Monday, January 14, 2008

Observations from Saturday Night

So yeah, I went to see George Strait Saturday night at the Alltel Arena in Little Rock, Arkansas, a little more than 400 miles from here. To date that's the longest distance I've driven to see George Strait or anyone else. But it was quite worth it, even if it was more or less the same thing I've seen more than 10 times prior to that night. As a matter of fact that's one of the things I've always liked about seeing George Strait live -- you know exactly what you're gonna get, and you know it's gonna be good. There's a lot to be said for that kind of consistency, especially after 27 years of going at it. There are a lot of people who say George is boring because he just stands there and sings, but as for me I prefer to think of that as him letting his music speak for itself. Besides that, the adrenaline rush I get from hearing songs like "There Stands the Glass" and "Folsom Prison Blues" is worth more than any kind of bullshit theatrics anyone could come up with. I must admit I was surprised that "Milk Cow Blues" and "Take Me Back To Tulsa" were not on the set list -- just as the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo aren't quite complete without George Strait or Clint Black, a George Strait show isn't quite the same without the extended "Milk Cow Blues" jam. But they more than made up for it with the "Folsom Prison Blues" encore. And I was also pleasantly surprised by the inclusion of "Ocean Front Property" and "Carrying Your Love With Me." I had not heard that last one in a a couple of years, at least that I remember, and I had never heard "Ocean Front Property" live. It just goes to show you, even someone as predictable as George Strait is capable of some surprises now and then. I don't know if George will keep touring to the point that I'll be able to see him 20 times, but I wouldn't be surprised if he does make it. You better believe I'll be there, too.
Little Big Town was the opening act this go-round, and they were pretty good. They have quite the stage presence. I really liked "I'm With the Band," and I found myself wishing they'd do an encore performance of Fleetwood Mac's "Go Your Own Way," because it was THAT good. Speaking of cover songs, I find myself what they could have done with "Seven Bridges Road," yep, the harmonies were that good, too...I may have to check them out further as well. So many cds, so little money!
Oh, and if you like a GREAT mix of old and new country, you need to check this station out. I discovered it on the drive in and found myself going back to it again and again. More than once I found myself saying, "Awww, YEAH!" when they'd play one of my favorite songs...and I bet you will too!
Now playing, 10:27 am: Merle Haggard, "Branded Man," 1967. One of those "Awww, YEAH!" moments, indeed....
And another! 10:35 am: Alabama, "There's No Way," 1985.
Ooooh, and another! 10:56 am: The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, "Dance Little Jean," from about 1984, I think...
And another! 11:01 am: George Strait, "Let's Fall To Pieces Together," from 1984, my favorite tune from the Strait man...
Oooooh, another one! 11:04 am: Cal Smith, "Country Bumpkin," from 1974.