Archive for the ‘Venues’ Category

Willie Nelson & Family in Nashville at Schermerhorn Symphony Center (Nashville) (February 11 and 12, 2016)

Tuesday, February 9th, 2016

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Willie Nelson & Family will perform at two shows Thursday night and Friday night in Nashville, at this amazing venue.

Named in honor of the late Maestro Kenneth Schermerhorn, who led the GRAMMY Award-winning Nashville Symphony for 22 years, Schermerhorn Symphony Center is home of the Nashville Symphony. Located in downtown Nashville’s SoBro neighborhood, across from the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, the buidling hosts a wide range of musical events, including classical, pops, jazz, and world music.

Construction of Schermerhorn Symphony Center began in December 2003. Less than three years later, the building opened to the public on September 9, 2006. The design was inspired by some of the world’s great concert halls, many of which were built in Europe in the late 19th century. The building’s main venue, the 1,844-seat Laura Turner Concert Hall, is one of the few halls nationwide to feature natural interior light through 30 special soundproof windows. Seats are distributed over three levels, including a special choral loft behind the stage, which can seat up to 146 chorus members or audience members during non-choral performances. The stage can accommodate up to 115 musicians. The design of Laura Turner Concert Hall provides vivid acoustical clarity, warmth and reverberation specifically catering to the sound of natural instruments. An automated system of movable banners and panels located around the hall can adjust the acoustics to accommodate a variety of musical genres.

The hall also features a custom-built concert organ, crafted by Schoenstein & Co. of San Francisco, comprised of 47 voices, 64 ranks and 3,568 pipes with three 32-foot stops that create a lyrical sound with expressive range. For more information on the organ, click here.

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One of the most innovative features of Schermerhorn Symphony Center is a convertible seating system designed to give the hall unique versatility. The orchestra level seating of Laura Turner Concert Hall can be transformed from rows of theater-style seating to a 5,700-square-foot hardwood ballroom floor, typically used for cabaret-style events such as pops and jazz concerts. A unique motorized system lowers rows of seats into a special storage space below the surface of the ballroom floor. This convertible system gives the concert hall great flexibility for numerous types of events throughout the year.

 

In addition to this state-of-the-art concert hall, Schermerhorn Symphony Center houses the Mike Curb Family Music Education Hall, a 3,000-square-foot space designed to accommodate performances, educational events, meetings and other gatherings. The building regularly hosts concerts for schoolchildren and a wide variety of special events, including weddings, conferences, luncheons and corporate meetings. For information about renting Schermerhorn Symphony Center, click here.

The building also has a public garden enclosed by a colonnade. Facing Hall of Fame Park across Fourth Avenue South, the garden is open to the public throughout the day and during concerts. The adjacent Cherry Street {eatery & sweetery} serves breakfast and lunch, and is open on concert evenings as well.

 

Willie Nelson @Gruene Hall (November 16, 2014)

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

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www.jimflynnphoto.com

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www.GrueneHall.com

Gruene Hall, built in 1878, is Texas’ oldest continually operating and most famous dance hall. By design, not much has physically changed since the Hall was first built. The 6,000 square foot dance hall with a high pitched tin roof still has the original layout with side flaps for open air dancing, a bar in the front, a small lighted stage in the back and a huge outdoor garden. Advertisement signs from the 1930s and 40s still hang in the old hall and around the stage.

In the 1800s, Gruene Hall held weekly dances and played host to everything from traveling salesmen to high school graduations to badger fights. Today, the Hall has continued to be a center for the Gruene and Central Texas social and entertainment scene, and the activities are just as varied. In any given week, locals hold court in the front bar after work talking over their day’s activities, a friend’s passing, the weather or the state of the economy. Possibly at the same time, the filming of a movie or commercial or preparation for a festival, fundraiser or a major corporation’s private party may be taking place in the main hall or beer garden.

Under the current ownership, Gruene Hall has become internationally recognized as a destination tourist attraction and major music venue for up-and-coming as well as established artists. Since 1975, the Hall has played host to hundreds of celebrities whose pictures adorn the walls. The owner’s focus on booking singer-songwriters and artists who play original material has provided a fertile proving ground for many former “new talents” such as George Strait, Hal Ketchum, and Lyle Lovett.
Gruene Hall has also become a place where working songwriters, such as John Hiatt or Rodney Crowell, Kevin Welch or Jim Lauderdale, can try out new material or just take a breather between tour dates; where music icons such as Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bo Diddley, Merle Haggard or Kris Kristofferson can play in a more intimate venue; where former “up and comers” such as Garth Brooks, Chris Isaak or the Dixie Chicks can extend their tour; and where big names such as Willie Nelson and Aaron Neville have chosen to perform.

Willie Nelson Art, Corn Palace, Mitchell, SD

Monday, December 21st, 2015

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www.mitchellrepublic.com

Photo from Mitchell, South Dakota, of the Corn Palace, when mural of Willie Nelson is completed, as the final pieces of corn are nailed onto the wall. The theme for 2016 at the Corn Palace is “Rock of Ages,” and pays tribute to some of the biggest musical artists and genres. Elvis Presley and Willie Nelson are among some of the easily recognizable musicians featured.

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Willie Nelson and Family at the Greek Theater (with Alisson Kraus) (7/23/15)

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

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Thanks, Budrock Prewitt, Lighting Director for Willie Nelson & Family, for taking and sendin these cool pics from tonight’s show at the Greek Theater.

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Same Picnic, New Venue: Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Celebration in Austin @Austin360 Amphitheater

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

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Willie Nelson’s picnic had all the good things we go to the picnic for:  Willie Nelson & Family live on stage, his kids and grand kids and extended  family members performing with their bands, several  great Texas musicians and other picnic regulars from out of state, Kinky Friedman, and a big-name touring country star to mix it up and bring in those young new country music fans.

It wasn’t on the back forty at Billy Bob’s in Fort Worth —  this year they brought the picnic back to Austin for the 4th of July celebration.    Not back to a large field like Dripping Springs, but to the state-of-the art Austin360 amphitheater, set inside a giant race track.

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Fourth of July celebrants packed the place.  There was such a collection of great music.

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There were  two stages, to accommodate all the artists on the line up.  One was on a grassy knoll (I named it that), with picnic tables and room to stretch out.  The other side was the amphitheater, with a concrete pit area for standing room only in front of  stage, then chairs an behind that, a grassy area.  It was huge.  

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My unscientific survey found that everyone especially liked the smaller stage area, comfort-wise speaking, and access to the performers.  There was a grassy lawn in front of a stage with a low railing in front. People could spread out and stretch their legs, there was room for dancing. Families sat at one of a hand full of picnic tables and ate their lunch.

The venue was so big, it was hard to to move from stage to stage to see the different acts, once they started alternating acts on the two stages.  Especially once they opened up the large stage area, and people parked themselves in the pit, holding on to those coveted front row spots.  And it was hot for hustling between stages, for some (me).    Some chose one stage or the other, and parked themselves there, until the small stage area closed, and there was only one performer at a time on the big stage.  

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There was an air-conditioned bathroom a few feet away. It was nice. It let the fans get up close and personal with the bands that played that stage.   I know, there were too many people in the evening to spread out like that, but a grassy field up front instead of concrete would have been nice.

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VIP guests, and photographers, got to enjoy Bobbie’s Lounge, which had places to sit, misting fans, and a private bar.  There was a similar bar, honoring Paul on the other end of the venue, for the VIP.  It was so hot, it saved me a couple times. 

The picnic has changed venues before, of course, it hasn’t always been at the Stockyards, or even in Texas.  I’ve celebrated the 4th with Willie in Michigan, and in Washington state.  But for the past few years it has been  at Billy Bob’s, and we had our routines down.   New venue, new challenges.   There were complaints and there were compliments about the new place, but mostly there were people having un and enjoying the  music and chance to spend the 4th of July with Willie Nelson & Family.

Thanks for another great picnic, Willie.

Willie Nelson and Kacey Musgraves film movie video at Austin Bar

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015

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www.bizjournals.com
by: Chad Swiatecki

Country star Willie Nelson and up-and-comer Kacey Musgraves are the latest musicians to use the popular White Horse country bar in East Austin as the location for a video shoot.

Nelson and Musgraves booked the bar for a video for Musgraves’ new song “Dime Store Cowgirl” on July 3, one day before the pair played Nelson’s packed July 4 Picnic at Circuit of The Americas, shooting from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m.

White Horse co-owner Denis O’Donnell said the bar gets solicited for filming and branded promotional use about once per quarter, with rental rates varying based on the size of the client.

Brands such as Marlboro and Volkswagen wind up paying top dollar, O’Donnell said, since those shoots are typically for well-funded national advertising campaigns but declined to say how much those rentals brought in. Those filming days add more revenue to what is already a healthy bottom line, with the Texas comptroller’s office records showing that in most months the White Horse generates between $170,000 and $200,000 per months in liquor sales.
O’Donnell said he negotiated a $2,000 fee for the Nelson/Musgraves shoot and said for independent and local acts he only charges the hourly pay for bar staff required to keep the business open during filming.

“I think we’re more of a genuine place that seems more cool and natural and some of that comes from Austin not having the monolithic success in country music of a place like Nashville,” O’Donnell said. “We’re not seen as the kingmakers.”

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While the business banked some cash for the long shoot day, O’Donnell said as a life-long country fan he realizes the longer-term impact of having Nelson associated with his bar in an upcoming video.

Said O’Donnell, “Willie can take the White Horse brand and do with it whatever he wants.”

See Willie Nelson and Family in Fort Worth, Indiana TONIGHT!

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

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Thanks, Budrock, for sending this photo of tonight’s venue.  Looks like an outdoor show.  Have fun.  Dress warm!

 

Willie Nelson, Lukas Nelson, Micah Nelson: Heartbreaker Banquet Banquet

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

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Thank you, Janis Tillerson, for sharing photos from last night’s Heartbreaker Banquet Banquet.

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Willie Nelson and Family, PAC , Newark, New Jersey (9/21/14)

Saturday, October 25th, 2014

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Thank you Kevin Smith, bassist for Willie Nelson & Family, for sharing this photo he took from the stage at the PAC, in Newark, New Jersey. What a beautiful place.

Willie Nelson and Floores Country Store

Friday, July 11th, 2014

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Willie Nelson & Family return to Floores Country Store for two nights, on October

www.CMT.com

HELOTES, Texas — John T. Floore’s Country Store is comfortably nestled behind a tall wooden fence just beyond the outskirts of San Antonio. You can’t miss it — because the place has a huge sign out front. In fact, everywhere you look on the property, there’s a sign. And they’re all worth reading. To wit: “They said it couldn’t be done. And, by golly, it couldn’t!”

Floore’s, as it’s known, has been here since 1946, built as a store and dance hall by John T. Floore. He’s mentioned by name in Nelson’s song, “Shotgun Willie,” and Floore was Nelson’s partner in the original Willie Nelson Music Co. In the early days, Nelson used to play there every Saturday night. (There’s a sign that says so.) Floore died in 1975, and after his death, a box was found with dozens of his clever quotations. They’ve been scattered on the wall ever since, hanging around with multiple cowboy boots, wagon wheels and tons of framed photos of famous country singers.

 

Behind the restaurant is a stage, dozens of new picnic tables and a spread that can hold a few thousands folks. A giant tree serves as an elegant canopy over the patio.

“It’s something that’s been built over the last 60 years, rather than some kind of commercial building,” says general manager Stewart Rogers, who grew up nearby and started working there as a teenager. Now 29, he returned to the club after earning a college degree in history. “People spend millions of dollars trying to replicate what we have here. It’s something that’s been evolving ever since they opened in 1946.”

From the very start, Floore’s has attracted fans of live music throughout the Hill Country, and back in the day, Bob Wills, Ernest Tubb, Patsy Cline, Hank Williams and Ray Price all performed there. Robert Earl Keen recorded his highly regarded 1996 concert album, No. 2 Live Dinner, there. To this day, the club nurtures local talent like Kevin Fowler, Reckless Kelly and the Randy Rogers Band. Even the Wednesday night steak dinner is accompanied by live music. Early in his career, Jack Ingram remembers driving from Dallas to check out the scene at Floore’s.

 

“I went there to play and fell in love with the place,” Ingram says. “[I thought] ‘Oh yeah, this is it. This captures everything about why I’m doing this.’ I’ve probably played there, over the years, 30 times. It’s the cold beer and the tamales and sitting outside, watching kids dance on a cement dance floor while somebody’s playing music. It’s the kind of family fun that Disney hasn’t reached yet.”

Ah, the tamales. While there’s always been a café at Floore’s, a full kitchen opened in June 2006, serving delicious tamales, sausages, homemade bread and more. This allows Floore’s to stay open during the week. There’s a sign out front bragging on the menu.

It just so happened that Nelson himself was performing there recently, and every age imaginable was represented. If you wanted to jump on top of a picnic table for a better view, you’d have to elbow your way through some exuberant retirees. Inside the bar, I chatted with Wayne McGiboney, a San Antonio resident who told me he and his friends once sat at the foot of the indoor stage in 1970 when Nelson played for four hours — a work ethic that Nelson has held onto. “It was one of the red-letter nights of my life,” McGiboney said.

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Thanks to Budrock “the Illuminator” Prewitt, lighting engineer for Willie Nelson & Family, for sharing pictures from Floore’s Country Store today, before the band’s show tonight.

“That’s the thing about the Hill Country, too,” says Ingram. “Willie is their guy and has been since he played there every Saturday night. I think there’s something really cool about a gathering place. We don’t have a whole lot of those anymore. It’s a destination point for not just music lovers but for people who want to be with each other. You don’t get that very often anymore.”

Ingram said he first played there in 1994. In 1996, he held his wedding rehearsal dinner there. He wasn’t crazy about the people who ran it at the time, though.

“The reputation was, if you go out there and play, you’ll be treated like s**t,” Ingram said. “The guy that owned it, uh, he just wasn’t known for his hospitality, let’s put it that way. But everybody wanted to play there anyway, which speaks volumes about just how strong the vibe was.”

Now on its fourth owner, Floore’s has been given a second life. They’re hooked up to city water for the first time. A new roof has been installed, along with air conditioning. A retro neon sign in the corner of the yard is shining once again. The picnic tables and the wooden fence are also new, along with a few outdoor bars. But even with extensive improvements and the encroaching city limits of San Antonio, the vibe hasn’t changed.

“It’s a relaxed atmosphere. That’s something that we, as management, are trying to keep intact,” says Rogers. “We want all of our customers to feel relaxed when they come in. No stress — because of what it is. It’s a beer hall. Come and enjoy yourself.”

Production set up for Willie Nelson appearance on ESPN

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

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Thanks to Margie Lemons for sharing this photo, sent from husband Bobby Lemons, from the sound board at the Willie Nelson & Family Show.

Willie Nelson & Family @ White Oak Amphitheater (Greensboro, NC)

Saturday, May 10th, 2014

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Thank you Budrock “the Illuminator” Prewitt, for sending the view from the sound board/ light board tent, today before tonight’s show at the White Oak Amphitheater.  Looks like a great place for a concert!

Kevin’s view from the stage

Friday, April 11th, 2014

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Willie Nelson bassist Kevin Smith shares his view from the stage.

View from the soundboard @Willie Nelson & Family Show (San Diego, CA)

Saturday, April 5th, 2014

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Here’s another nightly love letter from Willie Nelson’s sound guy to his wife back in Texas. If that isn’t romantic, I don’t know what is. Thank you Margie Lemons for sharing this unique view of the stage.

A cozy night with Willie Nelson & Family

Monday, September 16th, 2013

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“A few lucky Willie Nelson fans will enjoy an intimate performance tonight at an old historic theater.” — Tom Conway

Thanks Tommy, for sharing the photo!