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Letters to the Editors

Nelson concert, fans were great despite the heat

© St. Petersburg Times
published April 28, 2002

Editor: Re: Nelson fans brave heat wave, by staff writer Jorge Sanchez, April 22 Times:

After a very enjoyable weekend at Rock Crusher Canyon Campground, planned around the Willie Nelson concert (which was the entertaining event we anticipated, even with the heat), I was quite disappointed to read Sanchez's report.

Yes, the day was hot; no doubt, it affected the enthusiasm of the crowd and the performance. But the concert was still great. In fact, one member of our party remarked that when Willie came on stage, the heat was all but forgotten.

This wasn't the first Willie Nelson concert I've attended and I have to say I didn't find anything disappointing in this event. Mr. Sanchez accurately reported that Willie entertained with a 40-song set of his many hits, but from my seat I saw and heard a lot of folks cheering, whistling, standing and clapping throughout the performance. One man was even waving his hat on a cane. There was a lot more activity than polite applause from the audience, which included a wide range of ages. I disagree that the biggest roar came when Willie walked to the stage.

Commenting about Willie's voice, the band and the audience, Mr. Sanchez sounds like someone who is not familiar with Willie Nelson concerts, or what his fans come to hear. As a retired Chamber of Commerce and tourism director who has been responsible for events, and as a freelance reporter, I completely understand different folks see things differently, but I do feel this report could be considered a disservice to the Willie Nelson and Family Concert folks, as well the fine staff of Rock Crusher Canyon.

I look forward to more camping/concert opportunities at this fantastic facility, and I hope others do, too.
-- Jeanne Nociti, Brooksville

Writer's review of concert was totally off the mark

Editor: Re: Nelson fans brave heat wave, by staff writer Jorge Sanchez, April 22 Times:

Sanchez's article on the Willie Nelson concert is so off-base, I hardly know where to start. Everyone in our area thought it was absolutely wonderful.

His guitar and smooth, silky voice, along with terrific arrangements, made for a fabulous concert.

We were amazed that the 68-year-old Nelson would give us an hour and 56 minutes of basically nonstop music in the 90-degree heat.

I've been to several concerts at Silver Springs where the performer cut it short due to the heat. Not Willie. He always gives you the full deal, no matter what.

For Sanchez to call it a low-energy show is ridiculous. Nelson has a laid-back style that mesmerizes the audience. He doesn't need to jump around like some young "rocker."

Sanchez called Raphael's harmonica playing "pathetic." Sanchez also wanted more drums and cymbals to improve the beat.

Drums, cymbals and harmonicas are merely accompaniment to the genius of Willie's guitar. The only musician Sanchez complimented was Nelson's sister, Bobbi, on the piano, who everyone knows is the weakest link in the band -- if there is one.

Willie's mix of old country, easy-listening favorites, blues, and gospel made my Sunday at Rock Crusher a day I won't soon forget.

Kudos to Stan Olsen for giving Citrus County an entertainment venue such as the Canyon.

We've heard some wonderful music there.
-- Bill Sheets, Crystal River

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