Four of us went to Laughlin, Nevada to see Willie Nelson in concert on January 2nd, 2016. What a way to start the New Year!!!
The Event was excellent. Promptly at 8:00 p.m., Willie took the stage and captured the audience’s awe. I thoroughly enjoyed that Willie presented himself as an eighty-two year old Willie Nelson. His face displayed no hint of attempts to reclaim youth long ago wavered.
Nelson underwent stem cell surgery a couple of months ago that was supposed to help his lungs, which were in rough shape after years of smoking cigarettes. However, there were times when it appeared the octogenarian searched for his breath. In my opinion, this only lent credence to the artist who started performing at the age of six.
Nelson’s guitar playing lays tribute to the fact that this man has never followed rule nor conventions. Watching his furrowed fingers on that fret-board, working the strings effortlessly left me with a newly enhanced respect for his skills on the guitar. A Willie Nelson song recorded in a studio does not prepare your for the mastery of his live “laid-back” style. There were times when I thought, Oh Oh – I think he is lost; only to having Willie wind that harmonious phrase masterfully back to melody.
During a set that lasted just over an hour fifteen, Willie freely mixed his own originals with a wide range of standards that touched on honky-tonk, blues, pop, and even jazz. Willie does not talk much so the event was filled with non-stop music. He opened with “Whiskey River” and end with “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.”
The set in-between was pure mastery. While everyone in the “family” is awesome; special mention must be made to professional harmonica player Mickey Raphael and Willie’s older sister, pianist Bobbie Nelson whom he called "little sister."
If you are ever presented with the opportunity to see Willie and Family in concert; I would highly recommend it!!!
* This concert was held at the Edgewater E Center. The chairs were very uncomfortable and the audience packed like sardines . . . . . it was still worth the price of admission.
**The iconic Texan is a living legend in country music, and the creative genius behind historic recordings like Crazy, Hello Walls, Red Headed Stranger and Stardust. His career has spanned six decades. His catalog boasts more than 200 albums. Willie Nelson's earned every conceivable award and honor to be bestowed a person in his profession. He has also amassed reputable credentials as an author, actor and activist. Willie Nelson is a legend, unique and was on Oma’s bucket list!