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Tea Leaf Green & Magic Theater

LaSalle's Wed, Jan 23rd, 2001

Upon my arrival, I thought the show was cancelled; There couldn't have been more than twelve people in the whole place. This, and the fact that I didn't have any preconceived notions about what either band would sound like, made me a little uneasy. I mean, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand the correlation between low turnouts and shitty bands. Then again, Chico has never been wildly supportive of the live music scene.

I was weighing these things over in my mind when Magic Theater hopped on stage. Any qualms I may have had quickly disappeared when the four guys from Magic Theater started playing. Their music recalls classic rock, but I would hesitate to label them as such. One can also detect strands of blues and funk running through each one of their songs. One number entitled "El Salvador" even seemed to have a bit of a Latin edge to it. This was more the exception than the rule, though. Tonally, Magic Theater tends more toward the light, even playful side. The audience was pretty tame throughout the whole performance. At one point, the band's frontman even offered a free CD to the first person who started dancing.

Things would change quite a bit when Tea Leaf Green came out. The dance floor filled up pretty quick once the quartet from San Francisco known as Tea Leaf Green started playing. Essentially a rock band, they have forged a style that is wholly unique. The songs didn't seem to be structured under that standard verse-chorus-verse-chorus format. Instead, they opt for a more free-flowing style of play. Funky bass lines and solid drumbeats accompany head-spinningguitar riffs and colorful keyboard arrangements. Instrumentation definitely takes precedence over vocals, but when they do sing it is that much better. About halfway through, the band announced that they'd be right back. They were going to have a cigarette out front. When they returned about half the people were gone. Nevertheless, they played until just about closing time and even entertained a few requests. Both Tea Leaf Green and Magic Theater passed the test, so to speak. They are not shitty bands. In fact, they are quite good. Don't take my word for it, though. Mosey on downtown some night when they are playing and find out for yourself.


By Ryan Mungia
The Synthesis
January 28.2002


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