Friday, April 23, 2010

Willie Nelson Is Still Beating The Devil.... But His Sons Are His Real Legacy

There were 4 couples and a single guy (whose wife was out of town) in our group tonight and here's how it all went down. One couple secured the limousine, one couple drove their Suburban over early (to the town 20 miles away) to secure a table as soon as the doors opened (which was a real treat), and I ordered 2 racks of (sliced) baby back ribs, 10 chopped beef sandwiches, barbecue sauce, 10 bags of chips, a fruit tray, a veggie tray, and whatever else would go with it all. I had called a local rib joint just after lunch and set up the order for 4:00 PM because we were all scheduled to meet at the 4th couple's house at 6:00 PM and the limo was picking us all up at 6:30 PM. I picked up the food as scheduled and they had everything ready. Once we arrived at our friends' house it was all loaded into the limo's trunk (we had a full house bus) and we made our way to the neighboring town, and to the Willie Concert.

The place where the concert was being held is normally a fun dive bar/restaurant (lunch and dinner) but during concerts they don't serve food, so they told us we were allowed to bring food in with us as long as we didn't try to sneak booze in. No problem there since we don't mind paying for our likker. We distributed our *spread* as all of the people at neighboring tables stared and drooled excessively. On weekends when they don't have concerts booked (during spring, summer and fall) this place also has live bull riding (yes, real live bulls with mostly riders who haven't qualified for the real rodeo circuit yet). It's truly one of the best dives/restaurant/bars in the state of Texas.

So, we're all inside at our table eating and we keep hearing this amazing voice and guitar so I keep going outside to see if Willie has started yet but it's still the opening band, whose name none of us recognized.

Apparently, had I done my homework, I would have known that Willie's two youngest sons have a band and they were the openers on this particular occasion. Let me just tell you that Lukas Nelson can rock a guitar up there with the great legends of rock 'n roll. I had difficulty keeping my mouth closed. Seriously. This kid (who basically just finished growing in his adult teeth) is up there with the likes of Robert Plant, Jimi Hendrix and Steve Winwood. It's almost like he cut his teeth on the likes of Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf. I kid you not. There's a lot to be said for music osmosis. When I heard Lukas' brother Micah Nelson sing, I swear I almost swooned. His voice is like silk and they are both songwriters as well. Amazing, talented kids, I tell you.

None of us had even an inkling of an idea that Willie Nelson's two youngest sons, Lukas and Micah, not only have a kickin' band (I think the name is "40 Percent"), but they were the first band to sign onto the new record label Willie launched this year, Perdernales (after the famous Texas river) Records. Apparently, it was announced at SXSW (south by southwest music media event - it's a HUGE deal) in Austin this year. As  luck would have it, Willie's sons' band, "40 Percent", opened for Willie and his band tonight. I was completely *awe struck*. Lukas was actually considered as an addition to Bob Dylan's new band not long ago. Yes. He. Is. That. Good. That kid could play lead guitar and beat the devil. No lie.

So anyway, the original plan was that Mr. Snoots and the single hubby of our group would leave early in the couple's car that came over early to secure a table. The rest of us were going to return home via the limo. So, we're outside as close as you can get to the stage (without paying $250.00 per person) and I feel a few raindrops falling on my head so I told our friends I was going back through the *trenches* to get my cowboy hat in case it kept lightly raining (That's the only reason I even brought the cowboy hat). I was suddenly overwhelmed by a feeling of doom when the lightning streaked ALL the way across the sky, followed by a deafening roll of thunder. It wasn't even a whole minute after I reached the inside of the place that I heard the skies open up to deliver a torrential downpour. People running inside were literally drenched. Whew! I don't do *drenched* well at all, so I dodged a bullet there. Once I donned my cowboy hat I was ready to go back out (yes, I'd had a few too many margaritas, okay?) and finish watching the concert. Au contraire! That didn't happen.

It was then we learned that even though Willie Nelson and his band were only into its first set by 4 songs, the whole shebang had been canceled. We do not take lightning and thunder casually here in West Texas. It can and does kill on a regular basis. No one argued. No one whined. And, instead of waiting to go with the gang in the limo, I opted to go back with Mr. Snoots and our sober friend Mr. B. The drive back 20 miles was absolutely terrifying, as the highway was completely flooded and although the speed limit is 65 at night, we didn't see one single car going over 35 or 40. Okay, maybe one was going like 65. Idiot. When we have torrential rains out here, flooding can be devastating (it's flat so there's no place for the rain to go....) if it happens within a matter of moments. Luckily, the dry ground and the mesquite bush soak it all up within a matter of nano seconds after the rain stops. (Think the African desert here.)

The weird thing was that everyone took digital pictures and none of them turned out well. Mine are blurred, as are everyone else's pictures. I think it must have been the lighting onstage. I tried shots with and without the flash. Neither turned out well. Hmmph!

We finally made it back home, albeit resembling rain saturated rodents. I'm sorry the concert didn't pan out... especially since now (an hour later) ALL of the storms have moved off and you can see every star in the universe. Go. Figure.

Apparently, our night with Willie just wasn't meant to be...  Sadly, we all felt that it would be our last time to see The Master in concert, so we were all happy to merely have had the chance. At 70 years old, Willie still rocks a crossover array of genres. What a total character, who has always stayed true to himself! Lucky for us all that he raised his sons on a variety of music genres. Trust me when I tell you they are going to rock our offspring's worlds someday.


Tammy said...

Wow, what an adventure! I'm so glad you made it home successfully.

I have to tell you I am in love with Lukas Nelson, not only is he an amazing musician he is sooo gosh darn cute! He is a frequent in studio and phone guest on the morning radio show I listen too. He is just all around a great guy. Here is a link to his website... You can see pictures as well as performances there.

Suburban Princess said...

Wow! What a crazy night! But at least you got to ride in the limo and have a yummy dinner!

We have storms like that here and I always seem to be on the highway when they hit!

scargosun said...

But is sounds like you had good food! What a shame the concert was canceled though.

Anything Fits a Naked Man said...

What a night! So sorry the concert was cancelled, but your description of the food just made me hungry!!

noble pig said...

Wow, it sounds like Oregon...beautiful one second, pouring the next!

Patricia Hannigan said...

Only TX is TX. I love Willie Nelson.


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