For the Last Time: Live from the Astrodome

For the Last Time: Live from the Astrodome

5.0 4
by George Strait
     
 

Don't panic at the title. George Strait isn't hanging it up, but the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, where Strait has been playing forever, is leaving the Astrodome, making this his last gig at the old venue. Ironically, it's Strait's first live album, and this most consistent of New Traditionalists makes it every bit as memorable as the best of his 29 studio… See more details below

Overview

Don't panic at the title. George Strait isn't hanging it up, but the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, where Strait has been playing forever, is leaving the Astrodome, making this his last gig at the old venue. Ironically, it's Strait's first live album, and this most consistent of New Traditionalists makes it every bit as memorable as the best of his 29 studio recordings. The 16-song repertoire is fertile greatest-hits territory, its songs exploring pretty much all the aspects of the human condition. "The Fireman" and "Write This Down" serve up Strait's droll wit in service to humorous takes on love and life, while the exquisite "Amarillo by Morning" and "The Cowboy Rides Away" offer melancholy reflections on longing, loneliness, and the solitary man. The gently rocking "She'll Leave You with a Smile" lays on the heartbreak a faithless lover left behind, and the beautiful country ballad "Love Without End, Amen" celebrates the enduring force that bonds fathers and progeny. For good measure, Strait serves up a feisty rendition of Larry Cordle's scorching of contemporary country's misguided ethos in "Murder on Music Row," then tips his hat to fellow Texas music giant Bob Wills with a rousing, fiddle-fired version of his western swing classic "Take Me Back to Tulsa." President George W. Bush makes an audio appearance, too, presenting Strait with some kind of award, and in doing so pretty much says it all, to wit: "George, well done, sir."

Read More

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
The "For the Last Time" in the title does not refer to the last concert George Strait ever gave, nor does this suggest that this is a farewell to live albums; in fact, it's the first live album Strait has ever released. The "last time" refers to the last concert of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo ever given in the Houston Astrodome, a show that Strait headlined, breaking records by drawing 68,266 people, the largest audience the venue ever saw (for the record, he top-lined the first Livestock Show at its new home, Reliant Stadium). This was a big, big occasion -- highlighted by an on-stage guest spot by former President George Herbert Walker Bush, where number 41 proclaimed that "everyone in Texas loves him and everyone across this country loves his music" -- so it makes perfect sense that it would be commemorated with an audio souvenir, and For the Last Time isn't bad at all on those terms. Its biggest problem is its nature: it captures a big-stage, big-sound production, where it's about the spectacle as much as the music, so when it's presented as a CD, it's not as exciting as the concert, nor is it as exciting as many of his straight studio records. It's professional, well-performed, and enjoyable without being dynamic, surprising, or lively; it never feels as lived-in or real as the best of Strait's music. Part of the reason for that is the song selection, which is heavy on ballads and mid-tempo numbers, de-emphasizing harder country and Western swing. When they do go for purer country, such as on the death-of-country-music lament "Murder on Music Row," it sounds great, but this is not about gritty country, this is a soundtrack to spectacle. It's fine as that, but it's not the great live George Strait album it could have been.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/11/2003
Label:
Mca Nashville
UPC:
0008817031927
catalogNumber:
170319
Rank:
9588

Tracks

Read More

Album Credits

Performance Credits

George Strait   Primary Artist
Mike Daily   Steel Guitar
Gene Elders   Fiddle
Terry Hale   Bass
Joe Manuel   Acoustic Guitar
Benny McArthur   Fiddle,Guitar
Rick McRae   Guitar
Wes Hightower   Background Vocals
Marty Slayton   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

George Strait   Producer
Terry Stafford   Composer
Aaron Barker   Composer
Larry Cordle   Composer
John Bettis   Composer
Hank Cochran   Composer
Bob DiPiero   Composer
Dean Dillon   Composer
Steve Dorff   Composer
Tommy Duncan   Composer
Malcolm Harper   Engineer
Casey Kelly   Composer
Mark Sanders   Composer
Larry Shell   Composer
Sonny Throckmorton   Composer
Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys   Composer
Tom Shapiro   Composer
Wayne Kemp   Composer
Mack Vickery   Composer
Tony Lane   Composer
Chris Ferrara   Art Direction
Mark Nesler   Composer
John Jarrard   Composer
Kent Robbins   Composer
Don Swander   Composer
Erv Woolsey   Composer
Odie Blackmon   Composer
Paul Fraser   Composer
A. Smith   Composer
Jay Knowles   Composer
Dan Wells   Composer
June Hershey   Composer
Tony Martin   Composer
Dana Hunt Oglesby   Composer

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >