Music icon and legend Willie Nelson played Goldenvoice’s Palomino Festival at Brookside at the Rose Bowl which is the golf course surrounding the stadium where a number of great music festivals have been, such as Arroyo-Seco, Cruel World, and Just Like Heaven. Nelson & Family hit the Pancho (main) stage at 8:15 P.M. It was really Nelson and family as it was Willie and his sons Lukas and Jacob. The festival's stages Pancho & Lefty were named from Nelson and Merle Haggard’s song of that name. Nelson has a career spanning over six decades and 2022 marks the 60th anniversary of the release of his debut album “... And Then I Wrote.” In those 60 years Nelson has released nearly 100 albums with the most recent being A Beautiful Time released this year on his 89th birthday (4/29).
Nelson has had 13 number 1 Billboard US Country Albums. Nelson has collaborated with various legends like Frank Sinatra, The Beach Boys, B.B. King, U2, and was also a member of the Highwaymen with Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, and Kris Kristofferson. Nelson has won a total of 37 awards combined between the Grammys, AMAs, CMAs, ACMs, and more. Nelson is also a Country Music Hall of Fame Inductee (1993) and Kennedy Center honoree (1998). Also Nelson was a founder of Farm Aid with Neil Young and John Mellencamp which has been an annual festival since 1985. Back when Country was real country not pop or rock there was Willie Nelson.
Nelson gave an intimate performance being seated out front of the stage with his two sons. Nelson was sporting a Farm Aid shirt. As always Nelson played his famous ‘Trigger’ guitar named after Roy Rogers’ Horse. Nelson opened with “Whiskey River” with his home state flag of Texas on the video screen. In total Nelson Played 13-songs. The second song was “Texas Flood” famously known for fellow Texas native Stevie Ray Vaughn’s version. Nelson recorded the song on his 2000 album Milk Cow Blues with Kenny Wayne Shepherd. Nelson also covered his Highwaymen bandmate Waylon Jennings with “Good Hearted Woman,” and the final two songs were Pearl Jam’s “Just Breathe” and Mac Davis’ “It’s Hard to Be Humble.” Nelson’s set really did span his 60+ year career with “I Never Cared for You” from 1964 to “I’ll Love You Til the Day I Die” from his new album which was written by Chris Stapleton and Rodney Crowell.
Old Crow Medicine Show who were the act before Nelson, but on the Lefty Stage came out to sing backing and dance along with Nelson on the closer “It’s Hard to Be Humble” There was a major song missing from Willie Nelson’s set that he always performs which was “On the Road Again.” Nelson made a surprise appearance halfway through Musgraves’ set to perform it as a duet. Musgraves announced Nelson has her “other grandpa” as her real one was in attendance. However if you were close enough you could see an amp on top of one of Nelson’s road cases and not playing a song everyone likes to sing hinted he’d be returning with Musgraves.
Nelson has been on tour since April 22nd and has dates all the way through September 23rd. Starting July 29th 14 of the performances will be part of Nelson’s Outlaw Festival which in select cities includes ZZ Top, Jason Isbell, The Avett Brothers, Steve Earle, Gov’t Mule Larkin Poe, Billy Strings, and Charley Crockett and Zach Bryan who both played Palomino fest. The final Outlaw Festival date on Sept. 23rd will include Chris Stapleton.
- Whiskey River-Johnny Bush
- Texas Flood- Larry Davis
- I Never Cared for You
- If I Die When I’m High I’ll Be Halfway to Heaven
- Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Group Up to Be Cowboys- Ed Bruce
- Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground
- Good Hearted Woman- Waylon Jennings
- Always on My Mind- Gwen McCrae
- Move It on Over- Hank Williams
- I’ll Love You Till the Day I Die- Chris Stapleton and Rodney Crowell
- Write Your Own Songs- Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson
- Just Breathe- Pearl Jam
- It’s Hard to be Humble- Mac Davis