By Eric | February 24, 2017 11:10 am
Ah The Tea Party. But not just any Tea Party show this time! The first of a two-night stand at the Ballroom (I couldn’t do both nights, and I heard the 2nd show was just as good as this one), on the Twenty Years of Transmission tour. So instead of us complaining about the same setlist as always, we got another completely known setlist, but better! All of Transmission, plus some other favorites. In yet another example of “putting the band back together”, our motley crew this time included Sara and Jason, Mary, and a drop in from Karl and Kelley (with some Ithaca friends in tow)! Talk about flashbacks to all those times waiting FOREVER at Arizona’s (see: 2000, 2001, 2002), except instead of aimlessly standing around waiting, we all got drinks and dinner at Expo down the street from the Ballroom. This was TTP show #17, breaking the 2nd place tie with OLP and moving into a first place tie with Sevendust for the “band seen most often” crown! For me, this may as well have been the “19 Years of Transmission” tour, as I didn’t actually see them in 1997, but I did see them on the Transmission tour in March of 1998 at Water Street (two weeks shy of the actual 19 years!). And as is personally required, I wore my ancient, ratty, and now ill-fitting Transmission tour shirt purchased at that Water Street show! (Because of course I did.) It did get one or two oohs and aahs from a couple people in the lobby prior to the show!
So enough precursor, on to the show! We shuffled down onto the floor, probably about 10-12 people deep, and had a wonderful time all night. Crowd was packed in nicely (both nights were sellouts), but great. In a change from the way most bands approach the “play the whole album” tours, we got all of Transmission, but not in album order. As was customary on the original Transmission tour, Army Ants was the opener. Pyschopomp was a delight as always, even hearing it for (probably) the 17th time, but the real highlights were the songs we’d never heard live before. Gyroscope, Emerald (a bit different than the album version), Alarum, and Pulse were fascinating to finally see, after all these years and all these shows. Bookending the album, they closed with Temptation, naturally, and that would have been cool enough. But after a small break, back out came the boys with another set of “hits”, which was all stuff we’d seen a million times before, and were happy to hear again (even Writing’s On The Wall, ha!). Even the usual encore, Winter Solstice into Sister Awake / Paint It Black, felt as right and as comfortable as ever.
Another Tea Party show where they sounded fantastic, surrounded by the same long-time good friends with whom I’ve shared many, many Tea shows over the years. Can’t beat it!
[Set 1: Transmission]
[Set 2: Greatest Hits]
Writing’s on the Wall
The Ocean at the End
Heaven Coming Down [with lyrical snippet of ‘All Along The Watchtower’]
Save Me [Included Jeff Martin Solo with bow]
Sister Awake / Paint It Black [with lyrical snippet of ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’]
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