The Pavilion at Old School Square, Delray Beach, Florida • April 24, 2021
by Bob Pomeroy
Grace Potter looked out at the Old School Pavilion audience in Delray Beach and made the observation, “I grew up in Vermont and I went to a lot of county fairs. With all those fences out there, it looks a lot like cattle pens.”
She’s right. The social distancing pods did look a bit like cattle pens for rock and roll fans. We didn’t care, though. We were seeing live music for maybe the first time in a year and Grace Potter certainly didn’t mind playing to penned up fans. She was bursting with joy at being in front of an audience again. We in the audience responded in kind with our own ecstatic reaction.
Grace Potter’s solo tour is hitting outdoor venues like the one in Delray Beach. The setting became a big part of the show in the first song. While playing, “Here’s to the Meantime,” her hair got into her lip gloss and she stopped the song to whip off the offending make up. “I’m done with lip gloss, Delray… I’m bored with that song, can we just move on?” then launched into “Medicine.”
Grace traded off playing acoustic and electric guitars with turns at the electric piano in a loose and energetic set. She had fun playing with the audience and encouraged fans to call out for favorites while repeatedly rejecting calls for “Freebird.” The cover band playing across the square caught her attention during “Apologies,” prompting her to break into “Paradise City” a few times. Grace also gave us an abbreviated version of ZZ Top’s “Legs” and treated us to the “Star Trek Theme” (original series, of course).
The setlist featured a lot of recent material. She ran through “Stop the Bus,” “Your Girl,” “Empty Heart,” and “Mastermind” in quick succession. “That’s what we call a medley.” Grace said. “That’s a really, really mean thing to do. I didn’t warn you about that. It’s what I do when I don’t have time to play all the songs.”
Grace closed out the show with “I Shall Be Released” into her song “Release.” She finished with a soulful rendition of “Will The Circle Be Unbroken?” The traditional spiritual was an appropriate closing song since we’d spent the previous two hours in communion with the power of music Grace sent us back into the weird world with spirits revived.