It didn’t take long for the smell of marijuana fill Webster Hall on June 12, in fact the entire night could have been a show from 1969. Grace Potter’s vocals and flower girl stage persona are eerily similar to that of Grace Slick. Potter’s cover of Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” might as well have hopped in a DeLorean, traveled at 88 miles per hour and seen Jefferson Airplane live in 1967.
Potter isn’t the only one successfully channeling the late 60’s and early 70’s. Each member of The Nocturnals has their own rockin’ look. Both Scott Tournet (guitar, harmonica), Matthew Burr (drums) have hair longer than mine and Burr’s mustache only rivals Sellleck’s. Catherine Popper (bassist) wore a slinky backless dress that perfectly matched Potter’s and a red rose in her hair.
Grace spent the evening bouncing around the stage with a huge smile, rocking out on a flying V guitar or standing behind her keys and messing up her hair. She introduced “Goodbye Kiss”, a song off their newest self titled album that was released June 8, 2010, as the “happiest sad break up song ever” . She then said that it was like The Kink’s “Lola” but without the transvestites. Potter was right, it is a song that deserves to be listened to on a beach while sipping a margarita. If “Goodbye Kiss” is an indication of the other songs on Grace Potter & the Nocturnals than it seems that this 60’s psychedelic rock group might be heading down south for a more country sound.
Throughout the show, the only thing that could distract from the blonde bombshell on stage was the bushy bearded man on the upper balcony dancing in a fashion that I can only describe as hippie thrashing. The stage got dark with a beautiful backdrop of tiny lights fittingly for another new track “Tiny Lights”. As the transitional instrumental interlude ended, the crowd cheered as they recognized one of the more popular songs “Big White Gate”. This song inspired an audience member to whip out his iPhone and rev up his “lighter app” and wave the phone toward the stage. It’s clearly a very technologically advanced crowd. Potter and Popper (try saying that 3 times fast) both appreciated the crowds dancing abilities calling it “cool as shit to watch” and dedicated the next song “to all the dancers in the room”. However a cover of Blondie’s “Heart of Glass” probably wasn’t the best choice.
The encore was probably the best part of the show for the older members of the audience with Potter’s outstanding cover of Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit”. Hearing “feed your head” in person was a million times better than on the Alice in Wonderland soundtrack. The night was full of psychedelic sound and color, legs that went on for miles and a bit of accidental crowd flashing from Miss Potter herself during enthusiastic dancing. If anyone has any doubts that Grace Potter and her band The Nocturnals are around for good, then I suggest they see them live.
One Short Night
Big White Gate
Heart of Glass (Blondie cover)
White Rabbit (Jefferson Airplane cover)
Nothing but the Water
(Photo credit: Bridget Maher and Kevin Seaman of Rockpit.com