Chicago’s Best Venue Delivers: Grace Potter and Rayland Baxter at the Chicago Theatre (October 23, 2015)

Rayland Baxter’s music is calming and beautiful. It’s perfect for listening to on a Sunday morning and a great way to start off this Friday evening concert at the Chicago Theatre. He starts 15 minutes early so the music welcomes everyone as they enter. Tonight, he is opening for Grace Potter, so to ramp the crowd up he plays a few “Saturday night” songs which are more rocking and provide a great transition.

Grace Potter gets her set started with “Never Go Back”, from the album The Lion The Beast The Beat and immediately everyone is out of their seat and dancing. She says not everyone has to stand, but don’t be bothered if someone is dancing in front of you. Later on, all the band leaves except for Grace and the lead guitar player. She tells us a bit of the story behind “Stars” which adds even more meaning to this fantastic song. She goes on to sing with great emotional intensity. It’s followed by the loudest applause of the night so far.

The most fun song of the night is “Your Girl”. It’s about wanting to steal a girl’s boyfriend, but then deciding otherwise because she likes the girl too much. Grace dances around the stage to the funky bass line and sings with a wide smile across her face. It’s a joy to witness. During the encore, “The Lion The Beast The Beat” becomes an extended jam that finishes with the entire band playing on the two drum sets to the audience’s delight. To close out the night, she sings a mashup of My Kind of Town (Chicago Is) and Paris (Ooh La La). It’s a fantastic end to a set of rootsy rock music. Catch Grace Potter and Rayland Baxter on tour now through December!

Quinn Delaney

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