For decades, George Strait has won hearts with his incredible songs and impeccable live performances. It’s easy to take for granted just how great of a live act Strait is, and has been, over his entire career. This footage from his 1986 New Years Eve live set at the Dallas Reunion Arena proves that he learned how to use his onstage swagger early on in his career.
The video shows him performing his early tracks “The Fireman,” “Deep Water” and “The Cowboy Rides Away” with his famous Ace in the Hole band. The group formed in the 70s in San Marcos, Texas and earned a dedicated following of fans across the South. Strait later joined ranks as their lead vocalist after answering an ad posted on a university bulletin board. When Strait’s solo career took off in the early 1980s, the band stayed by his side throughout his career.
Thirty years later, the only visual difference is a few more gray hairs and wrinkles. Otherwise, Strait sounds as country as ever. If you haven’t seen George Strait live yet, you have a few more chances to see him in Las Vegas and Texas next year.