As the final performer at the Astrodome during the behemoth Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo last March, George Strait was the right man in the right place at the right time.

As the final performer at the Astrodome during the behemoth Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo last March, George Strait was the right man in the right place at the right time. Likewise, capturing the moment on tape as Strait's first live release was a savvy move, and Strait doesn't disappoint. Indeed, not disappointing is Strait's stock in trade: both in the studio and onstage; Strait knows what his legions expect and he always delivers, rarely straying from Texas-styled musicianship behind his ultra-smooth vocals. On fine display here with Strait's Ace in the Hole Band are heartfelt, accessible ballads like "I Can Still Make Cheyenne" and "The Chair" alongside much-loved two-steppers like "The Fireman" and "Amarillo by Morning." More recent fare, like "She'll Leave You With a Smile" and "Living and Living Well," holds up fine next to the classics, and the closer, "The Cowboy Rides Away," along with its adoring reception, is goosebump stuff. A fitting testament of the love between King George and his loyal subjects.—RW