The Canalside Concert Series welcomed a Buffalo area favorite in Canadian rockers The Tea Party last Thursday night. Frequent stops in the western NY area in the last 27 years have enamored the band to the area and a near full house came out to see them. The Tea Party have been a pioneer in incorporating Indian and Middle Eastern themes in their own brand of rock music. Leader Jeff Martin and band mates Jeff Burrows and Stuart Chatwood are performance veterans and the Canalside crowd was full of eager fans. The situation was right and it promised to be a great show.
Opening with “Writing’s on the Wall,” Martin immediately took control. His low purr vocal grew into a loud roar as the band kicked in behind him. The crowd responded with some yells and screams, especially in the slower parts of the song. If you were up close, your could see Martin nod and wink to audience members who obviously had been long-time followers. Tea Party shows tend to be a reunion of sorts. There is always a long admiration between both the band and the fans when they play the WNY area and this was no different. Next up was “The Bazaar” and “Lullaby” where the strength of the band as musicians could come to the fore front. Playing a variety of instruments including the spacy-sounding Theremin, Martin seemed to really be enjoying himself as the show rolled into a series of favorites including “PsychoPomp,” “Release” and the edgier “Fire in the Head”.
Even thought its only been 5 months since the band played 2 sold out shows at the Town Ballroom (which is less than a mile away from Canalside), the crowd were into this show like they were starving for Tea Party music. They led the hungry crowd to a table of musical delights that is a Tea Party concert. “Heaven Coming Down” led into a short version of U2’s “With or Without You” and the crowd responded with the loudest cheers up to that point.
It picked up even more when Martin grabbed a violin bow and played the “Star Spangled Banner” ala Jimmy Page. The show ended with “Ocean” and “Temptation” to the roar of a satisfied crowd. An encore of “The River” and “Sister Awake” also included short tributes in the form of Led Zepplin’s “Dazed and Confused” the Rolling Stones “Paint it Black” and David Bowie’s “(We Can Be) Heroes.”
This was the premiere rock show at Canalside so far this year and the rest of the acts have a lot to live u to for the rest of this summers concert series there.
Writings on the Wall
Fire in the Head
Heaven Coming Down/With Without You (U2 cover)
Save Me/Bow solo
Star Spangled Banner (Francis Scott Key cover)
We would like to thank Erin Marra from Canalside for the credentials to review the show.