Written by Eddie Ferranti
One of the coolest things about reviewing shows for me is checking out new and vibrant artists. If they are female all the better and one such lady who filled all of those requirements was Grace Potter. Some good buds of mine steered me her way and I was stunned I’d never caught her before. Her original band, The Nocturnals , burst on the scene in 2002 in Vermont playing up to 200 gigs a year. Since signing with Hollywood Records in 2005 they’ve pumped out four studio albums covering all the bases of blues rock, hard rock, and alternative indie sound. This current tour was backing her first solo album, “Midnight”, and she brought a super tight band of six to blow the House of Blues down.
From the get go you could just feel the powerful presence that Potter brings to an arena, especially a tight one like tonight. She recently described her road show band as “The Nocturnals on steroids” and that pretty much was the case. At first look you see a runway model come on stage and then the smoky growl, boogey non-stop go-go dancer, V-shaped guitarist grabs you by the neck and rocks your ass off! The new stuff was received well with numbers like scorching “Hot to the Touch”, “Your Girl”, “Nobody’s Born with a Broken Heart” and sexy groove of “Biggest Fan”, where GP slammed on an organ located at center stage. “Medicine” got me big time when I was right up front feeling the heat this young lady was throwing out!
The lady put on a relentless 120 minute gig that felt like ,eh hem, having sex with your clothes on! I mean Potter even teased the crowd by “stripping” off things, saying “I’m on my knees for you” which she was, and when she strapped on her guitar it was not for show at all. She brought along her drummer/husband Matt Burr and they burned hard rock style with “Nothing But Water”.
Her vocal talents have been spoken of in the company of Janis Joplin, Bonnie Raitt and Koko Taylor and that is fine company indeed. She’s opened in support of tours with the Black Crowes, Gov’t Mule, Dave Matthews, The Avett Brothers at the Ryman, and on two stops on latest Rolling Stones tour she even got to do “Gimme Shelter “with the band on stage!
Another killer Nocturnal she brought along for this rocket ship ride was guitarist Benny Yucco. His scorching solo on “Low Road” was very nice. Other highlights to the raucous evening were foot stomping “Look What We’ve Become”, gospel sounding “Empty Heart” and closer “Instagators”. Of course this sweatfest had to have an encore and it ruled with full petal down “The Lion the Beast the Beat” and ferocious “Paris (Ooh La La)”! This hot and heavy show was an unique mixture of sexiness and bombastic rock that is indeed a different and very toxic vibrant mix that will bring me back big time.
Get out and get you some LIVE music!