Its delightful to come across a band with mass amounts of emotion and passion in their playing, expressing it in live performances. Tea Leaf Green is one of those bands, that gathers a unique life force through their music. They have redefined present day jam-rock and appealed to audiences accustomed to a variety of genres. This Bay Area band has expanded, thriving in spreading their rhythm, opening crowds up to a splendid auditory and visually stimulating show. Rolling through Chicago, these fellas perked up those in attendance on that rainy Saturday night. Playing in the fresh neighborhood of Lincoln Park at Lincoln Hall. This drew crowds of college students, older rock and roll lovers and the jam band followers. The anticipation for sensational music began to fill the air.
Elmwood opened with a smash of melodies from Nashville, and kicked the night off right for a band touring with an act as good as Tea Leaf Green. Bringing rock vibrations and intermixing a jazzy, jam funk to the stage,their playing was a delight straight from the get-go. This band hyped up the crowd,while awaiting TLG to hit the stage.
Stepping onto the stage as the quintet drifted to their instruments, the gratitude and appreciation for the audience was evidence by their smiles. Music emerging with a powerful introduction to the song, “Easy to be Your Lover,” a song with extraordinary buildup and driven instrumentals. Followed by a funky introduction leading into the song, “All Washed Up.” Their music seemed to dust the crowd with jazzy- jams of wonder. Harmonic sounds busted into a mesh of intense musical allure. Plunging into the songs with an intense jam buildup, driving a climax with abrupt break downs and flawless transition that showed they added the mastery of flow to their set. The audience was hooked after the first songs were played. Progressing through the first set the songs ”Morning Sun,” and ”Arise” were played. “Ignoring the Oracle” swiftly echoed into the venue, with a genuine style shown in their act. A powerful stage presence is carried on throughout the concert, the guys in the band communicate well each member. This night they even mentioned the keyboardists Trevor Garrod whose birthday was celebrated, a respectful notion from his band mates. As the set closed with astounding rebounds off each instrument was displayed, “ Ride Together,” was played. Finally descending with the melodies of, “Make a Connection.” Tapering off stage to set break, the crowd was left longing for the second set to make headway.
Returning to an eager awaiting crowd, TLG activated the tunes and embarked on uplifting the crowd in a fresh set. Kicking off with the song “Miss Mae,” it was evident the anticipation for the jams to raise spirits after the set break. Extending into the sounds of “Let Us Go,” the orchestrated madness of the performance plunged onward. This band helps define a true performance, and personality drifting outwards with their music. Though the band members embrace their independent identities as musicians. Four savvy instrumentalists populate this band, each adding exclusive sound and personality to create young faces of rock and roll. Drummer, Scott Rager, has intense amounts of fire in putting out the percussion beats, rapidly moving his arms to connect perfectly to the others. Josh Clark, the guitarist, with open gestures and connecting to the crowd, animated in his actions as he strums out the chords. Contributing bumping on the bass, Reed Mathis, deep emotion in playing and harmonizes with perfection. Garrod, on keyboards, livening the folk appeal with the harmonica, along with a breathtaking, rustic voice. Collectively these musicians are stunning on stage together. As the second set continued the might behind the music up lifted and mystically went forth with impromptu jams combining solid songs.
Glancing over the venue the sight consisted of moving bodies dancing non-stop to the subtle sounds drifting from stage. As the second set carried on, old and new songs were put forth. These were songs that told stories and gave a connection between the personalities performing and those observing the talent. “Papas in the Back Room” was played, an older song of the bands, lyrics written by Garrod elaborated on the connection between the characters behind the music. The set dwindled after an array of jams and lyrics were delivered. Winding down the set yet bouncing the crowd with the hit, “Earth and Sky,” followed by, “ Kali Yuga.” The flow of songs was sensational, jams which combines jazz, and funky rock. Finalizing the phenomenal array of songs played was the song “Red Ribbons.” As the song thundered on the lyrics were powerful, and relative towards the music for it genuinely, “cuts to the heart like a razor. ” The music slowly lifting up for an encore, “I got Stoned and I missed it,” added a comedic element while still harmonizing beautifully. A “Country Seduction” enticed the crowd, persistent with powerful emotion in every chord played. Till finally the show drew to a close with, “Dragonfly.” Hypnotized, the audience dispersed into the rain, with enthusiasm on a remarkable show being played.
This performance has no words to describe the power and emotion behind this bands live appearances. Each member added their own pizazz, creating an unrivaled appeal to their live shows. Whether it was Clark continuing to dance around even during the transitions of songs and supporting his liking for the breakfast of champions saying “Eat Wheaties!” Or Garrod standing on his keyboard bench, or it being the addition of the bass player from Elmwood stepping out to play along; this band put on a one of a kind performance. The waves of energy and gratitude drifting from this band never ceased the duration of the show. A show like this is how live music should leave you feeling. Warming to the heart, rhythm flowing through your body and soothing to the soul. Tea Leaf Green is true live music, capable of tickling something in you to appreciate the form and dedication these men have to their music.