Texas Stadium will be the place to be on Saturday afternoon, and there won't be a football team in sight. Still, the Redneck Cowboys vs. the Parrot Heads game should be quite entertaining to watch before Jimmy Buffett, George Strait and Alan Jackson share a triple bill that evening. Some showoff will probably wear his tight-fitting Wranglers with a loud Hawaiian shirt for the occasion, but as a general rule, Parrot Heads and rednecks don't mix. Sure, after a few drinks they start to play friendly, but inevitably some drunken redneck will back his Ford F-350 over a Parrot Head's portable grill, and then the fists start flying, margarita glasses shatter and the white Stetson gets splattered with blood. Whoever the wise soul is that came up with this show should be commended, not because it will rake in tons of cash, but because it's easier to deal with all the drunks at once than at three separate events.
The three acts are all co-headlining, so expect full-length sets from each of them. The rednecks will file into the stadium early because Jackson hits the stage first. It's been 14 years since he started "Chasin' That Neon Rainbow," and, two greatest-hits albums later, the tall Georgian with the straw mustache shows no sign of slowing down. His drinking songs aren't totally stupid ("Designated Drinker," "Pop a Top"); his ballads aren't too sappy ("I'll Go on Loving You," "Remember When"); he can be sentimental without being cheesy ("Drive"); and he even landed on the cover of Entertainment Weekly because "Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)" was the only 9-11 song that was worth a damn. Next up is Strait, who hasn't aged quite as well. His old rodeo songs are staples of classic-country radio programming, but his more recent output tends to be forgettable, though "Honk If You Honky Tonk" is one of the funnier, if dumber, drinking songs on the radio these days. The only sober people in the audience will be the mid-30s women who live for Strait's old country prom songs "The Chair" and "You Look So Good in Love."
After Strait, the Parrot Heads should stagger in from the parking lot to watch Buffett (and what's left of his pickled liver) croon his old songs about islands and margaritas, beaches and beer, changes in latitude and that cheeseburger in paradise. Finally, all three headliners will gather together for a finale that most of the crowd will be too drunk to remember. So if you pass out before the end of the show and have to give a full report when you get back to the office on Tuesday, it's probably safe to say they played "Designated Drinker," "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere" and "Margaritaville" for the big finish since those are the big hits they sing with each other. And if you don't want to blow $40 on a ticket for the concert, you could probably have just as much fun tailgating and watching the human carnage in the parking lot when the gates open at 3 p.m.
Alan Jackson, George Strait and Jimmy Buffett perform beginning at 5 p.m. Saturday at Texas Stadium, 2401 E. Airport Freeway, Irving. Tickets are $39.50 to $125. Call Ticketmaster at 214-373-8000 or visit www.ticketmaster.com.
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