By Michel Dussack
On June 14th, Grace Potter and The Nocturnals played a private show put together by Rolling Stone at Irving Plaza to celebrate the release of their fourth studio album, The Lion The Beast The Beat. Typically at shows like this, the crowd is a mix of industry people and a few fans who managed to win their way into the show through some contest. However, this crowd was different. The entire crowd seemed to be big fans of the band, singing words to some of the newer songs that were released just the day before and dancing throughout the entire set.
It’s also normal for bands to play abbreviated sets at shows like this, in fact when Cold War Kids played a private Rolling Stone show, the band was on stage for maybe 45 minutes at the most. Grace Potter and The Nocturnals however, delivered a full set that clocked in at nearly two hours and included newer material, older hits, and a pair of terrific covers.
When the band took the stage a bit after 9:30, they started off with ‘The Lion The Beast The Beat’ and ‘Never Go Back’ and it seemed that they would play the new album in full. However, they quickly moved into the single ‘Ah Mary’ from their second album and then reached back even further to ‘Sweet Hands’ from their debut. The night would continue in this manner of bouncing back and forth between new and old for the first thirteen songs. While the new album came out just a day before, the crowd responded positively to the material.
The end of the set however, is what Grace and her band seemed to have saved all their energy for. They started with arguably their biggest hit ‘Paris (Ooh La La)’ which transitioned into personal favorite ‘Medicine’, which featured an insanely long outro with multiple guitar solos and extended sing-alongs. The band thanked the crowd and Rolling Stone for throwing such an awesome party, and walked off the stage.
It wasn’t long though before they returned for an encore that continued to build on the high energy that was already running through the crowd. A psychedelically charged cover of Jefferson Airplane’s ‘White Rabbit’ opened the encore, before leading into ‘Nothing But The Water I & II’. The band thanked the crowd again with Grace adding that, “this one is really our last song I promise” before closing out the night with another cover – this time ‘Happy’ by The Rolling Stones, a perfect end for a show that undoubtedly left everyone in the crowd feeling that way.