When: Sat., March 8, 7:30 p.m. 2014
Country icon George Strait closed the 2011 album Here for a Good Time with the mawkish ballad “I’ll Always Remember You,” which celebrates the longevity of his career and the devotion of his fans. “I don’t know how many more years I’ve got left to do this,” he sings, “but I figure a few.” It doesn’t exactly count as prophetic for Strait to acknowledge that he’s mortal, but this weekend’s concert—part of a two-year farewell tour—will likely be his last in the Chicago area. The most mild-mannered and reliable of the hat acts to emerge in the 80s, Strait released Love Is Everything (MCA) last year, and on his 28th studio album he carries on with the same formula that’s kept him a mainstream country star for decades (in 2004 he put out a double CD called 50 Number Ones, collecting the staggering number of his songs to hit the top of the country chart). Like just about every record he’s made, Love Is Everything alternates between sentimental ballads and good-time up-tempo numbers, addressing traditional Music City themes such as letting go on the weekends, recognizing a good woman, and appreciating your car. Few singers have been more predictable than Strait over the past three decades, but even fewer have been more consistent. —Peter Margasak Vince Gill opens.