For The Last Time –Live From The Astrodome (MCA Nashville)

george strait

"We know how to throw a party down here in Texas, don't we?" asks George Strait on For The Last Time – Live From The Astrodome. From the sound of the overwhelming cheer that follows, the answer is a great big "yes!"

To be exact, George and the 68,266 fans you hear are throwing a going-away party. But George himself isn't going anywhere – no, The Last Time is a record of the final concert to be played at Houston's Astrodome before it closed last year, and the biggest ever to be held there. In fact, it's such a big deal that former President George Bush is even heard here, congratulating George on his success. (The star of the show returns the compliment by striking up the ex-commander-in-chief's favorite Strait song, "Love Without End, Amen.")

For its farewell, the Astrodome gets treated to about as perfect a George Strait show as anyone could ask for. George rolls out a smartly chosen set of 16 favorites from throughout his career, from 1983's "Amarillo By Morning" to the current hit "She'll Leave You With A Smile," with sidetrips through such crowd-pleasers as "The Fireman" and "Murder On Music Row." The only truly glaring omission is "Unwound," George's first hit and a staple of his concerts for two decades.

Nonetheless, there's plenty for any George Strait fan to savor on this, his first-ever live album. By For The Last Time's closing number, "The Cowboy Rides Away," this cowboy has earned his right to ride into the sunset all over again.