During September of 2012, when George Strait declared that he was heading off the road, supporters were worried that the King of Country would never ever have a major event again. They might have expected the occasional show at SXSW (like in 2016), sure, but a main production similar to his Strait to Vegas shows? Absolutely surprising! Justifiable, then, that The Boot’s audience chosen Strait’s Las Vegas, Nev., shows as this year’s most memorable occasion during the 2016 Golden Boot Awards.
Sometime in September of 2016 – around 4 years after his “retirement” made country headlines – Strait stated that he would be having a number of shows at Las Vegas’ brand-new T-Mobile Arena. He initially revealed only four shows – two in April and two in September – before including two December schedules – and after that, when those six events were sold-out, Strait announced two concerts in February 2017.
“I’m very excited to be coming back out and playing for the fans out there,” Strait mentioned during his massive announcement. “Come April, it’ll be about a year and 10 months since I performed with my band… It’s gonna be exciting to get back out there again. I’m looking forward to singing those songs that I love so much.”
Strait’s very last The Cowboy Rides Away Tour started in January of 2013, with its very last show taking place on June 7, 2014, and attracting 104,793 fans to the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Clips from the concert have also been released as a live album, as well as a DVD.
In an odd twist – or as evidence that Strait had been thinking ahead – in September of 2012, when talking about his move to stop touring, Strait said of his decision, “In 2016, I might say, ‘What a dummy.’ If that’s the case, I’ll reconsider.”