George Strait, kicked-off the first of 21 tour stops on his 2013 The Cowboy Rides Away Tour in Lubbock, Texas at United Spirit Arena with special guest Martina McBride. An audience of 15,326 was afforded what will soon be a rare occurrence--seeing Strait and his Ace In The Hole Band live in concert.
The evening began for many with a VIP reception in the aptly named “The King’s Tavern” which features multiple traveling memorabilia cases on display as part of “The King’s Exhibit” with featured items ranging from Dusty Chandler’s jacket, Strait's lead character in Pure Country, to his Country Music Hall of Fame medallion from his November 2006 induction.
After a riveting set from McBride, Strait sauntered to the stage and opened his nearly 100 minute set with his 2011 anthem and the title of his last recording, “Here For A Good Time.”
Partway through the show Strait broke stride after he performed his current single, "Give It All We Got Tonight,” and introduced U.S. Marine Corps E-3/Lance Corporal Christopher Allen to a captivated audience. Allen was then recognized as the 287th recipient of the Military Warriors Support Foundation’s (MWSF) “Homes 4 Wounded Heroes” (H4WH) program and the first awardee to receive a key directly from Strait. The presentation was made possible through Strait’s longtime friend, Lieutenant General Leroy Sisco, U.S. Army (Retired) who shares, “Our foundation is thrilled at this opportunity to work with such an incredible patriot as George Strait and with his help we are going to change the lives of the heroes and their families by awarding 100% mortgage-free homes at the next 20 concerts on George’s ‘The Cowboy Rides Away’ finale tour.”
The Allen family will receive a one-story home with 1,717 sq. ft. of living space and is a spacious 3 bedroom/2.5 bathroom home in Bakersfield, California complete with a pool and a two car garage. The homes made available for the program are donated to MWSF through partnerships and, as unveiled at the show in Lubbock, will be awarded to one service member at every tour stop on The Cowboy Rides Away Tour.