Willie Nile

Willie Nile

Mexicali Live, Teaneck, NJ

February 18, 2017

Review and Photos by Mark Ashe 

 

 

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Willie Nile rocked a sold out show at Mexicali Live in New Jersey on Saturday night.  This was Nile’s first show in the lower forty-eight after a recent tour of Alaska. Willie’s band includes Matt Hogan on lead guitar, Johnny Pisano on bass and Randy Schrager on drums.  Schrager is a recent addition and I was surprised to learn that this was his first gig playing with Nile. Nile reminded the audience that Schrager didn’t even rehearse with the band, it seemed like the Schrager had been playing with them forever and that was truly amazing to watch.

Willie Nile started the show with a solo acoustic rendition of Looking For Someone, an unreleased song co-written with Andrew Dorff who passed away this December.  Tonight was the first time the song was ever performed.  Nile was joined by the opening act, Christine Santelli, who sang along on the chorus.  A touching and somber moment for Nile, he and Santelli, gave an incredibly heartfelt performance.

Check out the huge gallery of photos by Mark Ashe here.

After this song Willie Nile put away his acoustic guitar and was ready to rock and he didn’t disappoint.  His axe is an old, shall I say a very old, beat up Fender guitar that just keeps playing incredible under appreciated songs.  For the Willie Nile faithful, every song is cherished and the fans seem to know every lyric to every song.  Nile has been playing since the seventies and has a large library of songs to choose from.  He even brings a book of his song lyrics, just in case he decides to go really deep into his library of music.

Willie jumps into “Forever Wild,” the lead cut on his latest album, World War Willie.  He then tells us a funny story about his grandkids.  He tells about playing with Bruce Springsteen in front of 70,000 fans and asking Springsteen if he has any grand kids.  Springsteen says he doesn’t.  Nile says to Springsteen, “If I had a choice of playing in front of 70,000 fans or playing with my grandchildren, Bruce you’re out!”  Then, Nile plays a rousing version of Grandpa Rocks.

This was somewhat of a homecoming for Nile as he made several shout outs to audience members.  Every Willie Nile show is always full of energy and this one didn’t disappoint.  The band played for over two hours including a one-song encore.  Some of the crowd favorites from the show were Hell Yeah, House of a Thousand Guitars, One Guitar and covers of the great Lou Reed’s Sweet Jane and Heroes by David Bowie. ­

Nile, 68 years old told the audience that he’s going back into the studio this week.  The audience was enthused for more Willie Nile music.  Nile continues his tour throughout the Spring.  If you’ve never seen Willie Nile and his band and he comes to your town, be sure to see the band.  You’ll be hooked like this reviewer was ten years ago.

Set List

Looking For Someone w/Christine Santelli

Forever Wild

Grandpa Rocks

Life on Bleecker Street

The Innocent Ones

Heaven Help The Lonely

Hell Yeah w/Christine Santelli

Give Me Tomorrow

Love Is A Train

Sideways Beautiful (Solo Acoustic)

Rainy Day Woman 12 & 35 (Bob Dylan cover)

Children of Paradise

Trouble Down in Diamond Town

House of a Thousand Guitars

Sweet Jane (Lou Reed cover)

Heroes (David Bowie cover)

One Guitar

Hard Times in America (Encore)

From a different show, but fun anyway.  This is from the video channel of dvddubbingguy

Check out the huge gallery of photos by Mark Ashe here.

To submit a review or story for consideration hit us at lmnandr@gmail.com

Check out the Live Music News and Review.com Facebook page for updates and announcements.

 

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