New Year’s Eve in New York City has a long-running tradition that, were it to be eliminated, would change the entire holiday. No, I’m not talking about the ball dropping in Times Square, although that seems to be fun for the tourists. I’m talking about Gov’t Mule at the Beacon. The Mule always makes sure that the opening slot is worth showing up for, and last Saturday night before the turn of the new year, Tea Leaf Green as the opener was no exception.

Starting with “If It Wasn’t For the Money,” their set was a good blend of their shorter rock songs, with a couple of jamming tunes in-between. The result was a strong set that was a treat for the fans in the audience but accessible to the uninformed. Highlights were “Dragonfly,” with its “Big Bottom” opening, a killer “Baseball Jam” and a rousing “Garden (Part III)” to close the set.

This was my first Tea Leaf Green show with new bassist, Reed Mathis, and I was eager to hear how he would mesh with the original three members. Reed didn’t stand out, in a good way. If you had not known beforehand you would not have thought that he was a newbie, having been with the band for less than two months.

In all, a great set and a fantastic start to a great evening of music. Happy and Healthy 2008 to everyone.

Beacon Theatre, NYC
Opened for Govt Mule

If it wasn’t for the money
Red ribbons
Baseball jam
One reason
Don’t curse the night
Slept through Sunday
Devils pay
Garden III

Photos and writeup courtesy of Paul Kanterman, someone who’s going to start writing a bunch more for LMB in the very near future. Check out his Mountain Jam 2007 review here.