Grace Potter has been burning up the music scene for over 20 years. She has her own brand of rock and roll whether it's been with her solo career or with her time in Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. She's makes music that is a gritty cross of rock and country and her newest album Mother Road is made for dirt road driving. This album could be the soundtrack if they ever decided to remake Thema and Louise. Grace brought new comer country artist, Brittney Spencer, out for the tour. I made a point not to listen to her debut album My Stupid Life prior to the show so that I could immerse myself in a fully organic experience. I can tell you that I was floored by her performance. I have not been so impressed by a new artist in years. I didn't even get back to my car before I downloaded the album, her performance was that good.
Brittney Spencer get to know her and lover her. She's bringing a soulful voice to country with a whole lotta Baltimore sass. She hit the stage with an acoustic guitar, a guitarist and a drummer. She had the biggest smile and started to sing "If You Say So". Her voice and stage presence captivated the entire venue. Even those that were still hanging in the lobby filled the room, when I looked back the house was packed with people dancing and having a good time. For a new artist that's not usual. I've been to so many shows where people don't show up for the support acts or they just stand in the lobby or at the bar. Before her next song, "First Car Feeling" , she chatted with the audience and told everyone she was from Baltimore. While a close neighbor to Philly, lets just say it was interesting since the Eagles were out of the playoffs and Ravens weren't. "First Car Feeling", ahh, what a song. This one hit home, I am literally standing in the photo pit chasing the feeling she was singing about. I think her lyrics will be one of the drivers of her success. Throughout the set each song hit for someone in the audience, her lyrics are raw and real. She performed 9 songs over 45 minutes and I cannot wait to see her again and again, since I am a serial concert goer. Run, do not walk to get her album and get to a show before she's selling out stadiums.
Grace Potter was there to bring her new album Mother Road to life. The stage set up reminded me of the dirt road I wrote about earlier. Gas pumps and neon palm trees adorned the stage and the smell of incense were in the air. Grace kicked off her 2-hour long set with Lady Vagabond off her new album. She was wearing an amazing leather fringe jacket, a shiny skirt with stars on it and her acoustic guitar. Her vocals on this song reminded me Janis Joplin with a sounthern flare. The song and performance were very energetic and set the tone for the rest of the set. Grace shed her jacket and guitar for Medicine. She grabbed her mug and stepped up to the mic as the crowd clapped to the beat, she said here's to drinking Philadelphia Kool-Aid. She talked for a few seconds about Philadelphia and it becoming a part of you when you visit. Grace said even though we pretend to be a medicine show... then she growled, we just gonna rock, and high kicked into the air. This set the crowd on fire. She sang and danced across the edge of the stage, grabbed her tambourine and transformed into another space and time.
She mixed in a little bit of Put a Little in Your Heart prior to her transitioning into Empty Heart. Grace then spoke about the writing process of her newest album and sung the original version of Mother Road with just her acoustic guitar. This performance was raw, vulnerable and showed yet another side and voice of Grace Potter, her talent is endless. She mixed in a couple more covers during her set including White Rabbit and a few more songs from her time with the Nocturnals. She also brought Brittney Spencer back out onto the stage where they performed two songs. The first was Grace's song Little Hitchhiker and the second was Brittney's song, Reaching Out. Both songs were amazing, their voices melded together. It was a breath of fresh air for the headliner to guest on the supports song during their set. You could see the most amazing amount of respect that these women had for each other.
The night closed with Grace singing Stars. It was a great culmination to a wonderful celebration of music and life. She left her all out on the stage, in what was a cold and foggy night in Philadelphia. There are a bunch of dates left on this leg of the tour through April, get out and support these amazing artists and their stellar bands.