Grace Potter bringing ‘fireball rock and roll’ to North Lake Tahoe
If you go
What: Grace Potter
When: 8:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12
Where: Crystal Bay Casino Crown Room
CRYSTAL BAY, Nev. — Grace Potter’s voice jumps an octave as she talks about returning to North Lake Tahoe.
“I’m thrilled,” an upbeat Potter said Tuesday, phoning from a hotel in Minneapolis.
Simply put: Potter is amped to play at Tahoe in more ways than one.
“I have really fond memories, because (the last time) we had a few extra days off,” said Potter, who last performed on the North Shore three years ago. “We just went bonkers — hiking, running, swimming — it was so fun.”
Playing in support of her debut solo album “Midnight,” Potter — for more than a decade the frontwoman of Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, a roots-centric rock band — will bring her fresh, eclectic pop-rock sound to the Crystal Bay Casino Crown Room on Friday.
And in anticipation of Friday’s show, Potter said she’s been showing her bandmates pictures of the famed CBC Crown Room.
In other words, Potter couldn’t resist whetting her band’s appetite before they drift from the Land of 10,000 Lakes to — what’s commonly known in the Truckee-Tahoe region as — The Lake.
“Some of my bandmates haven’t been there yet,” Potter said of the Crown Room. “It’s a really intimate, wonderful room. We’ve been recording all of the shows, and this is one of the ones I’m looking forward to the most — it sounds amazing in that room.
“Even though we have a big production, we’re going to have fun really playing off the dynamics of the band and the musicianship. It’s a little more intimate setting than what we’re used to.”
Indeed, Potter has played the biggest of stages during her decade-plus career as a touring musician.
In fact, the Vermont-born rocker’s first gig as a solo artist was about as big as it gets — opening for the Rolling Stones at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis last summer. Not only that, Potter was asked to perform with the iconic rock band, as Mick Jagger beckoned her on stage to sing “Gimme Shelter” during the Stones’ set.
Quite simply, Potter, a multi-instrumentalist whose soulful voice can shift from a hush to a howl (sometimes all in the same song, like on Midnight’s lead single “Alive Tonight”), can rock with the best of them.
“This is definitely not a sit-down, woman-crying-into-a-tinkling-piano-and-singing-songs concert,” said Potter, laughing. “That is something I really enjoy doing, but it’s a different part of my life; it’s not my touring act. I definitely put on a fireball rock and roll concert.”
Playing from her solo effort “Midnight” and plucking from her four-album Nocturnals catalog, Potter said “she never plays the same set list” when she’s touring.
“It’s kind of like ‘Lady Luck,’” Potter added. “You never know what you’re going to get.”
Speaking of, Potter said one of her favorite aspects of playing at the Crystal Bay Casino is luring gamblers toward the stage for a few hours.
“It’s a really fun atmosphere because a lot of folks who come to the show didn’t know they were going to come to the show,” she said. “They hear the music coming from the casino’s walls and they they’re like, ‘Well, that sounds better than the slot machines.’
“I love that opportunity to surprise people — like sneak-attack rock and roll.”
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