Evidently, Willie Nelson really can’t wait to get on the road again.

Less than a year after bringing his Outlaw Music Festival to Alpine Valley — and less than a month after turning 91 — the country legend was back on a Milwaukee stage Saturday night at the BMO Pavilion. It was Milwaukee’s first big outdoor concert of the year.

It was clear he wasn’t playing out of habit or ego. Of the many Willie Nelson concerts I’ve seen in town over the past decade, Saturday’s was among his most engaging.

Sure, the set was short at just 62 minutes, as has been the case for a while now, and the setlist was heavy on familiar standards. Age perhaps has prompted him to sit for the entire show, and Nelson let the newest member of his Family band, Waylon Payne, take lead vocals for three songs: Merle Haggard’s “Workin’ Man Blues,” and Kris Kristofferson’s “Help Me Make It Through the Night” and “Me and Bobby McGee.”





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