The Tea Party – 2 night stand @ Town Ballroom

As suspected for a while, the Tea Party announced they were going to tour Transmission, like they did The Edges of Twilight, for it’s 20th anniversary. Yesssss. My favourite album. They announced 2 shows in Buffalo, and Town Ballroom was offering a slightly discounted 2 night pass. Since it was likely that this tour will be the only time I get to see most of these songs, I was going to go to both.

First night we planned to meet up with Eric and Mary at Expo Market for dinner before hand, where we were joined by Kark and Kelley. It was like old college times again, and I hadn’t seen them since Eric’s wedding, which was 10 or 11 years ago. It was great to see them again.

The shows had no opener, thankfully. Unlike the Edges show, they didn’t quite go in order, moving Temptation to the end, as they typically close with it, and switching things up a bit in the middle. After finishing the album, they took a 20ish minute break, before coming out for a 2nd “greatest hits” set.

Nights 1 and 2 1st Set:
Army Ants
Babylon
Psychopomp
Gyroscope
Emerald
Alarum
Release
Transmission
Embryo
Pulse
Aftermath
Temptation

Night 1 2nd set:
Writing’s on the Wall
The Bazaar
The Ocean at the End
Heaven Coming Down / All Along the Watchtower
Save Me

Encore:
Winter Solstice / Sister Awake / Paint It Black

Night 2 2nd set:
The River
Fire in the Head
The Ocean at the End
Heaven Coming Down / All Along the Watchtower
Save Me

Encore:
Winter Solstice / Sister Awake / Paint It Black

Both nights were more or less the same, except the first 2 songs of the 2nd set. The crowd was a bit more into things on Friday, I think, and the band was a bit more playful with all 3 of them loving the “Stuuuuuu” chants, and Stu was more animated than I’ve ever seen him – hamming it up, egging on the “Stuuuu’s”, flexing his muscles. Jeff Martin didn’t get super political, mentioning how much 2016 sucked and alluding to the political climate, but turning it more about the musicians that were lost, and dedicating Aftermath (I think) to Bowie. The 2nd night had more political allusion, changing Temptation lyrics to “We live in a world where the fear of the President is real”, and both nights they expressed their support for women, and the White Ribbon campaign before playing Release. Jeff’s voice held up pretty well, unlike when they first got back together, where the Lockport show followed Toronto, and his voice was a big old mess.

Mary was super excited for Emerald, which was great to hear, but I was more excited and impressed by Babylon, Alarum, and Transmission. The album sounds great live, and we both thought they should keep some of these songs in their set. The 2nd night, Eric had an extra from his 2 night pass, because he was only going to Thursday so I had invited LeighAnne. Then when Eric picked up his tickets on Thursday, they had given him a whole 2nd pass on accident, so he had another extra, which I offered to Kate. Mary was supposed to come, but wasn’t feeling well and I don’t think she made it.

Leading up to the show I was trying to remember how many times I had seen them. Turns out, these Tea Party shows were number 19 and 20!

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