Friday, 11 July 2014

Jethro Tull, 2nd March 2006 – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

This was the first time I had seen them and it was their anniversary Aqualung tour, which meant that they played every song of that classic album as part of the gig (35 years?!) plus a few additional songs along the way. Highlights include “Living in the Past,” “Mother Goose” and “Life’s a Long Song.” 

Ian Andersen is a highly engaging and witty frontman who takes the time to introduce each song and provide some context. He’s also a versatile flautist and guitarist who improvises well off some excellent musicians – this is how he compensates for the clear degeneration of his vocal chords (you can tell he visibly struggles to reach certain notes and the effortless strength of the seventies is long gone). I recall a very jazzy/bluesy piano solo at the start of "Locomotive Breath" and a crescendo of huge balloons raining down at the encore.

Once again, the Symphony Hall provided a perfect balance of comfort and sound

9.5 out of 10 (a rendition of "Minstrel in the Gallery" would have resulted in full marks)

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