Ian Anderson Delights Providence!
I saw the band perform last year during their ‘Thick as a Brick and Thick as a Brick 2’ tour and was interested to see if my perception of Ian changed after interviewing him.
I can answer that with a positive and unequivocal ‘Yes!’ Speaking with him and getting to know something about him on a personal level caused me to love this show much more than I enjoyed the show last year (and I thoroughly enjoyed that show).
This tour is the ‘Homo Erraticus and the Best of Tull’ tour; ‘Homo Erraticus’ is Ian’s latest album which was released earlier this year, and the Best of Tull speaks for itself. The first set consisted of the new album played straight through, and a couple of Best of songs. ‘Homo Erraticus’ was written to tell a story which you can read about here.
As the lights were dimmed, a short video was projected onto the back of the stage, with members of the band as the ‘actors’ in what appeared to be a hospital in the Swiss Alps. The members of the band came to the stage dressed as their characters; they mostly wore their costumes through the first set.
The members of the band are Florian Opahle on guitar, David Goodier on bass, John O’Hara on keyboard and accordion, Scott Hammond on drums, and Ryan O’Donnell on vocals and ‘stage antics’.
As soon as Ian entered the stage, he lifted the flute to his mouth and posed in his trademark one-legged stance; the crowd roared! As I mentioned, this first set was ‘Homo Erraticus’ played from beginning to end. The more I listen to this album, the more I love it and seeing it performed helps increase the love. The music is more like Ian’s early music with more of a blues base.
I sensed that most of the audience was there to hear the ‘Best of Tull’ material, and I doubt anyone was disappointed. The first set (here’s the setlist) ended with two ‘Best of’ numbers; the first was one of my favorite early songs, ‘Bourée’, which was followed by an extended version of ‘Thick as a Brick’.
The second set contained songs ranging from albums released in the early 1970s to the mid 1980s. Wisely (in my opinion), Ian stuck to mostly well-known songs because that’s what his fans want to hear.
I loved the production which I thought was spot on and not over-produced. There was video on the backdrop running for most if not all of the show, which was choreographed with the songs. Preceding each song of the ‘Best of’ portion of the show was a date stamp; very clever!
Ian, as I experienced when I interviewed him, thinks quickly; when people in the front row got up and left before the first set ended, he quipped that even an old man like he can hold his wee and those people are youngsters!
The band is very tight and each member works well with Ian. It’s hard to believe they only started playing together in 2012. Ryan especially adds a lot to the show; he sounds almost exactly like Ian did in the 70s, and when they harmonize it’s close to perfection.
As Ian said to me, this is a ‘job of work’ and it’s a job he does so well. I look forward to seeing him on his next tour which should arrive after he releases the album that he will start to write on January 1, 2015!
Ticket courtesy of Ian Anderson; all opinions are my own.
Posted on October 31, 2014, in concert reviews, music, Uncategorized and tagged Best of Tull, concert review, David Goodier, Florian Opahle, Homo Erraticus, Ian Anderson, Jethro Tull, John O'Hara, music, progressive rock, Providence Performing Arts Center, Ryan O'Donnell, Scott Hammond. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.