Friday, October 12, 2007


Rock Concert Review

Went with Kit to Jethro Tull at the Temple Buell Theater downtown in an 'arts' complex. This is about the 6th or 7th time I've been to Tull who has over the years been awful to great. Usually the quality of the concert depended on Ian Anderson's voice. It still does. Indeed, except possibly for guitarist Martin Barre, Ian Anderson (on the left) who turned 60 in August is Jethro Tull. So the two sets with no opening act started just a few minutes late with the great blues number from the first album. Anderson is playing good blues harmonica and singing OK with just Martin Barre on guitar next to him. And then the whole band shows up and they start into a very tight and lovely sounding Living in the Past, and I'm thinking OK until Anderson sings again and his voice is just gone--every third word is a phantom. Aw, man. How can he have such a great speaking voice and a singing voice with all the power of a hamster wheel? On the upside, he's in shape and can do all the stupid leg lifts and things he does when he plays the flute in his unconventional manner.

Still, there were a few songs where they were cooking and the lack of a powerful voice didn't take away a thing. One highlight was My God, which is still powerful and another was Nothing is Easy from the great second album Stand Up. Fat Man is still fun even though Anderson admitted that if they wrote it now it would have to be "Don't Want to be a Clinically Obese Person." They did a great Velvet Green, and even did a creditable Reader's Digest version of Thick as a Brick. Then the night went seriously downhill with an awful (full of flute solo) version of Aqualung and they finished the set, pre-single-song-encore, with the execrable (Hot Night in) Budapest (at least they didn't do the equally awful Farm on the Freeway). The encore was a spirited but ultimately empty Locomotive Breath. That may have been the end of my Tull groupiness. On the whole, it's been a pretty good multi decade run; but all good things must come to an end.


Does this go in the category of "nostalgia isn't what it used to be"?

I was tempted to see Deep Purple a while back. But then I checked out some recent vids on YouTube. Ian Gillian's voice has lost a lot over the years. And without Ritchie Blackmore and John Lord, it just wouldn't have sounded like Deep Purple.

Nothing against Steve Morse, but he's no Blackmore.

So, I skipped it. I'd rather just put on "Made in Japan" and crank the stereo. Costs a lot less too.
Agreed. My definition of a nostalgia tour is: 1) No hit CD in 10 years; and 2) No real effect on modern music. I get what you say but I don't want to completely turn my back on modern music either. It all sounds bad to me but maybe I'm not listening to the right people. My kids, however, are only of limited help here.
I listen to a variety of new stuff, though I don't pursue it with any energy. My tastes are pretty broad. I can enjoy Flyleaf, 3 Days Grace, and Kenny Wayne Shepard. If you listen to 102.3 -- KCUV, you'll hear quite a variety, and some decent new stuff. Speaking of nostalgia, they played a cover of "Young Blood", by Flash Cadillac. That was fun.
Bletch. Previous comment by me.

You'd think Google labs could come up with a more well-designed comment form.
I have 102.3 on my fav list on the radio but every so often they play a whole hour of soft country rock. So much for the eclectic programming. Thanks for the comment, I'm a fan of KWS but I'll check out Flyleaf and 3 Days Grace just in case they're good.
Jed, thanks too for the comments and I passed on Deep Purple as well. Lazy remains a favorite of mine.
Well, be forewarned that Flyleaf and 3 Days Grace are metal bands. There's certainly some metal that I don't care for.

Easiest way to check out Flyleaf is to search YouTube for "Fully Alive".

With radio, you get you get. I'm sometimes tempted to try satellite radio. A couple folks I know have it and love it.
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