Story and photos by Matt SchwenkeWhile it's always a bit of a letdown when there isn't crowd enough for the band to play the Rave stage and they get scooted downstairs to the The Rave II stage, Tea Leaf Green didn't disappoint with their performance of rock and folk inspired jams that flared from deep within the bowels of the Rave complex.
Though the sounds of TLG are not anywhere near groundbreaking, their music is steeped in Allman Brothers blues and sprinkled with Phish-like quirks that take time to unfold while still being pleasing during the wait. Some of the longer transitions were easy to forget, but it was where the band came out of these wanderings that made their sound especially memorable. With razor-like grit, lead guitarist Josh Clark pulled harrowing tones from his axe that gouged open new paths just when there seemed to be nowhere for the song-structure to turn. With guitar as launch-pad, lead vocalist and keyboardist Trevor Garrod hit the ground running with Franz Hanzerbeak and Scott Rager backing his blazing keys on bass and drums respectively.
Pulling from a wide array of songs, Tea Leaf Green were a bit sleepy in their folk driven tunes, but commanding in the straightforward rock of "Freedom," off of their studio release Living In Between, and pulsing in the reflective "Taught To Be Proud," the title track from their 2005 studio release. As their second set and encore took on a much more funky and danceable tone, the whiskey-barrel energy of tunes like "Gasoholic," only a live gem thus far, left the crowd up-beat and energized.
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