BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - This Memorial Day weekend started with a bang as the 5th Annual Bayou Country Superfest kicked off with country music superstars George Strait, Reba McEntire, and Chris Young.
LSU Tiger Stadium was packed, everyone anticipating the show. Chris Young started the event with saying he wanted to make the most of his short time on stage. It was a short set, but he packed as much music in as possible, getting the crowd ready for the night.
Reba took the stage and started with songs from her early years; she called it "back-to-the-basics" country, with twin fiddles and steel guitars. She closed her 1 hour and 45 minute set with her song "Fancy," but only after she changed into a red sequin dress and high heels to match. It was a fan favorite and a standing ovation for the song made Reba smile as she walked off stage.
When George Strait walked on stage the crowd erupted and the singer's smile widened and he said when he walked out, "it's like my feet don't touch the ground until I walk off stage."
He started with his tune "Fireman" and for two hours and fifteen minutes, the crowd went wild. George is known for not making huge spectacles of his concerts. He stands in the same general spot, with his acoustic guitar and a microphone. He always wears the same clothing; cowboy hat, starched button-up shirt, starched Wrangler jeans, large belt buckle and cowboy boots.
After more than 30 years, this is George's last tour and it has been dubbed The Cowboy Rides Away tour. More than just a farewell tour, George, along with Bank of America, Quicken Loans and Military Warriors Support Foundation, show their appreciation of the men and women who serve and protect our country by awarding a 100 percent mortgage-free home to a combat wounded hero at every stop, and Baton Rouge was no different.
A wounded warrior was brought on stage midway through the concert and was presented with a key. She is the mother of four and was injured in combat with shrapnel and is suffering from injuries and paralysis. She was handed the key to her new home and was also given a big screen television and a year's worth of groceries from Walmart.
Military Warriors Support Foundation awards mortgage-free homes to wounded heroes injured during combat in service to our country. The homes are for families who have severe and/or unique circumstances due to their injuries received while serving our country. In addition to the home, the families will receive three years of family and financial mentoring.
For more information about the Military Warriors Support Foundation, go to www.MilitaryWarriors.org.
George finished the night with a bang and his encore performance was three songs, including one he said he wrote for his fans called "I'll Always Remember You." The song begins with "It all started back in 1981. Our life together had just begun. I didn't know what my future would hold, but you gave me a chance, so I set out on the road."
It was a melancholy, yet exciting performance by the country music king. It did seem like it was an end of an era, of the simple times of country music. But George Strait did make a promise in his farewell song "I'm not sayin' I'm through by any means. Cause there's still things that I want to say and do. I hope you won't forget me, cause we've shared a lot dreams. And just know that I'll always remember you."
The 5th Annual Bayou Country Superfest continues Saturday at 5 p.m. with performances by Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Lee Brice, Easton Corbin, and Gloriana.
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