Sixty #1 Hits

10:06 PM

In April Blake and Debbie went to Vegas to see George Strait in a special two night concert. They invited Alison and I to come, but we were closing on our house and the timing just didn't work out. They came home and told us all about the concert. George played all 60 of his #1 hits over two nights. It sounded amazing. We immediately decided we would got the same concerts in July.

Alison's sister Kristin also loves George Strait and she decided she wanted to come with us. We were excited to travel together.

We all worked for half of a day on Friday before heading out of town. We drove straight to Vegas. We were a couple of hours into the drive when Alison realized that she forgot to bring her driver's license. Ironically, this happened the last time we went to Vegas as well. It wouldn't have been that big of a deal, except we were staying at a time share and the reservation was in her name. Fortunately, we were able to switch the reservation into Kristin's name without any issues.

We arrived in Vegas and stayed at our hotel. We were staying at the Hilton Grand Vacations on the Boulevard. It is way far down the strip by the Circus Circus and the Stratosphere. The location was pretty terrible, but the hotel itself was very nice. July is also a terrible time to visit Vegas. The temperature was pretty much always in the triple digits. Fortunately our itinerary kept us out of the heat.

We drove down the strip toward the T-mobile arena. Traffic was a zoo. We were trying to park at the New York, New York; but we sat in traffic for around half an hour and made very limited progress. Finally, we decided to park at the Monte Carlo. Event parking was $20 and it was cash only. Fortunately, Kristin carries cash. Even though it was kind of expensive parking at the Monte Carlo was super convenient. We grabbed some dinner at the Monte Carlo before heading over to the first night of the concert.

Cam opened both nights of the concert. She was pretty awesome. I hadn't really heard her stuff before this concert (except for her big hit - Burning House). We were fans by the end. Hearing the song Burning House lives was incredible. Cam is a very talented singer songwriter and this song really showcased her talent. It was the perfect introduction to George Strait.

George Strait came out and sang. He didn't talk much he just sang. He sang 30 of his number one hits. During the concert in April he played his songs in chronological order. This time he decided to switch it up and he played them in a random order. Friday night ended up being the better of the two nights. He played so many of our favorite songs: Love Without End, Amen; Ocean Front Property; I Just Want to Dance With You; Write This Down; Living and Living Well; Baby Blue; If I Know Me; She'll Leave You With a Smile; I Hate Everything; You Look So Good In Love; The Chair; and Check Yes or No. Among many others. It was such a fun concert. The encore was awesome. It was the same encore each night. He started off with Amarillo by Morning and then played Troubadour and Folsom Prison Blues before finishing with The Cowboy Rides Away. During the first two songs they played pictures of George Strait and rodeos and from his early performing days.

We left that first night so happy that we could go to this amazing concert. During her warm up Cam said something about how watching George Strait would be an experience we would remember for the rest of our lives. I think that is so true. We will always remember seeing the legendary George Strait perform some of his greatest songs.

The concert wrapped up around midnight. We headed back to our hotel. We proceeded to sleep and lounge in bed until noon the next day. When we finally did get up we wanted to go down and lounge by the pool. Before we went down we wanted to get some lunch. It turns out the biggest downside to the hotel is that there weren't really any good restaurants around the hotel. We found some truly terrible pizza. Turns out there were a great poolside restaurant, but we had no idea until we went out there.

We spent the entire afternoon lounging but the pool and reading our books. Alison's cousin Taylor and her husband were also in Vegas on Saturday to got the George Strait concert. They joined us by the pool for a couple of hours. We would lounge, cool down in the pool, and then lounge some more. At one point Alison found some frozen towels that the hotel had that w could put on our necks to help us stay cool. It was around 105 degrees all day long.

As the afternoon turned to evening we got ready for the day. We then drove over to the MGM for dinner. We had reservations at our favorite Vegas restaurant, Emeril's Fish House. The food is absolutely incredible. I had some pretty good pickled potatoes, amazing seafood fettuccine, the most delicious trout I have ever had, and Emeril's signature banana cream pie. It was an exceptional meal.

After we finished eating we realized that we left our concert tickets back at the hotel. It wasn't that big of a deal so we thought about going back and getting them, but we didn't really want to lose our parking spot or sit in traffic for an hour. Fortunately there were a business center at the MGM. They charged $.40 a minute to use their computers, but I was able to reprint the tickets in less than 2 minutes.

The concert on Saturday night was great. Not quite as good as Friday, but still an unbelievable show. Cam once again opened and she was great. We enjoyed her performance on Friday and decided to show up early enough on Saturday to see her again. She played the same set, but it was very enjoyable. Once again the live performance of her song Burning House was incredible.

George opened the show by signing "Here for a Good Time". It is such a good song to open a show with and really got the Vegas crowd fired up. He went on to play many of our favorites: Blue Clear Sky, All My Ex's Live in Texas, The Best Day, Wrapped, True, Run, I Saw God Today, and Give it All We Got Tonight. It was a great concert.

Probably my favorite number one hit by George Strait is "I Saw God Today". It was the second to last number one hit he sang. I was recording the song. A really strange thing happened. Part way through the song a very drunk lady walked up on the stage and stood behind George Strait. He kept singing like nothing happened, while his security escorted her away.

The encore was the same as the first night. Amarillo By Morning is amazing to hear live. Troubadour is another of my favorite George Strait songs. Folsom Prison Blues really shows of how incredibly talented the Ace in the Hole band is. The concert ended as he played The Cowboy Rides Away one final time. Just like that it was over. Two nights and 60 #1 hits along with a few fan favorites. This was easily the best concert we have ever been too and one of the best Vegas trips as well. Having two nights of concerts was perfect. It almost doesn't seem worth it to drive to Vegas for a one night concert, but two is kind of the sweet spot. I also really enjoyed the opportunity to relax.

Getting out of the concert was kind of tricky. The bridge from the New York, New York to the MGM was closed. We had to walk all the way around by way of the Excalibur and the Tropicana to get back to the MGM. We didn't get back to our hotel until well after midnight. We slept for a couple of hours. We were up and on the road by 4:30pm. Kristin wanted to be home in time for primary (she is the primary president in her ward) and Alison needed to catch a flight in SLC for a work trip. I drove the whole way home. We started out listening to George Strait (Alison and Kristin fell asleep). I switched over to listening to one of my favorite novels - Lonesome Dove. Technology is pretty incredible. I didn't have it downloaded on my phone, but I was able to download it on the road between Mesquite and Nevada. I listened to about 6 hours on Sunday, which leaves about 30 hours to go. Kristin was so enthralled with the book that she ordered it during the drive.

I would do the whole thing over again in a heart beat. 

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