The Greek Theater
Los Angeles, California
August 17, 2008
Celebrating 40 years of rock music, Los Angeles was bestowed the pleasure of hosting the legendary band Jethro Tull. The sun came down over the Greek Theater on another perfect summer weekend and the audience joined in celebrating the release of their first album produced in 1968, entitled This Was. Revisiting the first ten years of music (1968-1975) it was a walk down memory lane.
Nostalgic images projected on to the back of the Greek as the band took the stage. Dave Goodier, Doane Perry, John O’Hara, and Martin Barre (who joined Tull in ‘68) joined original member and front man Ian Anderson, opening the show with the jazzy rock infused “My Sunday Feeling.”
Some say Anderson’s vocals are weathered, but the evening was proof that his strength and control are still prevalent. His charisma filled the stage and it became apparent that Anderson and his flute still command and captivate audiences.
Ian Anderson is a rock and roll conductor, moving through layers of masterfully orchestrated music. Conducting the trills of his flute, driving guitar lines, folk accordion rhythms, or a glockenspiel with the flick of his wind instrument. Anderson leads us through the colorful styles and sounds of Jethro Tull and we follow him like the Pied Piper.
As the show progressed, Anderson dedicated “Nursie” to Jeffrey Hammond, Tull’s former bassist from ‘71- 76. Segueing into an impressively rockin’ “Too Old to Rock ‘N Roll” he reminded the audience that a certain someone was turning 65 and that, “Mick Jagger is certainly not too old to rock and roll.”
Before performing “We Used to Know,” Anderson shared with us some possible bitter memories when he spoke about how a hit song created by The Eagles was most likely inspired by a tour in the Seventies when they were the opening act for Jethro Tull.
Allowing us to follow, the Pied Piper’s song took us farther through Jethro Tull’s musical history by captivating the crowd with “Aqualung” as it resonated through the Greek to close the concert.
Of course, what would a true rock show be without an encore? Answering the crowd, Tull took the stage one last time. John O’ Hara tickled the ivories with a bluesy Mozart-esque introduction before they pleased their audience with “Locomotive Breath.”
From folk to British Rock to psychedelic dark art-rock, Jethro Tull weaves together a composition of great fusion. One may think that after 40 years of making music, touring, and producing close to 25 albums the band would give it a rest.
But under the direction of Ian Anderson it seems that the music will continue, and the fans will be more than willing to follow.