The Tea Party - London 2023It was a night of pure nostalgia at London Music Hall on Friday, November 3rd, as two iconic Canadian rock bands from the 90s, I Mother Earth and Tea Party, graced the stage for a raucous sold-out crowd. The venue was electric with anticipation as good friends, I Mother Earth and LaSalle Ontario’s Tea Party, brought a double dose of Canadian rock history to life.

The evening kicked off in style with a VIP acoustic performance, delighting a fortunate few hundred fans. Both bands took the stage together, and the atmosphere was charged with the promise of something special. They delivered a stunning set of rock covers, reimagining classics like “Sympathy For The Devil” and “Superstition.” What made this performance unique was the vocal interplay between Tea Party’s Jeff Martin and I Mother Earth’s Edwin, both legends in their own right.

The synergy between the two bands was palpable, a testament to their long-standing friendship that began back in 1990 when they embarked on their respective musical journeys. Notably, during a break in their bands’ careers in the late 2000s, Edwin and Tea Party’s drummer, Jeff Burrows, formed Crash Karma, further solidifying their deep-rooted connection.

I Mother Earth - London 2023I Mother Earth took the stage with high energy, starting their set with a cover of “Fuego de Madre,” evoking a Santana-like vibe, complete with conga drums and Jagori Tanna’s impressive guitar skills channeling Carlos Santana. The remainder of their set featured tracks from “Dig” and “Scenery and Fish,” their 2x platinum album from 1996. These albums were the pinnacle of Edwin’s time with the band, and it was clear that this version of I Mother Earth was, without a doubt, Edwin’s band.

Despite their biggest success dating back to 1996, I Mother Earth has continued to captivate audiences and draw substantial crowds. The highlight of their set was undoubtedly their smash hit, “One More Astronaut,” which garnered a rapturous response from the London crowd. Edwin’s vocals remain as strong as ever, and the band’s performance was a testament to their enduring appeal, leaving their adoring fans yearning for more.

The Tea Party, hailing from LaSalle, Ontario, took the reins as the headliners of the tour. More than 30 years after their eponymous debut album in 1991, they still boast a loyal and dedicated following. They kicked off their set with the powerful “The River” from 1993’s “Splendor Solis.” This tremendous rock anthem set the pace for the evening, with singer Jeff Martin initially shrouded in his signature sunglasses and scarf. However, Martin, known for his enigmatic stage presence, abruptly removed them and declared, “C’mon boys, let’s f****** rock!” The crowd roared in approval as they launched into a blistering guitar jam, accompanied by nimble bassist Stu Chatwood.

Tea Party’s live performances are known for taking their music to another level, with extended songs, guitar solos, and impromptu jams of cover songs woven into their setlist. Throughout the night, the band indulged the crowd with snippets of The Tragically Hip’s “Bobcaygeon,” U2’s “With or Without You,” and during the encore, they delivered electrifying renditions of “Paint it Black” and David Bowie’s “Heroes,” sandwiched between the epic “Sister Awake.”

A standout moment in the show was Jeff Martin’s bow solo, a jaw-dropping guitar solo executed with a violin bow during the mesmerizing “Save Me.” This unique touch underscored the band’s commitment to delivering a one-of-a-kind live experience.

In conclusion, the double dose of 90s Canadian rock offered by I Mother Earth and The Tea Party at London Music Hall was a night to remember. The enduring camaraderie between the two bands, combined with their exceptional musical prowess, ensured that fans were treated to a spectacular evening of music, and a powerful reminder of the timeless allure of Canadian rock from the 90s. The sold-out crowd left the venue with hearts full of nostalgia and an insatiable appetite for more from their beloved heroes.

All photos by Dan Boshart:

Tea Party / I Mother Earth Acoustic Jam

I Mother Earth

The Tea Party

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