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Last Night: Alan Jackson at Reliant Stadium

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Alan Jackson Reliant Stadium February 27, 2013

As part of RodeoHouston's Armed Forces Appreciation Day Wednesday night, the U.S. Air Force rappel team glided down from the roof of Reliant Stadium carrying a giant American flag.

This was before the short, standard fireworks show that still makes me drool like an eight-year old, and Alan Jackson playing an hour of good-timin' country music.

Yes, Wednesday's festivities were über-patriotic (thank ya, soldiers, sailors, devil dogs and flyboys) and high on nostalgia (Jackson opened with radio staple "Gone Country"), and, of course, we all smelled like meat, beer and funnel cakes.

According to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, attendance yesterday was 73,052 for Jackson's 21st RodeoHouston appearance, and yes, folks, his moustache is back this year after an absence in 2012.

Mr. Jackson brings all them feels to his RodeoHouston shows: happy, sad, stoic, wistful, blue-balled, what have you. I mean, the fella in "Chattahoochee" can't catch a dang break.

His 9/11 anthem "Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)" was especially prescient, what with the servicemen and women in the house. They all had excellent seats in one corner of the stadium.

Someone in that group was holding a massive Pokémon plush toy they won at the carnival. I wonder if that will count as a carry-on on the flight home.

Jackson doesn't mind dragging out the weepers, like "Remember When" and "So You Don't Have to Love Me Anymore." Those are the songs that make people rise from their (cheap) seats to dance in the concourses. Whenever it is an older couple, I get a hitch in my step. Them feels again.

Jackson needs to come back to Houston in a few weeks to duet with George Strait on 2002's "Designated Drinker." If needed, I'll sign over my power of attorney to RodeoHouston to grease the wheels.

Speaking of requests, for Jackson's (probable) 2014 appearance, I want to hear "Tonight I Climbed the Wall."

Personal Bias: You ever seen a gaggle of Montrose hipsters try to shuffle to "Don't Rock the Jukebox"? Especially during his spoken parts? I think that's why I play country records at parties, just to see that happen.

The Crowd: Lots of camo of the government-issue variety. Sadly, Uncle Sam doesn't (yet) issue Ariats or Wranglers.

Overseen in the Crowd: It looks like fur coats are back in fashion for country gals. Or maybe I was just walking behind a pack of River Oaks cougars the whole night.

Random Notebook Dump: Man, what's King George gonna do when he sees that "Alan Jackson: Country Music the Way God Intended" bumper sticker on sale at the merch booths with all Jackson's other gear? He's gotta come up with a cool slogan for his sticker too, like "I'd Go Gay for Strait" or something.


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