Tour Diary

Greetings Tea Party fans and friends! My name is Bekah and I’ll be your tour guide for the next few weeks. I’m very excited to be bringing you reports from the road, concert reviews, photos and other fun surprises. Get ready to rock & roll!



Amazing Ancaster

August 6th 2011

The final night of the tour came and went too quickly. My emotions were mixed as I’ll admit I was exhausted from all the days on the road but at the same time it’s sad to have all the good times draw to a close.

Luckily the rain stopped for the evenings performance and things got along without any difficulty. The audience welcomed The Tea Party to the stage with a rush of cheers and excitement. A few even opted to do some crowd surfing! The set list for the most part remained the same, I for one can never grow tired of hearing this fantastic music. With every listen, it still feels like I am hearing it for the very first time. My feelings can be backed up by a remark overheard in the crowd that night; “okay, I admit it. They sound awesome live!” During “The Messenger” the night was aglow with flickering flames from lighters. Jeff Martin promised not to hurt us (much) as he took a cello bow to his guitar strings during “Save Me”. The Tea Party ended the night with a bang. “Winter Solstice”, “Sister Awake” and a cover of The Rolling Stones “Paint It Black”. Definitely a version that puts the original in its place. You don’t know “Paint It Black” until you have heard it done Tea Party style.

Following their performance the band took time to hold an autograph session with their fans. Proceeds from merchandise sales were kindly donated to the Steven Hoffman Fund for Lung Cancer Research.

http://www.stevenhoffmanfund.org/about.html

My days on the road with The Tea Party will not be soon forgotten. Thank you to everyone who made the adventure memorable. A huge thank you to everyone who worked so very hard to make this tour possible. Most of all, thank you to the band. Jeff Burrows and Stuart Chatwood, it was a lovely to make your acquaintance. Jeff Martin, you have brought so much happiness into my life over the years and it’s an honour to know you. Thank you brother for your continued support and friendship.

I hope all of you have enjoyed reading my tour blog, it was a pleasure to write and share!

Until next time….

Cheers,
Bekah

Longing for Levis

Due to unexpected illness, unfortunately I was not able to attend the show in Levis so I have enlisted the help of my dear friend Nina to be a guest blogger for this one. I hope you all enjoy reading her report as much as I did!

Cheers,

Bekah
———————–

The Tea Party Reunion Tour in Lévis, Québec on Thurs. Aug. 4th, 2011
Longing for Lévis

I will try to do my dear friend Bekah justice by recounting my experience and the events of The Tea Party show in Lévis, Quebéc. Also, I would like to dedicate this blog to Bekah (you were missed very much that night) and Kathleen (for a memorable night at the merch table).

It was indeed a beautiful evening when I got to the festival in St-Jean-Chrysostome (a neighboring town of Lévis). It is the town’s annual festival; events include hot air balloons, amusement park rides and concerts. I got there just in time to get a place in front of the stage (of course right smack in front of Jeff Martin). Not too long after 8pm, The Tea Party was welcomed on stage. It had been a long time since the citizens of Lévis saw the band and there was much anticipation in the air. Finally after 6 long years, the city’s beloved Tea Party was back.

All three members walked on stage and got settled behind their instruments. Without further ado, the evening broke out with the roaring sound of Martin’s guitar; introduction to Writing’s on the Wall. I am always amazed how the sound goes straight to your heart and your soul comes alive! It is like being injected with a dose of adrenaline. If the audience was not loud enough before the band got on, they were surely even louder now. I could hardly hear the band from all the excitement coming from the spectators. Many times in between songs, Jeff Martin addressed his fans in French something I know was very appreciated by the crowd. Being a French speaking native from Montréal, I was very proud of Jeff; his French was impeccable and he spoke like a real native. He expressed his long standing admiration of the city and what he remembered the most about Québec was the beautiful women. You should have heard all the “AWs!” from the women behind me. That man is such a charmer! If there was any type of language barrier, you could not tell because the music and lyrics were understood by all. Everyone was on the mark to sing when cued by Jeff; all too familiar and dear-to-the-heart songs from our pasts like the Bazaar, Psychopomp, The Messenger, Fire in the Head, Heaven Coming Down, Save Me/The Last Goodbye, Release, a very powerful Temptation and the last song of the night, Sister Awake merged with Paint it Black by the Rolling Stones. All three band members looked like they did in the 90s; Jeff singing with all his conviction and soul; Stuart switching from bass to keyboard to harmonium; Jeff Burrows playing like a powerhouse from behind his arsenal of drums. The night was too short but super packed with the most favorable and signature songs of The Tea Party. They delivered each song like it was originally mastered and making this performance unforgettable. The set list could not have been selected more perfectly.

I know that many of you fans can attest that there is no other band on earth like The Tea Party. I have missed seeing them on stage so much that looking back now, I have realized just how much. I attended the Montreal, Ottawa and the Lévis shows and many times looking out onto the audience, I saw fans of my age now with their children; what was once our generation of music has now been passed on to a new generation. Isn’t it funny how we grew up loving our parent’s music and now our children doing the same to us? The fact remains that their music is timeless!

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank the band for all their kindness towards their fans. They seriously take what they do at heart and many times on this reunion tour, tired as they were, would stay after the shows to sign autographs and greet their fans. To all three of you if you are reading this blog, you will never know how happy this makes your fans. Thank you very much!

One final word to Jeff Martin: You only get better with age my friend. Your voice is endlessly beautiful; mighty and grand like an oak tree. Superior to all others; you are by far one of the best singers of our times. God bless you for your beautiful spirit.

Guest blogger,

Nina from Montréal

A Glorious Welcome Home in Windsor

July 29th 2011

The Tea Party homecoming was nothing short of spectacular. A near close to capacity audience of 4,500 were in an ecstatic frenzy at the Colosseum of Caesar’s Windsor.

Smoke poured out beneath the drum kit during “Writings on the Wall”. Purple lights and three chandeliers set a gorgeous scene for “Psychopomp”. Sticking with tradition from the previous shows, “The Messenger” was dedicated to all the ladies in the house but this time to one very special lady in particular, Jeff Martin’s mom. “I wonder if this means I’ll get my laundry done now?” he joked.

The performance was perfect from start to finish. Finally seeing my favourite band live in their home town was a dream come true. The band was on fire, Jeff Burrows tossing his drum sticks high in the air during Halcyon Days and the crowd leaving their seats, rushing the stage, filling in the spaces along the front. The energy of the crowd could not be contained as Jeff Martin brought out his bow for the start of “Save Me”. We could all truly feel the love in the room, Jeff Martin and Jeff Burrows leaning against each other during the encore of “Winter Solstice” followed by Mister Burrows playing the cymbals with his hands going into “Sister Awake”.

The evening was a grand welcome home, and welcome back, that none of us are going to forget any time soon.

Cheers,
Bekah

Lots of Love in Lockport

July 22nd 2011

New York State has adored The Tea Party from the very beginning and that love was definitely expressed by the 17,000 fans that out to the Canal Concert Series in Lockport. One group of dedicated fans drove eleven hours from Kentucky just for them!

Nothing was going to slow the band down. Not the heat, not the ominous clouds that threatened a downpour, not even a raspy voice on Mister Martin. They took it all in stride and left the crowd eager for more.

The music and Jeff Martin’s voice pierced the night air as loud as thunder. I am still amazed at the power and magic these three men create on stage, even after all these years apart. The music scene has not been the same without them.

Cheers,
Bekah

Thrilling Toronto

Posted July 28, 2011 July 21st 2011

Toronto adores The Tea Party and playing in this city always comes with its own set of rules and expectations. The extreme sweltering heat that day only added to the pressure. As always, the band shattered all predictions and went above and beyond the call of duty. Mister Martin encouraged the crowd to be as loud as possible, stating that he can’t hear as well as he used to. The audience was more than happy to fulfill the request.

Vocals were superb and echoed beautifully throughout the Sound Academy. Jeff playfully sung a verse from Nelly’s “Hot In Here” stating he wants the venue to “pay their air conditioning bill. Other than that, no complaints”. I for one definitely can agree with that.

“Sun Going Down” has become one of my favourite moments of the tour so far. With the stage lit all in red it literally looked like a glorious descent into hell. On the opposite end of the spectrum, “Release” is true musical perfection filled with so much raw emotion and the crowd singing along only further emphasizes the feeling. A section of Jeff Buckley’s song “Last Goodbye” fitted in the middle of “Save Me” is truly spectacular. Jeff Martin’s version far surpasses the original. The show was without a doubt completely worth the trip, hellfire heat and all.

Cheers,
Bekah

Brilliant Barrie

July 15th 2011

The road from Ottawa to Barrie was long and felt never ending. Heading up to cottage country on a Friday afternoon is something I tend to avoid if possible. The back roads and a handy GPS became our best friends for this adventure. When the destination had finally been reached I headed out to Liquid Chrome to pick up licorice rolling papers requested by Mr. Martin. There I found out that I (luckily) missed an incident just up the street that resulted in a stabbing. The day was certainly off to an interesting start.

The venue for the night, The Roxx, proved to be a nice little place. A big thank you to staff for having the air conditioning cranked! It made the 6 hours spent on my feet just a tiny bit better. Alliston band Into the Entropy started off the night followed by Ian Thornley & Big Wreck. The Tea Party graced the stage just shortly after midnight. The energy of the fans was bewitching!

It doesn’t matter how many times I see The Tea Party. I am constantly left a state of wonder and bewilderment. The talent that flows through these three men is astonishing. The sound was insanely powerful and dominating to the bone. “Save Me” and “Release” struck a chord with me and I was struggling to maintain composure. It was a truly majestic moment. No other band in existence can stir up so much emotion like The Tea Party. It’s pure magic. Experiencing The Tea Party live is an emotional roller coaster and it’s a ride that I never want to end.

Now for a little bit of a break before The Tea Party is unleashed upon Toronto this Thursday!
Cheers,
Bekah

Outrageous Ottawa

July 14th 2011 marked my first trip to the Ottawa Bluesfest. I haven’t been to a festival of this size since I attended Edge Fest back in 2002. It brought back some great memories and created new ones that far surpass those from 2002. It was an evening filled with wonderful music and fantastic friends.

The set up of the stage next to the water provided a lovely atmosphere. The crowd was older compared to fans that flocked to various other stages around the park but that suited us all just fine. It was an audience of long time dedicated Tea Party fans. Excitement and love for the band did not cease for a single moment. In fact, it only grew more intense as the show went on.

Kicking off their set with “Writing’s on the Wall” it was received with wild enthusiasm. Fans went berserk for Jeff Martin and his theremin during “Lullaby”. He plays it with such intensity that the audience cannot help but be transfixed. “Heaven Coming Down” made for a hauntingly beautiful group sing-along as the crowd echoed back the lyrics. Just gorgeous!! The band was in top form, nothing was going to bring them down, not even a complaint to quiet down from the Tim Robbins band who were performing across the park on another stage. Yes indeed, it got loud!!

After their stunning hour and a half set, the guys took the time to hold an autograph session. It warms my heart to see them going that extra mile to make their fans so happy. Every loyal Tea Party fan should have the chance to meet idols at least once.

Thanks for the grand night Ottawa, it’s one we won’t soon forget!

Cheers,

Bekah

Soulful Sarnia

July 9th 2011

I’ll admit I was slightly concerned about attending Bayfest. The festival setting has never been my scene. The first festival I attended in my teenage years I left with a broken toe. Funny enough the band I went to see that night just so happened to be The Tea Party. A few years after this I attended Edge Fest in Barrie, Ontario and suffered a kick to the face by a rogue crowd surfer. I think it is safe to say when it comes to music festivals I’m slightly jaded. However my enjoyment of the festival scene was restored by the wonder that is The Tea Party.

Bayfest is an annual event in Sarnia that typically runs for three days but this year they upped the ante to a week. Music lovers flock from all over, descending upon Sarnia eager to rock and roll.

As always The Tea Party were welcomed to the stage by cheering, adoring fans that have missed the musical genius of their favourite trio.

Festivals can be a tricky show to pull off. With a limited set time the bands need to deliver a stellar performance under pressure. The Tea Party were flawless. My only complaint would be that I feel they did not deserve to be on stage so early in the evening. The grand honour of headlining Bayfest should have gone to The Tea Party. However, the atmosphere during Release and Temptation as the sun slowly started to set was absolutely beautiful.

The music was played to perfection. It doesn’t matter how many times I see it, there is nothing greater than Jeff Martin taking a bow to his guitar strings! I am always left in complete awe when in the presence of The Tea Party. So many bands come and go and very few have the ability to touch every single fiber of your being and set your soul on fire.

Brace yourself Ottawa, they’re coming for you next!
Cheers,
Bekah

Magnificent Montreal

July 7th 2011

After experiencing the first Tea Party show in Peterborough, Ontario I was certain I would be prepared for what would be waiting for us at the Metropolis in Montreal on Thursday night. Nothing can ready a person for the love and intense energy that Montreal fans hold for The Tea Party. Die hards began to line up as early as 10am! If that’s not loyalty, I don’t know what is.

The reception from the crowd was earth-shattering. Never in all my years of attending Tea Party concerts have I encountered so much excitement for these three amazingly talented men. Montreal would walk the to ends of the earth for The Tea Party.

It was a homecoming of sorts as Jeff Martin spent many years living in Montreal’s Old Port and the venue for the night, The Metropolis, was a regular place for performances and I can see why! It’s an absolutely gorgeous theatre complete with seating in the balcony. It holds a very elegant, old world charm.

Hamilton band The Reason started off the night and were a very pleasant surprise.

The Tea Party were welcomed to the stage with a fury of cheers by their adoring fans. The music began and consumed our souls. The audience was captivated for every single second. More than a few were left speechless, in awe, and with tears flowing. No band can move their audience and fill them with so much emotion like The Tea Party can.

Montreal was treated to two encores and the beast that is The River. I know I am not the only one who became an emotional wreck during this song. For so many of us (myself included) The River is the song that started our love affair with The Tea Party. Hearing and seeing this song played to perfection one more time was pure bliss.

Any noticeable nerves from the first night in Peterborough had visibly disappeared and the band was in top form. Jeff Martin’s voice took over and possessed the entire audience. We all fell victim to the magic that is The Tea Party and were sent home transformed.

The Tea Party brought Montreal to its knees and we wouldn’t have it any other way!! There is no greater joy than the transcendence of a Tea Party performance.

Next up, Bayfest at Sarnia, Ontario.

Cheers,
Bekah

Magic Happens in Peterborough, Ontario
July 7, 2991

On March 21st 2011 backstage at the Historic Red Dog in Peterborough, Jeff Martin gave me the news. There would be a Tea Party reunion this summer. I grew up with their music. The Tea Party provided the soundtrack to my life. They gave me my love of music and opened my eyes to a world of wonder. I knew the tour was coming. I had plenty of time to let the news sink in. However nothing could have prepared me for what I was about to witness.

When I arrived at The Venue in Peterborough the energy was already electric and we still had nearly three hours to go before the show was to start. Local band, Birthday Boys, warmed up the crowd. With each passing minute the excitement builds.

There are no words to describe the feeling that enveloped me when the house lights were dimmed and we got our first glimpse of Jeff Martin, Stuart Chatwood and Jeff Burrows take to the stage together again. Surely I am going to wake up and have this all be some kind of a cruel joke, right? Wrong!!

Opening with The Writings on the Wall, Martin’s voice and guitar unleashed pure rock and roll bliss upon the eager crowd of nearly 800! So many emotions flowed through me as glorious memories from my past spent standing before this very band came flooding back. Those were beautiful days of grand music and wonderful company. It was a true joy to be back there again. I was overwhelmed and loved every single moment.

We were offered a grand Tea Party of musical delights ranging from Fire in the Head, Correspondences, The Bazaar, The Messenger, Heaven Coming Down, Halcyon Days, Sister Awake, Winter Solstice, Save Me, Sun Going Down, an earth shattering Temptation that shook you to your very core and a gorgeous Release that brought tears to my eyes. The night was, in a word, perfection. Heaven came down in Peterborough.

The Tea Party have the ability to change lives through music. I for one am living proof of that. One would never know that it has been six years since they were on the stage together. True genius never dies.

Onward to Montreal!

Cheers,

Bekah

26 Responses to Tour Diary

  1. Tom says:

    Hi Bekah,
    your entries are well written, but unfortunately I have to admit that they are pretty boring as well!!! You sound like a TP fan who thinks the band is the best and greatest and every concert they play is “magic”. Nothing wrong with this, but it makes it absolutely boring to read this diary! I expected some more behind the scene stories and/or photos….
    Sorry, just my honest opinion.
    Regards
    Tom

  2. Cari says:

    Well written.
    This entire website is very informative and an excellent place to browse for recent updates. Great job.

  3. Patti says:

    Loving your reports, Bekah! Your writing makes me feel like I am right there, feeling the excitement, nerves and thrill along with you. Hugs, P (Mojito)

  4. Nina Fragapane says:

    Thank you Bekah! I was not there that night but through your very detailed report, I felt like I was. It was very well written!!! I can’t wait for your report on Montreal!!! You are actually sleeping in my spare room right now so wake the fuck up and start writing you wench!!!!!

  5. reister says:

    any pics or video?

  6. Jewel says:

    The show kicked ASS! Great review. =D

  7. dave says:

    Is there a review for Peterborough? The link leads to ads/spam…..

  8. Hans-Marius Øverland says:

    keep it coming!
    Would have loved being there myself… Damn the Atlantic Ocean – you´re in the way!

    btw it´s really annoying trying to google the band these days… Too many hits relating to those retarded right-wings in the US… :P

  9. joanne swinford says:

    looking forward to the updates!!! never thought this day of ttp reuniting would ever happen…!

  10. Mario Pettinato says:

    Hi Bekah ,
    I am sure you remember me , well dreams do come true … a TP reunion ..but a little Mario Magic was needed … sadly I was the the first one to get the ball rolling and the last to know since I have not seen JM for a while … I am sure that he will call me one day … and we can have a reunion of our own …maybe you can remind him he has my number.
    Anyway glad to see you involved with things .
    All the best
    ps tell JB my efforts were not in vain …
    Signed
    “A musical #$%6ing genius ” … haha he will understand the joke .
    Also for SC tell him thank you from the “Wine Guy”
    As for JM i am there in spirt when he sings “Save Me”
    regards
    A finally very Happy
    Mario 777

  11. reister says:

    this is going to be a great tour. I’ve been waiting for this to happen for some time. We are going to the Windsor show. It should rock!!!!

  12. Jason Shier says:

    An honor to be here. The Tea Party are real artists

  13. Ty says:

    Excellent… looking forward to your posts!

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