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Matt Dierlam | New SCENE
Listen while you read:
One of the finest, in-demand Americana ensembles active today, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real brought their powerful live show to a sold-out Aggie Theater on Saturday, August 6. The Fort Collins show was part of a 53-city tour in support of the band’s new album, A Few Stars Apart. Released over a year ago in June 2021, the album has been received with wide acclaim as Nelson’s best effort yet.
It was truly a treasure to be able to witness the magic Lukas and POTR create together. He had the audience engaged all night long. I deeply appreciated the sincerity, whole-heartedness, and charm he performs with. Simply put, the band and the whole show reminded me of Texas; of happiness, celebration, and the healing power of music. He’s a poet through and through, and he’s a timeless artist, much like his father.
Early in the show, a concertgoer passed out in the audience. It may have been associated with the extreme heat being generated by the enthusiastic crowd at the Aggie. Lukas immediately stopped the show and made sure the gentleman was immediately taken care of. That showed his true character and kindness.
I also met a middle age man “Eric” from Golden Colorado that mentioned he was a huge follower and had seen Lukas Nelson live at least 30 times. I was a little skeptical about that at first, but after listening to a few songs I was definitely a “new” fan.
I was always a big Willie Nelson fan. He’s an excellent country artist who worked hard to make it in the music business. So I jumped on the opportunity to see Lukas live in concert. While he’s been in the shadow of greatness his entire life, Lukas has worked tirelessly to develop his own sound. Sometimes reminiscent of his father, but always on-point with his own Rockin’ Americana sound and sweet lyrics.
Lukas dedicated the song “Leave Em’ Behind” to a friend going through a rough relationship. The ballad offers the support of friendship to someone in an abusive relationship, as well as the need to escape in order to save oneself. This was one of the songs where his stunning guitar licks were highlighted.
Fresh off the band’s enormous success with 2019’s Turn Off The News (Build A Garden), in 2021 their widely acclaimed studio album, A Few Stars Apart — with standout singles “Perennial Bloom (Back To You)” and “Wildest Dreams” — once again catapulted Lukas and POTR to #1 on the Americana Albums charts for seven non-consecutive weeks.
If you have not experienced Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, start with A Few Stars Apart. He’s an amazing guitarist and songwriter.