Grace Potter has dubbed herself the "Little Sister of the Sun" as part her summer stadium run with country stars Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw. And the Vermont rocker loves the effect she and her band, the Nocturnals, are having on their crowds during the Brothers of the Sun tour.
"I think the biggest thing that is surprising to people is how little we've changed our set to accommodate the country crowd," says Potter, 29, who dueted with Chesney on his 2011 country hit "You and Tequila." "Really, we just couldn't change it. There's nothing we could do that would make us sound like we belonged there; even if we played our most countrified songs, it would still be clearly be a which-one-is-not-like-the-other situation.
"And, honestly, I love the horrified looks on people's faces. It starts in utter confusion, and by the end of the show we've got fists pumping in the air and hands clapping. So it's been a great experience."
Being part of Brothers of the Sun is part of a busy year for Potter and company. The group released its fourth album, "The Lion The Beast The Beat" in June, and it's getting ready to host its second Grand Point North Festival, which takes place Sept. 14-15 in Burlington, Vt. Potter has also teamed up with the Flaming Lips on a song called "My Mechanical Friend" for Tim Burton's upcoming animated film "Frankenweenie."
"It's really great to be able to do a lot of different things and engage a lot of different kinds of crowds," Potter says. "After ('You and Tequila') a lot of people thought I was going to make a country record this year. They thought I would take the low-hanging fruit and fly with it. But that's just not where we're at and never will be. I can't move confidently into a world without feeling like I'm the one creating it.
"So here we are on a...country tour, with a psychedelic, dark rock album. How much more could I be (messing) with people?"
The Brothers of the Sun Tour with Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals and Jake Owen begins at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18, at Ford Field, 2000 Brush St., Detroit. Tickets are $32.50-$260.50. WYCD-FM will also host a free Beach Bash party from 1-5 p.m outside the stadium, with performances by Annabelle Road, Gunnar & the Grizzly Boys and Due West. Call 313-262-2012 or visit www.detroitlions.com/ford-field.
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