I should have known better than to attend a concert while still recovering from a rather rotten head cold. “But it’s Tea Leaf Green,” my wife pleaded, and “we haven’t been out in so long.” And so there we went out in the cold and the rain, sniffling, sneezing and all.
To tell the truth, it was a bit odd to hear my wife excited to see Tea Leaf Green as she wasn’t at all familiar with the band’s material. Me either, apart from for their recent DVD release, Rock N Roll Band, which I had recently played numerous times and reviewed right here on Blogcritics. But she had enjoyed what she had heard, and the idea of going to a concert always has its appeal.
We showed up early, nearly half an hour, as it was general admission and we wanted to get a seat, instead of standing for the entirety of the performance. Early wasn’t needed, as the place was nearly empty.
We sat, the two of us looking ragged and full of head germs, and waited. Nine o’clock came and still there were but a few folks gathered about. We pondered the meaning of the sign announcing “56 Hope Road” and showing us a cute little deer’s head. “Could it be a brand of beer?” we pondered. “Or perhaps it is a new teen show on the WB.” “I know,” I declared, “It has to be Locke’s home address on Lost.”
As it turned out it was the name of the opening band. They played for the few folks standing about as if it was for Madison Square Gardens. I was duly impressed. They jammed out every song and had a good thing going, though it was hard to discern more than the electric guitar and drums from the distorted sound quality.
A few more folks came, including a large group of college kids who plumped down right next to us. I feel like an old man on a rotating record when I complain about the kids today, but dang they sure don’t have any respect for anything.
Though there was a band playing their hearts out right in front of them, and though they had surely paid good money to hear this band, they paid no mind at all to the performance. Instead the men applied their attention to the ladies, scooting their chairs right up against them so as to look deeply into eyes, and entwine legs like a spider. The ladies meanwhile, retracted their cellular phones from their purses every two minutes as if they were expecting a call for the next world summit.
Meanwhile some sparkling good music played on.
56 Hope Road played a good hour set and Tea Leaf Green came on around 10:30. The room had since filled up to about half capacity, but what was there was energized and ready for the head-liners.
It is always an interesting thing to attend a concert where you aren’t familiar with most of the band’s work. There are no songs to sing-along to, nor grooves to groove along with knowingly. It’s all shake it as you can. We remained seated as our bodies were in no shape to groove anyway.
Seated it was still a darn fine groove thing. The band play like a well grooved machine and they know how to work the crowd. The thing is on the aforementioned DVD it kind of irked me to watch the lead singer, Trevor Garrod, work the crowd like a crazed cross between a Southern Baptist preacher and PT Barnum. Grabbing the microphone like a dagger he’d swagger and sway with the music while singing his lyrics like the Holy Word. It irked me because I tend to prefer musicians who approach music with importance and leave the posing to those on TRL. However, in person it is quite impressive, and it must be said that young Trevor hits the keys as much as he shakes it for the crowd.
Despite our illnesses, the wife and I both forgot everything and fell into the trance of great music. I got up into the crowd and swayed and moved like a teenager once again.
The darned kids were still at it with their cell phones and make-out moves. The two girls seemed to be texting each other back, while another guy somehow managed to talk to whomever, though standing but feet from a fat round of speakers.
Kids today and their rock and roll.
The first set concluded around midnight. It was a high performance and we’d had a grand time, but old age and illness took a hold. My wife declared that she could barely hold her eyes open any longer, and I knew I wasn’t long for this cognizant world, and so we headed home.
A younger me would have cursed they day I ever left a concert before the last note was played, but the older me has learned when I’ve had enough no matter how killer the show.
I’ll never know what madness occurred in the second set, but having seen the first half I’ll surely catch the band the next time they come around.