Willie Nelson brought his Outlaw Festival to the Hollywood Bowl on Oct. 21. Just like Playboy Jazz Fest, this show incorporated a revolving stage so there would be no delay between acts and to keep it running on time. The lineup started early at 4:35 p.m. with a set from Particle Kid followed by Nelson’s son Lukas and the Promise of the Real, which is Neil Young’s current band. After Promise of the Real’s set of 30 minutes, Margo Price took the stage for a 50-minute set. The next act was Sturgill Simpson who performed over an hour. Second to last was Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh who also played over an hour. Lesh played a set of Grateful Dead songs like “Candyman,” “China Cat Sunflower” and “Shakedown Street.” Price joined in for the last song-- a cover of Bobby Blue Bland’s “Turn on Your Love Light.” It’s rare to see Lesh play nowadays so it was very special seeing him for the first time. Lesh’s band consisted of Jackie Greene, Jason Crosby, Nathan Graham and Chris Jacobs.
Closing out the festival was none other than an icon of American music; Willie Nelson with his band including his sons Lukas and Jacob. With the venue's curfew, Nelson was only able to play for around 45 minutes. With the short time, Nelson still managed to play 16 songs including “Roll Me Up,” “On the Road Again” and “Still Not Dead.” Nelson came out sporting a Dodger jersey. This was my fourth time seeing Nelson and it’s quite remarkable how great he still sounds at 85 and doesn’t age. Nelson brought out all the performers that played before him for a cover Hank William’s “I Saw the Light,” to close out the festival.