Audio blog with links to great live tracks from great live bands.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Something special on our hands

I figured I have been listening to Tea Leaf Green enough at this point to arrive at the "OK, I know what they can do NOW, but what did they sound like when they were starting up?" stage of my current love affiar with this band. And the answer: Well, they rocked it. Back when I was first getting into Phish (and I hit the same point I'm at now with TLG), I asked myself the same question. Of course, this was pre-internet, so you couldn't just get online and find out for yourself. There were rumors that Phish were absolutely ATROCIOUS in their first few years, that Nectar simply took pity on them, etc. Well, that may have been true - at least to ROTC students in 1983 - but it's clear that by around '85, they were starting to "get it." With an emphasis on the "starting to."

"Ride Together" - Tea Leaf Green, 7/6/01 High Sierra

So I figured that early TLG shows would probably be as spotty as those early UVM dorm shows Phish played. Um, no. Jiminy Christmas! Take a listen to that "Ride Together." It's a monster. It's clear that what we have here is a band that can roll out of bed and blow the pants off of everyone in the audience on any given night - and always has been able to. I mean, honestly, I'm starting to get pissed. How did I not hear about these guys before? This set at High Sierra is from TWO THOUSAND-FRIGGIN'-ONE!! 2001!!! In the meantime, Umphrey's has ascended from South Bend bars to Rolling Stone darlings to sharing the stage with Phil Lesh, but Tea Leaf has just started to take off? If I had been at High Sierra in 2001, and saw Tea Leaf's set, I would have walked away thinking the same thing I did when I saw Widespread's set at the HORDE in Red Rocks in '93: "I don't care WHO comes after this band, they are the best band to hit that stage tonight." Oh, but I'm sure String Cheese probably just WOWED the thousands that night with another blah set of second-rate bluegrass and songs about jellyfish. And the crowd hoola-hooped their approval.

OK, I have taken my medicine. I am calm now. For those of you in the NYC area, the band has booked two shows at a TINY venue called Coda in mid-November. If you want the opportunity to tell your Cheesehead and Umphreak friends who finally see the light in two years that you saw them at "this TINY venue called Coda," get your tickets here. Be sure you get tickets for both nights. I can promise you that next time around they'll be playing the Bowery. Also, from what I can tell, they are being shopped around to labels, with some thinking that ATO is the front-runner (that's Dave Matthews' label). Now, don't be a hater and turn your back on these guys just because they're going to get signed and end up on mainstream outlets (i.e., VH1, radio, etc.) Show the scene some love and go and support them.

That's all for today. Just had to get that off my chest. Oh, here is that whole set.