Tea Leaf Green
October 11, 2008
Seattle Tea Leaf Green fans have been able to enjoy regular dates from the San Francisco based group since the beginning. As a result, the band’s Pacific Northwest fanbase has seen sure and steady growth for some time.
The sold out Tractor Tavern show certainly had its share of exuberant fanaticism, and made it evident that this band is welcome to return to Seattle as often they like.
The first set, opened with "Innocence" and "Let Us Go," had a low-key yet constantly upbeat energy. While guitarist Josh Clark was in first-rate form, he seemed to be holding back on the length of his robust rock jams. Guest bassist Steve Adams (ALO) provided a substantially solid bottom end for the group and even came sporting the band’s seemingly preferred stage foot wear – Chuck Taylor Cons.
The smooth start of the show suggested perhaps first set foreplay was what they all had in mind. Watching Josh play guitar in this mode was visually entertaining. He projected compelling control with a bona fide rock and roll stance and a Spinal Tap smirk of confidence on his face that suggested he could ignite his favorite Firebird at any moment.
No one in the room seemed to mind the minor reserve the guitar man dished out. The ever-content fans bounced their way around with the cheery vocals and steady keyboard rhythms of their beloved Trevor Garrod. Overjoyed sing along-ers (for all of his songs) could be heard any which way an ear turned. First set closing tunes "Freedom" and "Jackson Hole" were played with a crescendo that suggested more pop rock and roll greatness was in the making.
The second set began promptly with "I’m Not Fit > Red Ribbons > Garden III." The refueled fans sauntered back into the steamy club from the crisp fall evening and quickly filled the dance floor with shuffling feet. As the club filled up so did the energy level coming from the stage.
During the set, Josh’s guitar playing took on a bolder sound and more intent full jams were expressed with an edgier vigor than just an hour earlier. Enormous grins, concentrated solos and powerful guitar god poses were grooving all over the stage. Bass lines and guitar riffs were played extremely tight and were executed with a strong rock steadiness that worked its way straight to the heads. A real rhythm relationship is obviously being formed between the gifted string players.
As the noise continued to please the crowd the band showed no signs of slowing down. "Taught to be Proud" served the end of the set well and was good to the very last drop. The over stimulated and persistent crowd insisted on one more round and got a substantial two song encore: "Deep River" and "Tequila."
When the fun did finally come to a halt, an invigorated and perspiring Josh smiled wide to the pleased crowd to proclaim “This is a gooooood party RIGHT here!” before toasting them all and waving goodbye. Seattle fans were definitely treated to one hell of a tea party with this show.
Set 1: Innocence, Let Us Go, Rapture, One Reason, Without A Broom > Stick To The Shallows, Bouncin Betty, If It Wasn’t For The Money, Freedom, Jackson Hole
Set 2: I’m Not Fit > Red Ribbons > Garden III, Jubilee, Loony Bin, Criminal Intent, Keeping The Faith, Piss It Away, Taught To Be Proud
Encore: Deep River, Tequila