Red Rocks 9/3/06

The Red Rocks show was so wonderful.   Willie sounded great, and his guitar playing was stellar, as always.  He came out in a plaid flannel shirt, and you just wanted to hug him.  It’s fun to see  him at a show outside, when it’s cool and he has to put on something long sleeved and cuddley. 

He looked tired when he started out on Whiskey River. But I figure, he’s been riding in his bus for hours and hours from California, maybe played some golf along the way – he had to be hausted.  He rolled into “Still is Still Moving” so smoothly, and then he just took off, and took us all with him.  By the time he got to Bobby McGee, he was peeling off his flannel shirt , to the cheers of the women in the crowd, which drew a sweet shy smile from Willie.

Willie says Red Rocks is his favorite venue, and I gotta say he’s Red Rocks’ favorite, too.     I could see Willie picking up on the fans’ energy.  It was a loving appreciative crowd, and many times Willie thanked us (while we were thanking him!), and saying, “I can hear you.  Thank you.”  I love when he says he can hear us.  At one point, he said, “Red Rocks you are the greatest.”  No Willie, you are the greatest.

Willie sang a song I haven’t heard in a while, “Sweet Memories”.  It was so beautiful.  And he sang his new song, “You Don’t Think I’m Funny Anymore.”  It was such a crowd pleaser.  It is a hit song already.  Jody and Willie did a wonderful version of Pancho and Lefty, and the long guitar bridges, (is that the word), in “Me and Bobby McGee” just gave me goosebumps.  No Working Man’s Blues, but a very animated “Me and Paul.” 

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band opened, and their set was good.  That was just about as much bluegrass as I like.  They played some new stuff, some old favorites, like Mr. BoJangle,  covered some Beach Boys and Beatles tunes, and threw in some traditional blue grass.  John the banjo/violin/guitar player, is such an good musician and always so animated; it was a treat to watch him.  Everyone in the band sings, so the drummer/harmonica player joined at the mic for several tunes, as did the keyboard player.  They came out and joined Willie on Will the Circle Be Unbroken, which was very appropriate.  Taylor Hicks, the American Idol guy, came on stage and sang with Willie and the Dirt Band.  When he walked in the girl next to me yelled in my ear, “That’s Taylor Hicks, the American Idol.”   But for me there was just one American Idol on the stage last night.

John Hickenlooper, Denver’s Mayor was sitting in the VIP section.  When I left I passed a dozen limos parked waiting for Willie fans, all decked out for a good time with Willie.  There is something so magical being at Red Rocks,: the sun sets, the moon comes up, Willie comes on stage with the bright lights of Denver shining like diamonds behind him.  Pure magic.

Thanks, Willie, for another wonderful show!

Linda Lee

Leave a Reply