Grace Potter & the Nocturnals

I haven’t been to a concert like that since the Fillmore East closed. It was reminescent of the earlier Earth Day concerts in Central Park (ah, my flower child bohemian youth!). The audience ages ranged from high schoolers to octogenarians (or better) with no one group outnumbering any other. Everyone was totally into the sound and the energy and the contact high of being inside the music.

Literally inside the music. I could feel the vibrations thump through my chest and that is a seriously weird feeling. The beat pulsed up through the soles of your shoes, vibrating rhythmically inside your bones. Magnificent sense-surround sound! They were loud enough, in fact, for an outdoor arena. The Music Hall in Portsmouth is practically an intimate theatre with nary a bad seat in the house, sound-wise. Frankly, if they didn’t sound so damn good, the sound level would have been uncomfortable, but somehow it wasn’t. It wasn’t all loud. It was a lot of crisp sound and clear-as-a-bell vocals. Just a lot of it.

Crowds of bobbing bodies moved down the aisles to surround the stage, reaching to be as close to the musicians as possible. On the stage were several owl figurines (the Nocturnals–get it?), a gnome ala Travelocity, and an Animal (of Muppet drum fame) muppet nestled at the base of the full drum set.

Next to us one row up was a man shouting conversational gambits to his date in obvious attempts to impress her. What he did accomplish was pissing off the people around him (me!). We were civilized. We occasionally glared but otherwise ignored him. He eventually shut up. Or moved. I forget which.

The opener band played for about 45 minutes. After a 30-minute intermission Grace Potter and her band took the stage for a full two hours, rocking the house down. This was the last night of their tour and they were pulling out all the stops.

One amazing set near the end had all four band members playing the drums together in an incredible drum riff set. I wondered how many bruises they had during rehearsals before they got it down. Mostly I was just amazed and delighted in results of their efforts.

Sunday morning I discovered just how not-young I was/am. My knees were in worse shape than my broken foot…hot and swollen from bopping and swaying to the beat half the night. Oh, but it was SO worth it!

Today is Monday. I lined up a slew of errands for after work for DH to chauffeur me around to. I made it through three-quarters of the list before deciding I could put the last two stops off for another night.

I’d do that concert again in a heartbeat!

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