The annual "VH1 Divas" special typically serves as a tribute to some of the greatest female voices and personalities ever to commit music to tape. Living legends like Aretha Franklin, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Cher, Mariah Carey and Mary J. Blige have all graced the "Divas" stage with typically stunning results. But the show has also given a boost to artists who are about to have a huge moment in the spotlight. Such was the case on Sunday night's (December 5) "VH1 Divas Salute the Troops," as Grace Potter (of her group Grace Potter & the Nocturnals) dropped plenty of jaws with her double-shot of rugged-but-gorgeous blues rock.
Potter opened up her evening with the band's recent breakout hit "Paris (Ooh La La)," which filters all of the group's '60s and '70s sensibilities (heavy guitars, funky backbeats, Potter's powerful wail) into three-and-a-half minutes of pure adrenalized bliss. As a follow-up, the band found themselves augmented by the ladies from Heart, who turned their amps way up for a charging run through their classic hit "Crazy on You" (perhaps best known to modern audiences as the sample that fuels Eminem's "Crazy in Love," from his 2004 album Encore). The two groups gelled seamlessly, creating yet another classic collaborative moment at a "VH1 Divas" show.
Potter formed her band while at St. Lawrence University in New York, and they parlayed their reputation as a killer New England live act into a record deal. They recently released their third full-length album, a self-titled effort that has been embraced by critics and fans alike. With her show-stopping performance on "VH1 Divas Salute the Troops," Potter has certainly picked up a handful of new fans, and as long as she continues to craft smashes like "Paris (Ooh La La)," she'll be holding onto those fans for years to come.