Tea Leaf Green at the Bluebird Theater, Denver (REVIEW)

January 17, 2012 1 comment

Photo Credit: Caroline Bridges heyreverb.com

Easy To Be Your Lover by TeaLeafGreen

I had the great pleasure this past Saturday of seeing Tea Leaf Green perform live at the Bluebird Theater in Denver. This was my first show in months, but I feel like I jumped right back into the mix in a big way after these guys got going. San Francisco’s Tea Leaf Green (TLG) is a quintet of relentless tour-mongers, playing triple digit shows a year and springing up at music festivals all across the country (Roo, Jam Cruise, Wakarusa, you name it they’ve played it). They bring an insatiable enthusiasm to every show.

I first heard of these guys while at Bonnaroo in 2005, and I quickly became hooked. TLG has been playing together for more than a decade. And since their inception they have been steadily increasing in popularity. Over the last couple of years since I last saw them, it seems that they have really honed in on their collective talents and have are really meshing in their styles and sounds. For years, TLG has been gathering unfettered support from the masses, consistently hanging around that threshold where a couple more big big shows will land them their place as frontrunners of the jam scene along with Phish, String Cheese Incident, moe., and the likes! I’m telling you, if you’ve never heard of these guys, get on the bandwagon now. They’re going places.

Photo Credit: Caroline Bridges heyreverb.com

Together, Trevor Garrod (keys, vocals), Josh Clark (guitar, vocals), Scott Rager (drums), Reed Mathis (bass, vocals) and the newest member Cochrane McMillan (drums) are pushing the boundaries of their genre and reaching out to diverse crowds across the country. And yes, you read that right! DOUBLE DRUMS. Rager (aptly named) and McMillan worked seamlessly together, rolling in and out of dueling drum solos and hearty percussion rhythms. Both are as talented as any drummer I’ve seen.

Photo Credit: Caroline Bridges heyreverb.com

TLG started their show strong with Got No Friends in Arizona. They sprinkled a good number of their older tracks (and some of my personal favorites) in between a medley of newer songs that they have been touring relentlessly to promote over the last couple years. They played two full sets with a solid mix of new and old, never losing energy, never slowing down. Newer songs like You’re My Star and All Washed Up showcase a bit of their eclectic stylings and allow the duel drummer set some freedom to go at it live. One of my favorite new tracks is the song Easy to Be Your Lover, which is something like the Bee-Gees meet Strawberry Fields Forever. Give it a listen above and let me know what you think!

Photo by Caroline Bridges at heyreverb.com

TLG also rocked out to I’ve Been Seeking, Devil’s Pay, and probably their most well-known track Taught to be Proud, off the album with the same name that dropped in 2005. Below is a video of my personal favorite, a track called Morning Sun. The video is from Lincoln Hall in Chicago, IL and was performed in January 2010 (they were still a quartet). Unfortunately I was not lucky enough to hear this Saturday night, but I’ll take what I can get, and my TLG appetite was more than satisfied… for now!

Here’s a list of TLG tour dates. If they are in your area, it would behoove you to check them out. Leave a comment if you like what you hear. MJF Holla.

January ’12
1/18 (Wed) The Mill Iowa City, IA
1/19 (Thu) High Noon Saloon Madison, WI
1/20 (Fri) Lincoln Hall Chicago, IL
1/21 (Sat) 20th Century Theatre Cincinnati, OH
February ’12
2/3 (Fri) Crystal Bay Club Casino Crystal Bay, NV
2/4 (Sat) Crystal Bay Club Casino Crystal Bay, NV
2/9 (Thu) Paradise Rock Club Boston, MA
2/10 (Fri) Bowery Ballroom New York, NY
2/11 (Sat) Brooklyn Bowl Brooklyn, NY
2/12 (Sun) The Haunt Ithaca, NY
2/15 (Wed) State Theatre State College, PA
2/16 (Thu) Mr. Small’s Funhouse Millvale, PA
2/17 (Fri) World Cafe Live Philadelphia, PA
2/18 (Sat) 9:30 Club Washington, DC
2/19 (Sun) Jefferson Theatre Charlottesville, VA
March ’12
3/22 (Thu) Soul Kitchen Mobile, AL
3/23 (Fri) Georgia Theatre Athens, GA
3/28 (Wed) Grey Eagle Music Hall Asheville, NC
3/29 (Thu) Motorco Music Hall Durham, NC
3/30 (Fri) Visulite Theatre Charlotte, NC
3/31 (Sat) The Pour House Charleston, SC
April ’12
4/11 (Wed) Rogue Theatre Grants Pass, OR
4/12 (Thu) WOW Hall Eugene, OR
4/13 (Fri) Mississippi Studios Portland, OR
4/14 (Sat) Tractor Tavern Seattle, WA
4/19 (Thu) Top Hat Missoula, MT
4/20 (Fri) The Filling Station Bozeman, MT
4/21 (Sat) Urban Lounge Salt Lake City, UT
May ’12
5/31 (Thu) Wakarusa Music & Camping Festival Ozark, AR