There is a rare excellence achieved by skilled individuals, created by insistent practice usually driven by the passion or love for a particular thing. This sort of practice minced with the right kind of passion produces the kind of performance that Grace Potter and the Nocturnals (GPN) delivered to a sold out audience at Venue Nightclub on Saturday night.
GPN is a Vermont-based five-piece band consisting of the lovely Grace Evelyn Potter – lead vocals, keyboard, guitar and about anything else she can get her hands on, lead guitarist Scott Tournet, drummer Matt Burr, bassist Catherine Popper and the Tasmanian fingered rhythm guitarist Benny Yurco. The Quintet are known for their live show and have performed on 100s of stages around the world building the show to what it is today. A masterpiece. An exhilaration. A sweet assembly of passion, talent, love and musical release. The band is currently on their first sold out international tour where they are infecting fans, old and new, with their recently released self-titled album. Once the tour is over I expect the next stop will be super-stardom.
Saturday night was fogged with frenzy as excited Grace Potter fans filled the tunnelesque venue that is Venue. It was a tall order to ask an opener to peel off a performance that could prime an anxious GPN audience. Luckily, CHAMBERLIN was up to the task. According to their site the band was formed in the summer of 2010 and quickly recorded their debut album at Tank Studios in Burlington, Vermont. GPN lead guitarist Scott Tournet produced this debut attempt set to release March 1st. I was amazed by how these guys were able to grab a hold of the crowd. I was singing along to the words without knowing the songs – fresh, rich and familiar. I want more.
With its tunnelesque echoed acoustics Venue is not exactly the best place to see a show. Although with a panoramic balcony it does allow for a view from many angles. Looking into the sea of GPN fans was like being at a sample sale. Women of all ages, shapes and varying levels of sexy stared up at the stage awaiting the sure fire performance. I wasn’t sure which way to face. That is until Grace came out.
The Nocturnal bunch hit the stage, welcoming with initial beats of “Ah Mary” from the 2007 album This Is Somewhere. Grace bounded onto the stage, providing the vocals while tickling a white electric guitar and wearing a see-through short black dress — her shiny unders peeked through with each flicker of the light. Yum.
Right away it became apparent that the myths were true. These guys play at an insanely intense level. With precise playful accuracy GNP ravaged each song. Grace flicked her hair, raised her arms and sang sweet powerful melodies while dancing that long legged sexy dance we boys like.
Memorable moments included Yurco’s purring guitar during “Oasis“, the cover of Wilco’s, “Muzzle of Bees”, Heart’s “Crazy on You“, Yurco’s acoustic solo get down, Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” and the finale “Paris Ooh La La.” Although once they broke into “Medicine” the enchantment was complete I was in love. Not just with Grace but with the entire unit. “…got the medicine that everybody wants.” These guys got something and whatever it is I want more, I need more.
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals are your new favourite band. If you do not know them, get familiar. Fast. Soon intimate shows like the one at Venue will be a thing of the past and a birds eye Coliseum view will be the best we get. It is likely that this is going to be the show of the year. A big claim for a January show I know, but seriously – I walked out of there feeling like I just been laid.
Photo No# 8 is mine.
All other photos courtesy of Skot Nelson.
- Grace Potter and the Nocturnals (sfgate.com)
- Grace Potter & The Nocturnals: Grace Potter & The Nocturnals (pastemagazine.com)
- Grace Potter and the Nocturnals | Maine | Pics (jambase.com)
- Grace Potter and The Nocturnals Sexy Paris Video (jambase.com)
- Bands You Must See Live: Grace Potter & the Nocturnals (blogcritics.org)