Last night Sydney’s State Theatre opened its doors to the abundance of people who bought tickets to see Jethro Tull by Ian Anderson. Throughout the entirety of the performance we seemed to be transported into a Midsummer Night’s Dream-esque vibe through a journey of musical tales of origins of songs with a mix of trippy video projections and old film clips playing behind the band.
While Anderson’s vocals had a lot left to be desired (The struggle to reach notes was evident), he is still a spectacular flautist, often going off on little flute solos at the end of songs. He also hasn’t lost the knack to be able to stand on one leg doing his famous stance. If anything, his sporadic movements and jumping around the stage proved that age hasn’t dampened his ability to be as exuberant as his music. I think he is probably quite mad, to the point of genius. The rabbit hole was something possibly explored back in 1967.
As much as it seems that Anderson has a huge ego with the way he spoke and his seedy joke after seedy joke – he made so much time for his band to be showcased. That deserves a huge amount of respect and wow, what a band. Guitarist Florian Ophale did an amazing rendition of Bach’s Organ Toccata on his Les Paul leaving jaws dropped throughout the venue. Anderson ran out from behind stage after Ophale’s 5 minutes doing the classic “we’re not worthy” from Wayne’s World. Jethro Tull wholey as a band have this special energy about them, its magical.
They played well known Jethro Tull hits such as Thick As A Brick, Sweet Dreams and Fruits of Frankenfield which had the rows of seats jiggling to the amount of people bouncing their heads along to the beat. One of the highlights was honestly a re-imagined baroque piece by Henry VIII entitled Past Time with Good Company.
Aqualung and Locomotive Breath ended the night, a few people not impressed, a whole load in awe. Probably the two blokes rolling a joint in the interval enjoyed it the most.
Jethro Tull was an experience. Nothing less than that. Although a little more Bungle In The Jungle probably wouldn’t have gone a miss.
Jethro Tull by Ian Anderson touring Australia now!
CONCERT HALL, PERTH
TUESDAY APRIL 11
HAMER HALL, ARTS CENTRE MELBOURNE
THURSDAY APRIL 13
STATE THEATRE, SYDNEY
SATURDAY APRIL 15
Also performing at Byron Bay Bluesfest on Sunday April 16.