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[personal profile] thewayne
We drove up to Albuquerque yesterday for the show, leaving home at 2pm and getting home about 3am! A long day and lots of driving, but well worth it. We both hate casinos because we both have bad lungs and asthma. The poodle was with us, so Russet gave him a stroll while I went in to the casino and found the theater so we could get to it as rapidly as possible, and that worked well.

Here's the set list: Living in the Past Nothing is Easy Heavy Horses Thick as a Brick Jack-in-the-Green Bourrée Farm on the Freeway Songs from the Wood Pastime with Good Company/Henry VIII Sweet Dream Dharma For One A New Day Yesterday Toccata and Fugue in D Minor ? Aqualung Locomotive Breath

The opening was both awesome and sad: for some reason they pointed Ian's microphone too high, and he was having problems singing in to it, making it sound like he had almost no voice. So that song was almost wasted. But let's face it, much of Tull's music is a third vocals and two thirds instruments. While they were playing Nothing Is Easy, you'd see Ian playing, then on the projection screen behind them, they'd show Ian from the '70s playing the same piece! It was very interesting, seeing the massively shaggy hair, compared to the almost 70 year old almost bald Ian. Same process for Florian, the lead guitarist. Very cool effect.

When they performed Heavy Horses, they synced a projected video performance with Icelander Unnur Birna Björnsdóttir(?), singer and violinist, which was really cool - that's one way to make up for a small stage! Very good use of back projection throughout the show.

Dharma For One was a very funny intro. Ian was talking about how (IIRC) Clive Bunker would go in to this ridiculously long drum solos that would last hours, days, weeks! He then says something about respectfully dedicating this next song to Clive, respectful clapping follows. Ian then says "Oh, he's not dead! He was quite well the last I spoke with him on the phone!" They then go in to play Dharma to give their touring drummer, Scott Hammond, a solo. And he did a very good solo. Which gave the rest of the band five minutes to nip off the stage for a drink and a sit.

Throughout the show, aside from the flute, Ian also played guitar and harmonica. And gamboled around the stage with his left leg bent and keeping time.

Here's what I don't understand. People paid probably $100 or more for a pair of tickets, came in late, and left early. One couple ahead of us the girl wouldn't stop yapping at her man for a song or two. A couple arrived late for the seats next to ours, the guy clearly already drunk and stinking of beer, yelling what an honor it was to see Ian Anderson. Gee, what a respectful way to be honored: showing up late, drunk, and leaving early. Why would you pay $100 to hear five or six songs then leave? I just don't get it. Is it just to be able to say "I saw Tull, dude!"

This is the banner for the tour. It'll probably break eventually as I'm linking it directly from what I thought was the Tull web site, but it's something else.

Left to right that's John O'Hara on keyboards, Scott Hammond on drums, Ian Anderson who plays the flute or something, Florian Ophale on lead guitar, and David Goodier on bass.


In other Ian Anderson news, he has a new album which released in March called Jethro Tull - The String Quartets. He got together with the Carducci String Quartet, conducted by John O'Hara, his keyboardist. It released complete with a factory defect! For some reason on the first pressing the track list on the back of the box does not match what is on the disc, so they slapped a sticker on top of the shrinkwrap, which doesn't do you much good after you remove the shrinkwrap! But once you rip it to MP3 or whatever, you're OK.

The album is quite good, but one track strikes me as kind of odd: Living In The Past. It's already practically a chamber piece: I think it would have been better to put a violin in a high register playing the vocal and put Ian on the flute in to playing trills, I think that would have been more interesting. But what do I know.

Here's the album cover. Definitely recommended.

I expect that eventually there will be an album/DVD released of this tour, which I will probably buy. Saturday night was their third USA stop: Friday night was in Colorado at Red Rock with a full symphony orchestra, and a night or two before was in Utah. If you pull up the tour schedule from the JethroTull.com web site, you'll see that they tour like mad men!

EDIT: for some reason paragraph breaks appeared when I previewed it, but not when I posted it. Odd.
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