Grace Potter and the Nocturnals – concert review

SALT LAKE CITY ” It was a hot summer night at the Gallivan Center on Saturday, made hotter by the presence of Grace Potter.

Potter and the Nocturnals returned to Salt Lake on a very warm night, especially near the front of the stage where fans stood shoulder to shoulder for the nearly two hour show.

But the heat didn’t slow down the energetic Potter who danced around the stage the entire evening and once again proved why her soulful soaring pipes rank among the top of list of female rock singers today.

Potter, who gave one of best Depot shows of the year February, promised during her last visit that she would do an all request show the next time she came to town. Staying true to her word, Potter checked her Twitter account prior to the show gave fans what they asked for Saturday.

Switching between organ and her Flying-V guitars throughout the evening, Potter showcased her soulful voice on songs like “Joey,” “Apologies” (one of the most requested songs) and great version of her current hit with Kenny Chesney, “You and Tequila.” She also brought the rock with “Ah Mary” and “Stop the Bus,” the two best songs of the evening, and “Paris (Oh La La).”

The Nocturnals were a trio on Saturday rather than a quartet. Bassist Cat Popper sat out Saturday’s show, though a mic stand was set up for her (she was apparently a game time decision, to use a sports analogy). The band’s publicist noted that Popper, a diabetic, needs a break from the band’s grueling tour schedule every once in awhile.

Though her playing was missed, the other band members successfully made up for her absence. Guitarists Scott Tournet and Benny Yurco traded off playing bass on some songs, while others were played acoustically without bass. On other songs, they stuck to what they know best, blazing through guitar licks.

“One Short Night,” “Money,” “That Phone” and “Treat Me Right” were mixed with covers from Wilco, Jefferson Airplane and a great cover of Otis Redding’s “Pain in My Heart.”

The band finished up with “Sweet Hands” and “Medicine” featuring a gathering around Matt Burr’s drum kit for a short drum circle. The band likely could have played longer but were forced to call it a night at 10 p.m. with the city’s strict curfew ordinance.

Salt Lake City has already had two Grace Potter shows this year (three if you count the private show during the Outdoor Retailers Convention). Here’s hoping for one more encore visit to Utah before year’s end.

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