Written by: Bill Clifford
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals exemplify the new school of music business. In a marketplace saturated with so many options for listening to and discovering new music (i.e., streaming, Internet radio apps or downloading music files) the CD is no longer the dominant revenue stream. The physical, hard copy of a studio recording, has become just another source of merchandise revenue, while the concert performance has become a band’s meal ticket. On the closing night of a two-night stand at The Capitol Theater, the band ripped through a two-hour set of classic rock, hard rock and blues-rock, bringing their current U.S. tour to a rousing close before they head off to Europe. The performance demonstrated why the band is selling out venues across the country and everywhere it goes.
Fans of the band who’ve been along for the ride since early in its career were treated to several reworked classics that showed the performing dexterity of this powerhouse rock band. Reaching back to the band’s debut album, Nothing But The Water, the quintet tore through some of it’s oldest, rootsy numbers including the payback is a bitch scorcher “Joey” and another particular show stopper was “2.22” which began with a deeply psychedelic musical intro and was played loud and hard, yet still drenched with the blues, and had the crowd at The Cap cheering and hawing loudly. The unreleased track “Sugar” took on the feel of classic rockers Pink Floyd, with reverberating, heavy rock riffs.
Other highlights included more recent songs, such as a mesmerizing “Oasis,” a syrupy sweet “Parachute Heart,” a hard rocking “Timekeeper” and a beautifully sentimental “Colors,” led by Potter’s evocative vocals and lovely piano playing. For the second night in a row, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals paid tribute to the Grateful Dead, who performed at the venue 18 times in the ‘70s, playing a beautiful acoustic rendition of the Dead’s “Friend of The Devil,” that drew a huge ovation. After a two-song encore, huddling together onstage to decide on whether to play one more song with Potter razing her left arm to entice the crowd for applause, the band closed out the night with a highly energized take on Tom Petty’s classic rocker, “American Girl,” with the crowd dancing and bouncing around the floor and singing along with every word.
This weekend at The Capitol Theater, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals showed why they are one of the hottest concert tickets on the market with a rousing, energized, rocking set that drew tightly packed crowds on both Saturday and Sunday night.