Ecstasy colors the room on Grace Potter’s Mother Road Tour

Grace Potter glows on the Mother Road Tour Photos: Shaun Astor

It’s been years since Grace Potter has last visited the Lake Tahoe area on tour, but on Friday night she proved the wait was well worth it. Currently on tour supporting her Mother Road album, her Tahoe show traded in the larger venues she often plays for two nights in the much more intimate Crown Room at the Crystal Bay Casino, which proved to absolutely capture the roadhouse style feel of the music from the new record.

With a stage decorated in desert highway imagery such as cactus and retro neon signage, Potter took the stage beneath the neon glow and proceeded to give an absolute deliverance of a live show. Well known for her live performances, she bounced between guitars, keyboards, and simply commanding the room with only a microphone in her hand. With pipes like Janis Joplin and moves like Axl Rose, witnessing Grace Potter perform could leave no other impression than the feeling of witnessing the sheer electricity of a vintage rock act in her prime.

Pulling songs from throughout her catalog, many were dressed up for a live performance that sounded not so much experimental, but refined to squeeze the most out of her performance of them, mixing extended interludes where she could command the crowd to sing along or clap to the songs from the front of the stage. Songs such as “Empty Heart” sound like nothing short of a Woodstock jam with musicians moving and interacting across the stage as Potter wailed out the lyrics in an apex of vocal ability.

The complete joy exhibited by Potter onstage was absolutely infectious, where the room had no other option but to share the ecstatic wave.

Toward the end of her set, Potter asked opener Brittney Spencer to come up onstage, launching into the two performing Spencer’s “Reaching Out”.

Grace Potter performs live in concert with Brittney Spencer on the Mother Road Tour
Grace Potter and Brittney Spencer perform Spencer’s “Reaching Out”

While the front portion of the floor was packed during Potter’s set, several couples found space further back on the floor to dance with each other throughout the night. Following an encore, Potter thanked everyone and made her exit, leaving a feeling of awe over the room.

Opener Brittney Spencer performed a set of her soulful country, though opted to play the songs that had more of a folk sound, fitting into the vintage neon tone of the night’s sounds. The Baltimore native often spoke and laughed with the crowd between songs, and at one point explained the story of first meeting Grace Potter, saying it was in a hot tub on a boat. Following a night of playing recordings of music for each other, Potter said they needed to tour together. And two years later, Potter made good on the promise and Spencer was playing nightly.

With the clear ability to carry a room herself, Spencer performed for 45 minutes, thoroughly warming up the crowd by the time she exited the stage.

Grace Potter
Ricky Dover Jr and Grace Potter
Indya Bratton playing guitar for Potter’s band
Grace Potter performs Mother Road, Stars in Lake Tahoe concert
Grace Potter live in concert at Lake Tahoe's Crystal Bay Club on the Mother Road Tour
Brittney Spencer

ABOUT Shaun Astor

Picture of Shaun Astor
Shaun Astor cites pop music singers and social deviants as being among his strongest influences. His vices include vegan baking, riding a bicycle unreasonable distances and fixating on places and ideas that make up the subject of the sentence, "But that’s impossible…" He splits his time between Reno and a hammock perched from ghost town building foundations. Check out his work at www.raisethestakeseditions.com

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