George Strait rode into Music City’s Bridgestone Arena Friday on stop 16 of 26 on his two-year record-breaking The Cowboy Rides Away Tour, presented by Quicken Loans with special guest Sheryl Crow. The crowd, a raucous 16,652, welcomed the reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year and current ACM Entertainer of the Year nominee with overwhelming applause as he opened his nearly two-hour and 30+ song set with the Top 5 hit “The Fireman” – not even one of his 60 No. 1 singles.
Crow, who joined Strait for Saturday’s Atlanta, Ga. show, too, accompanied Strait during his set on the hits “Here For A Good Time” and “When Did You Stop Loving Me.” Then, as an unannounced surprise to the crowd, Eric Church joined Strait halfway through the set for “Cowboys Like Us.” Upon exit, Strait said, “Eric Church, everybody – we’ll see you in Dallas!” referring to Strait’s tour finale on June 7 at AT&T Stadium.
As if that was not enough—being that it was Nashville—Kenny Chesney sauntered on stage to accompany Strait for the 1983 hit “Amarillo By Morning.”
Earlier in the evening, UMG Nashville President Mike Dungan presented Strait, who is a 33-plus year veteran of the label MCA Nashville, with an RIAA Certified Platinum Plaque for his 60th No. 1 single, “Give It All We’ve Got Tonight” from his latest album, Love Is Everything, which features his current Top 40-and-climbing single “I Got A Car.”