Willie Nelson at Usana

Life elevated is not for everyone, it seems.
Willie Nelson was hospitalized for respiratory problems last night. He sounded quavery when he and the Family first took the stage at USANA after Kacey Musgraves’ set, but forged ahead with his usual energy right up until he didn’t—about 5 songs in. He left the stage, then “little sister Bobbie” (who was inducted into the Texas Music Hall of Fame the night before) and harmonica player Mickey Raphael led the band for a few songs until someone came out and announced that Willie was ill and the concert was over.
A shocker.
I’ve been going to see Willie Nelson since 1973 in Austin. I saw him play at the second Fourth of July picnic and I’ve seen him play at McMorris Ford. He and the band always plays long, hard and perfectly. Of course he does—“the life he loves is making music with his friends.” He’s 84 years old and he still plays close to 150 shows a year.
I’ll go hear Willie play anywhere. Even USANA.
Later, to everyone’s relief, Willie tweeted, “”The altitude just got to me. I am feeling a lot better now and headed for lower ground.”
I can’t help wondering if this marks the end of Willie Nelson playing Utah. For me, that would diminish the pleasure of a Wasatch summer considerably.
But, it’s Willie. He’s a national treasure and in these bleak times, one of its few bright spots. If he can’t come to us, I’ll go hear him. At a lower altitude.
Where there’s a Willie, there’s a way.

Mary Brown Malouf
Mary Brown Maloufhttps://www.saltlakemagazine.com/
Mary Brown Malouf is the late Executive Editor of Salt Lake magazine and Utah's expert on local food and dining. She still does not, however, know how to make a decent cup of coffee.

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