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!

The Tea Party plays more than the same 12 songs…

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
The Bazaar
Correspondences
The Badger
Silence
Winter Solstice / Sister Awake / Paint It Black / Sister Awake
Turn the Lamp Down Low
Shadows on the Mountainside
Drawing Down the Moon
Inanna
Coming Home
Walk With Me

2nd set:
Writing’s on the Wall
The Ocean At The End
Save Me / Kashmir / Save Me
Heaven Coming Down

Encore:
Temptation

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.

The Tea Party @ Artpark July 16 with Big Wreck

Big Wreck
—-
Inhale
That Song
Wolves
I Digress
Hey Mama
Albatross
Ghosts
Ladylike
Blown Wide Open
The Oaf

Tea Party

The River
Baazar (Cypher intro)
Lullaby
Psychopomp
Fire in the Head
Ocean at the End
Winter Solstice (tease)
Water’s on Fire (Release outro)
Writings on the Wall
Heaven Coming Down
Save Me (Kashmir insert)
Temptation

Encore:
Sister Awake (Paint It Black insert)

the tea party @ town ball room

In an almost last minute fashion, I was able to find Mary a ticket to the sold out Tea Party show at Town Ballroom, making this feel like college. Eric, Mary and I attending a Tea Party show in Buffalo again! Roxy had an extra, so Mary snatched it up, and we were really only missing Danielle and Adrienne to make it really seem like we were young again haha.

Forgetting that we were old and that the Tea Party always has crappy openers and goes on too late, we got there far too early, but made the most of it. We hung out at one of the inside bars until Roxy took us to her secret in front section right before they came on. Score for not waiting at the barrier for 2 and a half hours but still being right in front, albeit on the far left side, in front of the speaker stacks, in front of Stuart. It was a different perspective than we were used to after all these years (this was my 16th Tea show, somehow I surpassed Eric, it was his 15th).

I was going to look at the setlists for this little Canadian and 1 US show tour (score one for Buffalo! The only sold out show, and sold out for a month and a half! They could, and should, play 2 dates here), but I kept forgetting, maybe intentionally because I didn’t want to see that it was the same old setlist with new songs added. And in the end, that’s what it was. But again, like I keep saying…we bitch about this standard set list, and when it’s done, they put on such a great show, and always sound so good, that we forgive them. The new songs sounded pretty good, even if they didn’t necessarily play the ones I really wanted to hear, like Submission. The Black Sea was rocking, The Ocean at the End which is pretty long and epic translated well live. What we did get that was sorta new was a whole 30 seconds of Transmission inserted into Temptation, and a whole 30 seconds of Pulse inserted into…Sister Awake. And that’s about all we’ll ever see of those songs at the rate this band is going lol. They took out Halcyon Days to fit in new songs, which makes me a bit sad, but we also only had to suffer through one verse of The Messenger inserted into Save Me, so that’s a bonus. Psychopomp, highlight as always.

This is the setlist from Montreal but it looks accurate. Jeff Martin did a bit of Little Drummer Boy in Save Me…and a few lines of something else Christmasy in another, before something in the encore.

The LoC
The Bazaar
The Black Sea
Psychopomp
Fire in the Head
The 11th Hour (with Halcyon Days intro)
Lullaby
Water’s On Fire/Release/Water’s On Fire
Save Me/The Messenger/Kashmir/Save Me
The Ocean at the End
Temptation/Transmission/Temptation
Encore:
Heaven’s Coming Down/All Along the Watchtower/Heaven’s Coming Down
Encore 2:
Winter Solstice
Sister Awake/Pulse/Sister Awake

It looks like a short setlist, but they played for 2 hours. We tried to think of what else from the “standard set list” got cut to make way for the new songs, and I could only think of “Sun Going Down” and full versions of “Release”, “Halcyon Days” and “the Messenger”. Maybe that’s it. I’m happy we didn’t get “The Maker” lol. “The 11th Hour” had only been done a few times, so perhaps if they do a summer tour we’ll get a few more new songs. (Oh they took out “Writing’s on the Wall” too which is A-ok with me.)

the tea party @ gratwick park

hey a free tea party show down the street from my house!! while they are never disappointing, getting the same set list 3 years in a row is getting a little old. especially since they are in the studio working on a new record i thought we might get something new, the way we did before interzone mantras. but alas, no, the same setlist as the last 2 lockport shows for the most part. they didn’t even do The River, when they were on a stage 15 feet away from the freaking river! But they sounded as good as usual, and it’s always entertaining, so I can’t complain too much. Jason came with again, as well as Jeff cuz he was off on Sunday, and not knowing them at all he was very impressed. it was damn hot, and knowing the band wasn’t going on until after 9 we didn’t end up meeting kate at her dad’s house until 8:30ish and walking across the park to get in. perfect timing.

Writing’s on the Wall
The Bazaar
Lullaby
Psychopomp
The Messenger
Fire in the Head
Heaven Coming Down
Nobody’s Fault But Mine / Sun Going Down
Zahira / The Halcyon Days
Save Me / Kashmir
Temptation
Winter Solstice / Sister Awake / Paint It Black

the tea party – lockport – 8-24-12

another local tea party show, at lockport again like last year. only they changed things a bit, and while it’s still a free show, they moved the VIP section to directly in front of the stage. so if you want to be close, you have to buy VIP tickets for $22, which include one drink. it’s not really a bad deal, i’d gladly pay $18 to see bands i like. this time i took Jason along with me, as i love to spread the tea party love, and even though it’s not his style really, he enjoyed it and thought they were quite good (which made me happy haha).

it was the usual set list from them, which is sorta disappointing, but in the end they always put on such a good show it doesn’t matter. i’m pretty sure the only differences from last year were opening with “the river” instead of “writing’s on the wal”l (making it the first time i’ve gotten to see the river), an intro into “sun going down”, and a new hendrix “all along the watchtower” and led zepplin “stairway to heaven” mashup inside of “save me” instead of…whatever they were doing last year, “i love you” or something? joe said they skipped “correspondences” again, as well as “shadows on the mountainside” which would have been great to see even if it’s not a fav song, it’s something different. they also left out “zahira” before “halcyon days” and “release”. also “the last goodbye” cover was in there somewhere, maybe before “the messenger”, but i’m not sure.

The River
The Bazaar
Lullaby
Psychopomp
The Messenger
Fire in the Head
Nobody’s Fault But Mine / Sun Going Down
Halcyon Days
Save Me
Heaven Coming Down
Temptation
Encore:
Sister Awake

Kate had texted earlier in the week to get together after the show, but i never heard from her that day. happens that we ran into her as we were leaving, so we ended up going to hang out at her boyfriend’s house for a while afterward, which was fun.

2 days of tea

It is mighty hot outside. yuck.

The first day of the tea party brought leighanne, mary and i to toronto to see them at the Sound Academy, which is a pretty nice place with a terrible location next to a dump…or…something that just smells awful, and in 100 degree heat, that was very unpleasant. thank god the show was inside, i’d never see an outdoor show there. We headed up after they got out of work, arriving around 8:45 but still managing to catch at least half of the 2nd opener…I forget their name, they were not good enough to bother remembering…bleeker street or something? Anyway…Tea went on around 9:45, and I was just so happy to see them together again. They are still one of the best rock bands I’ve ever seen and I’m continually impressed that only 3 guys can make that much sound live. I did not think I’d ever see them on stage again after the break up, so they could have sat there picking their nose and I would have been happy. They sounded as good as ever, Jeff Martin wasn’t singing any high notes, and I’ve heard people complain about it but they have to realize, we’re all getting old, voices just don’t work like they used to. He sounded great. Setlist wasn’t too surprising, they have been playing The River, but left it out this show for some reason.

Writing’s on the Wall
The Bazaar
Lullaby
Psychopomp (!!! the only song i really care about seeing)
The Messenger
Fire in the Head
Correspondences (!!! ok i lie, love that they played this too)
Heaven Coming Down
Sun Going Down
Zahira / The Halcyon Days
Save Me / Last Goodbye (Jeff Buckley cover)
Release
Temptation

Encore:
Winter Solstice / Sister Awake / Paint It Black

We hit ridiculous traffic after the show, because the gardner west was closed and we were forced to take lakeshore out of the city. The holdup was inexplicable, no accident, a lot of cars, but no reason we weren’t moving…An hour and a half later we made it through. Aggravating.

Friday brought the show in Lockport, a free show as part of the Canal Concert Series. It was mighty hot out once again so I didn’t want to go too early, and then everyone bailed on me, so I ended up driving down alone and arriving around 5:30. There weren’t many people there and I was able to walk right up to the rail where Joe and his friend were waiting. Score. Eric met up with us around 6, and 2 opening bands later…the setlist was the same except no Correspondences, no Release and still no River. Jeff Martin mentioned how his voice was hoarse and it got worse and worse throughout the show, so I knew the set was going to be cut short long before they ended with Save Me, and then an encore of Temptation and Sister Awake. Every time his voice went out he sort of smiled and rolled his eyes. I felt bad for him, it seemed almost painful. Aside from the voice issue, they sounded great again. He did the same spiels between songs, as he always has done, and said they were back for good and wouldn’t go away again (and I certainly hope so, you can never have too much tea party). Excellent double shows, I’m just so so happy to see them on stage again.

Jeff Martin in Buffalo

it’s been an eventful 2 days…well…for my life at least haha.

wednesday brought babysitting megan so jenn and jeff could go out. but by saying i babysat, that’s not really true. i was there, and i played with her, but adrienne was there too, and she changed and fed and put megan to bed. but wow she grew alot since i last saw her. and she came to answer the door. wasn’t expecting that haha. but it was fun. hung out with jenn and jeff a bit after they got home, then went to dennys and home.

and then my stomach exploded again. gah 2 times in 1 week.

good thing i went to the dr today. got a prescription again but i also have to go see a stomach specialist, and get a biopsy done or whatever happens when they stick a tube down your throat into your stomach. not til august though.

stopped at starbucks for a pomegranate frap, which wasn’t as good as i had hoped for. but i got a new book about the cold war. *dork*

tonight brought jeff martin at thursday in the square. adr and i headed down around 5, and found joe r. right up front. so joined him and watched burning paris. joe and i were both like, why do we know them? they were all in other bands we had seen before. haha. then jeff martin. i can’t say i’m too enthusiastic about his new stuff. i like dark and moody jeff martin of the tea party, not married father happy jeff martin. of all the tea party songs to do, they did “the messenger” barf. “turn the lamp down low” was good tho. and it turns out, i knew the keyboardist.

my favourite crappy band from the casino featured this really cute guy, but they still did bad versions of u2 songs among the other covers they did. they’d always play on sunday nights. recently i saw them and noticed cute guy was gone. that’s a shame. well cute guy is now the keyboardist for jeff martin. that’s quite a step up! congrats hahaha

so after the square we went to ihop for food before meeting adr2 and bliss at club diablo. ran into paul there, as well as the photographer i spent sunday with at the terminal. there really wasn’t anyone else there, and we totally took over the juke box. tons of nin. it turned into reminiscing night, and we had way more fun that we probably should have. had yummy drink that was basically malibu and pineapple juice, which i had been planning to order anyway. just big, and with a little devil hahah. so yeah. way too much fun.

going to try to get tuesday off to go see peaches in toronto. i got written up for my attendance, for my sick days without sick time. ppl keep thinking i called in to see trent, and i didn’t. i’ve actually been sick!

The Tea Party Thorold

These signs
this fate
takes a path you didn’t choose
Stay strong
keep faith
there’s a change that’s coming through

so as i should have known, this show was doomed. the tea party are very very VERY lucky they put on such a friggen great show.

didn’t get up to thorold until 9ish. no big deal, we knew we wouldn’t miss anything. ran into joe and rick right away. it was nice to see them again, it’s been a long long time.

as usual, for a place associated with arizonas, we waited forever and a day for an opener to bore us to death. opener didn’t start til after 10. ok fine. whatever. kate asked if tea would go on at 11, i laughed haha. not until at least 11:30…which was actually perfect – except the lighting system broke…and it was 45 more minutes until they fixed it (we hung out at the soundboard, so we watched them play with it the whole time). so tea didn’t go on til after midnight.

and as i said. they’re mighty lucky they’re such a great band haha. it really really hits me seeing them live, how much of a perfect rock band they are. they put on such a great rock show. gah. love them.

setlist:
Overload
Writing’s on the Wall
Lullaby
Psychopomp
Fire in the Head (!!yay i missed it in the falls show)
Stargazer
Oceans
Sun Going Down
Halcyon Days
Heaven Coming Down w/ all along the watchtower
Release (!!!!!! first time i’ve seen them do it)
Cathartik (!!!!!!!! sooooooo happy it’s back)
Save Me
—-
I love you/The Messenger
Temptation
Sister Awake w/ Paint it Black

they played for 2 hours. i hate hate HATE that “heaven coming down” gets to me so much hahah. jeff martin playing his guitar with a bow during “save me”…so hot. soooo so hot. men with guitars, yum.

yet another great show. i didn’t like the venue. the sound was sorta…off. the theramin worked this time for “lullaby”, and it was ever so fabulous. i want one. kate was thrilled that they did “release” cuz it’s her fav song. i was just glad, as always, for “psychopomp” haha. and “cathartik”. yay.

so exhausted. long long day. another one tomorrow. then trent. gah.

The Tea Party @ Dome Theater

tonight was tea party show in niagara falls. james was late. first band was 8 days over or something. they weren’t bad. i don’t like vocals like they had, sound like everyone else, but better than the usual tea party opening fair. tea was great as always. they did alot off the new album, but didn’t do “luxuria”. some of the show was surprisingly a bit rough to get through, specifically “the watcher” and “oceans”. NO THERAMIN DURING “LULLABY”, it was broken. while the roadie was trying to fix it they stalled by playing part of rolling stones “miss you”. it was funny, but the theramin didn’t get fixed. “psychopomp” a highlight as always. unfortunately no “cathartik” or “fire in the head” but a great show none the less. what a rock show should be. and i gotta say the dome theatre (formerly lame nightclub the pleasuredome) is a pretty decent venue. look forward to seeing some other bands there at some point. loudest show ever though. it was almost painful at parts. and who shows up, and cuts in front of us during the first song, none other than STP kid himself. i fucking hate that kid. lol.

setlist from tea forums:
Army Ants
Overload
Certain Slant of Light
The Watcher
Psychopomp
**After this my memory gets fuzzy and i forget the order but the other songs are:
Sun Going Down
Oceans
Lullaby w/ miss you
Zahira/Rakim/Halcyon Days
Save Me w/ I Love You
Writings on the Wall
Temptations
Winter Solstice
Sister Awake w/ Paint it Black

and the messenger and stargazer somewhere in there…i hate the messenger