It was about 4:30 in the afternoon. I was in the media center at Kanrocksas taking a break and deciding which band I wanted to check out next. OK Go was playing on the Ad Astra Stage but that just wasn’t drawing my interest (I hear they put on a fun show though). A couple spots down the schedule I saw Grace Potter & the Nocturnals. I honestly didn’t know much about them. The day before, I googled them and watched a video. That was all I knew. My gut told me that I should just wait and check out their set. It may be the best decision I made all weekend.
The Nocturnals took the stage first leading the way for Grace Potter to make her entrance. She soulfully, casually danced her way on stage and around the band before finally reaching her destination at her Wurlitzer electric piano. She commanded your attention immediately. They opened with a ten minute version of “Oasis.” The song featured some frenzied piano and guitar playing from the group. The tone had been set for the next forty minutes. However, they followed with a couple of slower songs before exploding on the crowd once again and hitting a high with getting the entire crowd singing “Ooh la la” during “Paris”.
Grace Potter doesn’t just own the stage she performs on; she also owns the crowd that she performs to. With a simple hand gesture she could make the crowd do anything she wanted. At least it seemed like she could hypnotize you. Actually, a man standing next to me kept reaching out his arm and making gestures with his hand as if he were trying to summon Grace to him. It was very strange. I probably should have alerted security.
The Nocturnals complement her well. They have amazing guitar players that add that extra element to each song. The set ended with Grace Potter dancing off stage, in the same manner that she came on, only to run back on, belt out some more vocals and toss down the microphone.
I owe an apology to Grace Potter & the Nocturnals. I am terribly sorry that I did not know more about you before. I am deeply ashamed. Please accept my apology. I hope you tour this area again soon and one of your stops is Lawrence, Kansas. Make it happen.
Watch some video of them performing “Joey” and “Paris.”