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Monday, September 19, 2016

The Best Moments of Grand Point North

Above: Grace Potter's delicious Maple Lemonade at Grand Point North 2016
Somehow, the weather cleared despite pretty gusty winds on Saturday for Grace Potter's Grand Point North this past weekend in Burlington, VT. The real highlight of the festival were Tennessee boys Old Crow Medicine Show, whose energy at set list would give concert goers something to talk and brag about for months to come.

Even though it's not your Lollapalooza or Bonnaroo, Grand Point North has a very special feeling. It has a very 'small town/hometown' touch. Granted, it is a small sized music festival, with perhaps 5k people attending each day. Grace Potter does an amazingly good job with putting everything together, and it pays off in the end.

The festival was packed on Saturday with a near sold out crowd. A gusty wind battered the festival from Lake Champlain, but fortunately, no rain fell and it was surprisingly warm for both days. Sunday proved to be the better day of the festival, both in terms of music and weather.
One of the highlights of Grand Point North this year wasn't necessarily the music, but the weather. After all it's September and in northern Vermont, anything can happen. However, everyone was extremely lucky, especially on Sunday. Sunday proved to be a beautiful day that gave way to the best moment of the entire weekend.

After a charming performance by the Wood Brothers, where concert goes sang heavy hardheartedly to 'Lucky Man', Old Crow Medicine Show graced the stage around 7PM Sunday evening.
They were by far the best performers of the festival, and the highlight of the entire weekend.
The best moment came during their third song as the band began to play 'Take em Away' just as the sky filled in with a fiery orange and red. 'What a privilege it is to perform 'Take em Away' as the sun is setting over the beautiful Adirondacks!' proclaimed lead singer Chris Fugua.
Old Crow Medicine Show performing at GPN 2016
Even though the band hails from Tennessee, these southern boys looked like they felt right at home. The band had obvious respect for both the Adirondack and Green Mountains as they mentioned them several times throughout their set. Fugua seemed to love the lake too, as he constantly called her 'Old Chappie.'

The crowd began a fun filled dance from the moment the band came on stage to the end, which was one of the better parts of the entire festival. Another song highlight of their set was when the band continued to play 'My Dog ate the Banjo' at the very end after 'Wagon Wheel'.

The second best musical moment of the festival were up and comers The Record Company. This three group band from Los Angeles performed before the Wood Brothers and were the first ones to really get the crowd going Sunday afternoon. Delivering a powerful set of Rock n Roll music, the Record Company proved they are the new real deal. It was most impressive when drummer Marc Cazorla injured himself on set when he began bleeding and continued playing just as hard afterwards.
Grace Potter herself was exceptionally good on Saturday, proving she is the glorious diva of Burlington. The band was on top notch form as well, matching Potter's vocals that gave way to a satisfying ending both Saturday and Sunday evenings.

However, there were several things that lacked about Potter's performances. They weren't any massive startling guitar solos like they were when she released her self titled album several years ago. Although the drum solo is impressive, and most understandably part of Potter's set, it would have been nice for her to change the pace and beat to something else on different nights. In fact, Grace Potter's set could have changed significantly more for the two nights she performed. Despite this, musically, Grace and her band were great and sounding better then ever.
The sound itself for the festival was exceptionally good for every band of the festival, and it was clear someone was taking it very seriously.

The only negative thing about the festival was there being just one beer tent. On Saturday night, the line became unbearably long, close to an hour waiting time. For next year, the festival might consider adding another one to improve this situation.

Other then that, Grand Point North was a big success this year. Almost all concert goers left happy and satisfied, especially Sunday night talking about how great Old Crow was. Grand Point North is a little festival that can, helped by an amazing musician and crew.

Grace Potter setlist Night 1:
1) Hot too the touch
2) Ah Mary
3) Empty Heart
4) Your Girl
5) Never go Back
6) Look what You've become
7) Timekeeper
8) Apologies
9) Low Road
10) Nothing but the Water (Part 1)
11) Turntable
12) Instigators
13) The Lion the beast & the beat
Stop the Bus (Acoustic)
Paris (Oh La la)

Festival Photos taken by Leo Pareti

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