George Strait and Reba with Lee Ann Womack at Allstate Arena 3.5.2011

 

“Country Music Giants Take Over Allstate”

 

By Christian Scalise

 

 

If you are a die-hard country music fan, then you know very well that one of the hottest tickets in town this past weekend was the George Strait and Reba McEntire show with special guest Lee Ann Womack at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill on Saturday March 5th, 2011.

 

It’s quite a rarity to see two megastar performers join forces on one tour when both have the musical repertoire, solid fan base and countless hits to headline their own stadium shows but this exceptional reunion of talent was not one to miss!

 

This remarkable event created the perfect setting with an intimate stage set in the round. You wouldn’t expect an arena concert to allow such a feeling, but the concert stage gave every attendee a clear view of the artist from every angle.

 

Kicking off the show was country music traditionalist Lee Ann Womack. Known for her powerful range and authentic brand of dark ballads consisting of one night stands, love gone wrong and bluesy combinations, the singer/songwriter treated fans to earlier hits like “Buckaroo,” “You’ve Got To Talk To Me,” and “I’ll Think Of A Reason Later” while more recent songs “I May Hate Myself In The Morning” and “Last Call” mixed up the set. Her biggest hits “I Hope You Dance” and “Ashes By Now” closed out the show.

 

Next up was none other than country music superstar, singer, actress, and entrepreneur Reba McEntire. Being one of the most recognizable names in the music business, Reba has captured the hearts of fans from all over the globe with her charming wit, down-home persona and theatrical stage presence.

 

This past year has been filled with many great achievements and accolades for Reba including a #1 single, “Turn On The Radio” her 35th to date making her the undisputable Queen of the country music charts, an upcoming appearance at the ACM’s “Girls Night Out: Superstar Women Of Country” television special that will air later this year and the highest honor of all, being asked to join the prestigious Country Music Hall Of Fame in Nashville, Tennessee.

 

In one of the most exciting chapters of her career, Reba has accomplished almost everything conceivable for an artist of her stature yet her personal life has come to a complete halt this past month as her dear father suffered a severe stroke. I commend her greatly for finding the strength and courage to perform onstage given the circumstance. That is the absolute definition of a true showman and without a doubt proves that her passion to perform and love for the fans and music stands strong.

 

Reba’s intro began with a video montage of images and songs from throughout the years that blazed across the mega-screen sending the already anxious fans into complete insanity. She opened the show at 7:30pm with “Can’t Even Get The Blues,” “The Fear Of Being Alone” and “Strange.” What a way to kick off the night and the trio of smashing songs ignited the audience.

 

Wearing a shimmery sleeveless top, fitted black leggings and knee-high boots, Reba appeared in fine form and warmly embraced her fans as she made her way across the stage. Her prominent auburn hair and beautiful complexion never lacks its ageless appeal.   

 

Reba took the listener on a musical journey into her vast catalogue of hits from each decade of her career, even going back to very early recordings like “Somebody Should Leave,” “Fallin’ Out Of Love” and “For My Broken Heart.” This was the first time that I have heard these songs performed in concert since reviewing Reba’s shows in 2008.

 

She also covered the likes of Kelly Clarkson’s “Because Of You” whom she toured with in 2008 and Pop star Beyonce’s smash hit “If I Were A Boy” successfully turning the song into a heart wrenching country ballad with her very own personalized touch.

 

Fans were treated to a few surprises at the show; one was an outstanding rendition of “Does He Love You” with Lee Ann Womack joining Reba onstage to channel the role of Linda Davis and the other was “Barbra Jean” (Melissa Peterman) storming onto the stage in a well rehearsed skit that revisited the unstoppable comedic banter between the two characters from the popular “Reba” television sitcom.

 

Some of the grand highlights of the evening were Reba’s sassy performance of “I Need A Cowboy,” showing off her spunky side while the moving “When You Have A Child” was dedicated to her son Shelby, who is now a professional race car driver.

 

Always the versatile entertainer, Reba reminded the concert goers just what exactly makes her show unlike any other; extravagant production! A yellow taxi-cab rolled into the arena for her encore performance of “Fancy” bringing her right to the stage to close out the show at 9:05pm. Reba has never lost her magic as an artist/performer and this latest show left all of us in complete awe!   

 

 

Reba Set List:

 

1. Can’t Even Get The Blues

2. The Fear Of Being Alone

3. Strange

4. The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia

5. Is There Life Out There

6. If I Were A Boy

7. The Bridge You Burn

8. Fallin’ Out Of Love

9. Nothing To Lose

10. Somebody Should Leave

11. For My Broken Heart

12. Does He Love You (Duet with Lee Ann Womack)

13. I Need A Cowboy

14. When You Have A Child

15. Consider Me Gone

16. Why Haven’t I Hear From You

17. Because Of You

18. I’m A Survivor (With Melissa Peterman aka “Barbara Jean”)

19. Turn On The Radio

 

Encore:

10. Fancy

 

Visit Reba's official website here: http://www.Reba.com

 

 

The man himself, country music legend and Texas troubadour George Strait made his long awaited return to the Chicago area for his sold-out headlining concert. Strait has been one of the largest and most influential artists ever to hit the country music scene. With 57 #1 hit singles, 68.5 million in album sales and certifications from the RIAA including 13 multi-platinum, 33 platinum and 38 gold albums, it’s hard to deny his well earned title as the “King Of Country.”

 

Wearing his signature Stetson cowboy hat, blue jeans and boots George took the stage at 9:45pm and opened his show with “Twang,” “Ocean Front Property,” “Honk If You Honky Tonk” and “I Can Still Make Cheyenne.” He received thunderous applause and solid cheers from the adoring fans inside the arena.

 

For those who have never been to a George Strait concert before, you will find that there are three things that never go unseen; genuine interaction with the audience, pure country music and a sensational band equipped with all the necessary instruments that musically take you to a honky-tonk for just one night.

 

A more subtle gentleman, often mistaken for as extremely bashful, Strait is more about the music rather than the persona. His strong country voice and honed skills as a musician speak for themselves and that is what his fans appreciate most.

 

There would never be enough time in one show for Strait to perform all of his countless hits and popular songs, but this amazing set list managed to fit in all the favorites, oldies, and newer songs giving the concertgoer a lot of bang for their buck!!

 

Fans were delighted to hear George perform his greatest hits such as “Check Yes or No,” “The Fireman,” “How ‘Bout Them Cowgirls,” “I Cross My Heart,” “Amarillo By Morning” and “Give It Away.” Each song takes on an individual personal meaning to those who hear it, yet the universal love of country music brought everyone together at the show regardless of race or affiliation.

 

George took the time to serenade the fans in each corner of the arena stage giving all of them the opportunity to snap pictures of the superstar up close and personal. Many of the adoring women in the audience swooned over his good looks and with age come maturity, just like a fine wine George Strait has fared well through the years.

 

We hope that more of the newer artists of today’s roster of talent will take the time to study George Strait and carry the torch of this genre of country music to future generations. There are few that come to mind, but artists like Joe Nichols, Luke Bryan, Easton Corbin and the Zac Brown Band seem to be fulfilling that mission quite well.

 

George Strait is a true country music legend and his legacy will stand the test of time. His contribution to the business has left an unmistakable mark on what country music is and does.

 

We’d like to thank Front Page Publicity for the opportunity to review the show and Reba McEntire for always being the utmost professional and generous individual that she is. We’ve been blessed to review her shows since 2008, and we hope to bring many more in the years to come.

 

George Strait Set List:

 

1. Twang

2. Ocean Front Property

3. Honk If You Honky Tonk

4. I Can Still Make Cheyenne

5. I Hate Everything

6. Wrapped

7. Run

8. The Seashores of Old Mexico

9. Check Yes or No

10. The Fireman

11. Same Kind of Crazy

12. Blue Clear Sky

13. A Fire I Can’t Put Out

14. Arkansas Dave

15. Where Have I Been All My Life

16. How ’Bout Them Cowgirls

17. The Breath You Take

18. River of Love

19. The Chair

20. I Gotta Get to You

21. I Cross My Heart

22. I Saw God Today

23. Amarillo By Morning

24. Living for the Night

26. Give It Away

27. Troubadour

28. Unwound

29. Cowboys Like Us

 

Encore:

30. All My Ex’s Live in Texas

31. Folsom Prison Blues

32. The Cowboy Rides Away

 

Visit George Strait's official website here: http://www.GeorgeStrait.com

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