• Christine

Power Trio TR3 Rocks The Ardmore Music Hall!

Updated: Mar 21

When you go to see a TR3 show, it’s very possible you won’t know any of their songs (outside of the couple of covers they tend to throw in). But if you are a fan of great music and amazing musicians, it’s worth the price of admission to see them.


While the majority of the crowd at a TR3 show is there because they know Tim Reynolds – who happens to be the lead guitarist for the Dave Matthews Band – TR3 is nothing like DMB. In fact, if you are expecting to see a DMB type show, you are going to be disappointed.


I’ve seen TR3 several times now, and while I’m not going to go out and buy a CD, it’s always a great live music experience. You can read about the last time I saw TR3 here.


What surprises did TR3 have up their sleeve for this show? Keep reading to find out!


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THE VENUE

The Ardmore Music Hall is in Ardmore, PA. Ardmore is in the western suburbs of Philadelphia, just about 20 minutes outside the city.


The venue was opened in 1980 as 23 East Cabaret. During that time, it hosted shows by then unknown artists such as Dave Matthews Band, Blues Traveler, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Hootie & the Blowfish. In 1995, the venue changed its name to Brownies 23 East. During that period, mostly cover and local bands played the venue, but it did host some nationally known acts such as Cheap Trick and Los Lobos.

Ardmore Music Hall

One of my favorite spots inside The Ardmore Music Hall is up in the balcony. It’s typically not as crowded and you get really cool views!

As of 2013, the venue changed names once again to its current name – The Ardmore Music Hall. The venue is independently owned and operated. Chris Perella and Tom Linquist took over bookings for the venue in 2014, and have focused on diversifying the music and events that are held there.


Tip #1: The venue is not operated by Live Nation, so while there is still a fee on tickets, it’s not as much as Ticketmaster. To avoid the fees completely, buy your tickets at the box office. The box office is open Tuesday through Friday from 12 – 5 p.m., or during all public events. Note that if you go to the box office during the day, simply ring the bell on the front door (along Lancaster Avenue), and someone will be out to let you in.


Tip #2: Ardmore has some great little restaurants in the downtown area, which is where the venue is located. We’ve eaten at El Limon several times, which serves great Mexican food. Ardmore is also home to Tired Hands Brewing Company, which is very popular with the craft beer crowd. If you go to the Tired Hands Fermentaria (they have two locations), it’s directly across the street from the venue. You can park at the Fermentaria (you have to pay the meter until 6 pm on weekdays), and just walk to the venue.


Tip #3: If you don’t have time to go somewhere for dinner before the show, the venue also serves food. They recently partnered with Ripplewood Whiskey & Craft, which is located next door, who curated their new menu for them. We’ve eaten at Ripplewood and their food is delicious, so it would be worth giving it a try!


Tip #4: As mentioned, Ardmore is in the western suburbs of Philadelphia. There is ample parking in the area. Some of the lots are metered, so be sure to read the signs before parking. There is also parking in the SEPTA lot directly behind the venue. The rules changed a while back and you are no longer permitted to park in the SEPTA lot – even after hours. You will be towed! If you are coming from other areas, you can take SEPTA regional rail. The Ardmore station is just 100 feet away.


Tip #5: The venue has a couple different show arrangements – full general admission, full seated, partial seated, etc. Make sure to understand the seating arrangement for the show you are going to, and buy your tickets accordingly. If you have reserved seating tickets, you get earlier entry into the venue as well.


THE SHOW


CHESTNUT GROVE


ABOUT THE ARTIST

Chestnut Grove is a Philadelphia based band made up of Dee, John Tyler, Zach Winkler, Gary Geers, and James Daniels. According to their Facebook page, the band members have all been best friends since high school.


In 2015, they released their first album – Perkiomenville – which was named after the Philadelphia suburb they grew up in. The album was self-produced and was released at a record release show at World Cafe Live.


In 2016, Chestnut Grove released their EP – Let It Down. They toured extensively in the Northeast with artists such as The Hooters.


In May of 2018, the band released their second EP – Black Champagne – with Mad Dragon Records.


THE PERFORMANCE

Chestnut Grove once again proved why you should always go check out the opening act. As the guy standing next to me kept saying (annoyingly) they “killed it” on Saturday night.

Chestnut Grove

Chestnut Grove played an amazing opening set on Saturday night. I loved them!

Chestnut Grove played a one hour set that never slowed down. Their energy – and particularly that of lead singer Dee – was infectious. In fact, the only song that was a little slower was “The Hitchhiker”, which they played early in the set.


Chestnut Grove’s sound ranges from really funky to really rock n’ roll, and I loved all of it. All of the band members are really talented. They rotated through the various instruments on stage throughout the set. In fact, Dee went from guitar to drums to keyboard as the set went along.


One of the things that I loved about this band, was that they really tried to make a personal connection with everyone in the room. We were up on the balcony behind the band, which is where we like to stand both for the view and because it is less crowded up there. Usually we’re ignored by the artist on stage. Not with Chestnut Grove! They acknowledged everyone up on the balcony several times and made eye contact during the show.

Chestnut Grove

Chestnut Grove had great interaction with the crowd during their set.

Chestnut Grove promised they will have new music out in 2020. Personally, I can’t wait to see it and to catch another one of their shows!


You can catch Chestnut Grove at venues around the Northeast. Check out their website for upcoming tour dates.


TR3


ABOUT THE ARTIST

TR3 is made up of Tim Reynolds (guitar, vocals), Mick Vaughn (bass, vocals), and Dan Martier (drums, vocals). Many Dave Matthews Band fans know Tim Reynolds as the lead guitarist for the band. However, Reynolds is also a very successful solo artist, as well as his success with his trio TR3.


Reynolds founded TR3 (Tim Reynolds Trio) in the mid-1980’s in Charlottesville, VA. Throughout the 80’s and 90’s, TR3 toured with various musicians accompanying Reynolds. It was also during this time that Reynolds met Dave Matthews. This was the beginning a long musical collaboration with Matthews – both with his band and as a duo.


In the late ‘90’s Reynolds decided to disband TR3 and pursue a solo career. He moved to Santa Fe, NM and hit the road with his solo guitar shows.


In 2007, Reynolds re-located again to the Outer Banks in North Carolina. It was there that he met Mick Vaughn and Dan Martier. They started making music together, and after a few rehearsals and small performances, Reynolds decided to reform TR3, with Vaughn and Martier making up the rest of the trio.


TR3 has been recording music and touring ever since. Their first studio album – Radiance – was released in 2009, and was nominated for Home Grown Music Network’s Album of the Year. They released their first double live CD – From Space and Beyond – in 2011.


Their album – Like Some Kind of Alien Invasion – was released in October of 2014. Their most recent album – The Sea Versus the Mountain – is out now.


THE PERFORMANCE

TR3 took the stage around 9:30 p.m. and immediately went into one of their hard rocking instrumentals. Those rock instrumental songs are what TR3 is mostly about, so they were prevalent throughout the set.


If you are a Dave Matthews Band fan, you are used to Tim Reynolds being in the background, unless it’s time for one of his guitar solos. Not so with TR3! Reynolds is the front man of the band and it’s fun to see him interact with the crowd and have his personality come out on stage. He even sings!


I’ve seen TR3 a few times now, and this show was definitely my favorite. The guys were on point musically, and I felt like the songs moved more quickly and the set list flowed more.

I was actually surprised at the fairly light crowd. It is the holidays and people get busy, but DMB fans are usually out in full force to see TR3. There were a few of us there, but the room only seemed about half full and it was a pretty laid back crowd.

TR3

The room wasn’t packed, but the fans that were there got a great show!

TR3 mostly plays their original music, but they are usually known to do a few covers too. Saturday night was no exception. The first cover they did was Prince’s “Purple Rain”, with Reynolds on lead vocals as well as the classic guitar solo at the end. The music was great, but Reynolds struggled a bit on the vocals.


The second cover was David Bowie’s “Rebel, Rebel” with Mick Vaughn on lead vocals. That one got the crowd moving and dancing, and was a great way to wrap up the main set.

As mentioned above, one of my favorite parts of seeing a TR3 show is seeing Tim Reynolds’ personality. The best way to describe him is quirky. You often can’t understand what he’s saying in between songs, and even if you could, you might not get what he’s trying to convey anyway.


The day after the show was Reynolds’ birthday, so when TR3 came back out for their encore, they invited everyone to help sing “Happy Birthday” to him. Reynolds responded by going down on the floor and hiding his head, which isn’t completely surprising for a guy that shuns away from attention!

TR3

It’s a lot of fun to see Tim Reynolds as a front man.

The great thing about TR3 is that it’s a group of three guys that love making music together. You can see the love and joy of playing together come through on stage. In fact, we hung out after the show and thanked Mick and Dan (Tim didn’t come out after the show was over). Mick said that they love playing and love Ardmore Music Hall because it’s such a great room for musicians. Well, I hope they come back again soon!

TR3

I love seeing the guys of TR3 perform and just enjoy playing music.

TR3 is wrapping up their fall tour, before Reynolds hits the road again next year with Dave Matthews Band. You can see their remaining tour dates on Tim Reynolds’ website.


Have you seen Tim Reynolds and TR3 before? If so, what did you think? Let us know! Comment below or e-mail me at tips2livebywriter@gmail.com.


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