The Legend and his legion were united last night as George Strait played Philadelphia's Wachovia Center to a near-capacity crowd in a post-Valentine's lovefest.
With the nine piece Ace In The Hole band and two backup singers on stage with him King George delivered a rousing collection of classic country hits that included "How 'Bout Them Cowgirls," "It Wouldn't be Texas," "The Chair," "The Fireman" and "I Just Wanna Dance With You."
Strait also delighted and surprised the audience with an intoxicateing honky tonk version of "There Stands The Glass (Fill It Up To The Brim)" and a Texas swing version of the Johnny Cash hit, "Folsom Prison Blues."
Speaking of Texas, Strait played homage to his home state with "Amarillo By Morning" and as always he entered the arena to the strains of "Deep In The Heart of Texas." The King also introduced a new song, "I Saw God Today," which seems destined to become a chart-topper.
The show was sheer simplicity: all music and light on the special effects and videos. This guy dosn't need smoke and mirrors. This is the Real Deal.
After his customary encore Strait lingered with adoring country fans circling the large center stage smiling, shaking hands and signing autographs. The man who they call "The Frank Sinatra of country music" left, as always, to the strains of "This Is Where The Cowboy Rides Away."