Lukas Nelson Throws Sticks and Stones

Lukas Nelson
Fillmore Auditorium
February 29, 2024

Photos by Raymond Ahner

Grammy award winner Lukas Nelson and his band Promise of the Real headlined two nights at the historic Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco recently, supporting his latest critically acclaimed record Sticks and Stones. The shows proved to be a journey through the heart of American Rock ‘n’ Roll, and had the entire crowd on their feet, dancing and singing along.

Opening his twenty-six song setlist with “Entirely Different Stars,” Nelson’s stage presence was both effortless and magnetic, drawing the crowd to the front of the stage immediately.  His connection to the crowd was almost instantaneous, as he ran through a setlist that included “Alcohallelujah,”  “Die Alone,” and a cover of the Paul Simon classic “Homeward Bound,” which was a duet with show opener Lily Meola.

Lukas’ band, Promise of the Real, were just as prominent, delivering tight rhythms and accompaniment while laying down the backbone to the songs. “All the Pretty Horses,” “Just Outside of Austin,” and a smoking cover of David Bowie’s “Life on Mars”  were all highlights, with the band laying down the soundscape for both Lukas’ voice and guitar.

Other standouts from the evening were “A Few Stars Apart,” Set Me Down on a Cloud,” and a cover of Wille Nelson’s “Bloody Mary Morning,” during which, if you closed your eyes, it felt like his father was up there on stage with him.

After closing out the evening by leaving the stage, Lukas and Promise of the Real returned for a cover of Pink Floyd’s “Echoes,” a cover of the Grateful Dead’s “West L.A. Fadeaway” where he was joined by Bob Weir, and a yet another cover, The Crickets “Not Fade Away.” (also featuring Weir, before ending the night with “Something Real.”