Grace Potter on Touring with the Avett Brothers: "We're Totally Sick of Each Other!" | County Grind | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida


Grace Potter on Touring with the Avett Brothers: "We're Totally Sick of Each Other!"

Playing alongside huge acts such as Kenny Chesney, Ben Harper, and Lynyrd Skynyrd at the inaugural Tortuga Music Festival is a notable band with a lesser-known name but no lesser amount of soul. Poised to amp up the crowd and blow the LandShark-beer-toting concertgoers off the sand with a high-energy, genre-crossing, no-holds-barred performance are Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.

The five-piece, alt-folk, bluesy jam band that hails from Vermont has been together for ten years. Led by the down-to-earth, barefoot-dancing multi-instrumentalist Grace Potter, they've been steadily gaining a Dave Matthews-like cult following; jumping up the U.S. charts with their latest album, The Lion the Beast the Beat; and recently returning stateside after a decidedly triumphant tour across Europe and Australia.

In anticipation of the Fort Lauderdale-based Tortuga, Potter took time away from enjoying a sunny tour stop in L.A. to give us some advice on relationships and let us in on some war stories from the road.

New Times: The Sydney Morning Herald recently wrote that Grace Potter

and the Nocturnals were the "stand-out, knock-down, jaw-dropping"

performance of the Bluesfest there, where you just played. That's

Grace Potter: Yeah, baby! That's Australia for you. You

know, it's amazing. It just goes to show that you don't really know what

you're capable of until you get out of your comfort zone a little bit.

Touring Europe and Australia has never been top on our list because, you

know, we have so much work to do in the States. But getting over there

was a real affirmation that you just gotta put in a little leg work, and

if you're doing something that people can get behind, it's totally

worth it.

Was this also your first European tour?
Yeah. We've

toured in parts of Europe before -- we've done a very brief stint in

Switzerland, and we also toured in the U.K., a tiny bit in Ireland. But

this was our first full-throttle tour where we kinda let it all hang

out. And it totally worked. You just gotta get in front of people, and

that's how the fire gets started. 

We've been touring in the U.S. for

so long that I think it's easy to forget how new we are, how rare we

are to other people. We kind of take it for granted because our crowd

knows what we do. So going out there and being in front of people who've

never seen us before, it's a really refreshing perspective for


Did it meet your expectations, or were you thinking it was

going to be one thing and it ended up being something completely

Yeah, I mean, I wasn't ready for the reaction. We had a

pretty dramatic reaction from people, just basically saying, "Where have

I been and what have I been doing not knowing about you guys?" And

that's, you know, I hate to even toot my own horn. [laughs] I don't like

to brag. It was just really killer. 

And also, one thing that

surprised me was a big troupe of Americans that flew over for the whole

tour and actually followed us. That was another unexpected twist that

was just superfun and just cool to see those people on an intimate level

and see them every night and go, "Hey! It's you again!"

Do you have any outrageous highlights or memorable moments from your time overseas on tour?

yeah! [laughs] Some are not printable! One of the most exceptional

nights and days was St. Patrick's Day in Dublin, Ireland. We just

happened to be there. I mean, it was a full-on accident. But it was an

epic night -- a night to remember on every level. The whole band was

together, and we went out pubbing and just basically let it all hang out

because nobody knew who we were! We were just like every other crazy,

freewheeling, drunk Irish person who was out on the streets that night.

There's a video, actually, of me street-dancing with a stranger. I just

broke into dance at one point, and you can see it online -- I actually

tweeted it. I was just completely possessed by the Irishness of it all.

But it was a really great night. 

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Falyn Freyman is a freelance multimedia journalist based in Miami. She previously produced videos for Univision and edited music content for New Times Broward-Palm Beach. Her work has been featured in Vice, Bustle, Broadly, Time Out, and other publications. She has a master's degree from the Columbia School of Journalism.
Contact: Falyn Freyman

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