Grace Potter At Angel Stadium Of Anaheim
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By Brent Burns
After months of preparation, the traveling showcase known as the Brothers of the Sun Tour featuring Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw, Jake Owen, and (the tour's honorary sister) Grace Potter is officially underway. I had the opportunity to take in all the action on July 14, along with approximately 60,000 other fans at Angel Stadium of Anaheim.
When country superstars Chesney and McGraw kicked off their highly anticipated 22-city stadium tour last month, I think it was obvious that this would be a high point of their careers and friendship. Having met more than 20 years ago, they are now two of the biggest music acts of any genre as they co-headline this tour together. By combining forces they're launching what some are calling country music's biggest tour ever.
The setup featured a massive stage stretched across center field, elevated as tall as the upper decks and wide as the entire outfield. Spotlight and sound towers loomed high over first and third bases. On this particular night, the field that would normally be filled by members of dueling Major League Baseball teams was held down by a sea of cowboy hats, blue denim and leather boots.
Framing the stage were two gigantic scrims boasting a breathtaking sunset that blended calmly into a white-capped ocean of crystal-blue shades. While Chesney and McGraw make the tour's headlines, Grace Potter And The Nocturnals have been opening shows with their colorful performance.
Leading with her spiky leather stilettos, Potter was impossible to ignore. Her outfit was black, sheer and short, with her hair down, free and flowing, and her megawatt smile lighting up the stage. But under all the glam, Potter is as sweet as her own Grace Under Fire dark chocolate bars.
Highlights of the seven-song set included "Never Go Back," the band's first single from their recently released fourth studio album, The Lion, The Beast, The Beat. To say the album is a unique and extra addition to their already lush catalog would be an understatement, and seeing it translated onstage to thousands of fans singing along was a sight to behold. My favorite moment came with Potter's deeply personal tune, "Stars," which she belted with encumbered emotion.
Potter closed the set with "Medicine," a let-your-hair-down tune that led even the stiletto-clad frontwoman to kick off her heels and grab a drumstick. The band — rounded out by Matt Burr (drums/vocals), Scott Tournet (guitar/bass/keyboards/vocals), and Benny Yurco (guitar/bass/vocals) — huddled around Burr's drum set as Potter banged against the bass drum and snares while singing the song's hook: "She got the medicine that everybody wants." That "she" was Potter herself, and the medicine, her music. Later that evening, Potter joined Chesney onstage for a duet featuring their GRAMMY-nominated song "You And Tequila."
Stay tuned later this week for a full interview with Potter.
"Stop The Bus"
"Never Go Back"
"Tush" (ZZ Top cover)
"Paris (Ooh La La)"
(Brent Burns is the dance/electronica GRAMMY.com Community Blogger.)