July 22, 2011 – Canal Concert Series, Lockport, USA

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    Reunited Tea Party dazzling in return, Buffalo News»

    The Tea Party lights up the Lockport stage, Examiner» Backstage Axxess Review»

    Photos:

    Videos:

    01. Writings On The Wall

    02. The Bazaar

    03. Psychopomp

    04. The Messenger

    05. Fire In The Head

    06. Sun Is Going Down

    07. Heaven Coming Down

08. Sun Is Going Down

09. Halycon Days

10. Save Me

12. Temptation

13. Winter Soltice/Sister Awake

01. Writing’s On The Wall
02. The Bazaar
03. Lullaby
03. Psychopomp
04. The Messenger
05. Fire In The Head
06. Correspondences
07. Heaven Coming Down
08. Sun Going Down
09. The Halcyon Days
10. Save Me
11. Release
12. Temptation
13. Winter Solstice/Sister Awake

July 23, 2011, 9:20 AM
LOCKPORT — The Tea Party re-formed for the first time in seven years on Friday before a crowd event organizers estimated at 17,000 in Lockport’s Ulrich City Center, as part of the Molson Canal Concert Series. Good lord, did it feel good to have the band back.

Guitarist/vocalist Jeff Martin, bassist/keyboardist Stuart Chatwood, and drummer Jeff Burrows comprise the finest rock band to emerge from Canada in the ’90s. That they could come back after the better part of a decade apart and still sound so fresh, vibrant, powerful and relevant is a testament to the enduring power of the music, a sound that seems to exist in a separate universe than temporal or stylistic concerns. These guys just simply came back and reclaimed the majesty and grandeur of the best guitar-driven rock from throughout the post-’60s era.

The trio held nothing back, diving headlong into a set that covered the entire Tea Party career to date. By the end of the set, Martin was hoarse, so fully had he committed himself to the set. This only seemed to make the evening more powerful.

Opening with the blizzard of riffage that signifies “Writing’s on the Wall,” the group proceeded through a set of favorites and deep cuts. “The Bazaar” introduced the band’s penchant for Eastern melodies, drone-based motifs and that “otherness” that always defined the band.

Calling this Led Zeppelinbased is not enough. Sure, that mighty band is in there, but this is post-Zeppelin rock that seeks to recapture the glorious bombast of the full-on rock era.

“Psychpomp,” from “Transmission,” the album many fans consider the group’s finest — I personally find it to be a dead heat from the whole collection, since each is equally different from its predecessor and redolent of the band’s rich curry of a collective sound — got the crowd screaming along. A cover of Daniel Lanois’ “The Messenger” formed an elegiac, emotional centerpiece for the evening’s events. Martin simply sang his heart out during this paean to the virtues of (mostly) unconditional love. Stunning.

The gorgeous ballad “Heaven’s Coming Down” was redolent of heartrending loss, but still seemed to translate as something akin to joy. When the acoustic performance of “Sun Going Down” broke into a Zeppelin-esque take on the chestnut “In My Time of Dying,” it felt safe to assume that the assembled had forgotten that this band ever went away. I, for one, hope the three find a way to keep this incredibly rewarding relationship alive. The rock world has been a far less interesting place without them.

David Hens, Buffalo Concerts Examiner

Legendary Canadian trio The Tea Party ended a six-year hiatus by hitting the stage with a deafening version of “Writing’s on the Wall” and segued into “The Bazaar,” a track from 1995’s “The Edges of Twilight,” which quickly put to rest any concerns about whether or not the band was still up to snuff.

Not only are they still relevant, but Jeff Martin, Stuart Chatwood and Jeff Burrows gave Lockport what I consider to be the finest evening of spine-tingling tunes the Ulrich City Courtyard has seen to date. The amalgamation of stupefying guitar techniques, Middle Eastern mysticism and Martin’s go-for-broke yowling served as the catalyst for a transcendent voyage through the band’s catalog that each of the 17,000 souls in attendance hoped would never end.

Favorites such as “Psychopomp,” “The Messenger,” “Fire in the Head” and “Heaven Coming Down” were given new life as the band appeared grateful to be back in the limelight and Martin had the rasp by show’s end to prove it. Martin took a page out of the Jimmy Page handbook by playing his Gibson Les Paul with a bow, which had plenty of old-school guitar fiends salivating at first sight, and even channeled the tortured spirit of Robert Johnson during a stunning take on “Zahira/The Halcyon Days.”

Peaches and Herb once sang “Reunited and it feels so good,” and what The Tea Party proved last night is that their reconciliation feels better than good. It feels perfect.

Written by J.Ritz Tuesday, 26 July 2011 for Backstage Axxess
After a 7 year hiatus, The Tea Party (Guitarist/vocalist Jeff Martin, bass/keyboard Stuart Chatwood, and drummer Jeff Burrows) came together in Lockport, NY at The Molson Canal Concert Series, in front of an estimated crowd of 17,000 people.

Opening with their hit “The Writing’s On the Wall,” Martin got the crowd involved right away, encouraging them to sing along and fill in the chorus. After seguing into “The Bazaar,” Jeff took a moment to utter two words, he simply said “we’re baaack.” As they played through their set, they covered a lot of their hits and fan favorites from their 7 albums, including “Psychopomp” off the “Transmission” record and “Fire in the Head” off 1995’s “The Edges of Twilight.” It was amazing to watch as they performed these songs with such power and synchronization, it seemed as though they had been playing together this whole time. When the trio played “The Messenger,” Jeff seemed to put everything he had into it, evident by the fact that he was losing his voice. The crowd seemed to pick up on this and fed off his emotion, and sang along with him. As the song ended, he walked to the edge of the stage and applauded them.

As they wrapped up their performance with “Save Me / Last Goodbye,” Jeff’s voice was just about gone. This didn’t keep him from coming out and playing a 2-song encore of “Temptation” and “Winter Solstice / Sister Awake / Paint it Black.” The 17,000 on hand were more than happy to fill in when Jeff needed the help.
Throughout the night, it appeared as though these guys genuinely enjoyed performing together, at one point Jeff Burrows came out and leaned up against the back of Martin as he played the intro to “Winter Solstice.” As they parted, he said something to Martin and gave him a pat on the back, as if to convey the appreciation the crowd felt for him getting through the set while losing his voice.

Aside from the fact that Martin had lost his voice, these guys put on a great show. They proved that their great music transcends time with their blending of middle eastern and what some call a Led Zeppelin / Doors sound into a powerful, drone-based collage of sound. Jeff Martin should be given a lot of credit for finishing the show in its entirety, he could have easily walked off the stage, but he battled through to deliver what everyone in attendance has been waiting for since 2005… a Tea Party reunion. I hope these guys stick together for a long time to come. Their music, along with Jeff Martin’s incredible voice, is at times intoxicating. If you have a chance to catch one of the remaining shows, it’s something you won’t regret.

Addiotnal photos at Backstage Axxess

3 Responses to July 22, 2011 – Canal Concert Series, Lockport, USA

  1. Robrogers1984 says:

    Marco good to see the sure up. Email me and say hi.

    The show just blew me away. Was worried because of the time gap but it wasn’t just wishful thinking or wanting it so bad that your mind settles,something is better than nothing.

    No, the magical ” it ” factor was there. They were powerful,majestic, the interaction, the majic, the crowd.

    Like they never left.

    Only difference is it was sweeter this time. Never to be taken for granted again.

  2. Shonie De La Rosa says:

    The entire show is here on YouTube:

    http://www.youtube.com/shonie777

    Shonie

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