Willie Nelson & Family - Celebrity Theatre - 12/18/13
Last night Willie Nelson & Family played to a sold-out crowd at Celebrity Theatre--and it was quite the family affair. Not just because Nelson had about half of his own immediate family members on stage, but because the intimate setting embraced a crowd that was as comfortable with other Willie Nelson fans as they were his music.
Photos by Lauren Wise
The seven member-plus band, complete with an array of various vintage instruments, looked right at home on the tiny revolving circular stage that slowly displayed their musical chops to every corner of the crowd.
The brisk pace of the 90-minute concert might have exhausted a performer half his age, but Nelson and company rarely paused between songs except to say, "How are y'all doin'?" or
"Thank you very much!" and, at the end, "Have a very merry holiday!"
Wearing his trademark calico pigtail braids and black cowboy hat, Nelson's buttery, whiskey-aged voice belted through the microphone, kicking off the show with favorites like "Whiskey River" and "Beer for my Horses," and preceded to transition smoothly from one jam to the next. One of my favorite moments was the early-on soulful medley featuring "Crazy," a song written by Nelson and made famous by Patsy Cline. During his soulful crooning a woman in the crowd screamed out, "I love you Willie!"
"In this old world of broken dreams," Nelson cooed as he switched from "Crazy" to "Night Life," which has also been covered by Frank Sinatra, B.B. King and Doris Day. He then broke into a rockabilly solo and grinned at the ecstatic crowd.