Review: Grace Potter and the Nocturnals at First Avenue in Minneapolis, MN. January 25, 2013

I just want your extra time and your kiss“,

Grace Potter on January 25, 2013 in Minneapolis


Published by JB on January 26, 2013


  • First Avenue Club
  • Minneapolis, MN.
  • January 26, 2012


  • The Lion, The Beast, The Beat
  • Ah Mary
  • Sweet Hands
  • Goodbye Kiss
  • Apologies
  • Parachute Heart
  • Roulette
  • Runaway
  • Joey
  • Ragged
  • Stars
  • Nothing But the Water I & II
  • Kiss (Prince cover)
  • Stop the Bus
  • Paint it Black (Rolling Stones cover)
  • Paris
  • I Love Rock & Roll (Joan Jett cover)
  • Medicine
  • Tush (ZZ Top cover)


With absolute breathless energy (yet, with complete ease) Grace Potter and the Nocturnals torched the best club in the midwest on a perfectly crisp Saturday evening in downtown Minneapolis for over two hours.   They aren’t the greatest band I’ve ever seen.   They aren’t even the greatest band I’ve seen at this club (I’ll take Arcade Fire’s performance from 2005).   But they’re from the same we’re-gonna-save-the-world atmosphere that gave birth to other monstrous live bands such as Wilco and My Morning Jacket.   The types of bands so great onstage that they render their recorded albums as merely a footnote.

Comparing a Grace Potter concert to her recorded albums is like comparing a window seat on Noah’s Ark to a promo pamphlet of a zoo.   At the crystal cool age of 29 Ms. Potter clearly has the world in the palm of her hand.   As her music spreads across 80’s big hair rock, country, 70’s P-funk and frequent splashes of gospel and soul, it’s a tour de force that is eclipsing her recorded albums into afterthoughts.  Backed by an incredibly tight band (not quite My Morning Jacket-ish, but in the same zip code) Grace is a one-person wrecking ball onstage.   Playing lead rock guitar she dances by herself with blonde locks covering her face, while singing like a queen in tight red, leather pants and with a sexy personality that magnetizes the crowd at every break.   But still she somehow comes across as the type of girl your old-school parents would still adore even with that axe in her paws.   The First Avenue crowd, at first mesmerized by her, quickly become her puppets over a 2 hour span that concluded with 1200 fans begging her back onstage 15 minutes past the normal cut-off time of 10pm (yes, we know 10pm is early – we need our beauty sleep in Minneapolis I guess).

Jumping between her four albums she leans heavily on cover versions to fill the gaps in the Nocturnals still sparse catalog.  The inevitable comparisons to Blondie, Heart, Stevie Nicks and her current contemporaries (Bethany Cosentino, Emily Haines, Shirely Manson, et al.) is more for conversational fun.   Whatever torch that Grace Potter is holding is being held high in the finest form.   Knowing that the inferior Lady Gaga could sell 20,000 tickets for the Target Center arena across the street while Grace Potter sells 2500 at First Avenue is exactly why tonight’s show was on the list of the best $27 purchases in the long history of $27 purchases.   For the price of an imitation Italian dinner for two at Olive Garden you could have seen an early entry for one of the best shows of 2013.   If there were ever a testament that live music is the single greatest investment of inexpensive entertainment, here lies Exhibit 01.


2 thoughts on “Review: Grace Potter and the Nocturnals at First Avenue in Minneapolis, MN. January 25, 2013

  1. Tim Kramer


    Loved your review! I don’t go to a lot of concerts, but I had been waiting for this one since last fall when it was announced. I am amazed GP doesn’t have a greater national following already .. I love her CD, but as you said, it pales in comparison to the live show, which was simply amazing and inspiring. Even though I’m a “young” 59 yrs old … I couldn’t wait to tell someone about how great this concert was as soon as it was over … only I couldn’t think of too many people my age who even know who she is … 🙂

    Do you often do reviews for bands at First Avenue? keep up the good work … very nice job!!

    Tim Kramer

  2. Scott Sekelsky

    I agree with both reviews above. Obviously I went to the show because I like the bands recorded music. However, we (friends that went with me) were blown away hearing them live. I have been to probably 50+ shows at First Avenue and this one was my favorte. Just incredible energy by Grace, the band and the crowd from the moment she took the stage to the sad moment when they left it. the set list was perfect and I would go see them again in a heart beat.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to toolbar