The Tea Party’s “Black River” tour final stop was here in Adelaide and without a shadow of a doubt they saved their best for last. The Tea Party are right up there as one my favourite band’s and as an avid fan what was pleasing was to see the band recapture that magic that made them so good in the first place. For a Sunday night and a predominantly more mature audience the vibe building up to the show was fantastic and it was all smiles as Jeff Martin, Jeff Burrows and Stuart Chatwood took to the stage.
Launching right in to The River it didn’t take the audience long to find voice and react to the lyric “I see all friends…” with a gesture from Martin prompting a response. A little microphone feedback was overshadowed by the snippet of Tool’s Sober. Holy smokes! The Bazaar is one of those essential songs that could never be omitted from their set, tonight it was fantastic. Martin commented that being their final show they were trying not to talk too much as they wanted to play more music. Asking the crowd if they remembered 1993, as he didn’t, and suggested going down in to the depths of darkness you do come out of it with the ancients having a word for it, Psychopomp.
With the promise of new music coming Martin was proud to announce they had two singles in the Canadian Rock Charts at the same time with Black River and Way Way Down making the band some money with their “Tea Party Nasty Blues”. In My Time Of Dying morphed in their chart single Way Way Down. Getting serious for a moment Martin made an impassioned plea hoping one day we would be released from all this intolerance dedicating Release to the people in New Zealand and other places around the world where these atrocities have happened. The double headed guitar came out on The Halcyon Days and the Led Zeppelin segway Kashmir during Save Me was unreal.
Heaven Coming Down was a highlight with the crowd singing along to the next segway with U2’s Without Or Without You going down a treat. The crowd were lapping up every minute and the band knew there was something special happening right here, right now. Blusey Bring It On Home was intertwined with Black River which was followed by Martin acknowledging how gracious the crowd was and inferred there was a big tour planned for next year to commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of the band. The night was topped off with the tale of black magic, cults, sex drugs and rock ‘n roll with Martin conceding most of it was true saying that music would lead you in to Temptation.
A band this good doesn’t need an encore but they returned to plenty of applause playing Winter Solstice followed by Sisters Awake morphing in to the customary Rolling Stones cover of Paint It Black. Martin posed the last question asking the crowd if they wondered what the most powerful rock band in the world sounds like to which he responded “like this”. He then mentioned his phobias of vertigo and sharks which led in to David Bowie’s Heroes. With a big finish Martin left Adelaide with the statement “We’re Australia’s Tea Party, see you next year”. Fantastic show!
Live Review By Rob Lyon