Willie Nelson returned to action last night, walking on stage to an emotional response from his fans.

The 91-year-old had missed the first eight performances of the Outlaw Music Festival touring roadshow, which kicked off on June 21 with Nelson and his family headlining a bill that also features Bob Dylan, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, John Mellencamp and others.

Last week he announced he’d been cleared by doctors to return to action, but later revealed he wouldn’t appear on July 2 either. Thursday night he played at Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic in Camden, New Jersey – and received a warn and loud welcome, as the crew-shot clip below shows. He went on to play a 19-song set, including his debut of “The Border,” the title track of his latest album.

READ MORE: Willie Nelson's 10 Best Rock Covers and Collaborations

In an interview with Forbes last year, Nelson offered a modest response when asked what his younger self would have thought of his longevity. “Well, honestly, I think about that a lot,” he said. “A nightly thing, I just appreciate everything. I would say turning 90 is a surprise. It seems to surprise a lot of people if I made 90.”

On the subject of having made it to his 10th decade, he reflected: “I think it's a positive attitude. Imagine what you want and just get out of the way.” When told that he topped many people’s lists of who they’d like to smoke pot with, and asked if he had his own list, Nelson simply said: “I think if you got one, let's burn it.”

Nelson's Outlaw Music Fest is set to visit Bethel, New York, on Saturday night, and will conclude Sept. 20 in Gilford, New Hampshire.

Willie Nelson Returns to the Stage

Watch Willie Nelson Perform ‘Always On My Mind’

Watch Willie Nelson Perform ‘Roll Me Up and Smoke Me’

Willie Nelson's 7/04/24 Camden, NY, Set List

1. “Whiskey River”
2. “Stay All Night”
3. “Bloody Mary Morning”
4. “I Never Cared for You”
5. “Texas Flood”
6. “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys”
7. “Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground”
8. “On the Road Again”
9. “Always On My Mind”
10. “Just Breathe”
11. “Good Hearted Woman”
12. “Georgia (on My Mind)”
13. “I Been to Georgia on a Fast Train”
14. “Help Me Make It Through the Night”
15. “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die”
16. “Still Not Dead”
17. “The Border”
18. “Write Your Own Songs”
19. “Will the Circle Be Unbroken?”

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Gallery Credit: Corey Irwin

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