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Review: Grace Potter always gets in trouble in Charlotte

By Erin Maddrey Photos by Drea Atkins

November 9, 2015

On Friday, November 6, Grace Potter brought her signature soul and rock swagger to the Fillmore Charlotte. Performing songs primarily from her solo album Midnight, Potter showcased her vocals, her yoga skills, and everything that makes her the ultimate girl crush.

After a decade of fronting Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Potter has stepped out on her own with the album Midnight. Although the album has a more pop rock sound than her previous ones, Potter’s powerhouse vocals remain front and center.

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Photo by Drea Atkins

Clad in a fringed leather jacket, cropped bustier top and skintight pants with glitter patches, Potter came out strutting her stuff as she opened with “Hot to the Touch.”

She told the crowd about how much she loves playing to Charlotte audiences and the incredible energy projected each and every time she performs. “What is it about Charlotte? I always get in trouble here,” she said with a sly smile.

Potter danced around the stage to the playful “Your Girl” and the audience danced right along with her. She broke our hearts when she performed “Let You Go,” a song about attempting self-preservation after the end of a relationship. And then proceeded to steal them with “Empty Heart,” which had a soul country vibe with Potter on the acoustic guitar.

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Photo by Drea Atkins

Although she focused on playing songs from Midnight, she did play many favorites from her previous albums with The Nocturnals. “Nothing but the Water” became more rock anthem than soulful hymn. “Timekeeper” took us to church with vocal runs, the pounding of the piano, and aggressive guitars backing Potter’s surging vocals. “The Lion the Beast the Beat” saw Potter rocking out with a Gibson Flying V guitar and unleashing her soaring yet controlled wail on the audience.

During “Stars,” Potter joked that she was being “lazy” as she was taking a more quiet approach to the chorus of the song. The audience was having none of that and collectively hit the high notes. Impressed by the audience holding her accountable, Potter jokingly acquiesced and hit the high notes on the chorus.

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Photo by Drea Atkins

Known for her stage presence as much as her musical talents, Potter did not disappoint. Dancing and twirling around the stage in a way that would make both Stevie Nicks and Mick Jagger proud, Potter’s energy was infectious. At one point she did yoga on the stage, complete with a controlled headstand. Another time Potter and her band all gathered around the drum kit with drumsticks and mallets and played the drums together.

For her encore performances, Potter performed “Alive Tonight” from her new album, and then fan favorites “Medicine” and “Paris” to end an energy filled night of music. When she sang “Paris” the energy in the room was palpable.

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With a new solo album and a different sound than her Nocturnals days, Potter has shown that she is a force of nature and is capable of taking the reigns of a solo artist. As the night came to an end, Potter thanked the audience for coming out to hear her and acknowledged that her job is far from traditional. “I spray glitter on myself every night and get to wear sequins, but I love performing for you all.”

We love it too, and the world needs more glitter.

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