More than a year ago, George Strait broke nearly every Texan’s hearts by playing his last touring gig in front of a record breaking crowd at the glitzy AT&T Stadium in Arlington. The last song of the set was “The Cowboy Rides Away,” but King George announced yesterday he’ll be riding back onto stage with four shows in Las Vegas next year.
His last show at the Dallas Cowboys’ turf brought in 104,793 people and crushed the Rolling Stone’s 87,500-person record for a 1981 show in the Louisiana Superdome. With the numbers behind the success of Strait’s career, it’s kind of a no-brainer for a star of his magnitude to go where few in the genre have gone before in becoming a limited-time-only Vegas act. Joining Strait on each of the shows at the Las Vegas Arena (scheduled to open in 2016) is fellow Texan breakout darling Kacey Musgraves. Two of the shows will be during the spring on April 22 and 23, with another two at the end of the summer on Sept. 9 and 10.
As if that wasn’t enough, Strait jumped on the “here’s a new album coming with very little warning” wagon and announced the release of “Cold Beer Conversation” on Sept. 25.
After releasing his first album in 1981 (!!!) Strait has gone on to become one of the most awarded artists in any genre. He’s starred in a movie, kept to his country roots with a team-roping competition and put up staggering numbers of hits, albums, awards, records sold, concerts played and anything else you can imagine.
In 2004, Strait released a compilation album of 50 songs to hit number one on the country music chart. FIFTY. That was more than 10 years ago, and since then, he’s released six full-length studio albums, numerous greatest hits and compilation mixes and two Christmas collections (because everyone should hear a Strait version of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”).
You can watch the full announcement of “Strait to Vegas” on YouTube, which was streamed live online below for a full-rundown of Strait’s career thus far and more information. On a personal note, I saw George Strait on one of his last stops in San Antonio and it remains to this day one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to. It remains to be seen if there will be fireworks, showgirls or acrobatic dance during Strait’s stint in Vegas, but with Musgraves playing opener, we’re hoping there’s a little hint of Vegas in the Heartland.
Take a walk down memory lane with these hand-picked tunes spanning Strait’s career over since the ’80s.[spotify id="spotify:user:austin360:playlist:6y8CLumLFcIodHfV3N3SFo" width="300" height="380" /]