willie Nelson in Indiana (6/6/09)


by Ray Mephistos

Over the weekend I had the opportunity to see a concert that I had been trying to catch for sometime and the stars finally alligned in heavens correctly for it to occur.  Willie Nelson played a show at the summer outdoor concert series at Horseshoe Casino and Resort over in Indiana just across the river from Louisville.  

It was a perfect ending to a good early summer day that had started with the afternoon at Churchill Downs, later watching the Belmont and realizing I had the winner and the trifecta, and then the playing and singing to one hit after another of Willie in the outside air as the sun slowly set behind the hills to our west.

Willie was as I expected, pure old style musician.  He on a few occasions moved from his place on stage and occasionally even cut things up some with members of the band and family.  Generally though it was straight up Willie in front of two microphones, the old beat up guitar that has a hole in it, and just pure singing out the tunes.   That old guitar with the whole in it is why I felt I had to the concert soon.  Willie has said when it is dead he figures it is time for him to quit playing music.

I could not begin to name all the songs that he sung in his typical fashion but a large number of his biggest hits were there, mixed in with more then a few classic favorites from along the way of other artists, a few spirituals and a couple of songs he wrote and other folks made famous.  Obvious songs were Always on My Mind, Too the Girls I’ve Loved Before, Whiskey River, Beer for my Horses,  Crazy,  Me and Bobbie McGee, and of course On the Road Again.

The crowd was nice and very appreciative of the effort put forth by Willie and the gang.  The weather could not have been order to be more perfect, nice sunshine giving way to clean evening skies with just the perfect temperature throughout.  The setup of the outdoor area was fairly small in nature and at least from my vantage did not seem to have a bad seat as far the view.  I will say the tight bleachers in general admission were a bit much on the back thirty minutes into the show though.

The only real complaint that I could make would be in regards to the customer service of the staff at the venue.  Actually, I should more correctly say the thing to complain about was lack of customer service.  Not to put to much into it I will simply say when someone in a party has an obvious broken foot an extra level of care should be extended.  Common courtesy should be extended regardless of a broken foot or not.  Sad to say the staff of Horseshoe (in particular – not special event staff) were at best less then helpful and at worse just rude.

All that aside, the tickets were well worth it and I am glad I got a chance to see the legend.  If you have your own opportunity to see Willie in the next few years I would jump on the chance.

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