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Last Night: Blake Shelton At Reliant Stadium

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Blake Shelton RodeoHouston, Reliant Stadium March 7, 2012

See more pictures from Wednesday's rodeo in our slideshow.

Blake Shelton could very well be the Vince Vaughn of modern country music. Or is that Brad Paisley? No, I think Brad Paisley is the Paul Rudd and that would make someone like Jason Aldean the Tom Hardy. So is Shelton's missus, Miranda Lambert, the Rachel McAdams then?

Shelton and Lambert seem to be the new king and queen of pop-country in 2012, usurping even Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, who have shirked their duties that probably entail judging wine competitions and cowboy-hat endorsements, I imagine.

I didn't think out my whole brilliant "country stars as movie stars" thing too much on the way back from Shelton's RodeoHouston gig Wednesday night on the METRORail because I was too busy listening to the college kids behind me bragging about their $100K entry-level salaries.

Back to Shelton, whose 13-song set last night at Reliant was the stuff of female dreams, with The Voice co-star's happy-go-lucky, aw-shucks boozer personality endearing himself to not just the girls in the crowd. Though they seemed to outnumber the men.

Shelton opened with his "Footloose" cover from last year's big-screen remake of the Kevin Bacon classic of the same name, which somehow got positive reviews. Not even 30 seconds into it and there was already dancing in the aisles.

The thing that I have always enjoyed about Shelton, besides that whole rugged scruffy thing that I need to apologize to Jesus for, is that he seems like an everyman who is nonplussed by stardom. There is no lording over a crowd like some country acts, who only say a few words to the crowd and are afraid to scuff their $12K boots on a monitor, though I am sure Shelton's boots last night could be converted into a sizable down payment on a River Oaks shack.

"Some Beach," with its deceptively sandy title, kicked the set into a different gear around song four, before the double-shot of "Drink On It" and "The More I Drink." The crime drama of "Old Red" was tempered with Shelton doing his schmaltziest cut, "Who Are You," right after it. That was when he realized he was playing in front of nearly 66,000 screaming pairs of jeans, give or take.

The man couldn't leave the stadium without closing with "God Gave Me You," laying the groundwork for whatever happens between couples in love on the way home. What's that stuff called?

Personal Bias: Shelton opened for George Strait at Reliant in summer 2009. What? Say something...

The Crowd: The women were prettier last night than at Kid Rock's rodeo set last week. More teeth last night.

Overheard In the Crowd:"I would watch a Blake and Miranda sex tape. Totally," said a mother to her college-age daughter.

Random Notebook Dump: The mere opening fireworks before a rodeo concert are reason enough to be proud, excited and also frightened to be a Houstonian. I love them.

SET LIST


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