Grace Potter brings the medicine to House of Blues

A review of Grace Potter & The Nocturnals at the House of Blues on March 25, 2011

, Managing Editor

Grace Potter & The Nocturnals took the stage to an amusing, boxing-style intro to their show on Friday night that wasn’t really intended to have anything to do with the show, but ended up quite fitting after the group’s championship-caliber performance. If their show were indeed a prizefight it would have gone to the late rounds as Potter and co. jammed for two hours at the House of Blues.

The band came out swinging with the likes of “Only Love” and “Hot Summer Night”, both off of their latest self-titled release. Ms. Potter rocks like Janis Joplin reincarnated, with her hair flying every which way as she shakes her hips and flails about. Potter’s talent shines in both her rockers and ballads, but it’s the up-tempo numbers where she is her most captivating.

Although Potter has a beautiful voice, complete with a rock n’ roll screech most singers wish they had, some of the best moments of the night were when there was no singing at all. The band let loose on numerous occasions, thrilling fans with extended jams to end songs like “Tiny Light” and show-closer “Medicine”. In the former, the band huddled together as they riffed away for the psychedelic coda before a Metal-esque head bobbing ending. The Nocturnals would come together again during the latter as each member took over duties on Matt Burr’s drumkit, including Potter bashing away on the bass drum with a mallet.

Grace Potter & The Nocturnals hail from the great state of Vermont, and although they weren’t quite at home, they treated the Boston audience like family. Potter expressed several times how she “didn’t want the night to end”, which was clearly sincere judging by the show coming to a close at 11:30 (quite late by House of Blues standards). Potter may be a backwoods girl but one can tell she was born for this business. She talked of her background before “Joey”, saying “I didn’t see a traffic light until I was 10”. Now she sees plenty of bright lights as she commands the stage with the right mix of attitude and sexuality. The best example of this may be their most recent single, “Paris (Ooh La La)”, which saw Potter alluringly crooning as she strummed on a Flying V guitar.

At the end of the night, the leading lady dropped the hint that the band will be returning to Boston this summer for a much grander affair as they’ll be headlining the Bank of America Pavilion in August… not too shabby for a girl from the backwoods of Vermont. It’s no wonder that this group is quickly growing in popularity with their mix of uproarious energy and soothing ballads. Although Grace Potter and The Nocturnals aren’t yet heavyweights in their division, this group is most definitely a knockout.

Setlist:
1. Only Love
2. Hot Summer Night
3. Toothbrush And My Table
4. Low Road
5. Joey
6. Mastermind
7. Money
8. Apologies
9. Tiny Light
10. Treat Me Right (acoustic)
11. Stop The Bus
12. Big White Gate
13. Nothing But The Water I
14. Nothing But The Water II
15. Why Don’t You Love Me (Beyoncé cover)
16. Paris (Ooh La La)
Encore:
17. Crazy On You (Heart cover) (acoustic intro – Benny Yurco)
18. Medicine

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  1. Pingback: Boston Music Spotlight - Your Source for Music News and Concert Information » Grace Potter announces return to Boston

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