King George at the Houston Rodeo

19 Mar

Sunday, which happened to be St. Patty’s Day, turned out to be the biggest night EVER at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo.


Randy Rogers Band, Martina McBride, and George Strait all performed that night.  No rodeo was scheduled so they cleared the dirt and put down over 7,000 extra seats to squeeze more people into the stadium.  This concert set an all-time paid attendance record for HLSR in Reliant with 80,020 people!  (the next highest was Go Tejano day with 75,305 people)

When tickets went on sale, I purchased some for my mom, dad, brother, and his girlfriend, Leeann.  I had to work a shift that night (tickets went on sale before I realized I could trade shifts) so I didn’t get myself a ticket.  Also, I was told we would be working in the stadium so I would at least be able to hear and/or see every concert which turned out not to be true at all but that’s a whole different issue.

Late Saturday night, my dad told me he couldn’t go to the concert and gave me his ticket to use.  I tried texting and calling my captain and assistant captain to find out what to do.  Neither of them answered which was aggravating but I decided to be the responsible person I am and showed up for my shift at 3pm in hopes that they would be understanding and let me leave my shift early.  I knew it was going to be ridiculously busy because it was a sold out concert – I mean, it’s George Strait, who wouldn’t expect a massive crowd? – so I didn’t want to screw over the other people on my team by just not showing up.

I spoke to my captain (finally) before our shift started and told her I had a ticket to the sold-out concert that I had purchased for my dad who could no longer make it so I would appreciate it if I could be let go early if we found our gate to be slow.  She responded with, “That shouldn’t be a problem! I’m just not sure when we will start getting slow.”  I told her that I was sure it would be insane right at the beginning but it would more than likely be dead after Martina started because people wouldn’t want to risk missing George start playing.

I was at the Ford gate, which if you remember from my post yesterday, it is the really slow one.  People started lining up about 30 minutes before the gates even opened.  For the first hour we were super busy (as expected).  By the beginning of Martina’s performance, we began slowing down.  So slow that we were only getting about 2-3 people every few minutes between the 12 entrances at our gate.  I don’t know about you, but I would qualify this as being “slow.”  My captain came over to me and I was hoping she was about to release me so I didn’t have to be bitchy.  She said, “Do you need to go to the bathroom or anything? Now is a good time for a break.”  And I said, “I would like a permanent break because my ticket is burning a hole in my pocket.”  She made a face and said, “I just don’t know how busy we will get…”  And I looked out rather sarcastically (who? me? shocker.) and looked back at her because there was not a single person walking near our gate.  She said she would check with the other gates and get back to me.  I waited another 20-30 minutes with it being even slower than before and was seriously starting to lose my patience.  I asked our other gate leader if I could be released and he said, “Christina (our captain) said I was not allowed to release anyone.” And then I got bitchy…

I snapped at him and said, “She told me before our shift even started that I would be released if we got slow.  I would qualify 1 person every 10 minutes as slow.  This is ridiculous.  If you expect me to volunteer again I would like to have a little bit of mutual respect and for people to keep their word.”  He said, “Let me text her and ask if you can leave.”  So I waited.  He came back about 10 minutes later and said, “If you can recite pi to the 100th decimal place you can go.”  So I said, “3.14159…”  He cut me off and said, “That was me telling you that she said no.”  So I lost it!  I said some things and if I wasn’t so angry I would’ve felt bad because I know it wasn’t totally his fault but come on!  I had a ticket. That I paid for.  In my pocket.  To George Strait.  On his last tour. Ever!

I waited, completely pissed at this point, for about 15 more minutes while everyone on my team just sat around, not even at their gate entrances because NO ONE was coming through.  They were all just telling me to leave.  I walked inside and asked the workers there if George has started yet and they said Martina just finished and he would be on in a few minutes.  They asked me what was wrong because even they could tell I was angry so I told them and they said, “Screw that!  Just leave!  Especially if you are volunteering!  That’s crazy!” About 5 minutes later George started playing and the reliant people started closing some of our gate entrances!  But I STILL wasn’t “allowed” to leave so I took off my vest that they gave me, handed it to a guy on my team, and walked in the doors where the workers were.  They laughed and applauded me and I smiled, shook my head, and continued walking right past them to get inside when I realized that the only way in was to the floor.  I just pretended like I belonged there saying hi to all the workers and just walked right out onto the floor of the stadium to see this…

This is with no zoom

This is with no zoom

My mouth dropped open.  I was pumped!! I texted my mom to bring me my camera because my stupid iPhone camera was awful.  My mom, brother, and Leeann were up in the 500 section.  I had to figure out a way to get up to meet my mom at the top of the 100 level once she came down.  That’s when I noticed the bars on the floor were cash only.  I found a guy working the lower level of the seats and asked him if I could get a drink up above the level and bring it back down since I didn’t have cash…I really just asked him so we would have a conversation so he would remember my face and not ask me for a ticket on my way back down.  He told me I could so I walked up and talked to the volunteer at the top of the steps for the same reason.  I just asked her how crazy it had been and told her I just got done with my shift.  Mom found me and I bought a beer (so the guy at the bottom wouldn’t be suspicious about the drink question) and told my mom to just follow me down and to pretend that she belongs there.  I said hi to both of the people on the way down and neither of them asked me for our tickets.  BOOM!  People, THAT is how it’s done!

We were like giddy children!  We would walk up almost to the stage to get pictures and when we were told to get out of the aisle, we just moved over to the next one.  I will let the pictures tell you the rest…

That would be Mr. George Strait right above our heads...

That would be Mr. George Strait right above our heads…

King George

George Strait


George was AMAZING!!  He played everything from when he first started to a new song he just wrote for his fans for this tour.  It was so great!

He even invited a couple – the man was a wounded veteran injured in a IED explosion – up on stage with him and presented them with a new house, groceries for a year from Walmart and a big screen TV all for free from him, the Wounded Warrier Project, and Walmart!

George - Wounded Warrier

How can you not love him?!

Once he was done and walked off the stage, everyone was screaming so loudly, for so long, that he came for an encore!

Cowboy Rides Away!

Cowboy Rides Away!

He played 3 or 4 more songs – ending with Cowboy Rides Away, which is the name of his tour.

When he finished, he threw his hat into the crowd!! I would’ve just died if I caught it, but I didn’t.  Some guy did and I think he ended up squealing like a little girl from excitement! haha

When he walked out, he walked right by me.  I’m talking a mere 5 feet from me!


That picture is just me holding my arm out in front of me, no zoom whatsoever.  I melted.  The man is 61-years-old and let me tell you, he still looks pretty darn amazing.  I kind of even think he has gotten better with age.  Maybe it is just because I’d never seen him up this close but it was wonderful.

I had an amazing time.  I wish I could have made it into the stadium early to see Martina play because I love her but I completely forgot about how angry I was once I was inside listening to George play.

Did anyone else go to the show??  What did you think??

2 Responses to “King George at the Houston Rodeo”

  1. Mauricia March 19, 2013 at 3:03 PM #

    Yes, What a great time we had. An Awesome Concert and Greater Memories !!

  2. cassansone March 19, 2013 at 5:18 PM #

    That man still is the King… and looks better in a pair of Wranglers than ANYONE I have EVER seen.

    SO JEALOUS OF YOU, Blairbear!!!! 🙂

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