George Strait and Willie Nelson joined forces on duets this past weekend at the Moody Center in Texas.
The show, which was presented by Bud Light and dubbed ‘Straight from Moody Center,’ celebrated the grand opening of the $375 million, 15,000+ seat arena, featuring performances from Strait, Nelson and Family, and Randy Rogers Band.
For the first of their two duets, Strait and Nelson performed their song, “Sing One With Willie.” The track was released in 2019 on Strait’s 30th studio album, Honky Tonk Time Machine and was co-written by Strait, Willie Nelson, Bubba Strait and Buddy Cannon.
The Texas natives both sported cowboy hats and boots, playing guitar alongside each other during the performance.
“Well, I’ve had a wonderful career / But I think it’s quite queer / So I’m writin’ this down in a song / I just couldn’t resist / ‘Cause it’s a nice little twist / And I think you’ll agree this is just wrong / I ain’t never got to sing one with Willie / And I’ve held it inside long enough / Now I ain’t too proud, I’m gonna shout it out loud / I ain’t never got to sing one with Willie,” Strait sang on the opening of the song.
“We’ve traveled back and forth / Up and down all the highways / Wherever our big buses can go / But I think that it’s great / To finally sing one with Strait / And our friends will all love it, I know / I finally get to sing one with Strait / Well, I think that it’s been long enough / I’m mighty proud, just listen to the crowd / I finally got to sing one with George Strait,” Nelson joined in later on in the song.
In addition, the pair also performed “Pancho & Lefty,” a duet that was originally sung by Nelson and the late Merle Haggard. Although the song was written and recorded by Townes Van Zandt, it was made famous by Nelson and Haggard.
The performance of “Pancho & Lefty,” which took place on April 29, was the same day as Nelson’s 89th birthday. To mark the occasion, Strait had the entire arena serenade him with a rendition of “Happy Birthday” as he exited the stage following their performance. Nelson’s record label, Legacy Recordings also released his new studio album, A Beautiful Time on vinyl in honor of the singer’s birthday. The release marks Nelson’s 17th studio album at the label.
Prior to his performance this past weekend, Strait shared how excited he was to be playing Moody Center via a recent interview with Pollstar.
“I’m really looking forward to the grand opening,” Strait shared. “Playing with Willie is going to be great,” he said. “What an icon he is. We also have Randy Rogers Band on that show, so it should be a great two nights.”
Strait has been semi-retired since the conclusion of his 2013-2014 “Cowboy Rides Away” tour, though he does play a handful of shows every now and then in addition to hosting Strait To Vegas residencies.
Besides his two shows at the Moody Center, he is slated to perform one last time in 2022 at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri on July 30.
Strait, who recently won his first-ever CMT Music Award, said he’s also planning to perform eight shows in 2023.
Meanwhile, Nelson will host his annual 4th of July picnic and fireworks event at the Q2 Stadium in Austin at 11:00 a.m. on July 4. The event will feature Jason Isbell, Tyler Childers, and Midland, among others.