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The Tea Party Toronto

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The Tea Party Toronto

Who: The Tea Party w/ The Standstills
What: Tour 2014
When: Thursday November 27, 2014
Where: The Kool Haus - 132 Queen’s Quay E — Toronto

The Tea Party

TOTAL SCORE: 9/10

It had been many years since I had been to an event at the Kool Haus, but as soon as I walked in it took me back to the way I felt when I first started seeing concerts. The Kool Haus was once the Warehouse, and I have to say that it is one of the venues I grew up going to ever since I could get downtown. Though I have been a fan of the Tea Party for many years, I still hadn’t had a chance to ever see them live. I always really liked them because they are a trio, and next to Rush, it is pretty undeniable that they are one of the best in Canadian history. With the release of their new record  “The Ocean at the End”, their first in over a decade, I decided it would be the time to finally see them.

Opening the show was The Standstills from Oshawa, Ontario. I’ve had the pleasure off seeing this band many times, and they always put on a great show. The band is a duo that features Renee Couture on Drums and Johnny Fox on Guitar and Vocals. They hit hard and make a lot of noise for just two people, easily rivaling bands like White Stripes and The Black Keys. They did a few shows on this tour with the Tea Party, and are slowly starting to gain the recognition that their original sound and craft deserves. They were well received by a mostly unknowing audience, and complimented the Tea Party’s sound greatly.

The Tea Party have been around for over 20 years and have many hit songs under their belt. It is no surprise that they have sold over 1.6 million records worldwide and had a #1 hit with “Heaven Coming Down” in 1999. The boys were fresh of their tour of Australia, and warmed up a few nights in advance in London and Peterborough, and were firing with all cylinders from the opening number off their new record entitled “The L.o.C”.  They wowed the crowd throughout the entire night, playing classics like “Fire in the Head”, “The Bazzar”, as well as mixing in new tracks such as “The Black Sea”, “Water’s on Fire” and the title track “The Ocean at the End”.

The musical level of this band is really high and they change it up a lot throughout the night. Stuart Chatwood is constantly switching between bass and keys, adding in ambient sounds when he’s not holding down the low end. Jeff Burrows is by far one of the most talented and original drummers in the history of Canadian rock music. Singer and guitarist Jeff Martin is both a great writer and singer in addition to being a fantastic guitarist. He wowed the audience several times throughout the night with his abilities, playing the guitar with a bow,  adding some middle eastern flavor with his oud and rocking out with his dumbek drum. At one point, Martin brought out some viola type of instrument playing “Little Drummer Boy” and then going into medley of songs including “Save Me”, “The Messenger” and Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir”. They closed the set with “Temptation” and “Transmission”, but the crowd just wasn’t ready to leave. There was one more song they needed to hear. The band came back onstage and proceeded to play their biggest hit, “Heaven Coming Down” with a cool segway into “All Along The Watchtower”.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the show and it is clear that the Tea Party are back in full form and their dedicated following is still there to support them. Their new album is wicked and I’m really glad I finally got to catch them live and I would suggest if you ave a chance to do the same. For more info on the Tea Party check out www.teaparty.com and for more info on the Standstills visit www.thestandstills.com.

By: Matt Kane

THE SCENE

 


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