Even before Reba McEntire stepped on stage at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, enthusiasm ran high. In the elevator, an elderly woman excitedly declared that this was her ninth time seeing McEntire perform live. In the concession line, an animated group of girls in high school letter jackets did their best rendition of McEntire’s hit "Fancy."
Country music fans of all ages, it seems, love McEntire.
Her accomplished run of appearances at the Houston Rodeo began in 1984 with Thursday night marking the queen of country music’s 19th Rodeo concert, this time in front of a crowd of 57,857. But success didn’t always come easy for McEntire.
Talking about the first song of the evening "Can’t Even Get the Blues" she remarked, “This was my first No. 1 single. And it was the second single . . . off of my fifth album. Not an overnight success.”
If success ever eluded McEntire, you'd never know it judging by the over hour-long assembly of hits that followed.
There were 1990s tunes — "You’re No Good," "Heart Is A Lonely Hunter," "Walk On," "Ride Around With You," and "Talk" — strung together for a toe-tapping medley. McEntire's powerful delivery of "The Lights Went Out In Georgia" drew the crowd’s cheers. "Does He Love You" was heartfelt and compelling.
"Because of You" was a standout. Taking the song written by Kelly Clarkson at the age of 16, McEntire belted it out, hitting every note with assurance.
The engaging entertainer knows how to work the crowd, but it's her powerful voice, solid and undeniably strong, that carried evening.
McEntire ended the show with perhaps the most eagerly anticipated song of the evening "Fancy." As many in the crowd sang along, I’m sure the group of high school girls I saw earlier in the evening were right there, too, singing every word.
Dressed in a sparkly shirt over black leggings plus cowboy boots, McEntire shined on the stage at Reliant. And for more reason than just her garb. One dazzled fan sitting near me cooed, “Did you notice how she smiles at you with her eyes?”
Indeed, the charming and engaging entertainer knows how to work the crowd, but it's her powerful voice, solid and undeniably strong, that carried evening.
If there's any doubt McEntire will be back at the Rodeo for a 20th performance, just ask her loyal fans. Enthusiasm is already running high.
- Can’t Even Get the Blues
- Fear of Being Alone
- Whoever’s in New England
Fast medley of songs
- You’re No Good
- Heart Is A Lonely Hunter
- Walk On
- Ride Around With You
- Lights Went Out In Georgia
- Is There Life Out There
- Does He Love You
- I’ll Have What She’s Having
- Because of You
- Consider Me Gone
- I’m A Survivor
- Take It Back / Why Haven’t I
- Turn On the Radio