"GENTLEMAN GEORGE"In the world of country music he is often referred to as “King George” with over 50 number one hits to his name, but when George Strait walked on stage at Nissan Pavilion Saturday, June 13, his countenance was that of a true southern gentleman, humble and gracious. He smiled and waved to adoring fans as he strode from one end of the platform to the other acknowledging the crowd before taking his place at the center microphone. Opening with “Write This Down,” and moving on to “I Just Want to Dance with You” he nodded and grinned at the ladies who raised their hands, volunteering to be George’s dance partner. Others settled on dancing in the aisles with their dates as George continued to serenade them with songs like “Wrapped Around Your Finger,” “Seashores of Old Mexico,” “Check Yes or No,” “She’ll Leave You with a Smile,” “The Chair,” and “Troubadour,” just to name a few.
Of course George had to bring up his home state, which is a sticky subject around here where the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins rivalry is so heated, but the crowd was a forgiving one as George knowingly winked and continued to sing “Texas.”
The storm that rolled through the area during the concert didn’t seem to dampen the enthusiasm of the audience one bit. They were singing “Rolling on the River of Love” with George and praying for that “Blue Clear Sky” as he sang.
George made sure he introduced all the members of his famous “Ace in the Hole” band, most of whom hailed from the lone-Star State, giving credit where credit is due. Whenever he received exceptional applause or a standing ovation (which was often) George would bow, nod his head and thank his fans for the success of that particular song. Such a gentleman! Unwilling to let George leave without an encore, the crowd clapped and cheered until he reappeared to sing “High Tone Woman,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” and “The Cowboy Rides Away.”
Opening for George was the lovely, high-spirited Julianne Hough from “Dancing with the Stars” fame. Singing several numbers including “That Song In My Head” and “My Hallelujah Song,” Julianne lit up the stage with her energy and charm. She humbly thanked her fans for the success of her country music career thus far.
Blake Shelton followed Julianne, bringing wit and humor to the show as only he can. Singing some of his more light-hearted songs like “The More I Drink” and “Some Beach,” Blake had the crowd laughing along but it was his cover song that got the biggest reaction. Asking George for some advice since not everyone would know him or his music, Blake said George advised him to choose a song that most folks would be familiar with and could sing along to. Blake then sang the most unusual cover song I’ve ever heard: the theme song from “FreeCreditReport.com” – if you watch TV, you’ve definitely seen and heard the song. The crowd erupted with howls of laughter as Blake sang the commercial jingle.
Now that Blake had the crowd’s attention he proceeded to sing his classic “Austin,” then said he’d been looking forward all day to singing his next song which was Michael Buble’s “Home.” He also sang “Green” followed by “She Wouldn’t Be Gone” and concluded his set with “Ol Red.”