Willie Nelson Singing Hank William’s “I Saw The Light” At Red Rocks Is As Good As Country Gets

Willie Nelson country music
Gary Miller/Getty Images for Shock Ink

Man, to see Willie Nelson at the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheater must be an experience.

Red Rocks opened for concerts back in 1941. Located west of Denver in Morrison, Colorado, it stands 6,450 feet above sea level and has what many think are the best views of any music venue, which is why it’s highly regarded as one of the best in the world.

300 foot sandstone walls tower over the seating area, creating natural acoustics that are truly unique and make for one of the greatest live music experiences you can have, but when you throw in Willie Nelson, the whole thing becomes ethereal.

Willie first played Red Rocks in August of 1978 and since racked up a total of 19 appearances, his latest being June of 2011. Given he’s still going strong in 2023 at 89 years old, I can imagine that he really brought the house down, especially given the fact his vice of choice has been a fan favorite of Coloradans for many years.

There’s not a ton of video footage from Willie’s performances at Red Rocks, but we are fortunate enough to have a few from his second latest appearance in 2010 that made their way online.

While going through them, I found a clear favorite.

It seems that Willie was wrapping up, having finished “I’ve Gotta Get Drunk” (another classic), putting down his guitar (after swinging it around quite a bit), and starting to wave to the crowd as the band kept playing. Right when you think it’s over, Willie surprises us by jumping into a Hank Williams classic.

Released in 1948, “I Saw The Light” was originally not a success, but as fan favorites tend to do, grew with time and eventually became a common closer for old Hank.

Willie tipping his cap to the most iconic name in Country Music history is just a thing of beauty.

Sure, the video quality isn’t the best (it was 2010, cut the guy some slack), but there’s no way this doesn’t get you tapping your foot and singing along.

Willie Nelson and the Red Rocks Amphitheaters are both staples of Country Music that can never be replicated.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock