A few days late with this one. Been busy. Tea Party played Hamilton on the 16th, apparently my 18th time seeing them, so I headed up with Mary and J for this special special show. Why was it special? They were playing the entire Edges of Twilight album for it’s 20th anniversary. So many songs I’ve never seen them play!! It was a can’t miss.
The show was at Hamilton Place Theatre, which is where their philharmonic plays, and is so stuck in the 70s it was pretty awesome inside. Since it was an actual concert hall I was expecting some really good sound, and wow, it didn’t disappoint. This was the clearest concert I’ve ever heard. Each of the 3 aspects of the performance were clear as day, with Jeff Martin’s vocals almost too pronounced (though it was pretty cool to hear him breathe, or rather, get ready to hit some of the big notes). I’ve never really been able to distinguish individual drum sounds in a live show before this one, it was ridic. The show almost sounded quiet, because there was no hum or hiss between songs, no overwhelming crowd noise even though people were excited and yelling all the same. It was crazy how good it sounded in there.
So for the first time in a long time of seeing the Tea Party, the setlist wasn’t a surprise but it was different! (I recently got into an exchange with whichever band member runs their facebook – I suspect jeff burrows – about their lack of different setlists in Buffalo.) We knew they were playing Edges in full, and that’s what we got.
Fire in the Head
Winter Solstice / Sister Awake / Paint It Black / Sister Awake
Turn the Lamp Down Low
Shadows on the Mountainside
Drawing Down the Moon
Walk With Me
Writing’s on the Wall
The Ocean At The End
Save Me / Kashmir / Save Me
Heaven Coming Down
Correspondences was fantastic. The only other time I saw it, in Toronto 4 years ago, Jeff was losing his voice and I think it was cut short, or he didn’t sing part of it, so this was really really great. Silence I think lacked a bit of something, or didn’t translate well. I had a hard time figuring out what song it was when they began, and I don’t think it really cleared up for me as I went on, though of course I knew what it was. After that I forgot a lot of what was on the album so it was like hearing it for the first time haha. Then we got to the one I’d been waiting for, Drawing Down the Moon. That song, gah. Sexiest guitar ever.
The entire album sounded fantastic live, and it didn’t sound like they had to re-learn the songs, or were hesitant on them despite the fact that some of them have probably never been played live, or were last played 20 years ago. It was like they’d been playing them all along and knew them inside and out.
They finished Edges, and took an intermission before coming back for a small 2nd set of non Edges songs. Mary and I both said that it was an incredible let down after hearing Edges, to hear the same songs we always hear. It was completely expected yet still, not an exciting finish to a great 1st set. But a great show none the less. So happy to have heard new things from them. Hopefully some of them get put into the regular rotation. I haven’t decided if I’m going to skip work on New Years Eve to go to their show, since I’m scared of getting the “typical Buffalo setlist” that they claim doesn’t exist (I have proof!). If they announce it as an Edges show, I’m in.