In this age of rampant misinformation, trustworthy promoting is extra impactful than ever.
The strategy additionally applies to reside music, and was put into motion May 7 on the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds when The Grey Eagle’s billing of Grace Potter proved surprisingly true.
Whereas the affable rocker’s final two Asheville-area reveals — the Warren Haynes Christmas Jam in December 2018 and The Orange Peel in January 2020 — had been marketed as “Grace Potter” gigs and featured accompaniment by her full band, this time the identical moniker produced Grace Potter and solely Grace Potter — a welcome curveball and a comparably pleasurable expertise.
The Grey Eagle’s first drive-in present since a frosty mid-November night with St. Paul and the Broken Bones, the evening was chillier than ordinary for May and, maybe as a result of additional hour of daylight, bereft of a projection display screen beside the stage. Unfazed by the low spring temperatures — she lives in Vermont, in any case — Potter tapped into her seemingly bottomless nicely of vitality and delivered a efficiency that, because of her animated persona and the technicians’ knowledgeable outside sound work, didn’t require video accompaniment.
Wrapped in a inexperienced garment that she comically revealed to be her bathrobe, Potter additionally claimed to not have written a set checklist, and as a substitute turned to the viewers for requests. Honoring these shouted strategies sometimes required lyrical backup help from her iPad display screen — a “cheat” that the 37-year-old Potter stated was OK for 75-year-old Neil Young, but didn’t really feel fairly proper for her simply but — however in any other case, it was evident that she’d stored her stage abilities sharp over the previous yr, which noticed her play extra reside reveals than most touring artists.
Starting on guitar, Potter set the skilled but playful tone early with the fascinating “Every Heartbeat,” adopted by a shock verse of Men Without Hats’ “Safety Dance.” The selection present that adopted noticed her transfer between a trio of devices, sticking to guitar for such gems as “Your Girl,” “Stop the Bus,” and her Kenny Chesney duet, “You and Tequila,” and switching to Wurlitzer for a artistic twist on the bouncy “Medicine.” And, because it’s not actually a Grace Potter present with out a Flying V music or two, she donned the throwback instrument and handled the group to “Joey.”
As followers intermittently confirmed their appreciation with automobile horn honking all through the evening, Potter stored the humorous, humanizing anecdotes coming. Around the midway mark, she acknowledged how good it felt to be again with WNC concertgoers, and goofily in contrast herself to the turkey within the kitchen at Thanksgiving round which everybody gathers.
In the build-up to her largest unique hits, Potter payed homage to Asheville native Haynes, whom she famous she dearly misses, with an particularly soulful Wurlitzer rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s “Gold Dust Woman,” which they memorably carried out with Jim James on the aforementioned Christmas Jam. And just a few songs later, she honored the late John Prine with a stirring cowl of “Angel from Montgomery,” which she recognized as her most influential music alongside Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come.”
As darkness descended, Potter ramped up the variability, hopping to keys for “Big White Gate,” Flying V for “Nothing But the Water,” and once more to keys for a fast refrain of The Eagles’ “Witchy Woman,” which segued properly to the ability anthem ”Release” from her most up-to-date album, 2019’s Daylight.
Still hitting upper-register vocal wails nicely over an hour into the set, Potter headed into the house stretch with a powerful guitar medley of the standard “May the Circle Be Unbroken,” her personal “The Lion, The Beast, The Beat,” and a full tackle her nonetheless best hit, “Paris (Ooh La La).” All that was left was the best capper: a Flying-V-charged “Stars,” appropriately beneath a transparent, sparkly sky, whose evolution from mild to darkish appeared to encourage her all night — no band crucial.
Following that profitable begin to its 2021 Drive-In Concert sequence, The Grey Eagle has three reveals in Maggie Valley over the following week: Galactic that includes Anjelika “Jelly” Joseph on Sunday, May 23; moe. on Thursday, May 27; and Big Something and Too Many Zooz on Friday, May 28, every of which begins at 7 p.m. Additionally, Elle King performs a socially distanced, pod-style present at Paint Rock Farm in Hot Springs on Saturday, June 5, at 7:30 p.m. For extra data, go to thegreyeagle.com.