Yep, that really did happen and I really was there! In fact, I splurged for sixth row seats for the first time at the Meyerson Symphony Center. The first half of the concert was Willie and the DSO performing together and after intermission it was Willie and his band.
Before I get into any details, let me say one thing. For over 50 years Willie has been performing and has cemented himself in legend and lore. He owes fans and the music world absolutely nothing at this point. Given all that, he still goes out and pushed himself into unknown territory. Kudos to him and to the DSO for trying something musically challenging and outside of the normal comfort zone.
The concert started with the DSO performing a few pieces and then Willie came out to join them. He was dressed in a black suit, complete with slacks and highlighted with black cowboy boots and a black cowboy hat. He even had his signature hair tucked into the back of his shirt.
As the combination of the DSO and Willie began it was immediately evident that Willie was out of his comfort zone and looking for queues from the conductor. That said, once he got his entrance queues the combination of symphonic melody and classic Willie crooning was something to truly behold. Words can’t do the unique combination justice.
After intermission it was like the Meyerson was transformed into a small smoky bar with Willie and his band having a jam session. No glitz, no neon, just good music and great entertainment in an intimate setting. As the mix of classics and new songs came out Willie relaxed more and more until it seemed he was finally in his element; joking with the audience and pulling us into singing along, his charm shined brightly.
After two encores the show was over, but Willie wasn’t done. He stayed around for at least 30 minutes signing autographs, posing for pictures and hamming it up for the fans who stuck around. I got my autograph (thanks to Jenn) and headed home. All-in-all, worth every penny!
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