Willie Nelson Rocks the Fillmore Last Night

fill7(Lots more pictures to come.  I’m struggling with my new computer, so stay tuned.)

I’m having that dream again, where I get to see Willie Nelson and Family in concert night, after night, after night….  Wait!  It’s happening!  I’m in San Francisco, and Willie is doing five shows at the Fillmore.   (But if  it is that recurring dream,  just don’t wake me up.)

It was another wild love fest  in San Francisco last night.  Willie  hit the ground running and never looked back,and he took us along for the ride.  Lots of mixed metaphors there, but you get the picture.  The crowd at the Fillmore was so pumped for the show, and when Willie came on stage it got very LOUD and fans let him know just how happy they were to be at a Willie Nelson and Family concert.  Willie took all that energy and love gave it right back to us.   I don’t know how he does it, but he waved and blew kisses, toasted us with whatever he was drinking, and made everyone feel connected to him.   The shouting and clapping went on so long after each song, that Willie had to push through the noise to his next song.  

Willie has so many hits, he couldn’t fit them all in a concert and still have time to get on to the next town and sing them all over again.  He’s very generous with his hits, though, and make evertne happy when he sings medleys of Crazy and Nightlife and other hits he’s written.    Then, with some songs, he plays like tonight was the only gig he’s got all week, and he stretches them out with long guitar solos that give you goosebumps, like  “Me and Bobbie McGee”, and Bloody Mary Morning.”  It was one of those nights where he put his guitar down a couple times, and waved goodbye and then pick up Trigger and go at it again.  At one point he left the stage, went down stairs and greeted some friends and fans and hugged  someone who looked a lot like Woody Harrelson,  then came back on stage and played City of New Orleans and some Hank Williams tunes.   His set included a rousing version of ‘Pick up the Tempo,’ that made you feel like you’were in the audience on the set of the  ‘Honeysuckle Rose’ movie. ‘  His fans couldn’t get enough.   Willie was energized and it looked like he was having fun and enjoying the give take with his fans.

And I just can’t say enough about Willie Nelson’s guitar playing.  He is a master, and a joy to watch.    Willie was joined on stage with his sons Micah and Lukas, and Willie and Lukas played a moving, guitar-string breaking version of ‘It’s Flooding Down in Texas.’  It looked like Willie was having fun, up on stage with his sister, his sons, with friends he’s known for decade, doing what he loves — playing music for fans who were loving him.  

Willie came out with a long braid, worn over one shoulder.  He started out with his black hat, then changed to a bandanna, that he tossed in to the crowd.  At the end of the evening, he took the stack of bandannas  and tossed them all out to the crowd.

The rule was you could only take pictures during the first two songs of Willie’s set, and it was strictly enforced.  I was grateful for the pictures I got to take, but wanted more, of course.    Budrock was creating magic with the lighting last night, and there were so many shots.  Miss Bobbie had on a glimmering silver suit and four inch heels and looked her usual beautiful self.   But  I couldn’t get that shot, either.  A fan sent up a red  straw hat, with a red leather hat band, and silver buckle on it.  

The Fillmore was full of  aging hippies like me, and young kids, and everything in between.  Everyone around me was from somewhere else besides San Francisco, but I knew I wouldn’t be the only one who flew in to see Willie at the Fillmore.  New fans, old fans, people came to hear Willie Nelson and Family, and Willie gave his all for a great show. 

Lukas Nelson and the Promise of the Real opened the show for Willie Nelson and Family. Formerly known as the Lost Planetary Bandits, then 40 points, the band just gets better and better and continues to take risks with their music.   The band moved everyone at the show  with their version of Jerry Garcia’s, ‘Althea’, there at the Fillmore, with all those Grateful Dead memories everywhere.

A great night.   Thank you Willie Nelson and Family, and Promise of the Real.

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