article and photo: Daniel DeSlover
The historic Genesee Theatre in Waukegan, Ill. welcomed Willie Nelson & Family on Thursday evening, June 7, in support of their 2012 tour. Genesee’s solid acoustics and intimate setting offered the perfect environment for the Red Headed Stranger to display his trademark picking and soulful crooning. He performed to a crowd that appeared to have included a number of fans that had been with Willie from the beginning of his lengthy career.
A hush fell upon the crowd as “Trigger,” Nelson’s classic acoustic guitar, was placed at center stage just prior to Willie’s appearance on stage. The gentle din quickly turned to applause when the legendary artist appeared then smiled and waved to the crowd. He opened with the classic “Whiskey River” and quickly had the theater’s rapt attention.
Though Willie might have lost a step or two, nearly seven decades into his musical career, the man can still entertain a crowd. He moved quickly through the hits with the occasional “Thank you very much” thrown in between songs. About 15 minutes had elapsed before he briefly paused after “Night Life” to ask, “How y’all doin’?”