Date: April 3rd 2013
Band Link: willienile.com
New York rocker Willie Nile and his band played an early show at Joe’s Pub last night. If you’ve been to a Willie Nile show before, you know why they are legendary! This was only my second time seeing Willie, but I’ve been a fan of his since 2004 when I saw him for the first time. I believe it was in 2004 and he opened for the Saw Doctors at Irving Plaza. I have no idea why I haven’t seen him since but I need to make it a point to see him more than once every 9 years!
Willie and his band came on stage at 7pm and rocked Joe’s Pub until about 8:40pm. It was the quickest hour and forty minutes and I wish he went on longer! Willie played early on “Heaven Helped the Lonely,” which is one of my favorites. I wanted to hear “Places I’ve Never Been” but hoping to hear that next time. Other tunes Willie played throughout the evening include “House of a Thousand Guitars,” “One Guitar,” “Midnight Rose,” “Innocent Ones” and Jim Carroll cover of “People Who Died.” “House of a Thousand Guitars” had to be my favorite song of the night besides “Heaven…” “One Guitar” was a fun one as well.
At one point Willie performed “Love is a Train” on the piano and it was beautifully done. What I love about musicians like Willie Nile and other singer/songwriter types is the personal stories they tell in-between songs. But “Love is a Train” is a slow song but picks up at the end. Besides obviously Willie’s guitar playing and singing, I was also impressed with bassist Johnny Pisano and guitarist Matt Hogan wailing about too.
As the show was happening, Willie was dancing and rocking on stage, then he comes out into the crowd and sits right next to me in the table. Figures I had my telephoto lens on and couldn’t switch to a wide angle lens to take a picture. He did that a few times and the bassist did that as well. It was a fun seeing that. I was also cracking up how Willie kept saying “Thank the Baby Jesus,” which just reminded me of Talladega Nights.
Later on singer/songwriter James Maddock came on stage to sing and play tambourine. Others joined Willie and the band later on to sing as well. You never know who’s going to turn up at a Willie Nile show. Willie’s new album American Ride went through the PledgeMusic/ Kickstarter process and he got his funding in 4 days. The album will be out June 25th and he played a couple from that as well. Looking forward to hearing more from the new album!
All in all, Willie Nile and his band put on one hell of a show. It was outstanding to say the least. Even if you don’t know any songs, you will by the end of the night. Seeing his shows at Joe’s Pub is a must if you live in New York City! I just wish I saw more of his shows sooner.
See all the photos from the show at my photo site SkaPunkPhotos.com.