A large-electric wand appears as I approach the front of the line at the Moody Theater. The security guard waving it like a badminton racquet is barely recognizable, a set of eyes under an Antarctic survivor suit in the bitter-cold night.

As I’m shuffled around from walkie talkie to file folder I wonder whether breaking into Alcatraz in the 1940s would have been an easier feat. It’s not a dilemma really, I would wait an eternity to see Lukas Nelson and the Promise of the Real perform at the Austin Cares Concert.


Lukas Nelson performs at the Moody Theater. Photo by Andrew Blanton

Nelson commands the hometown crowd with his psychedelic alt-country numbers, opening with the ever pleasing “Just Outside of Austin,” a lullaby-esc tale sure to go down as the future theme song of the Hill Country.

“Just outside of Austin,” Nelson sings of his hometown Spicewood, “High as I’ve ever been. I think I fell in love with you again.”

I felt a few tears coming along as he praised the little town out by Poodie’s Hilltop. Looking around it’s apparent I’m not alone.

Nelson performs songs from his latest album throughout the night, and a song he just won a BAFTA award for with Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga from the heavily praised film  “A Star is Born.” The audience melts with that one especially.

It’s hard to express how unique Nelson is, especially given that he easily could have followed in the footsteps of his father Willie, whose statue sits at the footsteps of the theater. With his recent praises from Hollywood, he’s sure to command larger and larger audiences.



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