Grace Potter (with and without the Nocturnals) has played the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection countless times over the years. However, it’s been a while now, and we’ve definitely been missing the ineffably soulful retro rocker and all of the nights of rapturous rock n’ roll abandon she’s provided us with over three decades. In fact, we’re yet to hear her live takes on the songs of Mother Road, her fifth studio album, which dropped last August on Fantasy Records. But next Friday, January 26th, she will be returning to The Fillmore for one of the first must-see concerts of the year… Here are five reasons I would highly recommend coming out…
1. The new album
Mother Road was born of a trio of cross-country road trips Grace took all on her lonesome. The origins of the songs were inspired by the most engrossing outsiders the singer/songwriter met along the way, in addition to her most enlightening introspections. She’s said of the process, “Mother Road is a reframing of my understanding of my history… It’s an important and powerful perspective I’d never had until this record, and the heart of it is my journey to self-reliance and a sense of worthiness.” And the songs – which blend Americana, rhythm and blues, and rock n’ roll in its purest form – are some of her most engaging in years.
2. The fashion
I know music’s not supposed to be about the style but, let’s face it, it does matter… And whether she’s resembling a rambunctious cowgirl of a ‘60s midnight movie, decked out as a disco queen, or “breaking out the sewing machine & making a Star Trek costume” (as she proclaimed on Twitter in the early days of the pandemic), Grace Potter always looks fucking fabulous. Let her always-on-point sartorial decisions move you to bring your style game to this Friday night celebration.
3. The swagger
If you’ve seen any recent performance clips, 40-year-old Grace has lost none of the presence of the riotous frontwoman of the Nocturnals that we fell in love with nearly 20 years ago. She embodies an air of sex and sass with just enough sophistication to never distract from the fact that the songs are fucking great. Watch her perform Mother Road’s “Ready Set Go” for a Sonic Forrest Live Session where she inhabits the spirit of all the greatest performers of the blues, the counterculture, punk, and the most subversive pop music, simultaneously.
4. The classics
As much as we’re digging Mother Road, it’s always nice to have a healthy sprinkling of the hits. And Potter’s recent shows have featured a number of fan favorites from her years with the Nocturnals, including “Paris (Ooh La La),” “Ah, Mary,” and “Medicine,” and we totally won’t judge you if those are the portions of the set that make you scream the loudest.
5. The support
While Grace is more than enough of a reason to come out to the show, you should make a point to get there early for an opening set from Brittney Spencer, who first came into the spotlight when she went viral with a cover of “Crowded Table,” by The Highwomen, whose Amanda Shires and Maren Morris gave her more than their seal of approval. Spencer’s debut LP, My Stupid Life, drops today on Elektra, and earlier this week she released single “I Got Time,” 2024’s best party anthem yet.
*Get your tickets here.