Grace Potter & The Nocturnals played two sold-out shows at The Beacon Theatre this passed weekend, and they were some serious rock n’ roll shows.  But before we get into that, I would like to just mention a recent L4LM article that featured five women to keep your eyes on in the music scene.  These women included Niki Crawford (Orgone), Arleigh Kincheloe (Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds), Nikki Glaspie (Dumpstaphunk), Alecia Chakour of Royal Family fame, and Grammy-nominated artist Natalie Cressman (Trey Anastasio Band).  The reason we say to keep both eyes on these women is because they have burgeoning music careers and are beginning to make waves in the scene.  They will hopefully get the recognition that they deserve….someday.  But right now, and really for the last couple of years, there is one woman that is simply a cut above the rest, who has taken the scene by storm, and left nothing but dropped jaws in her wake; and that woman is Grace Potter.  She is THE woman in the music scene.

Backed by her band The Nocturnals, Potter has made quite the name for herself since forming back in 2002 with drummer/fiancée Matt Burr and guitarist Scott Tournet at St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY before returning back to her hometown of Waitsfield, VT to serve as the bands homebase.  She plays her own Gibson Signature Flying V guitar, the Hammond B3, a Fender Rhodes, a Wurlitzer, and has stage presence that is up there with some of the best in rock history.  Oh, and to say that she is easy on the eye is the understatement of the millennium.  It is almost impossible to take your eyes off her from the second she walks on stage to the second she leaves it, especially given the fact that she is dressed in some hot little number, showing some leg, and rocking the fuck out – talk about “Dream Woman”….I say God Damn!!!!

While Potter is the key ingredient in this mixture, let’s not forget about the rest of the band.  This is one well-oiled machine that can flat out play.  Between the foundation of Burr and Tournet, you have Benny Yurco on guitar, and newest member Michael Libramento on bass holding it down.  None of these guys stop moving the whole show; they are completely tuned in to one another, and have this non-verbal communication thing down to a science.  This was completely evident on Friday night at the Beacon Theatre in NYC, during the first of two sold-out shows.

Opening with “The Lion The Beast The Beat”, the title track from their latest album, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals made it clear from the beginning that they were here to do one thing, and one thing only – and that was to rock.  “Never Go Back”, which they collaborated with Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys on, followed and saw Potter prancing around on stage, arms flailing high in the air.  Early on, Potter shared a story about her first show at the Beacon many years prior to this night at a Mavis Staples concert and how she never in her wildest dreams imagined that she would be performing on the same stage as Staples.

It is difficult to point out one or two highlights from the show, as this performance was solid from beginning to end, but the “2:22” was some seriously gritty, ballsy blues that saw Benny Yurco bring out his inner Stevie Ray Vaughn.  And Potter’s soulful, sultry solo on “Nothing But The Water Pt. 1” led into “Pt. 2” with the band and it felt like we were in a Southern church praising the Good Lord.  “Paris” brought the vixen back out in Potter, as she had the crowd hanging on every ‘Ooh La La’ that came out of her mouth.  A jammed out “Medicine” ended the set on a high note, but not before a tease of Phish’s “Tweezer” made an appearance.  It most likely went unnoticed by 98% if the crowd, but it was definitely in there (as you will witness in the video below at about 2:11).

With the crowd still all worked up from the set, the band returned to the stage to pull out all the stops with a three-song encore of “Sweet Hands”, and a rocking “Stop the Bus” segued nicely into The Rolling Stones’ “Paint It Black” to end the show.  Overall, the only way I see it is that on this night, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals had the medicine that everybody wanted; and they sure as hell gave it to us.

Beacon Setlist Night 1

The Lion The Beast The Beat, Never Go Back, Ah Mary>Mastermind, Parachute, Heart>Apologies, 2:22>Some kind of Ride, Big White, Low Road, Stars>The Divide, Nothing But The Water 1 & 2, Paris, Medicine (Tweezer Tease)


Sweet Hands, Stop the Bus>Paint It Black

Check out “Medicine” w/ a “Tweezer” tease here:

Check out photos from the night here by Alex Toombs: