THE SPECIFICS: GRACE POTTER AND THE NOCTURNALS with LANGHORNE SLIM: 8 p.m., Jan. 25 (SOLD OUT); 7 p.m., Jan. 26, First Ave., 701 1st Av. N., downtown Minneapolis, 612-332-1775, www.firstavenue.com, www.gracepotter.com, $27.50.
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals are the most exciting and energetic American band to emerge in a long time. Originating in Vermont in 2002, they've come a long way along a hard road to earn that distinction. Fronted by the multi-instrumentalist Ms. Potter, the band has toured extensively and released four studio albums and three live albums. Their music has been featured on several television programs and a couple of very popular films. Those include "Something That I Want" from "Tangled" and "White Rabbit" from Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland".
Their forte is a blend of hard rock and folk with a slight emphasis on R & B. Their shows are evenly paced and include deep tracks as well as their hits. Ms. Potter is an open, friendly person whose stories are intriguing and whose voice can sweep one away with its purity.
The band is currently on tour supporting their best album yet. "The Lion The Beast The Beat" is not a traditional concept album but all eleven tracks blend with a continuity that resembles the Moody Blues in its structure. Each song can stand alone but each is better in context.
Backing Ms. Potter are Matt Burr on drums, Scott Tournet and Benny Yurco on guitars and Michael Libramento on bass.