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07/16/2015 The Tea Party, Big Wreck (Lewiston, NY @ Artpark)

By Eric | July 20, 2015 9:37 am

Ah yes, another Tea Party show, another instance of getting “our” band back together as well. Mostly. As we had all assumed that there would be lawn seats available, no one bought tickets right away. So naturally, Artpark *didn’t* sell lawn for this one, meaning we all had to get seats. Due to my own ineptitude, I didn’t get tickets with either Jon and Art, nor Sara’s group with Jason, Mary and Adrienne (in from Las Vegas!). I did literally split the difference though, getting one seat a couple rows behind Sara and crew, and one section across from Jon. As the Labatt commercial goes, “Close Enough!”

I rolled into Sara’s house (Jason and Adrienne were already there), Mary showed up not long after, and after some quick pizza we headed up to Lewiston. Eric dumbass moment #2 ensued, as I forgot that Artpark charges $10 cash to park no matter what, and of course I had zero cash on me. Thankfully there wasn’t a huge rush to get in, so one quick trip to the ATM later I was parked and in line with the crew. We shuffled in almost immediately, and killed time with some beverages before sliding into our seats right before Big Wreck started.

Big Wreck kicked things off with Inhale, and while the band sounded great, we have no idea what Ian Thornley sounded like, as for the first 2/3 of the song his mic wasn’t working. They finally got that straightened out, and I moved down to sit with Jason and the girls. That didn’t last long either, as the only two guys in the second level that wanted to stand up happened to be directly in front of us. So I retreated to sit with Jon and Art so I could actually see the rest of the performance. And it was a very good performance. Big Wreck went even older-school with That Song (one of my favorites) before a run of stuff off the newer two albums, including both title tracks, the SRV-influenced Ghosts, and Albatross. They then closed out old-school again, with Ladylike, Blown Wide Open, and the always crowd-pleasing (and usually only song anyone knows) The Oaf. Barring the mic mishap, the band sounded great, Thornley was hitting all the notes, and it was nice to see Big Wreck again for sure.

We all milled around during the set change, and Jon, Art and I headed up to the near-empty 300 level to have some room for the Tea Party’s set. Compared to the November show at the Town Ballroom, they played even less off of the new album; we only got Ocean at the End and Water’s On Fire this time, along with a tease of Cypher before The Bazaar. Beyond the new songs it was the standard issue Tea set, and as always, they sounded damn good performing it. Psychopomp was a highlight as always, and the crowd didn’t disappoint during Temptation.

The crowd was raucous almost all night for the Tea, but curiously not a sell out. It was plain to see why they didn’t sell lawn seats, as the covered section wasn’t even close to full. Artpark holds 2400 seats, and like I said, the 300 section was practically empty. The Ballroom show sold out really quickly, and that place only holds 1000, so something in-between would seem to be the magic number for them. Regardless, it was a great night to see some old friends, hear some old friends, and put another Tea Party show in the books. This was Tea show #16 for me, which as of this writing ties them with Our Lady Peace, both of them one behind Sevendust (17 times!!) for the title of “band seen most often”.

Big Wreck
That Song
I Digress
Hey Mama
Blown Wide Open
The Oaf

Tea Party

The River
the Bazaar (Cypher intro)
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)

Sister Awake (Paint It Black insert)

Ocean at the End (clip)

Heaven Coming Down

Save Me (clip)

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