Grace Potter & the Nocturnals – SXSW Austin, TX

Electrifying the Antone’s stage during the Americana Music Association showcase, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals put some tunes from their upcoming record to the test.

The packed house had just been treated to the Court Yard Hounds (Martie Maguire and Emily Robison of the Dixie Chicks’ new venture) which, while a great folky set, lacked a proper dancing groove.

To remedy the situation and close out the showcase, Grace and band (Matt Burr, Scott Tournet, Catherine Popper and Benny Yurco) started out with their “Soul Review Contrydelic Beat Intro,” just the medicine that was needed to prime the audience before jumping straight into the raunchy “Sweet Hands.”

In the “new” song category was the slinky “Oasis,” which faded into the more reggae-flavored (and certain to embed in ones’ subconscious memory) “Goodbye Kiss.” Without a pause they added “Money,” the first single from the record “Tiny Light” and “Colors” to the mix before “Ah Mary” and “Big White Gate” drew gasps from the fans both new and old.

Grace’s channelling of Grace Slick during “White Rabbit,” (recently featured in Tim Burton’s “Alice In Wonderland”) fit perfectly next to “If I Was From Paris” and “Medicine,” a driving rocker that left the audience with the impression that the show was over (SXSW sets tend to be short and without encores). Happily, the cheers from the crowd enticed Grace to squeeze in the incredible, acappella-turned-outright-gospel-jam, “Nothing But The Water.”

Oh, and they passed that test.

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Photos by Nichole Wagner

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