This weekend was Little Rock’s summer kick-off music festival, Riverfest. This was my first year to go to Riverfest, it has always been on Memorial Day weekend and I am usually out of town. However, this year it was on a new weekend and there were two musicians playing that I was excited to see – Grace Potter and Chris Stapleton.
This was my second time to see Grace Potter, but my first time to see her without her longtime band, the Nocturnals. She performed many songs from her 2015 solo album, Midnight, including “Hot to the Touch”, “Your Girl”, “Instigators”, and “Biggest Fan”. Grace also perform an old Grace Potter & the Nocturnals song, “Ah, Mary” from their 2007 album This is Somewhere; and closed her performance with what is probably their most popular song, “Paris, (Ooh La La)”, from their 2010 self-titled album.
Grace’s performance was everything her fans have grown to expect. It was high energy rock and roll complete with an organ and flying v electric guitar. By the end of her 75 minute performance, even the 16 year-old boys standing next to us in the crowd, who knew none of her music, were dancing and having a good time.
Luckily for me, the two musicians I wanted to see at Riverfest were scheduled to play back-to-back at the same stage on the same night!
Chris Stapleton has been the talk of country music since he performed “Drink You Away” and “Tennessee Whiskey” with Justin Timberlake at an awards show last year. Stapleton sounds just as good live as he does on his 2016 Grammy award winning album Traveller. He opened with his popular song, “Nobody to Blame”, and played many of the tracks off his album, including the title track, “Traveller”, “Fire Away”, “Was it 26”, “Daddy Doesn’t Pray Anymore”, and of course, the song everyone was wanting to hear, “Tennessee Whiskey”. Stapleton’s wife also sings in his band and showed off her own vocal abilities in the song, “You Are My Sunshine.”
Stapleton was not as energetic of a performer as Grace Potter; he came on stage and parked in the same spot for almost the entire performance, but his voice and songs captivated the crowd. He started the show 10 minutes late; however, he still played his whole scheduled 75 minutes of time and even came back on stage for an unplanned encore in response to a crowd that was loudly asking for more.
Together, Grace Potter and Chris Stapleton made for a great night of music Saturday at Riverfest! FYI – Both of their albums are available to listen to for free on hoopla!