The Tea Party @ The Palace Theatre

The Tea Party
The Palace Theatre
Calgary, Alberta
March 25, 2017

Photos courtesy of Nicki Chang-Powless

I showed up at The Palace around 7:15pm. Instantly you could see a large crowd of people, slowly wrapping around the corner of Steven Ave. After Getting through the doors, and a mild security check. I bought a beer a pushed my way to the front of the stage.

The Tea Party walked onto the stage to hundreds of cheering fans. The second Jeff Martin hit the first note on his Les Paul, the crowd came alive. This was their 20 years on transmission tour. They spent some time talking about their early days, and influences. The main one being Led Zepplin. This could be seen by Jeff’s cherry red double-necked epiphone sg.

The hits started to come out one after another. “Release”, and “Transmission” to name a few. They had absolute control over the crowd. Jeff could silence them with the wave of his hand. Over the silent crowd, an acoustic 12 string guitar was brought out, and they started playing “Temptation”. The whole crowd clapped and moved to the music. The intermission followed this song. which was fitting. I always say leave the crowd always wanting more.

With raised hand and the cheering crowd. Jeff Martin, Stuart Chatwood, and Jeff Burrows returned to the stage.

After they played “Fire in The Head”. Jeff talked about their latest album, Ocean at the End, then played the title track from it. Listening to this song, I can hear many influences ranging from Pink Floyd to Led Zepplin. And it just showcases how good this band really is. It’s a heavy dissonant song that shows the beauty of space in between the notes. This was in my mind, the best song and guitar solo of the night. I’m definitely buying this album.

WIth a screaming and dancing crowd, the second set was over. But the cheering never stopped. The crowd wanted more. Jeff Martin came out with an acoustic guitar, and Stuart Chatwood with a harmonium. They played one song acoustically, but went back to electric instruments for “Sister Awake”, “Painted Black”, and even performed  a mash up of David Bowies “Under Pressure” and “Heros”. The encore ended with them going back into “Sister Awake”. With sore hands and neck, the show was over. I left The Palace and returned home.

Overall it was a great show. The sets flowed and ended perfectly. There were a couple of sound issues at the beginning. Mainly the vocals were overpowered by the instruments. But that was easily fixed by the fifth song. I recommend bringing earplugs to their show. They’re a loud band and not afraid to crank it to eleven. Next time they come to town. I will definitely be there.


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