Tea Leaf Green
20th Century Theater
February 13, 2008
San Francisco rock band Tea Leaf Green wandered into Cincinnati, Ohio’s 20th Century Theater on a mission to convert the uninitiated with a concert full of loosely-based improvisational jams, strong compositional frameworks and plenty of good vibes.
Sensing the audience’s high anticipation level, the band broke into a ravaging intro on "Let Us Go" that started the dancing on the floor, and led TLG into the home state anthem, "California." With new member Reed Mathis on bass, the group’s sound has changed a bit, but one dose of "The Garden (Pt. 2)" and Trevor Garrod’s familiar vocal delivery and smooth fills on keyboards sent Tea Leaf followers into instant ecstasy. Set one’s highlight was a sizzling take on "Jezebel" followed by an exuberant "Bouncin’ Betty" that left the 20th Century’s denizens clamoring for more.
They delivered just that in the second set when Jason Smart of Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey took over on drums during the driving "Baseball Song." Lead guitarist Josh Clark stepped into the spotlight to launch complex, intricately woven and searing solos on "Make a Connection" and "The Devil’s Pay." Tea Leaf Green returned to a resounding standing ovation to send their fans warmly home into the icy, snowy night with a fired up encore of "Red Ribbons."