The stage at The Fillmore Philly was decorated with cacti and neon signs Friday night, seemingly to recreate the pandemic road trips that influenced Grace Potter’s latest record Mother Road. Fans of the XPN favorite singer-songwriter staked out their spots on the floor in front of center stage early and eagerly awaited the clock to strike eight o’clock.
Opening the show was Baltimore native Brittney Spencer, celebrating the one week anniversary of her album My Stupid Life. Spencer began to really become known as a country singer-songwriter in 2020 and 2021 when she released a run of singles, but it was not until January 16th, 2024 when she finally released her first full-length album. In addition to her 45-minute opening set, Spencer joined Grace Potter on stage midway through Potter’s set to sing a couple songs together. After performing “Little Hitchhiker” together, Potter did a Brittney Spencer cover, “Reaching Out,” with help from Spencer, to further celebrate the release of Spencer’s new album. Both of those songs featuring Spencer singing with Grace Potter made for a special moment in the two hour set.
“I’ve been trying to spring guerrilla theater on a rock audience, and I finally get to do it,” Potter told us about midway through the night and it seemed like her fanbase in front of the stage was enjoying those “guerrilla theater” moments just as much as the rock concert itself. The set included many tracks from her 2023 album Mother Road as well some short cover snippets thrown in, in between original songs, and older songs from the Grace Potter and The Nocturnal days.
Of course her song “Something That I Want” (written for the 2010 Disney film Tangled) was included in the set list; the song has been having a recent resurgence in popularity on TikTok. Potter seemed to get more talkative as the night went on, telling stories in between songs and giving little anecdotes to connect with Philadelphia, and it seemed well-received by her fans who were yelling out requests late in the set.
Potter gave a brief tribute to the late South Jersey producer and live sound engineer Steve Poponi, who passed away on October 31st while working with Potter and her band to prep for tour. You could feel the emotion in her voice as she reminisced about Poponi, and told The Fillmore that “the three songs he would want to hear us play are ‘All My Ghosts,’ ‘Big White Gate,’ and ‘Stars.’ So those are going to be the last three songs of the night.”
Check out photos from The Fillmore below; Potter’s tour continues this week at The Senate in Columbia, South Carolina before heading to a run of dates in Florida; check out her full show schedule here.