Willie Nelson, Nickle Creek at Coachella and Stagecoach Festivals

April 30, 2007
In previous years, the Coachella festival site and all its stages and sound and lighting equipment were torn down almost as soon as the last act had performed. Not so this year, as Coachella’s producers will debut Stagecoach, a country and American music festival, next weekend at the same site. Only two Coachella acts were double-booked to perform at Stagecoach, country music icon Willie Nelson and San Diego newgrass band Nickel Creek.  

Nelson, who turns 74 today, was probably the festival’s oldest artist. He delivered a winning set early last night that began with “Whiskey River” and included such favorites as a rocked-up “Still is Still Moving to Me” and a tender version of “Me and Bobby McGee.” Nickel Creek, which performed Friday, was also warmly received. “We are so excited to be here – you have no idea,” singer/violinist Sara Watkins told the cheering crowd.

Following an especially charged version of the all-instrumental “The Smoothie Song,” some audience members expressed their approval by shouting out a popular profanity. Nickel Creek mandolinist Chris Thile smiled. “We never get swearing at our shows. This is awesome,” he said. “Just hurl one (obscenity) out every few minutes. Make us feel like rock stars!”


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