The world of arena-sized, grandiose rock music took a major hit when the Tea Party called it quits back in 2005.

From the outside, there seemed to be no logical reason for the split – the group (guitarist/vocalist Jeff Martin, bassist/keyboardist Stuart Chatwood, drummer/percussionist Jeff Burrows) appeared to be at the peak of its powers; the well of creative ideas seemed to be far from dry; and its popularity looked to be expanding.

Martin, who now makes his home in Australia, where he presides over a high-profile solo career, reteamed with his bandmates a few years back for some touring, and for the past two years, the Tea Party has made the Buffalo area a summer tour stop. This year is a bigger deal than ever, because when the band plays the Niagara River Rocks Series at Gratwick Riverside Park in North Tonawanda at 5 p.m. Sunday, the Tea Party will be taking a break from sessions for its new album, due in early 2014. I assume I’m not alone in feeling that the timing is perfect, for we could certainly use some dramatic, virtuosic and dynamic rock music of the sort Martin & Co. have always made right about now.

American Authors opens. The show is free; VIP passes allowing special access are $25.50 (

– Jeff Miers