Tea Leaf Green returned to the 8x10 in Baltimore, MD last weekend for the high energy conclusion of their four night east coast stint. They doubled down on another fresh set list and tasty jams, much to their delight of their fans, the Leafers. This band is no stranger to this well known, intimate club, and closed out their run with vigor.
Last Sunday marked at least the eighth time that this foursome played at the storied 350 person capacity venue, according to Archive.org. Described as a "rocket ship" by guitarist Josh Clark, the room is eighteen feet wide, and includes two levels, with the band in the center. The staff is surely another bright spot at the 8x10, as they are very friendly and accommodating.
The evening began with a familiar, sing along favorite, "The Garden Part I." This shifted nicely into the melodic "Slept Through Sunday," from the 2008 release, Raise the Tent. "Looney Bin" was up next, and the band fell into the first pocket of the night during this jam. Clark took a moment to cheers the audience, prior to launching into a bouncy "Germinating Seed," sung by keyboardist Trevor Garrod. He shepherded the jam on the keyboard, which transitioned to a fiery end by Clark.
The energy was reduced once again with "Faced with Love," including Garrod on the harmonica. The tempo picked up during the jam, which featured another raging solo by Clark. This frequency was maintained as they dove into a face melting "Dragonfly." A fist pumping funk jam ensued, as Tea Leaf Green locked into a groove, with a rock solid foundation by bassist Eric DiBerardino and drummer Scott Rager. This gave Clark wings to fly like a dragonfly.
Garrod lent his singing skills on the next tune, "Fallen Angel." The band dealt with some intermittent sound issues for a moment as Garrod entertained the Leafers on harmonica. Within a few moments, Rager kicked off the next song, "Incandescent Devil," with his laser sharp drumming skills. The quartet from San Francisco locked into one another for this scorcher, as the Leafers danced with joy. Clark launched into one of his machine gun guitar solos during this classic tune from their 2005 album, Taught to be Proud.
The excitement dropped for a much needed break as Garrod began playing the melody of "Don't Let It Down." Before heading into the song, Clark announced, "This is my good friend Trevor Garrod over here who will sing you a song." Garrod's emotionally charged vocals elevated this beautiful ballad. The bluesy "I've Got a Truck," another tune from Raise the Tent, proceeded, followed by "Innocence." Clark took a turn on vocals during "Make a Connection," before catapulting into another blazing hot guitar solo.
Clark continued to morph into the next song while the other members briefly stopped playing, with Rager joining the party when Clark was fully playing the deliciously funky, "Sex in the 70's." This was the first time the band played this coveted song during the east coast run, and was certainly the highlight of tonight's show. Garrod layered in the synth in sync with DiBerardino, which set up the perfect groove for Clark to dispatch a healthy serving of tension and release. The band did a stop start transition into the last song of the set, "Truck Stop Sally," which disperses the perennial knowledge that "if you want to get high with the band, you've got to get the band high too." A breezy jam followed, and wrapped up this dynamite set.
Tea Leaf Green stepped off stage briefly, and returned for not just one encore, but four. Another Raise the Tent tune began the sequence with "Stick to the Shallows." The band was all smiles while singing, "oh, what a hell of a day." What a hell of day, indeed, thanks to these musicians. Another smooth transition followed into the vintage sing along favorite, "The Garden Part III," complete with more soulful vocals by Garrod. The entire crowd sung in unison, "just like we are supposed to be," as Garrod tickled the ivories.
Fan looked on with glee upon realizing that band was not quite done yet, as they slowly built up into the euphonic "Space Hero Part III." A smooth changeover followed into the familiar, electrifying riff of "Space Hero Part II," coupled with an on point bass line from DiBerardino. This led into one final shred fest by Clark, who was undoubtedly this show's space hero.
Tea Leaf Green had a very memorable run on the East Coast last weekend, and concluded these shows with an absolute rager at the 8x10. This squad doesn't play as often as they used to, however make no mistake, they have still got it. We've said it before, and we'll say it again: we can only hope that this incredible band reassembles much sooner than later. In the interim, head on over to the band's impressive online merchandise store, which includes numerous customization options.
The Garden Pt. I > Slept Through Sunday, Looney Bin, Germinating Seed, Faced with Love, Dragonfly, Fallen Angel, Incandescent Devil, Don’t Let It Down, I’ve Got a Truck, Innocence, Make a Connection, Sex in the 70s, Truck Stop Sally
Stick to the Shallows > The Garden Part III, Space Hero Part III > Space Hero Part II