This was my first evening of the year at the UW Memorial Union Terrace – one of the greatest spots in Madison on a warm summer evening – and there was a welcoming crowd gathered there to hear Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.
You can’t help but like Grace Potter. She’s a soulful and charismatic musician, who seems to be really enjoying herself while performing. And GPN puts on a real entertaining show.
Grace started the show with a solo gospel-tinged song sung a cappella – before moving onto the Hammond B-3 organ and more bluesy song selections – including the thoroughly enjoyable “Treat Me Right.” Another favorite song for me from the set was the Dylanesque “Aint No Time.”
The band had some cool vintage and custom equipment. And you have to love any woman who chooses the Gibson Flying V as her rhythm guitar!
Those present learned that this particular guitar is new. And with it, a new song “If I Were From Paris,” which has nothing to do with Paris Hilton – of whom Grace is apparently no fan. (But who shall bring glamour into our boring lives?) However, I will say that she carried the rock n roll thing a bit too far when she encouraged the audience to show her the devil horns. Perhaps the Flying V made her do it!
Early in the show, Grace apparently suffered technical difficulties with her sound monitors, but it certainly did not impair her performance. . . And I’m always impressed by musicians that manage to keep their cool under duress!
Scott Tournet and his rock star sunglasses
Bryan Dondero rocked solid on bass
All in all. A fun time on a great night in Madison!