Skip to content

Willie Nile At City Winery, Friday, April 30th, 2016, Reviewed

IMG_0211

Willie Nile first became prominent on the New York rock scene in 1980 with the release of his first eponymous album.  He put out two more records on a major label, and got as far as opening for the Who, but his career fizzled out after that.  After years of inactivity he resurrected his career in 1999, putting out a series of more or less self released excellent albums.  He is currently touring to support his latest, “World War Willie”.  His show came to City Winery on April 30.

Willie and his excellent band opened the show with two rockers from the new album, “Forever Wild’ and my new theme song, “Grandpa Rocks”. Let’s hear it for us old guys!   He went on to play a set combining some of his best older songs, a few more new ones, and some apt covers.

A major theme of the night was remembering the recently dear departed.  After dedicating concert favorite “Heaven Help the Lonely” to Prince, the band covered “Let’s Go Crazy” with Willie reading the opening speech and many of the lyrics from his ubiquitous notebook. Sloppy but fun. Later he played the country tinged “When Levon Sings” from the new album.  (When lightning strikes it’s Levon’s snare).  Toward the end of the set there was a rocking medley of Lou Reed’s “Sweet Jane”, also on the new album, and David Bowie’s “Heroes”.

The set ended with a frenzied “You Gotta Be a Buddha”, the anthemic “One Guitar’ and a an encore of “Hear You Breathe” and another apt cover, “A Hard Day’s Night”. I hope to hear Paul play that one in August.

For much of the set the core band of Matt Hogan on lead guitar, Johnny Pisano on bass and the unsmiling Alex Alexander on drums was joined by the great singer-songwriter James Maddock and and the memorably slinky Patricia Vonne and backing vocals.  Vonne also contributed some percussion on castanets, not normally a rock’n’ roll instrument, but it worked.  There was another woman singer who’s name I unfortunately did not catch.

Nile, Pisano, Hogan and Alexander have been together for years now, and it shows in the easy camaraderie and tightness of the performance.  I’ve seen them many times and they always put on a great show.  Willie is a terrific front man, warm and humble, with a true appreciation for his audience.

If you are not familiar with Willie’s music, you owe it to yourself to get acquainted.  He deserves a much greater level of success.

 

Set List

 

Forever Wild

Grandpa Rocks

Life on Bleecker Street

The Innocent Ones

Heaven Help the Lonely

Let’s Go Crazy

(Prince cover)

Give Me Tomorrow

Bad Boy

Hell Yeah

She’s Got My Heart

When Levon Sings

American Ride

Trouble Down in Diamond Town

House of a Thousand Guitars

Sweet Jane

“Heroes”

You Gotta Be a Buddha (In a Place Like This)

One Guitar

Encore:

Hear You Breathe

A Hard Day’s Night

Leave a Comment





Amazon_Smile_logo
LET-ME-HELP-LOGO

Support Let Me Help Inc by shopping at smile.amazon.com

The Daisy Jopling Band To Perform “Who’s Who” At The Transfiguration Church In Tarrytown, NY Sunday May 12th, 2024 7 PM ET

By admin | May 9, 2024 |

The Transfiguration Church in Tarrytown, New York Presents “Who’s Who”, original violin arrangements of iconic songs by The Who performed by the Daisy Jopling Band featuring the Sleepy Hollow High School Chamber Orchestra on Sunday, May 12th, 2024. Location: Transfiguration Church 268 South Broadway Tarrytown, NY 10591 United States Tickets are $25 and can be…

Cyborg Drummer/DJ DRMAGDN Headlining Montauk Music Fest

By admin | April 9, 2024 |

Major Label BMG Records Artist & Producer DRMAGDN Cyborg Drummer / DJ will be making his Montauk Music Fest debut this year in May. DRMAGDN will be the Official Host & MC of The Montauk Music Fest plus play headlining sets on Friday 5/17 and Saturday 5/18 from 10pm-12am at Gurney’s Montauk Resort (290 Old…

RED CARPET EVENT @ Chelsea Table & Stage 4/12/24 Featuring THE AMERICAN RELICS & DRMAGDN

By admin | March 25, 2024 |

On Friday April 12th, 2024 beginning at 6:30 pm ET  there will be a Red Carpet event pre-show sponsored by Tribeca Records at the trendy nightspot Chelsea Table and Stage located in the heart of Chelsea at 152 west 26th street (inside the Hilton Fashion Hotel) in NYC. The Red Carpet will be followed by…

Live Review: Composer Randy Edelman Live at Chelsea T&S “2nd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Massacre” 03/16/24 and Record Release in NYC

By admin | March 17, 2024 |

There was an infinite vitality of velvet green flowing deliciously through the air as Composer Randy Edelman presented his 2nd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Massacre at the trendy new nightspot Chelsea Table & Stage in the heart of NYC on March 16, 2024….. a vivacious close to the spirited Irish Parade. His music is the…

DRMAGDN: Cyborg Drummer/DJ Debuts @ Chelsea T&S With Retro 80’s Party & Red Carpet Event 4/12/24

By admin | February 29, 2024 |

BMG recording artist, producer and World renowned, Global Touring Electrifying Powerhouse, DRMAGDN: Cyborg Drummer and DJ will make his debut at the popular, trendy night spot Chelsea Table & Stage (located at 152 west 26th street inside the Hilton Hotel) on  Friday April 12, 2024 @ 9:00PM. DRMAGDN will be celebrating his high energy brand of Electronic Dance Music (EDM)…

Going Steady: New Singles 2-23-24- 2-29-24 Reviewed

By Iman Lababedi | February 26, 2024 |

dance pop, gooey confection

US Top Ten Albums Tracking 2-16-24 – 2-22-24

By Iman Lababedi | February 26, 2024 |

75K EAUs is abysmal

Our Friend Tony Orlando’s Farewell Tour

By admin | February 25, 2024 |

“I still hit the ball, I just can’t run the bases!!!”

Sneak Peaks: New Album releases 3-1-24 – 3-7-24

By Iman Lababedi | February 25, 2024 |

contenders for the best punk rock around

Child Bite, Lamb Of God, Pantera At Madison Square Garden, Thursday, February 22nd, 2024, Reviewed

By Iman Lababedi | February 25, 2024 |

A three hours of hard rock, metal not metal, swift, loud, egoless pure metal

Scroll To Top