By Eric | December 1, 2014 3:46 pm
Ahh… an old favorite. The Tea Party. Just the mention of the name of the band and it’s deja vu all over again. This was my 15th time seeing the band, and I watched this one with a pair of friends whom I’d seen the majority of the prior 14 with as well. Sara managed to get a ticket for Mary at (wait for it) The 11th Hour, through her friend Roxy, who was very cool to hang out with, and a Tea Party veteran as well. Almost all of those prior shows were during our college years (10 shows between 1999-2002!) so nostalgia was definitely the name of the game here. And for everyone else apparently, as it was a older crowd to be sure, and once announced the show sold out almost two months in advance.
Speaking of that, because we’re all “old” now, and we’ve suffered through many a terrible Tea Party opener (seriously, aside from festivals there’s been ZERO good openers for them. Velour anyone?), we pretty much got our drink and talk on at one of the upper bars during Menew. They actually didn’t sound half bad, but unfortunately nothing grabbed me to the point of legit checking them out. Sorry guys. Definitely did not miss being smashed up front for 2+ hours beforehand, that’s for sure. And the best part? We still got down front!
Roxy knew a “secret” spot that even I wasn’t privy to, in all of my Town Ballroom shows… we snuck down to the left side barrier, right in front of the speaker stack (thank you earplugs), but with an amazing view of the stage, and a perspective I’ve only had one other time (Edwin McCain at Seneca Niagara). It’s funny, with most bands, one would usually complain about playing the new stuff, as everyone only wants to hear the old stuff. However, the new album is actually really good, so hearing a couple new tunes was appreciated! They opened with The L.O.C and sandwiched The Bazaar between that and The Black Sea, with The Ocean At The End as another new song highlight.. All the old favorites got played (as per usual). Sara put it succinctly in her review: “…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.” And it’s true. I actually found myself longing to hear The Halcyon Days after the teaser intro, after YEARS of (my, anyway) complaining about how they played it every time.
So naturally, this was worth the drive to Buffalo, and in all honesty, this was one of the better shows I’ve ever seen them play, almost 17 years after the first time I’d seen them!
Some awesome guy on Youtube had a bunch of videos from just off to the right of where we were (its a playlist):
The Black Sea
Fire in the Head
The 11th Hour (with Halcyon Days intro)
Water’s On Fire / Release
Save Me/The Messenger/Kashmir/Save Me
The Ocean at the End
Heaven’s Coming Down/All Along the Watchtower/Heaven’s Coming Down
Sister Awake/Pulse/Sister Awake
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