Something old, new, country & cool: Willie Nelson and Pale perform tonight (butnot together)
There are not a lot of instances where a pot-smoking, bandana-wearing, Lone Star icon like Willie Nelson and an alternative-meets-ambient Houston rock band like Pale would share a lot of space in the same article, but I can think of one: Both represent all that is great about being an audiophile in the great state of Texas.
Also, both are playing Houston on Thursday night.
While The Red-Headed Stranger mines the best of his half-century of outlaw country — spanning 65 studio albums — at Verizon Wireless Theater, Pale will be taking us for our first ride down its new rock n' roll rabbit hole and introducing the city to new album, In The Time of Dangerous Men, at Warehouse Live.
How great is it that we live in a city where a Texas legend and the state's musical future can share a crosstown moment by sharing set times?
For Nelson, 77, this trip is little more than a "thank you" to a metropolitan landscape that has supported him through every No. 1 hit — "On The Road Again," "Blues Skies," "My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys," and many more -— as well as every pot bust, IRS indictment and other rock star cliche he's laid claim to since his first recording was released in 1962. No doubt, Willie loyalists will also forgive him for "Superman," the duet he recorded with Snoop Dogg that is featured on the rapper's new album, Doggumentary.
(Now I wonder what could have gotten these two unlikely friends together? One guess comes to mind...)
This Nelson show was actually supposed to happen back on Feb. 4, but unexpected ice storms forced a postponement. (Tickets for that earlier date will be accepted for admittance Thursday nigh.)
For Pale and local lead singer Calvin Stanley the buidling of a legendary future begins on Thursday with the live debut of In The Time of Dangerous Men. I have covered Pale's rise through the local band ranks for over a decade and always thought it was only a matter of time until they hit the big time. (in the name of complete "birther"-like transparency, must admit I have shared a beer — maybe more —and lively conversation with Stanley many times over the years).
Pale's blend of searing, wall of sound instrumentation and abstract thinking man's lyrics has always been a winning combination. All they needed was the right moment. A moment akin to when Depeche Mode first blew modern rock radio away in the mid-'80s or when Radiohead did it again (and again, and again) in the '90s. One ride along with the falsetto apocalypse of first video, "Catastrophic Skies" make me believe that this might be that moment.
Don't miss the chance to say you were then Pale debuted their first true masterpiece for the masses.
Willie Nelson, Thursday 8 p.m. at Verizon Wireless Theater
Pale, Thursday 8 pm. at Warehouse Live