I've been going to George concerts all over the U.S. for years and years and it never changes.  Just before he comes out I have 'hummingbirds' in my stomach and my hands get cold. It's a special symptom familiar to Strait-fevered fans.  Those intense feelings all disappear once he strides out on stage smiling and waving. I have tried many times to put the feelings I have at that moment into words and it's difficult. All I know is from the moment the band strikes up with "Deep In The Heart Of Texas" I am totally focused on one person - George!  When George is in front of me singing his heart out I feel no pain, I have no worries, and I'm flying high like a feather in the sky. This night those 'hummingbirds' in my stomach were ten fold. I was an absolute but delighted wreck. I watched the band come out and strap on their instruments, get set up, and know I sat there like a Cheshire cat with a continual grin on my face. 

I heard George's voice first, then screams from the audience, and I glanced up to the video screen to see George sitting on a beautiful paint horse. He spoke for only a moment before he turned the horse and rode off. I hadn't caught what he said because the crowd was already applauding and screaming.

The camera followed him as he rode from the site of the new building into the old Astrodome where his huge record-breaking audience awaited him. Seeing him ride in was almost as good as the concert.  Watching George ride is a pleasure because he is such a natural at it and sits so easily in the saddle. 

I remembered it was very cold and windy outside and with a wind chill. I said softly out loud "Dadgummit George, you've had laryngitis and there you are out in that cold!" I looked to the opposite side of the building and watched him riding in, saw him dismount off that good-sized horse, and hand the reins to someone. Then Mr. George Strait strolled up to the stage as the building erupted in screams and applause. 

For this occasion he wore a cream colored western shirt - Wrangler of course - starched and pressed to perfection. You could almost feel the crinkle and smell the clean scent.  He had on his full ostrich quill boots and his black Resistol, and his trademark pressed Wranglers. It was so good to see him, and I wanted that first moment to slow down and last longer. Before his concert had even started I was so proud of my George I felt like I would burst. 

We were all standing and applauding as he took the stage, waved and smiled that Strait smile, walked to his guitar, and strapped it on. 

The opening song was "Stars On The Water" one of my favorites from his new album.  One song after another Mr. Strait proved why he deserved to be on that stage, and why his fans have been so fevered about him and loyal to him throughout the years. 

Looking around I was pleased and proud to see young children dancing and singing along with him, as well as my friend who is in her 70's. There is no generation gap and no age barrier when it comes to loving the real thing, the original from Texas, the smooth comforting vocals, and motivating music of George Strait. 

It was a pleasure to watch George as the stage rotated. We were able to watch him for at least a part of every single song.  There were cameramen all over, some moved with him, others were on the stage itself.  

For his part George seemed to be enjoying himself more than usual. He was energetic, had total control over his audience, and his vocals were smooth; sometimes laced with a deep growling quality that reminded me of Conway Twitty.  Though he had recently been sick there was no sign of it this night; his vocals were amazing, his interpetation of the songs perfection. There was still a hint that he had laryngitis but the resulting huskiness only served to make his baritone even more appealing, especially on some of my personal favorites, songs such as "Run" and "Does Forth Worth Ever Cross Your Mind." 

It's nice to have him going back to smaller venues, but at the same time I realize that this size audience really pumps him up right along with the Band. You can feel the energy and excitement all around you as well as see it in George. 

George included "Folsum Prison Blues" in this show and forced me to get my blood pumping even more as I moved with the rhythm of that great Ace in the Hole Band. To finish it off appropriately George ended the song by walking back to the microphone and saying a hearty "Awww sooie!" Then he looked over and caught us laughing at him,  enjoying him,  absorbing and loving that moment which was the making of another great memory.

As the strains of "This is where the cowboy rides away" filled the air I felt the old letdown coming. Another show over, and George walking away.  As much as I like to watch him walk I prefer seeing him coming towards me!  As usual I combated that coming down feeling with the realization that there was another show down the road for me this fall, and more memories to be made with the real deal, the very best singer in my world, George Strait. 


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