I guess no one else could read that part about no cameras, though. So I shouldn't have worried. I could have taken in just about anything. No security check. No ushers in a darkened arena. I could not even read the row and seat numbers at all. Weird. Like no other place I have ever really been to a concert. Anyhoo, cameras were flashing all over the place and I found it annoying...hey, you folks, you do know that your flash is really only good up to eight feet or so, right? Duh. If you want to photograph, turn off the flash!!!!
And? When Willie sings "Blue Eyes Cryin' in the Rain" and "Always on my Mind?" If you don't have a lighter to pull out, DO NOT use the light on your cel phone. Totally innapropriate. Really. Lame.
We missed the first opening act, but the second was three gals from Newfoundland, Labrador, called the Sheas. They were lovely. I liked them very much...beautiful voices.
Willie opened with "Whiskey River," just as every Willie Nelson concert does. He was GREAT, although I am not sure the Victoria crowd was completely with him. I think they all wanted to hear him sing the standard Willie Nelson hits in just the way they have heard them on their CDs. Or maybe they were all up past their bedtimes. Well, hell's bells, folks. That just isn't what Willie Nelson is all about.
The crowd was so freaking sedate that it was creeping me out a bit. I have never been to a Willie Nelson show where everyone stayed in their seats and politely applauded at the end of each song. We jump up and hoot and holler when he's belting out "Me and Bobbie McGee." We all join in on "On the Road Again." We cry and laugh and sing and WOOT WOOT WOOT...but I guess I am not in Texas anymore. Or the Gorge. Or Tacoma, for that matter. Or Seattle....it's not just a U.S. thing, is it?
Willie is not set in his sound. Every time I hear him sing "Whiskey River", it sounds different. Every time he sings "Crazy," it is different. Every time he sings "Me and Paul"(my dad's very favorite), it is different. That's one of the things I love about him...I think it's one of the things this crowd didn't get about him.
And he sang all of those standards, and many, many more. He sang new stuff of his I hadn't heard before...he sang with his kid on a song they collaborated on. Great song, by the way, but it was funny how hard his son, about 20 years old or less, was wanking on his electric guitar and Willie comes up with half the notes on old and trusty Trigger and sounded so much better. Sorry, kid, you got a ways to go...but great songwriting. I hope that song is on the next album.
He has been singing to me my whole life...not just the same songs, new songs...old songs made new. Seeing him live is like coming in to cheer a dear, treasured friend. I love you, Willie. Thank you for the music.
Hell, yeah, I wanna bring Willie home...and Bobbie and Paul and Mickey Raphael....and everyone else on that stage....