2016 01 30 Grace Potter 9
Grace Potter


Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theatre

Austin, TX

Show Review by: Slim Jim Keller



I consider myself lucky to have been able to see Grace Potter before she was a theater headliner. Having watcherd her open for Gov’t Mule and in a club here and there it has been quite a journey of musicianship and stage presence.

This was the second time I’ve had the privilege of seeing her headline, and if the show Saturday night is any indication she has honed her stage show and music into a finely tuned craft that she should be performing in front of 30,000 people now, not 3,000. But such is the state of the music industry, and that is a topic for another time.

Playing music that spans her entire catalog, giving us a taste of rock, a touch of funk, a heaping helping of soul, sprinkled with more psychedelica then I’ve ever heard on her albums, her music live runs and rolls through all the above deftly and segues smoothly from genre to mashed genre with interludes that allowed her band to explore a more colorful landscape of music that one can only hope will begin to show even more in her next album.

There were times where I wondered if she were dabbling with the psychedelica personally during the show, and then the lights and music would hit, and I found myself wondering if maybe it was me that was tripping balls that night. The music acentuated by the lights were that intense.

Grace plays the stage roll of pixyish ingénue, to pop princess, to acid queen, crooner, to straight out rock and roll chick with her Flying V guitar strapped over her shoulder as each song rolls off her tongue and from her fingers. She definitely is a woman of many flavors and colors, and her stage presence and wardrobe definitely demonstrate it. From her entrance with a multi-plumed fringe top to her glitterific shorts, her skin tight dress, to her closing numbers top and skirt, her wardrobe played as much into the show with her shawls, and scarves, her boas, and capes reminds one of the great Stevie Nicks and while it may be an homage, it also just feels as if Grace is up there just having a good time and having a good time in between and from song to song.

The highlight of the night had to be Turntable. When Grace and her band blasted out a heated and erotic version of the song that puts the PG version on her album to shame. Her beguiling playful nature in the lyrics were belied by her rocking and rollicking all over the stage. At one point the band breaks down the song, going into a deep funk tempo as she writhes like a woman possessed on the stage taking her wrap and binding her wrists as she moans into the mic on the floor, ‘I will be your record, and you can be my turntable’.

The crowd was also rapturous over Low Road, a song Grace said was written about an experience she had 10 years ago here in Austin.

Her band, no longer named the Nocturnals, are a musical entity to behold. They are the main reason that she is so adept at flowing from style to style. Featuring the guitar work of who knows because I can’t find ANY information anywhere, on any site, about her live band, who I assume by those that performed on her album (which I also can’t get 100% confirmation on) are most of the Nocturnals. She introduced the band, but I didn’t realize at the time that I was going to have write it down because there is no information anywhere that I can find to flush out this review properly.

Suffice to say, they’re really good, the lead guitarist, whose birthday was Saturday night was electric and fun to watch and listen to. And the keyboardist, second guitarist tore up the keys and laid down his own thick riffs at times.

As I said at the top of the review, I sat there in the crowd and kept thinking what a shame it was that we weren’t in an arena and there weren’t 30,000 people there cheering Grace Potter and her band on and dancing in pure abandon and bliss.

Hopefully, Grace will become a household name. Hopefully you’ll get the chance to see her perform near you. Hopefully one day, we’ll all be headed to a stadium to see Grace and her band perform as headliners!

Until then, we’ve got wonderful theaters like the Moody here in Austin that we can catch her magic at.

You’d be doing yourself a grave disservice if you were to miss Grace when she comes round your part of this funky planet. Give yourself a special treat, and take yourself out and experience the mystical magical Midnight Tour.

You’ll thank me later.



You can see more Grace Potter photos from the show RIGHT HERE.


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