Grace Potter and The Nocturnals are a group that is truly unlike any other. When I got to the theater, I could physically feel the excitement and anticipation. Grace is known for being phenomenal live, and the show lived up to that reputation and more. Openers Langhome Slim started off the show with a high level of energy. They were passionate and even a little chaotic, in a good way. Their folk sound was the perfect warmup before Potter and her boys came on stage.
The band came on stage and the crowd let momentous cheers reign throughout the venue. Grace oozes rock and roll from head to toe. She is feminine yet gritty, and humble while still overflowing with confidence. The other members of the band, Matt Burr on drums, Scott Tournet on guitar, Benny Yurco on guitar, and Micheal Libramento on bass guitar, complete this unconventional package. They started with amazing energy on guitar and organ, garnished with Grace’s powerful pipes. The next couple songs displayed the variety and fearlessness of this group of musicians. Every single member brings honesty and pure joy back into live rock and roll.
“Goodbye Kiss” was one of my favorite songs of the show. The combination of a reggae beat with the organ was exciting and authentic. During this song the instrumentalists were showcased. This continued onto the second song, where bassist Micheal Libramento blew me away with his pristine execution. “Runaway” brandished yet another side to GPN - the soulful side. Grace’s voice alone is dripping with soul and the style of that song matched it.
A unique element of this show was the way they built the set list. Grace and the band took requests from fans on what they wanted to hear. During a brief break between songs, a voice howled “Play Keepsake!” from the crowd. Grace responded and then explained to the crowd how they choose the set list. She followed by saying they don’t normally play it that much on the fly, but she would make an exception for that song. This was only one of many things that made me fall in love with this group.
“Tiny Light” came later in the show playing off Grace’s soulful vocals again. A couple of the songs that preceded it were a bit on the slower side. Even though the songs were gorgeous and emotional, the crowd was craving a shift in energy. Tiny Light brought that shift back and kept the momentum of the show moving. The next song was a blues cover of “Your Blues” which got a huge crowd reaction. Grace took this well known song and turned it on its head with her interpretation. Following that cover was “The Lion Beast and The Beat.” The title track on GPN’s latest album was far beyond appeasing. With a little bit of an 80s hair band vibe, the piece was incredibly fun and vivacious.
A normal encore would be one or two songs, Grace Potter however is far from normal. They did a four song encore which included a cover of “I Love Rock and Roll.” After the homage to another badass female in rock and roll, the band played their biggest hit “Paris Ooh la la.” I have seen many live bands and artists. This Grace Potter and The Nocturnals show was out of this world. The energy level, enthusiasm, loyalty to their fans, and unquestionable talent, made this one of the best live shows I have EVER seen. If you get the chance to see this astonishing group live, I have two words for you: DO IT.