Grace Potter and the Nocturnals Smoke St. Petersburg

State Theatre, St. Petersburg FL
February 5, 2011

Grace Potter must be watching old Rolling Stones footage on the tour bus because she was strutting her stuff all over the stage last night just like Mick Jagger.

Up at 5am, out the door by 6am, heading south to Boston/Logan to jump a plane to sunny Tampa, grab the rental car and continue south to St. Petersburg to see Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.

The Nocs rolled into town for their second Florida gig at the State Theatre in downtown St. Pete (Thursday night was Jacksonville). The doors opened for the SOLD OUT show at 8pm. The diehards made it to the wooden railed stage and started to introduce themselves. There were old friends from Boston (Steve and Laura), new friends from Ann Arbor Michigan and Lakeland Florida, a couple of crazies from Vermont.

Justin Jones
Justin Jones took the stage and played a quick but enjoyable 20 minute set. He’s a guy out of Washington DC (grew up in Rawley Springs, VA) who said “The last time I was in Florida it was February 3, 2007.” It was for rehab. (his wife convinced him that he needed some serious help), a rehab that he described as a vacation; then proceeded to swig from a half pint bottle (I think it was JD). He met up with Potter and crew in Mobile AL and will be supporting the Nocs through their Florida gigs. His songs were gritty and emotional and well presented for a solo acoustic guitarist.
Jonathan Tyler and the Northern Lights

Jonathan Tyler and the Northern Lights
Jonathan Tyler and the Northern Lights
The room temp was cranked up about 90 degrees when Jonathan Tyler and the Northern Lights (JT&NL) hit the stage a little after 9pm. This band was H-O-T! The core band is  lead singer, guitarist Jonathan Tyler, guitarist Brandon Pinckard (looks like he’s a Doobie Brother), drummer Jordan Cain and bassist Nick Jay and Emotion "Mo" Brown on vocals. They play an old school style southern rock. JT&NL played for about 50 minutes and must have left a couple of gallons of sweat on the stage. Tyler described his job for the night as "we're here to get you guys real loose for Grace Potter.” They did a decibel level breaking version of Led Zeppelin’s “Bring It Home” with Tyler doing his best Robert Plant and Pinckard wailing out a great Jimmy Page like solo. This band returns to St. Petersburg May 20 to The Local 662 Bar—if I lived closer, I’d be there for this one!
Emotion "Mo" Brown
Jonathan Tyler and the Northern Lights

Grace Potter
After a brief break, the stereo started to blast Devo’s “Whip It” and the crowd knew it was time for THE SHOW. The Nocs took the stage first, then Potter walked up to the mike while the crowd screamed, cheered and generally made the band welcomed in that certain Southern Style. Potter had goose bumps!

Scott Tournet
The band opened with “Ah Mary” and guitarist Scott Tournet totally shredded his solo. GPN old-schoolers take note, gone are the red carnations on the mike stands and B3; also gone are the little battery operated candles—replaced by small snake lights—the band is growing up. But the never fear the Tiger is still the stage mascot.
Cat Popper
Benny Yurco
They cruised through “Only Love” and “Goodbye Kiss” but when the setlist moved on to
“Sweet Hands” you knew this show was going be smoking as Potter wove into the lyrics “getting’ hot in here so take off all your clothes.”

Tournet, Potter and Benny Yurco strapped on the acoustics for a song Potter described as a song “we borrowed from some friends of ours” My Morning Jacket’s “Golden”. Next up was a request Potter had received earlier in the day saying “we had this request earlier from a troublemaker, we only play this for troublemakers” “Treat Me Right”

Tournet and Yurco proved they are heavy duty guitar slingers not to be messed with on “Tiny Light”; Tournet was so hot that after the song he downed and entire bottle of water before jumping into “Colors.”

Speaking of the Rolling Stones, the Nocs started with a taste of “Satisfaction” then segued into “Paris”

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Medicine

Encores of Heart’s “Crazy On You”, “Big White Gate” and “Medicine” left the crowd sweating and satisfied.

 Set list:
Ah Mary
Only Love
Goodbye Kiss
Sweet Hands
One Short Night
Golden (My Morning Jacket cover)-acoustic Potter, Tournet, Yurco
Treat Me Right-acoustic Potter, Tournet, Yurco
Hot Summer Night
(Low Road on setlist, not played)
Tiny Light
Stop the Bus
(Nothing But the Water on setlist, not played)
(White Rabbit on setlist, not played)
Crazy On You
Big White Gate

No photo pass so images were taken with my point and shoot.
Copyright ©2011 Nancy Nutile-McMenemy

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