Tea Leaf Green & The Brakes
12.31.06 :: Theater of Living Arts :: Philadelphia, PA

Words & Images by: Jake Krolick

Josh Clark - TLG :: 12.31 :: Philly
2006 scurried out of Philadelphia like a rabid animal frothing and dripping white hot saliva from its jaws. The city released its hold on another year as the Theater of Living Arts opened its doors to the left coast rock of Tea Leaf Green. Helping them welcome in 2007 was one of Philadelphia's beloved own, The Brakes.

The evening's attendees were plunged into sound promptly at nine by The Brakes' spirited set. Fronted by the burly-piped vocals of Zach Djanikian, the band drew in stragglers from all over the venue. They kicked into high gear with a ferocious tune, "Riot at the TLA." Matt Kass and Derek Fienberg's guitars dealt soul-laden notes back and forth as Zach crooned. They dipped into their bag of tricks pulling out "Special," their mainstream ditty featured in an H&R block commercial. Josh Sack held down a well-built beat as Adam Flicker's fingers bounced across his keyboards. By the time the band hit its stride the floor was a bursting bubble of warm New Year's grins. The welcoming sight of Zach holding down the pocket flanked by Matt and Derek on guitar took hold of the audience. The band debuted "The Chase," a wild display of rock power, immediately followed by a piercing version of "Bullet." With inferno eyes and much to prove, the young band energized the room.

Tea Leaf Green & The Brakes :: 12.31 :: Philly
Tea Leaf Green entered the TLA like the Greeks exploding out of their Trojan horse. The anxious crowd cried for TLG to slaughter them. Eventually, Josh Clark (guitar/vocals) and Trevor Garrod (keys/vocals) did their own mummers-style strut onto the stage. Trevor slapped the keys to life as they roamed through a "Country Seduction" warm-up. Ben Chambers (bass) and Scott Rager (drums) casually ducked in and out of the spinning rays of light. Their hands whirled away, creating swirl harmonies. TLG wrapped up the year looking to give their fans something impressive. Memorable moments swelled thick and heavy in the second set with the addition of the Brakes. As midnight approached, Josh Clark grabbed the mic. With a voice as smooth as Irish whisky, he exclaimed, "We can't start till you count it off. The way I like it that's the way it is. I've got mine, don't worry 'bout his."

James Brown's "Sex Machine" exploded like a wild firecracker. Josh was flanked by Matt Kass and Derek Fienberg. The stage was set ablaze with a joining of the forces as the Brakes brought their wild youthful energy to the performance. Zack and Adam nestled onto the back riser of the stage with a robust bottle of Champagne. Each of their brass instruments honked out funky cries with fluid style.

Clark & Chambers :: 12.31 :: Philly
The tribute jam lasted long after the final balloons had dropped and the first kisses of 2007 dried on lover's lips. The Brakes hung on stage to tear into AC/DC's "Have a Drink on Me." The crowded floor raged to the first sounds of 2007 with cries of "Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! Oi! Oi! Oi!" Ben Chambers and Derek Fienburg locked instruments as Josh and Matt sang. This brilliant pairing of musicians sent the energetic rendition into oblivion. The second set was the payoff on our investment as TLG's ultra-heavy sounds dominated the velvet walls and second floor balcony. The crowd shook with a drunken dancer's fury as TLG unleashed a sugary little "Trenchtown Rock" tease during "Sex in the 70's." "Flippin the Bird" unveiled one of the evening's creative props - a cardboard birdie contraption in place of the middle finger. Trevor was amused by the contraption, cocking his head and banging his keys in delight.

As one a.m. approached, Josh Sack - sporting a More Cowbell shirt - and a mystery bongo player in a massive afro emerged. Their percussive ferocity led both bands into the Beatles' "I've Got a Feeling." Josh worked his way to the front of the stage while beating the piss out of an old cowbell. It was difficult to tell where the applause ended and the laughter began. A spirited, and perhaps tipsy, Matt Kass flailed around during "GEORGIE P." With a bunch of high fives and waves the evening ended as abruptly as it began. Good bands always leave you wanting more.

Tea Leaf Green :: 12.31.06 :: Theater of Living Arts :: Philadelphia, PA
Set I: Country Seduction, Panspermic De-evolution > If It Wasn't for the Money > Panspermic De-evolution, Rapture, Hot Dog, Taught to be Proud, Gasaholic
Set II: Auld Lang Syne1,2, Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine1,3,4, Have a Drink on Me1,5, Franz Hanzerbeak, One Reason, Tequila, Truck Stop Sally, Sex in the 70's, Piss It Away, Can You Guess It? > Death Cake > Can You Guess It?, Flippin' the Bird6, The Garden (Part III)
E: I've Got a Feeling1,7, Georgie P1,4,7

Notes: w/ The Brakes, 1w/ The Brakes, 2w/ midnight countdown, 3James Brown cover, 4w/ Auld Lang Syne, 5AC/DC cover, 6w/ Trevor on harmonica, 7Beatles cover, 8w/ "This Land is Your Land" (Woody Guthrie) tease

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