May 22, 2011

Concert #593 - Willie Nile at McCabe's Guitar Shop (May 21, 2011)

Willie Nile's small body is no indication as to how huge he is as a performer. Why isn't he better known than he actually is? That's just another unexplained mystery of the Universe. Actually Willie did talk about fame and the benefits of not having achieved it, but also mentioned, in good humor, of course, that he could use the money that often accompanies fame.

This was my third time to see him in three years and I thought he was better than ever. Wearing his usual all-black clothes and armed with an acoustic guitar, Willie put on yet another blistering show that was exceptionally well-received by the sell-out crowd. I was amazed by his intensity and the incredible amount of energy that he exuded throughout the concert. His new songs were all catchy and instantly likeable, not unlike his earlier work.

Twice during the show, Willie sat down at the piano to play slower songs, namely "Streets Of New York" and "Love Is A Train", but his "rock & roll attitude" kept coming even while his guitar wasn't in use.

"Seeds Of A Revolution"
"House Of A Thousand Guitars"
"I Wanna Be Sedated"
"People Who Died"
"The Innocent Ones"
"One Guitar"
"Rich And Broken"
"Streets Of New York"
"Love Is A Train"
"Cell Phones Ringing (In The Pockets Of The Dead)"
"On The Road To Calvary"
"Les Champs Elysees"

Willie brought along drummer and backup vocalist Frankie Lee, his longtime sidekick, who did a great job from his low-profile spot right in the corner of the stage.

Just like in 2009, Creed Bratton, of the Grass Roots and The Office fame, popped up for a couple of songs and he was definitely a welcome addition to the show.

Without a doubt, this was one of the best shows I have ever seen at McCabe's

Willie Nile and fans, before the door opened
The McCabe's crowd, minutes before the lights went down
Concert Director Lincoln Myerson addressing the crowd
L to R: Creed Bratton, Willie Nile
Willie Nile chatting with fans after the show

Some of the folks I dragged with me to McCabe's
The evening kicked off with an opening act of some renown: Peter Lewis of Moby Grape, the internationally known American rock band. Peter came out with three other musicians, among them Willie Aron, a very good guitar player I had seen a few times before. Peter's performance was passable at best.

Peter Lewis' set list

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