Willie Nelson : Live! At the US Festival 1983

Written by Jason Collier

March 4, 2012

Ahh…Willie.

The man who told Howard Stern he vaporizes marijuana to “get normal,” who wrote “Crazy,” and who has played the same wonderfully broken-in guitar (Trigger) for his entire career, Mr. Willie Nelson has released a live DVD of one of his best musical performances on Live! At the US Festival 1983. Headlining the US Festival – a festival funded by Apple Computer co-founder Steve Wozniak on June 4, 1983, in San Bernadino, California – this performance is a perfect demonstration of the talent, picking prowess, and jamming ability of Willie Nelson at his best.

The show opens with a young Willie playing hot “Whiskey River” licks on a Trigger whose hole isn’t quite as worn in as it is now.  He’s rocking the bandana, the red white and blue patriotic guitar strap, and a stoner’s smile.  Soon, strings are vibrating in quick succession, having no choice but to succumb to Willie’s relentless picking.  From there, the show segues into a medley of Willie’s greatest hits.  With a precision backing band that lets him do his thing with the songs that made him famous, Willie is left to shine and expand upon the standard arrangements of his classic tunes.

Featuring all the hits, plus a guest appearance by fellow outlaw Waylon Jennings, this DVD doesn’t disappoint.  Steadily building to an encore trifecta of “Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground,” “On the Road Again,” and “Always on My Mind,” the show ends in classic, spectacular fashionThrough it all Willie, remains steadfast in his excellence and his ability to rouse a festival crowd with nothing less than his absolute best.  Well done, Willie…well done.

Live! At the US Festival 1983 is out now on Shout! Factory.