The thought that Tuesday night might be the last time I see Willie Nelson never even popped into my head until after the show was over. I just assumed he'll be back about eight months from now, like he was eight months ago at the Arena Theatre. Willie is eternal.
He sure looks the part, stylishly dressed Tuesday in all black and those familiar braids and running shoes. You can see every bit of his 80 years on his face, which gives him the countenance of an esteemed tribal elder -- the Sitting Bull of country music.
But whenever the lights dim and those first chords of "Whiskey River" wash over you, it's still a good idea to keep the hero-worship in check (as much as possible, anyway) and appreciate the show on its musical merits. And as much as time has exacted its toll on his body, those are still in abundance.