Willie Nelson and Family, including Trigger, in Las Vegas
Cover photo credit: Erik Kabik
After two cancelled shows due to health issues, Willie Nelson hit the stage Friday night, Feb. 1, at The Venetian Theatre in Las Vegas with “Willie Nelson & Family: Vegas On My Mind.”
With two braided pigtails falling to his waist and a straw cowboy hat atop his head, he started off with fan favorites “Whiskey River,” “Still Is Still Moving to Me” and “Beer for My Horses.” Daughter, Amy, made a surprise appearance and the two performed “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die,” “Will the Circle Be Unbroken,” “I’ll Fly Away” and “I Saw the Light.” He sang “Still Not Dead Again Today” from his forthcoming album “God’s Problem Child” and closed with “Move It On Over.”
Also on stage with Willie was Trigger, his autographed-covered Martin N-20 acoustic guitar that has been with him for nearly five decades. He bought it in 1969 for $750. Leon Russell was the first to scratch his name in with a ballpoint pen.
It’s a toss up as to who’s more beat up, Willie or his guitar—the latter has a gaping hole in the spot where Willie's pick sends wood chips flying—but there's no doubt both still resonate with the music they make.
“I figure we’ll give out about the same time,” said Willie in a taped interview with Rolling Stone. But then he added, “Trigger’ll probably outlast me, I think.”
The night before his show, Willie stopped by Exile Boutique in downtown Las Vegas to promote his line of cannabis products from Willie's Reserve. John Katsilometes reported in the Las Vegas Review Journal that “Nelson fired up a few samples and passed them around the room, which swiftly took on the fragrance of a Snoop Dogg concert.”