Up North Grace Potter is Grand

Written by Alexandra Provost, Photos by Laura Carbone

With flawless vocal delivery, an array of acclaimed guest musicians and a fiery light show, Vermont rocker Grace Potter wowed a crowd of thousands at Burlington’s fifth annual Grand Point North festival.

Potter, originally from Waitsfield, has found success on an international level in recent years, topping iTunes charts and even collaborating with The Rolling Stones. Light rain on the first day of the weekend festival did little to dampen the spirits of an enthusiastic crowd who traveled from both near and far to see acts that also included The Flaming Lips, Shakey Graves, and Mike Gordon of Phish. As Potter walked onto the stage, her skin glistening from raindrops, the audience went wild. Potter, now a solo artist after disbanding Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, put on an astounding performance, showing off her piano, guitar, and bluesy vocal skills. Crowd favorites included “Paris (Ooh La La),” “Low Road,” “Runaway,” “Stop the Bus,” “Hot to the Touch” and “Delirious.”

When Potter sang a passionate rendition of “Stars,” having prefaced the performance by explaining that the song was about losing someone close to her, some in the crowd were moved to tears. The surprise of the night came when special guest Kenny Chesney joined Potter to perform their single, “Wild Child.”

Earlier in the day, performers included Amy Helm, daughter of Levon Helm, who played with her band Amy Helm & The Handsome Strangers, Odessa, Madaila, and Maryse Smith with Michael Chorney. These musicians, along with Shakey Graves, Phish’s Gordon, and Burlington-based singer Kat Wright, joined Potter on stage for the final song of the evening, “Burning Down The House.” 

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