Little Lies and Massive Dreams

My name is Bear. I play in a band called Talking About Commas and live and work in Providence, RI. I like music.
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Apr 1, 2011

Grace Potters brings her brand of Vermont Rock to Lil Rhody

In July of 2006 I was at the High Sierra Music Festival in Northern California. As is always the case in the 4 day long mid-sized festy, word travels fast among concertgoers and word began to spread about a young band from Vermont that you HAD to see (at High Sierra, most bands play multiple times so the first performance usually creates buzz for the second; particularly for unknown bands). Her name was Grace Potter and her band was the Nocturnals. At that point no one in California knew them. I remember seeing them at the “Vaudeville Tent” with about 50 other people and being blown away by not only her showmanship, but vocal prowess and her keyboard chops, she plays a Hammond B3! Potter and her cohorts also write great bluesy, rock infused soul songs and kick serious ass on stage. Last weekend I caught them for the second time.

As I stated before I only saw them once, years ago, and don’t have any albums. My girlfriend is a fan so I got us tickets and checked out their first ever headlining set in Providence (the previous night they sold out the 2500+ House of Blues in Boston). The show started with a couple tracks from the band’s eponymous album, also its most recent, but also mixed in a bunch of older tunes. They didn’t play the two songs I knew the best (“Toothbrush and a Table” and “Nothing but the water”) but we got some great jams and fun covers to boot.

Grace Potter is a natural front woman, she rocked a glitzy, sequenced outfit while dancing around the stage, hair a-blazin and hands a-clappin. She bounced between her front of stage mic and stage left organ set up all night, often in the same song. The crowd was broader in age than I expected but was also littered with groups of young woman singing every word. I wonder if these same girls seek out the Kesha’s and Gaga’s of the world as well or if Grace hold a more musically sophisticated and less pop savvy crowd?

Highlights of the night for me were the reggae tinged pop of “Goodbye Kiss”, the expansive blues “2:22” and hugely climactic “Medicine” that closed the show. Along with the originals the band offered a trio of cover songs, of which “Crazy on You” by Heart seemed to be the best fit. Oddly enough, Heart reminds me of my dad and when the song started I could picture him driving down the road belting Ann Wilson’s famous chorus at the top of his lungs. Overall the Nocturnal are a tight, fun band that seem to love being on stage and clearly cater to the crowd, a nice change from the many bands that take themselves too seriously.

openers: Blues and Lasers
Venue info:
parking: free parking on the street if you can find it or there are $10 lots throughout downtown Providence
layout: Theatre with a GA Floor and Seated Balcony
beer sitch: 3 bars with cocktails, wine and beers. $5 for a Sierra Nevada. $6.50 for a Vodka cocktail.
capacity: 2000 (probably 2/3 full)

Set List: Hot Summer Night, Joey, Goodbye Kiss, Big White Gate, 2:22, Oasis, Some Kind of Ride, One Short Night, Foolin Myself, Elvis Presley Blues (Gillian Welch cover), Benny Yurco guitar solo > Crazy On You (Heart Cover), Only Love, Sweet Hands, Paris (Ooh La La)
E: White Rabbit (Jefferson Airplane cover), Medicine
click on song titles for YouTube videos

Video of "Some Kind of Ride"

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