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All in the Family

Willie Nelson & Family with
Lukas Nelson & The Promise Of The Real

Highland Park, IL
July 14, 2013
Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson
Lukas Nelson
Lukas Nelson
Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson

Story and photos by Jennifer Bronenkant

Willie Nelson has been celebrating his 80th birthday since the end of April performing on stages where he has been accompanied by various friends and family. The family celebration continued with his Ravinia appearance where Nelson's son Lukas opened the night.

Lukas eased into the show by performing mellow acoustic music alone before being joined by his band Promise Of The Real (POTR) to let loose his full energetic blues rock performance. A song writer in his own right, Lukas performed his own compositions showcasing his many sides including defiance "Baby I'm Gone," intense emotion in "If You Were Not My Love" and raw rock energy in "Old Familiar Pain" in which he played his guitar with his teeth and ended with a bare footed flying leap.

Lukas joined his father and his family band for the rest of the show. After sixty years in the business, Willie can always be counted on to deliver on his live performances. However this evening had a special feeling to it with a livelier Willie connecting with his fans even more than his usual communion with his audience. Maybe it is the presence of more family than usual or just the specialness of reaching one's eightieth year - what ever the reason was, this night was a unique moment in time.

The set included many Nelson hits like "Good Hearted Woman," "Night Life," "On The Road Again" along with an audience sing along of Waylon's "Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys." Nelson performed classic covers of artists as varied as Hank Williams, Carl Perkins, The Beatles and Fred Astaire. He showcased Lukas' blues guitar chops with Stevie Ray Vaughn's "Texas Flood." Of course, Willie continues to display his own chops on his old beat up Martin guitar Trigger. Time has not slowed down his ability to make the Trigger sing and speak in amazing ways.

As the night began to wind down with traditional gospel songs, fellow country star and friend Jamey Johnson made a surprise appearance on stage along with his young daughter. Willie introduced his friend saying it was Johnson's 38th birthday and lead the audience in singing "Happy Birthday." He finished the night with his own "Roll Me Up" and Hank Williams' "I Saw The Light."

Related articles:

Willie Nelson & Family / Sonia Leigh- Concert review - Waukegan, IL June 2012
Willie Nelson (Farm Aid 2011) - Festival review - Kansas City, KS August 2011
Willie Nelson - Concert review - Milwaukee, WI March 2011
Willie Nelson (Farm Aid 2010) - Festival review - Milwaukee, IL October 2010
Willie Nelson (Grainger "Soundstage" Studios) - Concert review - Chicago, IL September 2009
Bob Dylan / Willie Nelson - Concert review - Milwaukee, WI July 2009
Willie Nelson - (Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival) Concert review - Bridgeview, IL July 2007
Willie Nelson / Merle Haggard / Ray Price - Concert review - Milwaukee, WI March 2007
Arlo Guthrie & Friends - Feature story (On Willie's tour bus) - December 2005
Willie Nelson (Country Thunder 2003) - Concert review - Twin Lakes, WI July 2003
Willie Nelson (Farm Aid 2002) - Concert review - Burgettstown, PA September 2002
Willie Nelson - Songbird - Album review

Willie Nelson & Family Setlist:
Whiskey River
Still Is Still Moving To Me
Beer For My Horses
Good Hearted Woman
Funny How Time Slips Away
Night Life
Down Yonder
Me and Paul
Texas Flood
Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys
Jambalaya (On The Bayou)
Hey, Good Looking
Move It On Over
Angel Flying To Close To The Ground
On The Road Again
Always On My Mind
South of The Border
Let's Face The Music And Dance
Shoeshine Man
Let the Circle Be Unbroken I'll Fly Away
The Birthday Song for Jamey Johnson
Roll Me Up
I Saw The Light

Willie Nelson
Willie & Lukas Nelson
Willie Nelson
Willie & Lukas Nelson
Lukas Nelson
Lukas Nelson
Lukas Nelson
Wille & Lukas Nelson
Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson

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