Broken Wing” and her closing powerhouse number, “Independence Day.”

Fans fortunate enough to have tickets for one of George’s 2013 shows will only be disappointed with one inescapable fact—that there’s simply not enough time for George to do all of his 44 Billboard No. 1 hits. But George keeps you smiling and entertained for a good two hours—time well spent, indeed. 

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