Raising up the 20th Century’s tent with Tea Leaf Green in Cincy

Tea Leaf Green
20th Century Theater
Cincinnati, Ohio
September 11, 2008

San Francisco’s Tea Leaf Green came to Cincinnati’s 20th Century Theater on September 11 armed with a new recording, Raise Up the Tent, and enough re-released older material to fill a week’s worth of concerts.

The group still enjoys a fervent following, and the floor was packed tight as TLG opened the show with a loose, wide ranging take on "I’ve Got a Truck" from the Tent disc. The cascading chords of "If It Wasn’t For the Money" from 2005’s Taught To Be Proud connected with the dancing patrons throughout the old, refurbished movie theater, as drummer Scott Rager’s steady driving rhythms held the composition together.

Former Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey bassist Reed Mathis helped kick off the initial notes to "These Two Chairs," but the Tea Leaf Green sound largely rests upon the vocals and keyboards of Trevor Garrod combined with the singing and guitar soloing of Josh Clark. And, the two played circles around one another on the set ending run of "Drink of Streams" into the one-two punch of "Precious Stone > Sex in the ’70’s."

Set two started with the towering improvisational gem, "Devil’s Pay." After a brief lurch towards "Zoom Zoom" had the crowd twirling in ecstasy, they were rewarded by the full "Garden" opus. Sweating and appreciative of the rapturous ovation, Garrod and company closed the concert by returning to Raise Up the Tent for two of their strongest numbers from the project, "Don’t Curse at the Night" and the humming creation, "Let Us Go."

The 20th Century’s denizens filed out into the street after an electric encore of "Lake of Fire" and "California" that left them with big smiles on their faces and fulfilled musical appetites from another magical evening with ‘Frisco’s Tea Leaf Green.

Set I: I’ve Got a Truck, If It Wasn’t For the Money, Faced with Love, Make a Connection- These Two Chairs, Drink of Streams, Tornadic, Precious Stone- Sex in the ’70’s

Set II: The Devil’s Pay, Zoom Zoom, The Garden Pt.1- The Garden Pt.2- The Garden Pt.3- Garden Applauds, Franz Hanzerbeck, Don’t Curse the Night, Moonshine, Let Us Go

Encore: Lake of Fire, California