Fabulous Ian Anderson Concert!


I had no idea what to expect from Ian Anderson, the front man of Jethro Tull, a band I loved as a teenager but had never seen live. I was quite excited to see this show, in which the band was performing the original Thick as a Brick album for the first set and Thick as a Brick 2, released in 2012, for the second set. I wasn’t disappointed in the least.

Prior to the dimming of the house lights, roadies/men in trench coats swept the stage and ensured that the stage was just so, in what turned out to be the start of the show. I thought it was a clever way to get the audience to settle into our seats. After they took a bow, the band took the stage.

The trench coat look (c) Photo by MARTIN WEBB

The trench coat look (c) Photo by MARTIN WEBB

Thick as a Brick is one of Jethro Tull’s best-known albums, originally released in 1972.  In 2012, coinciding with the 40th anniversary of the original album, Ian released Thick as a Brick 2.  I had never heard the follow-up album.

From the moment Ian took the stage, he owned the audience. We were there to see him, and he gave us everything we wanted and more.

The first set was the original album which was very familiar to me. Ian’s flute and guitar work sounded the same to my ears as it had on the forty year old recording. There were times when I closed my eyes and was 17 years old, listening to the album for the first time. I didn’t close my eyes for long, because Ian’s expressions are amazing. It was very frustrating not to be able to take photographs because I was close to the stage and could have easily captured his wide-eyed expressions and his one-legged stance.

Ian and Ryan--leg up Berlin 2012 (8) Photo by MARTIN WEBB

Ian and Ryan–leg up (c) Photo by MARTIN WEBB

The album is almost like one long song and it was played that way, without few breaks between songs. I don’t know how much improvisation they did, but it seemed like they didn’t play the album exactly as it had been recorded. That’s a good thing to this reviewer – if I wanted to hear a carbon copy of a recorded song, I’d listen to the recording.

After a break, the band took the stage to perform Thick as a Brick 2, but treated us to a public service announcement on the dangers of prostate cancer. It was clever but meaningful. The follow-up album is excellent too. It has a very similar sound to the original, yet it’s different. I liked it and will be adding it to my CD collection. Yes, I buy CDs.

Ian wisely has Ryan O’Donnell in the band, who supplements Ian’s voice or takes the lead when necessary.  The rest of the band is also terrific – Florian Opahle on guitar; John O’Hara on keyboard, piano and accordion; David Goodier on bass; and Scott Hammond on drums. There is a lot of chemistry among these musicians. They clearly love performing with one another. I thought the chemistry between Ian and Florian was especially palpable. Ryan’s stage antics are fun to watch, and he too had wide-eyed expressions.

The encore was “Locomotive Breath” which was a very fitting finale to an incredible show. This will easily make it into my top ten shows of 2013 (considering I’ll end up seeing around 120 shows this year, that’s saying something).

Many thanks to Leighton Media for use of the photographs.

Ian and Florian (c) Photo by MARTIN WEBB

Ian and Florian (c) Photo by MARTIN WEBB

Ian and Florian (c) Photo by MARTIN WEBB

Ian and Florian (c) Photo by MARTIN WEBB

Ian and Florian (c) Photo by MARTIN WEBB

Ian and Florian (c) Photo by MARTIN WEBB

About suze72

I've loved the arts all my life... I go to a lot of concerts, take lots of photos and want to share them. Every once in a while I do something other than a concert, too. The Boston area is full of opportunities to indulge my passion - I'd like to help make it yours too!

Posted on October 14, 2013, in concert reviews, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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