WILMINGTON — It was a happy reunion for most concertgoers during Earth Day weekend as Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real’s came back for a two-night run in Wilmington. It was the band’s first show in town since their fundraiser in 2019, which helped nonprofits fund Hurricane Florence relief.
Last time he was here, Nelson did a meet-and-greet after a free pop-up show during a farmers market hosted on amphitheater grounds. Walking in the footsteps of his father, Willie — who founded Farm Aid in the early ‘80s with Neil Young and John Mellencamp — Nelson signed autographs and posed for photo-ops with farmers and fans.
On Saturday, Apr. 23, he returned to the farmers market — after a Plastic Ocean Project-sponsored cleanup around the lake — to do a truncated set. Around 2 p.m., Nelson performed a few songs and met with fans once again, in between taking the stage on Friday and Saturday nights. A thousand or so turned out in support.
A thousand more showed out during the band’s sold-out two-night run, featuring over two dozen songs off Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real’s multiple albums. They played through”Leave ’em Behind” and “A Few Stars Apart,” the latter a self-titled track from the band’s latest album released in 2021.
Nelson and POTR also performed “Find Yourself,” originally featuring Lady Gaga from the 2018 “A Star Is Born” movie release. Nelson led the crowd in singing together, first the ladies and then the men altogether.
He also performed a few covers, including an acoustic version of Pearl Jam’s “Just Breathe,” which Nelson’s father also recorded a decade ago. The frontman played another tribute to his dad on night two with “Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground,” a song Willie Nelson recorded in 1980 for the film “Honeysuckle Rose.”
Nelson also tipped his hat to his surroundings in “Carolina,” before ending the two-night run with “Something Real” from 2019’s “Turn Off the News (Build a Garden)” and a Stones cover, “Get Off of My Cloud.”
Here are a few snapshots from the second-night run, courtesy of MoonFrog Media‘s Tom Dorgan.
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