George Strait - US Airways Center - 2/7/2014

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Country music fans flooded downtown Phoenix with a sea of cowboy hats in all shapes and sizes, belt buckles to match, and heel-stomping, shit-kicking boots in the hours leading up to the show. Lines stretched outside the doors, spilling into the streets, as local country radio station booths entertained the anxious patrons in front of the venue with gift giveaways and contest announcements.

Inside, giant huddles formed around beer vendors as the rest of the attendees were herded into their seats. I couldn't help but consider that Texas native George Strait may be the greatest cowboy to ever live after seeing his massive human cattle drive, and all of us, his 18,000 head of cattle strong, ended up exactly where he wanted us.

Kicking off the Cowboy Rides Away Tour was special guest Martina McBride. Upon entering the stadium, a square stage was revealed to be in the center of the floor and the house was already packed from top to bottom around the arena bowl. McBride took full advantage of her 360 degree view as she bounced and danced around all four corners of the stage to welcome the audience and sing her array of hits.

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When Caleb isn't writing about music for New Times, he turns to cheesy horror movies and Jim Beam to pass the time.
Contact: Caleb Haley