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.
Labels: Jethro Tull