There are many reasons not to recommend this show: tickets are expensive, it's far away (and gas is expensive) and a road trip on a Wednesday is difficult to swing if you work on Thursday morning.
Then I saw a commercial on the Fox Noise Channel (or is it Fixed News Channel?) for Sean Hannity's "Freedom Concerts" ("an evening of Patriotism and Inspiration") featuring Lee Greenwood, Larry the Cable Guy, Lee Ann Rimes, Charlie Daniels, and Michael W. Smith. An asshat like Hannity will no doubt cast the people who play his concerts as heroes because they well American flag lapels and believe supporting soldiers and the president who sent them off to war are not mutually exclusive.
Fuck that. Willie Nelson helped found Farm Aid in 1985 and has raised millions of dollars to help farmers from losing their homes, invested in his own line of biodiesel (called BioWillie and which his own tour bus uses), headlined a concert that raised over $100,000 for victims of the 2004 tsunami and has spoken out against animal cruelty and for peace. To me, that is far more patriotic and inspirational than empty lip service and an infinite number of yellow magnets on the trunks of minivans. Willie Nelson is far from perfect (he is most famous for owing the IRS millions of dollars – which he repaid and was arrested in 2006 for having illicit mushrooms and marijuana on his tour bus), but he has undeniably dedicated much of his life to making America a better place.
Every year, Nelson has hosted a BBQ on the Fourth of July, and almost exclusively, held them within the state of Texas. This year he's bringing it to the Gorge and bringing some very talented friends with him.
The Fourth of July is a day that Americans reflect on what they love about their country. There are, of course, many things I love: the First Amendment, the inevitability of January 20, 2009, and countless others. High up on the list is that the country that I love and live in is the same country as one William Hugh Nelson.
As an added bonus, he's an impressive country musician with a deep catalogue of great songs. And the Drive-By Truckers and the Old 97s rock.