His show was everything a concert should be. Nelson only comes to Wente once every few years, which only added to the audience’s hunger for the show to never end.
Nelson’s band was equipped with a bass guitar, piano, Willie’s old acoustic guitar, and a simple snare drum with no bass drum. From the start it was obvious this show wasn’t going to be about lights and sound effects.
The closest thing to any special effects was a giant puff of smoke that blew over the stage before Nelson graced the stage, which smelled liked skunk according to the complaining upscale seniors.
The absence of fancy pyrotechnics and crazy lighting made it easier for the audience to connect to the simple and modest style that surrounds Nelson’s material.
Willie and his four-person band quickly broke in to “Whiskey River”. Throughout his career he has always been a figure of simplicity and modesty, which couldn’t have been further from this crowd that was often wrapped around their expensive meals and Mercedes Benz that were ready for test drives feet away from them before and after the show.
From the start, Nelson’s voice was very raspy and beaten up, which is so perfect for his rustic style of music. And his guitar was just as roughed up and majestic. Willie didn’t do too much talking, and for much of the show his band would play song after song with the same drum beat, since most of Willie’s material is mainly a jam style with no set time limit for any certain song.
He doesn’t need any of those huge special effects or spastic lights like you see with a lot of newer bands and artists.
Willie keeps it simple, and lets his music speak for itself. This was the highlight of the show because the plainness made his songs reach out to you with their simplicity and straight cut sound even more.
His set was compiled of all of his hits, which totals about 40. A few were “Blue Eyes Cryin in the Rain,” “On the Road Again,’ and ‘Mama Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys.”
When Willie Nelson sings live, he serenades you with a very calming voice. It gives you the feeling that everything’s going to be ok.
The poetry and stories in his songs bring you back to a simpler time, when Nelson’s country, folk and early rock style was thriving. A time without all of our complicated technology, stress filed days and male enhancement commercials.
Nelson’s stage presence, story-telling and raw talent left everyone wanting more. The best artists in music history don’t need complicated shows, venues, or bands.
They let their music speak for itself. And Willie Nelson proved to everyone at that show that he is one of the best at what he does.