Review: Willie Nelson performs at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury Special

Posted Jun 8, 2013 by Markos Papadatos
On June 7, veteran country music singer-songwriter Willie Nelson performed at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury, in Long Island, New York.
Country music living legend Willie Nelson
Country music living legend Willie Nelson
Photo Courtesy of David McClister
As soon as he took the stage, the Country Music Hall of Famer was greeted by a lengthy standing ovation from the Long Island crowd.
Backed by a five-piece band, he commenced his set with “Whiskey River” and it was followed by “Still is Still Moving To,” as well as a solo rendition of “Beer For My Horses,” which he recorded as a duet with Toby Keith.
“Thank you very much,” Wilie said.
He immediately broke into “Funny How Time Slips Away” and the classic ballad “Crazy,” which became a smash hit for Patsy Cline in 1962.
After singing “Night Life,” Willie introduced his talented band which included his sister, Bobbie Nelson on piano, Kevin Smith on bass, Mickey Raphael on harmonica, Paul English on drums and Billy English.
Other noteworthy vocals included “Me and Paul,” Kris Kristofferson’s “Help Me Make It Through the Night,” “Matchbox,” “Let’s Face the Music and Dance,” “Georgia on a Fast Train,” “Good Hearted Woman,” where the crowd participated in a sing-along, “South of the Border” and his version of “On the Road Again” garnered a standing ovation.
Equally beautiful was his rendition of his signature tune “Always on My Mind,” which was succeeded with another standing ovation.
In “Georgia on My Mind,” Willie soared on vocals and Mickey did a stellar job on harmonica.
“Thank you very much,” the country pioneer said.
It was followed by yet another classic “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain,” as well as “City of New Orleans” and a smooth rendition of “To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before.”
Willie played “Superman” and he was joined by Mickey on harmonica yet again and he provided comic relief in his set with “You Don’t Think I’m Funny Anymore” and he sang the gospel classic “Will The Circle Be Unbroken.”
He closed with his new gospel song, “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die,” where Bobbie showcased her prowess on piano, and a cover of Hank Williams’ “I See the Light.”
The Verdict
Overall, Willie Nelson did a solid job bringing traditional country music to his New York fans. He played many fan favorite songs and he performed for a sold-out venue. The audience knew that they were in the presence of a living musical legend. Willie’s songwriting and life story are an inspiration for all of us. He is an example of an individual who is able to go beyond the ordinary and mold country music into what it is today.
According to Christine Nagy, radio personality from New York’s 106.7 Lite FM, she remarked, “Willie Nelson is timeless and an institution of the country western world, but he crosses over into different genres and generations. Hope he is on the road again until 90.”
To learn more about Willie Nelson and his tour dates, visit his official website.