BY: JANEL SPIEGEL
Musikfest 2022: Willie Nelson
August 6, 2022
Wind Creek Steel Stage at PNC Plaza – Musikfest
Willie Nelson… Forever… Forever… “On The Road Again.” 98 albums. Willie said he released his 98th album on his 89th birthday. Seven decades of Willie Nelson. I spoke with fans of Willie Nelson, Angela and Karen. They are big fans of “Always on my Mind”. “Always on my Mind” has become Willie’s signature song, it was written by Wayne Carson, Mark James and Johnny Christopher. Willie sang a variety of his hit songs, songs he wrote with his sons and everyone from Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash and many more.
Willie Nelson performed in over 2,518 concerts. I don’t want to dwell on this article, but I will say that I have loved Willie Nelson since I was a child, and thanks to my mother and her wide variety of musical choices in life. “On the Road Again” was a song that I always sang, and you know what, I still sing, in fact I sang it again tonight with Willie Nelson, and a full and complete show beyond SOLD OUT Show .
People came from all over to see the red-headed stranger. The man, the myth, the LEGEND that is Willie Nelson. People wore Willie clothes, t-shirts that read ‘Willie Nelson for President’, ‘The Outlaw Willie’ and many more. Cowboy hats and Willie’s legendary bandana were in full swing. I must have seen a hundred people wearing bandanas like Willie wears them. A couple behind me shared that it was their first time seeing Willie in concert. I said you won’t be disappointed. I saw Willie a few times in concert but never at Musikfest.
Willie’s shows have always been about music and family. He was joined by one of his sons, his sons sound like him. I don’t cry, you cry. Willie also lost his beloved sister Bobbie Nelson. https://willienelson.com/blogs/news/dear-sister Willie has always said one of the best moments was when Bobbie finally joined his band. https://willienelson.com/pages/tour
Willie Nelson has performed with everyone from Ray Charles, Waylon Jennings, he even wrote a song with Mariah Carey for the movie, Tennessee. Willie has been in the music industry, in the film industry, helping people. Willie Nelson wrote over 2,000 songs, yes that’s right, over TWO THOUSAND SONGS. Imagine being in the music business for seven decades, releasing over ninety albums, touring everywhere, writing music, playing instruments, starting bands, and still, ALWAYS being relevant for generations. past, present and future. The age range of the audience varied from children singing to adults of course.
A lot of people are fascinated by Willie Nelson and his songs like “If I Die When I’m High, I’ll Be Halfway To Heaven”, which of course refers to Willie’s marijuana use over the years. Some fans think that’s an important aspect, but Willie is so much more than that, whether people want to think about it or not.
The man played a note of a song and people started singing. Some of the songs Willie performed tonight included: “Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground”, “Whiskey River”, “Stay a Little Longer”, “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys” – this is one of my favorite songs of all time. It’s a reminder that no matter where you are in life, Willie’s music is beyond universal.
He also performed “On the Road Again”, I mean, do I need to say anything about this ICONIC song in which his son Micah Nelson helped him write a song called “Everything is Bullsh*t “. Willie was in and gave a few laughs. The man is a legend. Willie Nelson is an icon, a national treasure. He came on this stage and gave it his all at the age of eighty-nine.
Micah also helped his dad write “If I Die When I’m High, I’ll Be Halfway To Heaven” in which he references “On the Road Again” One of the lyrics is, “If only I could come back “On the Road Again.” It was amazing. Micah, you did well. Another moment that brought me to tears was when Micah looked at Willie and said, “Take it, Dad.” Micah told Willie he had to write this song, and Willie said, no you write it, and Micah did.
A few other songs that Willie and his amazing band did were “Georgia on my Mind[‘”AwaysonmyMind””MoveItOnOver”I’mwiththehelpoftheaudience”I’lllove’tiltodayIdie””Writeyourownsongs””Away””It’shardtobehumble”AwaysonmyMind”“MoveItOnOver”hehadhelpfromtheaudience“I’llLoveYouTillTheDayIDie”“WriteYourOwnSongs”“Away”“It’sHardtoBeHumble”Hehadtheopeningactsonthestagetowardstheendtheyallsangtogether[‘”AwaysonmyMind””MoveItOnOver”ilaeul’aidedupublic”Jet’aimeraijusqu’aujourdemamort””Écrivezvospropreschansons””Away””Ilestdifficiled’êtrehumble”Ilafaitlespremièrespartiessurscèneverslafinilsonttouschantéensemble[‘“AwaysonmyMind”“MoveItOnOver”hehadhelpfromtheaudience“I’llLoveYouTillTheDayIDie”“WriteYourOwnSongs”“Away”“It’sHardtoBeHumble”Hehadtheopeningactsonthestagetowardstheendtheyallsangtogether
It was a great show, Willie Nelson is a legend.
When Willie leaves Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, he’ll be on his way back to Charlottesville, Virginia, and so on. Willie will also be in Camden, NJ for Outlaw Fest: Waterfront Music Pavilion and Farm Aid in Raleigh, NC.