Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real Red Butte Amphitheater
Reviewed by Jacob Moniz
Red Butte Garden had an amazing lineup in place for a perfect night on September 14th. Prior to the show, I hadn’t listened to Lukas/Promise of the Real before so I was excited to experience the concert with no previous listening history. Going to a concert without actually listening to the band is a unique experience!
Marking their eighth stop on tour, Red Butte Garden was the absolute best venue for the band to play in Utah. The stage was creatively placed in the heart of the garden. Surrounded by trees and beautifully decorated with various arrangements of flowers on the bottom of the stage. The nice thing about Red Butte is that you can attend the show early, grab a spot on the grass and set up a picnic with camping chairs, and enjoy a meal while watching the sunset on the mountainside.
Fans filled the venue from the top to bottom, every spot on the grass had a chair set and ready for the night to start. Walking in to claim my spot towards the soundboard the staff was super friendly and helpful to get me to where I needed to be before the amazing opener Talia Keys took stage. The venue itself had great seating. There wasn’t a spot where you couldn’t see the stage. There were 2 VIP seating sections, one towards the stage and one towards the top of the venue where fans could get a more relaxed experience.
Salt Lake City raised rock artist Talia Keys took the stage with a fiery entrance. With just herself, a loop pad, and an electric guitar, she stunned the crowd with her smooth rock sound. Talia put on an incredible show even though her set was pretty short. The entire time Talia was on stage her energy was great throughout her set.
“Pinch me. All I have to say is pinch me. This is a dream come true playing here at Red Butte and opening for Lukas and Promise of the Real. I grew up coming to shows here so it’s an honor being able to be on this stage right now” Talia exclaimed between her set.
Once Talia finished her set the mood couldn’t have been set better in preparation for Lukas and Promise of the Real to take the stage. The sun had just set but there was a faint orange lining the distant mountains, and the moon had taken place dead center above the stage. I don’t recall seeing a single fan sitting in a chair either. Every fan rose to their feet the moment they heard Nelson walking on stage.
Lukas Nelson & Promise Of The Real
Once the band took the stage the crowd went wild. They started out with their exciting song “Start to Go” which set the energy high. Their sound was out of this world. Lukas’ vocals blending with the band’s instrumentals were just absolutely perfect. One of my favorite moments was when there was a small mishap with the audio for a brief moment cutting off Lukas’ microphone, but with careful ears, you could still hear his powerful voice even in the middle of the venue.
It was crazy seeing every fan on their feet through the whole venue, even though it was mainly a seated event. The band was super good at keeping the crowd’s energy high, and at the same time, they were having a blast on stage. Bassist Corey McCormick was all over the place throughout the set, whether it was jumping off of the mini stage the drums were set on or dancing in place while shredding on the bass, he had an amazing stage presence.
One of the most remarkable experiences I’ve had at a concert occurred when the band was performing their song “Just Outside Of Austin” and when they got to the chorus the entire venue sang along and it was almost like they had their very own choir backing Lukas’ vocals. It was surprising how well the crowd merged with his sound so well. I’ve never been to a show with such great crowd interaction.
As the night went on the band played hits like “Find Yourself”, “Forget About Georgia”, and my personal favorite from the night “Carolina”. With it being my first time listening to them I went into the concert very excited. It was also my first experience going into a concert with no prior listening history, and I was absolutely shocked with how great their music was and how they put on one of the best shows I’ve ever been to. I definitely recommend going to concerts of artists you’ve never listened to. I think it helps you appreciate their music on a different level.
The band had so much variety throughout the set. Each member had their own respective solos that transitioned into different songs while they played. At one point Corey pulled out an orchestral bass and started shredding on that while the crowd went wild.
Towards the end of the night, they played their “last” song “Find Yourself” and towards the end of the song the band bowed and left the stage. The crowd didn’t stop cheering until they came back to play “Wildest Dreams” for an encore. The band had such a good time they ended up playing two encore sets. I was surprised with how much energy they had after completing 15 songs and then continuing to play 8 more to send the night off with a perfect ending playing their song “Something Real”.
For a first time listener, I had an absolute blast and will definitely be attending another one of their shows.
Start to Go
Throwing Away Your Love
Fool Me Once
4 Letter Word
More Than We Can Handle
Just Outside of Austin
Leave Em Behind
Few Stars Apart
Forget About Georgia
Entirely Different Stars
Get Off My Cloud