The Grateful Dead graced the stage of the Capitol Theatre on the 23rd of February exactly forty two years before this Grace Potter & the Nocturnals show. They may not be the Dead, but Grace Potter & the Nocturnals have clearly been sprinkled with some of that early 70s pixie dust. The band, formed in 2002, has come into their own over the last few years as their reputation as a live juggernaut spreads, but they could as easily be from ’71. How they got their reputation isn’t hard to figure out; listen to Potter start belting the opening lines of “The Lion the Beast the Beat” from their 2012 record of the same name, and then pick your jaw up off the floor. If Grace Slick, Janis Joplin, Ann and Nancy Wilson, and Chrissie Hynde each took a turn at the mic, they might not be better than Potter. This woman has rare, powerful, lead singer pipes, the kind that are too often misspent winning reality singing competitions these days, rather than actually rocking.
GPN do plenty of rocking, mostly of the big-riff, huge chorus, blues-inflected variety. For a band that cut its chops for years in small venues as an “indie” band, everything about the Nocturnals’ sound circa-2013 is as big as Potter’s Hammond B-3. While other time-machine acts have risen more quickly (e.g., Alabama Shakes, the Lumineers), GPN has the most polish, and arguably the most staying power. Potter’s ability to put on a big rock show, while sounding and looking every inch the Big Time Rock Star, is the key ingredient, sure, but her crack band similarly looks and plays the part.
On this Saturday night, Potter and the Nocturnals positively owned the stage and the room for a full two hour-plus performance, including a particularly on-fire rendition of “Medicine” to close out the main set. We saw the band tear through old and new songs from their catalog, as well as choice covers of “Paint It Black” and “House of the Rising Sun”. But perhaps the most memorable moment of the night came at the end, when GPN gave a direct tribute to their forebears in the form of their first-ever Dead cover, a faithful version of “Casey Jones”. The howls of this crowd could probably be heard through the streets of Port Chester by the time Grace thanked us and walked off. Who says there aren’t any rock heroes anymore?
I recorded this set with Schoeps microphones in a Mid-Side configuration to allow optimal stereo separation without unnecessary “room boom”. This was a noisy Saturday night crowd, which is painfully evident at points on the recording. Otherwise, the sound quality is excellent. Thanks also to the excellent staff of the Capitol. We wish you all continued success. Enjoy!
This NYCTaper recording is being hosted on the Live Music Archive. You can stream the entire show by clicking the song titles below.
Note: All of the material on this site is offered with artist permission, free to fans, at our expense. The only thing we ask is that you download the material directly from the original source, rather than re-posting the direct links or the files on other sites without our permission. Please respect our request.
Grace Potter & the Nocturnals
Port Chester, NY USA
Hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded and produced by acidjack
Schoeps MK5c+MK8 (M-S, DFC, BOB)>KC5>CMC6>Edirol R-44 [OCM]>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Audition CS5.5 (decode, adjust levels)>Izotope Ozone 5 (light EQ and exciter)>Audacity 3.0 (tracking, fades, amplify, downsample)>FLAC ( level 8 )
Tracks [Total Time: 2:16:18]
01 The Lion, the Beast, the Beat
02 Some Kind of Ride
03 One Short Night
04 Never Go Back
06 Goodbye Kiss
07 Low Road
11 House of the Rising Sun [The Animals]
12 Watching You
14 Stop The Bus>
15 Paint It Black [Rolling Stones]
16 Nothing but the Water (I)
17 Nothing but the Water (II)
18 Paris (Ooh La La)
20 [encore break]
22 The Divide
23 Big White Gate
24 Casey Jones [Grateful Dead]