(Tedeschi Trucks Band performs at the Outlaw Music Festival on Sept. 8, 2018. Photos by Nathan Payne; Words by Jennifer Grant of Enlighten Life Now)
The 2018 Outlaw Music Festival Tour made a stop in the sweetest city on earth — Hershey, Pennsylvania — on Saturday, Sept. 8. The lineup included top names in music such as Willie Nelson, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Van Morrison, Sturgill Simpson, Lukas Nelson & The Promise of the Real, and The Particle Kid. Hersheypark Stadium hosted the star-studded music festival, a one-day event that creates a classic multi-day festival vibe by including several art and food vendors along with a full day of soulful and eclectic interpretations of blues and country music.
The Particle Kid AKA Micha Nelson, son of Willie Nelson, kicked off the festival, performing his original music that identifies its own new unique genre which he describes as “Folk-a-delic Forest-Funk Space-Punk Avant-Pop Psych-Rock Dope-Scapes.” He concluded his set with his hit, “Everything Is Bullshit” featuring his brother, Lukas Nelson. This collaboration gave way to a flawless transition into the second set of the day featuring Lukas + The Promise of the Real. Lukas’ songs included personal favorites, “Turn Off the News” and “Forget About Georgia,” from their new EP, which was released on Sept. 7. Lukas is also part of the new movie, A Star Is Born with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, set to be released in the USA on Oct. 5.
Next to take the stage was the famed musician Sturgill Simpson. The audience was filled with fans awaiting his performance as cheering erupted from all sides of the stadium. His performance featured several songs from his three-time Grammy Award Winning 2016 album, A Sailor’s Guide to Earth, and 2014 album, Metamodern Sounds in Country Music. Fan favorites such as “In Bloom,” “Turtles All the Way Down,” and “Call to Arms” left listeners mesmerized.
In addition to this already impressive line-up, 12-piece ensemble Tedeschi Trucks Band was next to perform. The stage was chock-full of guitars, keyboards, drums and percussion, bass guitar, flute, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, and an array of vocalists. Besides playing some of their top songs like “Midnight in Harlem” and “Don’t Know What It Means,” Tedeschi Trucks Band also performed “Shame,” which will appear on their upcoming album still in the works!
The final two acts, Van Morrison and Willie Nelson, have been topping the music charts for decades! Van played his classic hits “Days Like This,” “Moondance,” and “Brown-Eyed Girl.”
The evening closed with a performance by country legend Willie. His two sons Lukas and Mika Nelson returned to the stage to accompany Willie for the songs of the festival. Fans sang along to all the favorites like “Mama Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys,” “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die,” and “On the Road Again” in addition to beloved covers like “Always on My Mind” and “Hey Good Looking.” Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks joined Willie and the others closing the night with beloved gospel songs “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” and “I’ll Fly Away.”
This tour still has a few more stops this summer, stopping in Scranton, Pennsylvania; Camden, New Jersey; Holmdale, New Jersey; Mansfield, Massachusetts; Saratoga Springs, New York; and Los Angeles. Each location is set to feature artist that include Greensky Bluegrass, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Margo Price, and Phil Lesh & Friends. Check out the festival website for dates and tickets.
Here are some photos of the Outlaw Music Festival in Hershey, Pennsylvania, at Hersheypark Stadium on Sept. 8, 2018. All photos copyright and courtesy of Nathan Payne.
Lukas Nelson & The Promise of The Real
Tedeschi Trucks Band