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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real

The Stiefel Theatre,  Salina, KS
© Lydia Lowe  9/27/2011
LUKAS NELSON and PROMISE OF THE REAL . . .I didn't know what to expect going into this concert.  After having read the press releases and checking out the website, I knew that Lukas Nelson's music was all over the map.  He sings blues, country, rock-n-roll, jazz, etc., you name it.  I couldn't imagine what I was getting into.

The lights came down, tye-dyed peace symbols appeared on the black stage curtains behind the band's instruments, the drums began, and the band took the stage as they played John Lennon's "Give Peace A Chance".  I knew that this was going to be something unlike anything I had ever seen, something very special.

Lukas played original music, country (on those slow country ballads he sounds remarkably like his dad, Willie Nelson), lots of 60's cover tunes (including "Sympathy for the Devil" by the Rolling Stones), rock-n-roll, blues, etc.  I enjoyed everyone.  On one song, a new one, Lukas forgot the words.  He tried to fake it while his bandmates just looked at him and shook their heads.  Finally he gave up and said he'd come back to it later.  He laughed while he explained to the audience what was going on.

I've heard a lot of cover bands play a lot of cover tunes but Lukas's cover tunes are nothing like I have ever heard.  He takes a cover tune and makes it his own.  On "Sympathy for the Devil" as well as a few others, it was hard to tell where the original music left off and the cover tunes began.  The music was so interchangable.

The band played for two and a half hours.  There were several standing ovations throughout the night.  And then the show was done.  Lukas and the band gave their all and I could tell that they were just about done in at the end of the night.  Everyone was tired.  But a final standing ovation came and the band took to the stage to play it out.  They played for another thirty minutes.  And the final song was the one that Lukas had tried to fake earlier in the night.  I could tell they were having fun and that was communicated to the audience.  No one wanted to go home.

After the performance, Lukas and Promise of the Real signed autographs and talked to those who stayed to meet the band.  They signed every single thing put in front of them, talked with every single person in line and took pictures whenever they were asked.  Every audience member who stayed behind to meet them was blown away.  National acts just don't do this kind of PR.  These guys are a class act!

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