In a nationally televised concert that included some of the biggest names in pop (Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj), a smaller rock band from Vermont with a vintage blues/soul twist grabbed the spotlight and turned it on its head. The event was VH1 Divas Salute the Troops, the band Grace Potter & the Nocturnals. We asked the Nocturnals’ gorgeous frontwoman Grace Potter about her show-stealing experience, and she told us performing at VH1 Divas is “by far the biggest thing we’ve ever done.” Apparently, the social media and search engine stratospheres agreed. Almost immediately after their high-energy set aired, including their recent hit “Paris (Ooh La La)” and a duet with veteran rockers Heart (“Crazy On You“), the term “Grace Potter” shot to #5 on Google’s hot searches and lit up Facebook and Twitter, ultimately crashing Grace Potter’s website under a strain of heavy referrals.
It seems VH1 Divas viewers discovered what their fans had long known: Grace Potter and the Nocturnals have honed their live sets and stage chemistry to perfection through a relentless tour schedule of up to 200 gigs a year. It also didn’t hurt that this VH1 Divas crowd helped to further electrify the atmosphere. “The troops really understand the joy of a visceral experience because that’s how they live their lives,” said Grace. “They really got us. They really get what we do. It’s all about the adrenalie [and] the response from the soldiers was unprecendented and sweet.”
But asked if the concert was a life-changer in a some kind of spiritual sense, Grace responded it was more like a honeymoon than a wedding. “Being with the troops meant the most to me,” she said. “I did not see God. I just saw Kathy Griffin‘s ass.” Still, Grace admits that since the show “it’s been nuts.” She’s been interviewed by Entertainment Tonight, MTV and the Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post deemed Grace Potter & the Nocturnals the “breakout act” of the night.
Up next for Grace is a tour hitting major cities across the country and eventually a new album. “I’m writing for a new record,” she says. “We want to pump it out soon.” Grace already has a potential standout song in “All Over You,” which she describes as dancy, uptempo, sentimenal and fun.Lest your worried Grace Potter & the Nocturnals’ rise will jeopardize their down-n-dirty rocker essence, Grace promises that her band won’t lose sight of its humble roots. “I love dirty clubs,” she says. “It’s the most fun. It was what we were built on.”
Hey Grace, next time you play one, put VH1 on the guest list!