Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Grace for Haiti Concert review

Grace For Haiti

Big Picture Theater

Waitsfield, VT February 15, 2010

Waitsfield resident Grace Potter, of Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, performed a benefit for Amurtel’s disaster relief in Haiti. Just over one month ago a magnitude 7.0 earthquake tore apart the Haitian capital, Port au Prince and left over 230,000 dead, 300,000 injured and an estimated 1,000,000 homeless. Joani Zweig of Amurtel reported that the “Grace for Haiti” show raised over $10,000 for Haitian relief. Zweig told the audience of 225 that Amurtel has had a presence in Haiti for the last 18 years; they were on the ground when the earthquake hit.

“I have never seen any amount of devastation that I have seen after the quake in Port au Prince” Zweig told the crowd. She explained that Amurtel has two teams in the Haitian capital: one short term group for distributing food, water and medical supplies and a second long term group for recovery and “what’s next.” She said the “next” is really critical now because the spring rains have come early and with 100,000 living in the open air in and around the capital, shelter is needed immediately. “Music and dance are the heart and soul of Haiti. The Haitian people are strong and resilient, (they) refuse to bow (to disaster); we have to refuse to bow to complacency” Zweig said. “Don’t turn your backs on Haiti!” she shouted to the crowd. She said she was driving down the road and saw a kid hitch-hiking with a guitar and gave her a ride, she told the kid she was just back from Haiti and as a musician would she do a benefit? Grace said YES.

Grace Potter took the stage before the screaming crowd of mostly people from the Mad River Valley but some as far away as Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island and for one hour and forty-five minutes had the crowd eating out of her hand.

She opened with “Nothing but the Water”, “Ah Mary”, “Colors” which she wrote right after Obama was elected President, and “Low Road.” She was joined on stage by Benny Yurco and Matt Burr for “Medicine”, “Paris”, “Tiny Lights”, “Ain’t No Time”, “One Short Night” and “Treat Me Right.” She soloed on the Hammond B3 for “Apologies” and “Big White Gate”, and was again joined by Yurco and Burr on “Things I Never Needed”, which she dedicated to the people of Haiti.

The Eames Brothers (with Matt Burr), Ralph and Seth, who opened for Potter joined her, Yurco and Burr for “2:22”, and for some “easy shimmying, no hip breaking shit” on Otis Redding’s “Dock of the Bay.”

Potter moved back to the B3 and said she was going to play a song that “brought me down and lifted me up at the same time” she slowly started “I Shall be Released.” During the second verse she was joined by the Eames brothers, Yurco and Burr to close out the song.

The show was closed with “Down By the River” that lasted a good 20 minutes featuring solos by Seth Eames and Benny Yurco on guitars.


More photos from the show and the Meet and Greet may be viewed at: http://www.photosbynanci.com/graceforhaiti.html