TR3 | City Winery St. Louis | 2/3/2024

Article Contributed by June Reedy | Published on Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Long hours and many miles concluded at City Winery St. Louis when TR3 and Birddog played their last show of the Watch It Tour to a room packed with friends and family. The homecoming show on 2/3/24 delivered a few tracks off the new Watch It LP as well as many fan favorites. After unveiling the album in January, the power trio road-tested the songs and once again came up all aces. Hard work, dedication, and a whole lot of laughs were on proud display during the St Louis City Winery Saturday night show.

Laura Martier and Dan Martier | Birddog | Photos by June Jameson

TR3 drummer Dan Martier joined his wife Laura to form Birddog, opening the evening's festivities. It must have added a nice balance to have Laura join these 3 stinky men in a van for the whole tour. The evening was unseasonably warm for February and Birddog’s song had me wishing there were subtitles. The song is about their home in Costa Rica so you know it’s beautiful. Lyrics that were moved by the breezes, talking about standing together like palm trees and bamboo, and Spanish words that ashamedly, I didn’t understand. Laura gave a shout-out to her new guitar tech, Kristen Reynolds, and it became increasingly clear that this show was so very personal for the performers.

Uninitiated in the ways of Birddog, the cover of Zero Seven’s “In the Waiting Line” showed us that their feel is warm and bright, spinning us into some sort of Caribean environment right here in St Louis in February. “Laws of Love and Time” explored the constants in life amidst the ever-changing landscapes. When Dan and Laura first met, Laura was busking in Montgomery, Alabama, being an artist, singing “Angel from Montgomery,” so again they recreated that moment for us. To believe in this living is just a hard way to go.

Laura Martier singing Angel From Montgomery | 2/3/24

As we finished our delicious small plates and settled into our after-dinner cocktails, Birddog graciously descended the stage as the digestif set in. The unique timings and personal spins on such sentimental songs were a sweet way to warm up the audience. Then the levee broke and at 8:30 pm sharp, when TR3 hit the stage with “Watch It.”

After 17 years of playing as a unit, TR3 flows with that precise improvisation that you know has been well rehearsed and deeply considered. The chemistry is evident through time and travel, all accomplished players in their own right. Watching Tim Reynolds manipulate his fretboard made it clear why Live at Luther College was such a massive success.

TR3 | City Winery St Louis | 2/3/24

In regards to Watch It, Tim Reynolds described the title of the instrumental title track as, “Well, the title just came from the song. It has a ‘Hey! Look out Bob!’ feel to it. That just kind of came out from the song.”

“Watch It” demonstrates Tim’s ability to turn up the thump on a 12-string guitar, a Les Claypool of sorts in reverse. But more jazzy, or maybe more progressive prog rock, maybe it could be described as Math Rock. It all depends on who you ask!

“I didn’t start out playing acoustic guitar a lot, it was many years later that I came to appreciate it as just a standalone thing. You pick it up, it sounds great. It’s you and your fingers and the wood.” - Tim Reynolds

Tim Reynolds | City Winery St Louis | 2/3/24

Commanding attention from the opening song, TR3 began with a swirl, a golden flower to the grit. Armed with an arsenal of guitars at his side, Tim Reynold's vocals may not be orotund but his guitar playing definitely is. It’s as if Tim Reynolds is a ventriloquist with his talking puppets. He pulled out each personality, one at a time throughout the evening.

"Going Places" began after some goofing with the audience. The harmonics created the rhythm and with no lyrics, they announced from the stage that it would indeed be one of THOSE songs. The desire is in the music, not in the lyrics.

Mick Vaughn | Photo by June Jameson

A personal favorite off of Watch It is the track “So Am I,” which they played at City Winery St Louis on 2/3/24. The broken waltz, deep frequency bass rattles the emotional cobwebs off my soul as the lyrics riddle the audience with, “You’re crazy So am I. I’m cray-zee. All. The. Time.” It is a song you could easily dance along to, but in this particular room, on this particular night, chills were evenly distributed as we stayed in our seats, mesmerized by TR3. Is it a favorite for all these reasons or is it a favorite because it is the only song off the new LP Watch It with lyrics? It’s hard to tell. I get so lost in the music, that I forget that it has lyrics. Perhaps it's just easy to remember the name of the song because of the lyrics.

Tim Reynolds and the flying V guitar | City Winery St Louis | 2/3/24

At this point in the performance, Tim Reynolds had brandished at least 5 different guitars, and continued with a mix of blues, jazz, rock, and a touch of psychedelia, giving the audience a taste of the timeless prowess of Tim Reynold's guitar playing.

“If we’re going to do a song about being crazy, let’s downshift into high gear.” - Tim Reynolds

That’s when the flying V guitar came out, Dan busted into the beat, Mick on vocals and they did their own version of David Bowie’s “Rebel Rebel.” The unified freak flag brought a few audience members to their feet as the power trio combined vocals for the chorus.

Dan Martier | TR3 | City Winery St. Louis

When interviewed on the radio just days before this performance, the band mentioned that there is something special about a trio. Dan Marier said, “There is something to a triangle. It’s like a circle always spinning. There is a oneness to it if that makes any sense.” He said that a favorite influence of his growing up was the Police and Rush, both mega trios that laid down the foundation behind such a forceful sound. Tim Reynolds chimed in with The Smile, a side project trio of Radiohead’s.

“That’s the whole thing, right there. We play the songs but there are all sorts of little things that happen inside the songs that are just part of our personality all together. It’s really rich in terms of daily playing. You know what to expect, but you don’t know everything. It’s great.” - Tim Reynolds on playing with TR3

Mick Vaughn | TR3 | Photo by June Jameson

The power trio of TR3 was firing as one unit when they launched into “Hazy Shade of Winter.” Again taking the lead on vocals, Mick brought an electric version of Simon & Garfunkel to life on stage at City Winery St Louis on 2/3/24. It is the springtime of their life, and as was said on the radio and again on stage, “TR3 has a long shelf life.”

They may not tour often so when they do, it is always a treat to see what new songs and dusted-off selections of the past they will compile and perform with all their heart and giggles on stage to share with audiences everywhere. After ripping through Simon & Garfunkel, they covered the Kinks, “You Really Got Me” and then launched back to 1989 with the Fine Young Cannibals “She Drives Me Crazy.”

Encore! Encore!

The freight train rhythms and all that shredding with subdued vocals kept the focus on the music. The desire is in the music, not the lyrics. As the evening came to a close, the band invited Scott Reynolds up on stage with them to sing Tom Waits “Maybe Things Will Be Better in Chicago” and then a power trio “Whole Lotta Love.” Inside the listening room of City Winery St Louis, there was a whole lotta love with a whole lotta music going on.

With all his guitars beside him, a room filled with family and friends, and a trusted longtime band joined in unity, Tim Reynolds closed the show in celebration. To believe in this living is a hard way to go, yet the fruits of their labor make the juice oh-so-worth the squeeze!

TR3 | Watch It | 2/3/24

Check out more PHOTOS from the show