Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Grace Potter Concert Experience

When I decide to write about a show, it's about the experience. It's not a review. I bought the ticket because I like the artist. I don't feel compelled to expound on every show I see. This one was special.

I'm also very aware that I hear music differently from most people and don't experience shows like others. I have a few happy places in my life, but nothing brings me joy like a great concert.

Devon Gilfillian opened. Dude can sing. Opened the show with the song he should have closed with, in my opinion. Was good, but some was not really my to my liking.

Then Grace Potter took the stage and the only time I stopped smiling was when she made us all cry.

A little backstory. Grace Potter had effectively decided not to do music anymore after the dissolution of her band, the Nocturnals, her divorce, and ill-fated solo album Midnight. Then she got remarried, had a kid and got the music jones again, much to our benefit. What came of that was her latest album Daylight and subsequent tour. And we should all be grateful.

Grace gave us a healthy dose of songs from the new album, hit all the high notes of her catalog with the Nocturnals along with a couple of covers. She sounded fantastic, her band was great and the cover of Etta James' "I'd Rather Go Blind" as a duet with the aforementioned Devon Gilfillian was superb.

She was very personable, engaging with the audience and going off script (i.e. changing the set list on the fly). She went with the flow. One off script moment, she told the band to GTFOH while she did a solo acoustic song. The tables were turned later.

I've been to a lot of shows. This one was top five. It was that good. 90% of that was Grace Potter and her band, but the crowd was awesome as well. In recent memory, this was the least cell-phoned show I've been to. Everybody was there for the artist and into the music. Sure, everybody got their pic or video, but it wasn't constant.

Speaking of the crowd, off script and going with the flow, three songs were played for the encore. After they finished those three, they did their bows, etc. The crowd was going nuts. Grace mouthed "Wow". The band huddled up, apparently deciding what other song they should do. The band decided they were going to GTFOH and left Grace to do a solo. She said that this was going to be great or the band was going to be fired.

Apparently the band talked her into doing "Release" solo. As she was introducing it she told a story about how it came to be. She was listening, in the bath, to Dolly Parton's version of "I Will Always Love You" and thought she needed a song like that. (Before anyone cries blasphemy, she was not comparing quality, just content, and admitted that this ain't no Dolly song.) She cried. We all cried when she sang it.