Jethro Tull at the Greek

Went to see our old friend Ian Anderson play with the latest edition of Jethro Tull at the Greek Theatre last night.

As you can readily hear, the maestro’s voice is virtually gone and it was nearly cringe-worthy at times, struggling to make notes he once so forcefully belted out.

Still a dynamic and extremely talented musician and songwriter, Ian and the JTs did a retrospective of the many years of Jethro Tull, starting with the seminal first four albums, leading up to the intermission.

During the audio-visual parts of the show, there were tributes by Jeffrey Hammond-Hammond, John Evan, Steve Harris (Iron Maiden), Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath), and others, wishing their “birthday” wishes for the band. Furthermore, Ian reminisced about some former members of the band but sadly neglected to even mention the great Tull guitarist Martin Barre, his partner in crime for over 35 of those 50 years…

After the break, the band played parts of Thick as a Brick, Passion Play, Living in the Past, Heavy Horses, Too Old to RnR, and Minstrel in the Gallery, closing out with their tried and true Aqualung and Locomotive Breath. A highlight for me was their playing of the controversial My God, a song he opened the 1971 Forum show a long time ago.

Not the best Tull I’ve ever heard, especially in comparison to last year’s Jethro Tull: The Opera, which was an absolutely first-rate masterclass in progressive and innovative rock music presentation.

It is always good to see and hear “Aqualung” in action, and he surprised the audience with some fine harmonica playing in addition to his lovely guitar work, not to mention the amazing flute playing for which he is so well-known.

All in all, a decent retrospective by a very good band. For me, though, I really missed the melodic sincerity and whimsical anger in his once dynamic voice, not to mention enjoying Martin Barre’s virtuosity and killer power drummer Doane Perry.

This video piece was from two nights before we saw them.

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