Lincolnton, North Carolina
February 8, 2006
Hosting clients every now and then allows me to attend concerts and events that I would normally never think of. George Strait was one of those concerts I had the opportunity to experience while not spending a penny. While I enjoy some country music, Mr. Strait is not one of my regulars, and before the concert started, I could not think of one song I knew that he sang. Surprisingly, after the concert, I recognized many of his hits. He actually has 50 number-one records.The concert was on a Friday night (January 27, 2006) and had two opening acts, Miranda Lambert and Tracy Lawrence. Ms. Lambert is a new on the country-music block, and I recognized only one of the half-dozen songs she sang. "Kerosene" was a kick-butt kind of song that everyone sang along with. Mr. Lawrence has been around awhile, but I was not familiar with any of his music. The first act began at 7:30 that evening and ended at 8pm. After a 15-minute intermission, Tracy Lawrence climbed the stage and sang until 9pm. We then had another intermission of 30 minutes. Then George Strait was introduced to a very loud and rambunctious welcome. I had to laugh, as I had never seen so many cowboy hats and pairs of boots in Philadelphia before. The stage setup was interesting: center of the building with seats situated 360 degrees around the stage. A microphone was located on each side, which encouraged the performers to sing out to all angles of the room. The band was clustered together in the middle of the stage and the singers walked the perimeter. George was dressed in his standard store-bought creased jeans; white-, red-, and blue-checked buttoned down shirt; boots; and black cowboy hat worn low over the face. The first song I recognized was a sweet song called, "Check Yes or No." He then went on to sing what I thought was a million more songs, including "Amarillo by Morning," "Run," "She Let herself Go," and a fun Western swing song called "Tulsa." He sang a song that he normally performs with another country music great, Alan Jackson, called "Murder on Music Row," which had people on their feet dancing and joining in. Halfway through his set, George stopped to introduce his band called "Ace in the Hole," which consisted of two fiddlers, two pianist/keyboards, three guitars, drums, and two backup singers. The music style varied from old-time country with the fiddles to newer sounds using the electric guitar.
At the end of the show, I laughed, as people starting holding up what I at first thought were lighters, but no, they were cell phones. Ahhh, the 21st century...The show was very entertaining, though not my normally preferred genre. All ages attended the show, and George Strait seems to have his own niche in the music business.
From journal Concerts and more at the Wachovia Center in Philad