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Concert Insights

Mike Sudhalter  |  June 8, 2009


The new scoreboard at Cowboys Stadium was the most impressive feature in the new stadium

Parking was a nightmare - we had to park on the campus of UT Arlington and take a shuttle to the new Cowboys Stadium. Food lines were too long, so we had to settle for eating at McDonald's south of Dallas after the show. But all in all, it was a good debut for the new venue.

It was a pleasant surprise to have Lee Ann Womack open the stadium. Nothing against Julianne Hough, but Womack is a better pure country singer and like she said, it was fitting to have a Texan be the first artist to perform there - "How 'Bout This Place?" she hollered at the beginning of her set.

It had been about 11 years since I'd last seen Womack first perform. Back then, she was coming off her debut album and just getting ready to release her sophomore disc.

It's interesting that Reba McEntire and George Strait hadn't appeared on the same bill in over 20 years.

Blake Shelton got it right when he told the audience that they were the luckiest people in the United States because they were going to see the King and Queen of Country Music in a brand new stadium.

It's amazing that both of them have had the staying power that they did while many of their peers have retired or gradually slipped off the charts.

I never expected Shelton to break into the "Free Credit Report" jingle or to see fiddler Jimmy Mattingly as part of Reba's band. I remember when he was playing for Garth Brooks.

The crowd went wild when the jumbotron flashed a picture of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and former coach Jimmy Johnson sitting in Jones' luxury suit. I don't understand the excitement. Neither has won anything since Bill Clinton's first term in the White House.

Strait showed more humor this time. First, starting a chant to ask Jones to open the roof. It was funny that he did it, but also a little corny in that it was a scripted transition for the roof to open in front of the public for the first time. At least, it let in a cool breeze.

Strait was more impromptu when he made a joke after the tender ballad, "I Ain't Her Cowboy Anymore." About mid-song, an intoxicated fan placed a drink on stage before security removed him, Strait joked, "That was supposed to be so tender...at least, I got a free drink out of it." Security rem oved the drink that the fan placed on the stage.

We got back to my friend Ry's truck at 1 a.m. and decided to drive back Sunday morning - instead of staying in D-FW - and I got home to Houston around 5 a.m.

My friend, Ry, posted an interesting question to a stadium employee who didn't have the answer. Will the new stadium host a rodeo? It will be interesting to see, especially because San Antonio and Houston have football stadiums that host major rodeos. I don't recall ever hearing about rodeos at the old Texas Stadium.

I got a chuckle when we passed through the "Beef Jerky Capital of the World" (Centerville, Texas) on the way back to Houston and when I saw a billboard around Conroe that advertised, "Awesome Bathrooms."

No road trip is great without a decent camera. I purchased a new digital camera Friday night, with the help of a sales clerk who's nametag read "Silence." It would have been so ironic if my parents had given me that name.

:: Posted at 12:27 PM by Mike Sudhalter ::
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