Review and photos by Traci Brooks / ChunkyGlasses
Move over Cinderella – Disney has a new princess, and her name is Grace Potter. Bringing fierce vocals and sassy dance moves to the 9:30 club for a four-night stay, Potter had the venue swaying and screaming along to her smoky, energetic performance from start to finish.
Opening with “Medicine,” rolling into “Hot Summer Night” and then straight into “Joey” with barely a hello, Potter clearly came with the intent to rock. Even the songs that seemed mild recorded took on a new energy in her live performance, honed by dedicated years of touring.
Keeping the audience included without disintegrating into a sing-a-long, Potter took the crowd on a journey through her discography, acknowledging the Twitter requests (except Free Bird) and even taking a pit stop to play “Belladonna,” a b-side released only in Japan that “a bunch of f***ing geeks” discovered. Several tracks from her newest album, The Lion the Beast the Beat also made appearances in her 90-plus-minute set that was filled with extended guitar solos that would make any jam band proud, and enough hairography for an episode of Glee.
Even during the (relatively speaking) calm moments of the show, Potter put out enough intensity to keep the crowd engaged during “One Heart Missing” and “Timekeeper.” Occasionally, Potter allowed the guitars to overpower her signature wail, but only when it served the music best. She created unique visual and audio moments from song to song, whether being on her knees, slapping a tambourine or banging on a keyboard – and never wavered in her vocal control.
Just in case anyone at the sold out show doubted her musical street cred, Potter gave ample opportunity to change their mind. Assuming there’s any rock’n’roll left in this world dominated by Ke$ha and One Direction, it lives in Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.
SETLIST: Grace Potter and the Nocturnals @ 9:30 Club, Washington, DC || FRIDAY, DECEMBER 7TH, 2012