“Here’s your green tea and a water, I’ll sit down in a minute—I swear.” After greeting me with a big hug—the kind you get from a friend you haven’t seen in forever—the super friendly front woman of Grace Potter and The Nocturnals continues to organize her dressing room. We’re backstage in her small but cozy room tucked away from the casino at Atlantic City’s Golden Nugget, where she will perform in just a few hours. “This right here is the best heat source in the world,” she says, pointing to the light bulbs that surround the vanity mirror. “They put me in another room but it was glacial cold, like so cold. And that’s the worst thing for your voice. I moved to this room because anytime you see these, you know it’s a good warm room."
One glance is all it takes to see that Potter is into fashion and beauty. There’s a complete makeup brush roll next to her neatly laid out compacts, Züca bags full of Chanel and LaPrairie and, hanging in her closet, the raddest sequin dress ever next to a powder blue Céline bag. She looks effortlessly chic in a loose-fitting leopard printed dress paired with flat leather sandals and skin so glowy you’d never know she just came off a red-eye flight from Colorado, where she performed the night before.
Potter plays the organ, guitar, tambourine and has powerhouse vocals that will fill any venue—no matter how large. She also has her own signature Gibson Flying V Guitar and can dance through her two-hour-plus set in five inch heels. Badass, right? When I ask how she does it, she replies, “I dance so hard that I become a vessel of the music and it just goes through me. I’m just the puppet and I have no control over my body.” But even rockstars have their breaking point: “I’ll kick off my heels behind the scenes mid-set or towards the end if I my feet start to get tired, but I then I will dance way harder!" she explains. "The longer I can keep my heels on the less likely I am to have whiplash the next day.”
Potter and the Nocturnals have been on the road for the better part of the past year, since the June 2012 release of their fourth studio album, “The Lion The Beast The Beat.” They’ll wrap up their tour dates on October 5th when they hit Asheville, North Carolina. And then Potter will finally get to go home for a bit. “I’m from Waitsfield, Vermont and still live there," she says, between sips of tea. "My parents have a compound with six studios—it’s really cool. So I live there when I’m not traveling. It’s called Hobbitville but some people call it Potterville," she says with a laugh. “It seriously looks like the shire from Lord of the Rings!"
Next up for Potter? More songwriting, and a new record. “My dad just had knee surgery so I want to hang out with him when this is done. I’m also going to write—I write my best songs in Vermont. Right after the new year I think I’ll take a road trip and start making my way out to L.A., where the new album will eventually get made come early spring."
Until then, click through for all Grace’s on-the-road essentials, and get the scoop on her favorite store and her biggest impulse purchase ever.