One of the most recognizable artists in Country music played a SOLD OUT show Tuesday night as Willie Nelson took the stage at City National Grove in Anaheim for 75 minutes of well-known hits and medleys. The famed outlaw of Country is currently in the midst of a three month US tour to start of 2015 and there are no signs of this 81 year old 40+ year music veteran slowing down.
At about 8:20pm Willie Nelson and his band consisting of his sister Bobbie Lee Nelson took the stage to a roaring crowd of young and old and went right into the first song “Whisky River”. The combination of Nelson’s unique vocal delivery as well as his precise finger picking on Trigger (his 46 year old Martin N-20 acoustic guitar) delivered a strong performance as his voice and stage presence are as strong as ever. His band was as solid as he was with his sister Bobbie Lee showcasing her talents with a mini piano solo and the harmonica playing by Mickey Raphael was second to none.
Nelson played fan favorites such as “On the Road Again” and “Always on my Mind” and gave the capacity crowd a treat by playing a three song tribute to Hank Williams that included “Jambalaya (On the Bayou)” / “Hey Good Lookin’” and “Move It On Over”. Nelson was obviously having a great time on stage as were the fans throughout the venue. The song “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die” sparked a number of those in attendance to “Light Up” themselves as the aroma of marijuana became powerful throughout the venue and everybody was clapping, singing and moving about.
Nelson didn’t speak much and focused on playing his songs but did thank those in attendance several times and also gave a brief introduction on a few songs. The last song of the night was “I Saw the Light” and the band kept playing for close to ten minutes once the vocals ended as Nelson took to the edge of the stage and greeted fans and signed autographs for everybody from stage right to stage left. He then took the microphone and said “Thank You – You all have a good evening” and left the stage. A true class act that is still after all these years delivering a solid performance, Willie Nelson is a true Country Music legend.