Friday night, January 18, 2013, the King of Country Music, George Strait, kicked-off the first of 21 tour stops on his 2013 The Cowboy Rides Away Tour in Lubbock, Texas at United Spirit Arena with special guest Martina McBride. An audience of 15,326 was afforded what will soon be a rare occurrence–seeing Strait and his Ace In The Hole Band live in concert.
The evening began for many with a VIP reception in the aptly named “The King’s Tavern” which features multiple traveling memorabilia cases on display as part of “The King’s Exhibit” with featured items ranging from Dusty Chandler’s jacket, Strait’s lead character in Pure Country, to his Country Music Hall of Fame medallion from his November 2006 induction.
After a riveting set from McBride (full set list below), Strait sauntered to the stage and opened his nearly 100 minute set with his 2011 anthem and the title of his last recording, “Here For A Good Time.”
Partway through the show Strait broke stride after he performed his current single, "Give It All We Got Tonight,” and introduced U.S. Marine Corps E-3/Lance Corporal Christopher Allen to a captivated audience. Allen was then recognized as the 287th recipient of the Military Warriors Support Foundation’s (MWSF) “Homes 4 Wounded Heroes” (H4WH) program and the first awardee to receive a key directly from Strait. The presentation was made possible through Strait’s longtime friend, Lieutenant General Leroy Sisco, U.S. Army (Retired) who shares, “Our foundation is thrilled at this opportunity to work with such an incredible patriot as George Strait and with his help we are going to change the lives of the heroes and their families by awarding 100% mortgage-free homes at the next 20 concerts on George’s ‘The Cowboy Rides Away’ finale tour.”
The Allen family will receive a one-story home with 1,717 sq. ft. of living space and is a spacious 3 bedroom/2.5 bathroom home in Bakersfield, California complete with a pool and a two car garage. The homes made available for the program are donated to MWSF through partnerships and, as unveiled at the show in Lubbock, will be awarded to one service member at every tour stop on The Cowboy Rides Away Tour.
The Cowboy Rides Away Tour Set List from Lubbock, Texas, January 18, 2013:
Martina McBride: "When God-Fearin’ Women Get The Blues" "Wrong Baby Wrong" "Wrong Again" "Teenage Daughters" "I’m Gonna Love You Through It" "Anyway" "(I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden" "Heartaches By The Number" "Wild Angels" "My Baby Love Me" "First Cut Is The Deepest" "Free Fallin’" "King Of The Road" "Love’s The Only House" "This One’s For The Girls" "A Broken Wing" "Independence Day"
George Strait: "Here For a Good Time" "Ocean Front Property" "Check Yes Or No" "I Saw God Today" "Drinkin’ Man" "A Showman’s Life" "Love’s Gonna Make It" "Arkansas Dave" "80 Proof Bottle of Tear Stopper" "Honky Tonk Crazy" "Blame It On Mexico" "Hit Me In The Heart" "Marina Del Rey" "King Of Broken Hearts" "Where The Sidewalk Ends" "The Chair" "How ‘Bout Them Cowgirls" "Stars On The Water" "Give It Away" "Living For The Night" "Amarillo by Morning" "Give It All We Got Tonight" "I’ll Always Remember You" "Troubadour" "Unwound" "Same Kind Of Crazy" All My Ex’s Live In Texas" "Folsom Prison Blues" "Cowboy Rides Away"
Upcoming 2013 The Cowboy Rides Away Tour dates:
Jan 19 | Chesapeake Energy Arena | Oklahoma City, Okla.
Jan 25 | EnergySolutions Arena | Salt Lake City, Utah
Jan 26 | Idaho Center | Nampa, Idaho
Jan 31 | Sleep Train Arena | Sacramento, Calif.
Feb 1 | SaveMart Center | Fresno, Calif.
Feb 2 | MGM Grand Garden Arena | Las Vegas, Nev.
Feb 15 | Xcel Energy Center | St. Paul, Minn.
Feb 16 | Alerus Center | Grand Forks, N.D.
Feb 22 | First Niagara Center | Buffalo, N.Y.
Feb 23 | XL Center | Hartford, Conn.
Mar 1 | Thompson-Boling Arena | Knoxville, Tenn.
Mar 2 | Rupp Arena | Lexington, Ky.
Mar 17 | Reliant Stadium | Houston, Texas
Mar 22 | Bi-Lo Center | Greenville, S.C.
Mar 23 | Greensboro Coliseum | Greensboro, N.C.
Apr 5 | The Pit | Albuquerque, N.M.
Apr 6 | Pan American Center | Las Cruces, N.M.
Apr 12 | Verizon Arena | N. Little Rock, Ark.
Apr 13 | New Orleans Arena | New Orleans, La.
Jun 1 | Alamodome | San Antonio, Texas*
* On sale date March 9, 2013