Willie Nelson & Family at Outlaw Music Festival in Saratog Springs (9/17/21)

by: Lauren Halligan

Read entire review here.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. — Longtime music legend Willie Nelson, at 88 years old, is still pleasing crowds as he once again leads the Outlaw Music Festival across the country.

For the festival’s Sunday night show at Saratoga Performing Arts Center, the audience was treated to performances by Margo Price, Gov’t Mule, Sturgill Simpson and Willie Nelson & Family.

The local concert was among the first of a total 14-stop tour that will highlight different artists along the way, while always featuring Willie Nelson & Family as the headlining act.

While each of Sunday’s opening acts was distinctly different, offering a good variety for concertgoers, all three have found their way onto this unique tour under the title of “outlaw” – and alongside the iconic Willie Nelson.

In his gray pigtail braids, red bandana and straw cowboy hat, the beloved star took the stage ready to entertain. Sitting next to his son Micah Nelson, Willie got the show going with “Whiskey River” and “Still Is Still Moving To Me.”

A few humorous numbers like “Still Not Dead,” “Roll Me Up And Smoke Me When I Die” and Micah’s song “If I Die When I’m High I’ll Be Halfway to Heaven” made light of the musician’s old age and mortality.

Willie played fan favorites like “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys,” “Always on My Mind” and “On the Road Again” as well as “Crazy,” and “Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground.”

“Georgia On My Mind” and “Will the Circle be Unbroken” both made the setlist too, before Willie ended the performance with a comical cover of “It’s Hard To Be Humble.”

For a guy with so many decades of success, maybe it is hard to be humble – but Willie certainly knows how to make an audience feel right at home in his presence.

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