Making our way through a sea of boots, tight jeans and cowboy hats, my friend and I found ourselves in the center of The San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo. It smelled like animals, and beer — which some might say just smells like Texas, y’all.
The famous outlaw country singer and songwriter Willie Nelson, who won a Grammy over the weekend, was scheduled to play in less than 20 minutes. Before taking the stage, though, the audience got a taste of some good ‘ol fashion competitive rodeo events like calf roping, bull riding (basically, I'm trying to marry a bull rider now) and barrel racing. It’s certainly not the Texas I’m used to, but I wore some cowboy boots, so I wasn't feeling too out of place.
After the events, (seriously bull riders, holla) all the animals were put away, a big stage was rolled out onto the dirt, and Willie Nelson stepped up.
The audience in the AT&T Center cheered loudly as Willie, donning his two waist-long braids, a cowboy hat and famous beat up guitar, dive right into his fan favorites. Several times through the night, he stopped to let the audience sing the lyrics, smile and say “I hear ya’ out there San Antonio”, before strumming back into the tune.
Suddenly, after finishing one song, Willie belted out the start to his classic hit “Mammas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys" — which brought a healthy chunk of the AT&T Center crowd to their feet to cheer. Then a bunch in the rodeo crowd raised and waived their cowboy hats to the 83 year old legend — like a real cowboy "thank you."