Concert Review: George Jones’ Farewell Tour

 Posted by at 3:51 pm on February 25, 2013
Feb 252013
photo courtesy of Webster PR

photo courtesy of Webster PR

George Jones came to Seminole Coconut Creek Casino on Saturday, February 9th, and we were lucky enough to have some great seats to take in the show.  Unfortunately cameras weren’t allowed, so we don’t have any photos, but it might be just as well as you’ll read below.

The evening got started with a tribute to the 81-year old George Jones in the form of a music video by Eric Lee Beddingfied titled “The Gospel According to Jones.”  Check it out, then continue reading below!

The Jones Boys then came out in matching white shirts to kick the live music off before Brittany Allyn was then introduced.  She sang a couple of songs before The Jones Boys did another one.  At this point, you had to wonder if No Show Jones was going to strike again as the crowd grew a bit restless, but finally after all of the anticipation, The Possum came out to a huge ovation.

As he got his night started, you could tell he wasn’t what he used to be.  He was using monitors to read the lyrics from, and his voice was quite hoarse.  He stopped at one point early on to explain that he’s been battling laryngitis, and hoped that his voice would open up after 2-3 songs.  He often asked Allyn to speak on his behalf; whether it was telling stories or promoting his final show in Nashville on November 22nd (which will be a huge tribute show featuring several of the biggest stars from past and present), it became clear that his voice wasn’t going to get any better on this night.  He often struggled, clenching his throat or holding his chest while grimacing, and had to sit on a stool for parts of the show.  He was visibly frustrated as he almost fell off the stool at one point.

As he launched into “Choices,” he lamented that “I should’ve listened to some of these.”  His set list also included hits such as “Tennessee Whiskey,” “I Always Get Lucky With You,” “A Picture of Me (Without You),” “The Grand Tour,” “She Thinks I Still Care,” and a couple of duets with Allyn filling in as Tammy Wynette’s role in some of their classic duets such as “Take Me” and “Golden Ring.”  He also covered a Tom T. Hall Gospel song titled “Me and Jesus.”

He took advantage of an instrumental break to rest and introduce his band before going into the final stretch of his show.  He performed his 1985 hit “Who’s Gonna Fill the Shoes” which featured a video tribute to many of the legends of country music.  This drew several rounds of applause as each legend was shown.

He then launched into a 30 second clip of his classic “White Lightning.”  It was as if he was conserving his energy all night for this part of the show…he was a new man and it was a great performance, complete with the vocal sound effects he made famous in the original recording.  You could tell it took a lot out of him, however, and he returned to struggling as he finished the set.

Jones has an astounding 64 Top-10 solo hits spanning a career that started in 1955, yet it wasn’t until his 49th Top-10 hit (and his 92nd single ever released!) that he released the crown jewel of country music, “He Stopped Loving Her Today.”  This song is widely regarded as the greatest country music song of all time, and when he launched into it towards the end of his show, the crowd sang with him word for word.  Looking around, there were tears, smiles, and chills throughout the room.  One of the coolest concert experiences I’ve been a part of.

The show itself was a wonderful trip through the hits that made Jones a legend, and  despite his struggles, it was a goose-bump inducing experience well worthy of your time and money to have witnessed.  To top it off, his merchandise stand was offering an autographed 8×10 signed by the legend himself if you bought a $25 T-Shirt.  Twist my arm, why don’t ya??  The only disappointment of the night for me was that they sold out quickly of his CD, “Hits I Missed, and One I Didn’t.”  Allyn plugged the album during the show, as it’s a compilation of Jones covering songs he had turned down, as well as the biggest hit of his career.

If you have an opportunity to check out George Jones’ Farewell Tour, I highly recommend doing so.  There aren’t many chances to see a living LEGEND live in the flesh, and I am so thankful that for the rest of my life, I will be able to say, “I saw George Jones live and in-person!”

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