Jethro Tull – Ian Anderson

Ian Anderson Presents: Jethro Tull — 50th Anniversary Tour

Ian Anderson Presents: Jethro Tull 50th Anniversary Tour

Toyota Oakdale Theater – Wallingford, CT
September 12, 2018

Ian Anderson brought his band to the Oakdale Theater on September 12th to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Jethro Tull.
The 70 year old Anderson proclaimed his surprise that the years had flown by so quickly. Even at this age he is still fit on his feet and cavorted the stage with his signature foot raised moves while playing the flute.
It was 1968 at the Marquee Club in that Jethro Tull launched itself into history with the progressive sound and being the only band with a flutist frontman. Anderson is not only adept with flute but also on harmonica as well as singing lead for the band.
Ian Anderson was joined onstage by Jethro Tull band musicians David Goodier on bass , Florian Opahle on guitar, John O’Hara on keyboards and Scott Hammond on drums.
They divided the show into two sets with a short intermission. The first set was the early years of the bands cuts and started of with “My Sunday Feeling” off the album “This Was” from 1968. They progressed through songs of the early years and cuts off albums that were released into the 70’s.
The show had a backing of video from concerts back in the 60’s and early 70’s behind the band. There were also small clips from former band members and notable fans of Jethro Tull played between songs. Notably though that with all of the clips praising Anderson and the band there was not a clip from Martin Barre. He was perhaps the most well know member by the public and fans next to Ian Anderson. Barre contributed much to the band and its legacy and it was too bad he was not a part of this 50th year recognition.
There were clips from Steve Harris of Iron Maiden and Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott. Even Joe Bonamassa who recorded the song “A New Day Yesterday” on his debut studio album in 2000 joined in to wish the band well in the 50th year.
With the intro to “My God” off the 1971 “Aqualung” album Anderson stated that he was criticized and called blasphemous when performing the song in the deep south bible belt. He reasoned the song was misunderstood and it was not his intent.
The second set included ironically the song “Too Old to Rock ‘n’ Roll, Too Young to Die,” which at the time written was comical and seemed to make fun of old rockers. It drew laughter from the audience, many who have followed Jethro Tull’s music since the early days.
As most bands do they saved the biggest hits for last and had the audience cheering when they started the always looked for “Aqualung.” The animated Anderson was still full of energy and finished off on a great note.
The encore was “Locomotive Breath” and the crowd was not dissapointed as the band chugged into the night and the crowd was the all time winner. There were a couple of songs I would have liked for them to have included that they didn’t such as “Bungle in the Jungle” and “Living in the Past,” but with their large collection to select from they can’t all always be played in a couple of hours. Maybe next time.
Anderson still has boundless energy and stage presence throughout the show.  Like all of the 60’s bands each year of touring is a gift. Still on their game and a great concert to see if you get the chance.
Review by Donna Erichsen
Photos by George Bekris
Set 1:
My Sunday Feeling
Love Story
A Song for Jeffrey
Some Day the Sun Won’t Shine for You
Dharma for One
A New Day Yesterday
Bourrée in E minor
My God
Thick as a Brick
Set 2:
A Passion Play
Too Old to Rock ‘n’ Roll, Too Young to Die
Songs From the Wood
Ring Out, Solstice Bells
Heavy Horses
Pastime With Good Company (King Henry VIII of England cover)
Farm on the Freeway
Locomotive Breath



Ian Anderson

From the rock opera "Jethro Tull"
Ian Anderson

Ian Anderson

Fox Theater, Mashantucket, CT
November 8, 2015
Ian Anderson’s Jethro Tull: The Rock Opera is not just another concert. It’s the story of Jethro Tull, an 18th Century agriculturist, as seen through Ian Anderson’s eyes and imagination. The whole concept of a rock opera is not often done, but when pulled off right it’s a night not to be missed. Ian Anderson has spent decades fluting his way around the stage as one of the most recognizable front men in rock. Who else is instantly associated with standing on one leg, like the Pied Piper of rock, with flute in hand? His opera consists of many songs we are familiar with mixed with 5 new songs and narration from the projected video of virtual guests on the back screen to tell the story of Jethro Tull. It was an entertaining mix of the English countryside, fields of grain, and other interesting imagery along with wailing guitar and Anderson owning the stage.
Most of the band members were considerably younger than Anderson’s age of 68, but you didn’t notice the gap as he cavorts about the stage shifting from flute to mandolin and on to harmonica. They played 2 sets with a short intermission and it was pure energy the entire time. After many years of singing Anderson’s voice is a bit raspier, but he hasn’t lost his bounce or swagger.
The stage band consisted of John O’Hara on keyboard, Florian Opahle, who played particularly well on lead guitar, Grieg Robinson on bass and Scott Hammond on drums. The virtual guests were Unmur Birna Björnsdóttir playing Tull’s wife. She added clean and frankly beautiful note to production as her voice pierced the theater and took it that next level. The virtual young Tull was played by Ryan O’Donnell, who also used to tour with Anderson a couple of years ago.
They started off with “Heavy Horses”, followed by “Wind-up”. Then came “Aqualung” with cheers from the crowd for Florian’s guitar playing on that oh so familiar song. “With You There to Help Me” and “Back to the Family” were next. “Farm on the Freeway” was backed by scenes of farmland being pushed out by loaded freeways clogged with streams of cars. Anderson new song “Prosperous Pasture” was followed by the heavy beats of “Fruits of Frankenfield”. He then ended set one with the well know and more folkish “Songs From the Wood ”
The band resumed the opera with set two and “And the World Feeds Me” and ” Living in the Past” always well received. Next came “Jack-in-the-Green” and “The Witch’s Promise”. The set continued with new songs “Weathercock” and “Stick, Twist, Bust”, which was a new song . Anderson and the band followed with “Cheap Day Return”, “A New Day Yesterday” and “The Turnstile Gate” another of his new tunes.
It only took the first few notes of the closing set and opera song on the keyboard by John O’Hara for the audience to know “Locomotive Breath” was coming down the track and many rose from their seats singing along to the steady pounding beat and “No way to slow down”.
The final song and encore of the evening was “Requiem and Fugue”.
Well done and very entertaining night. If you get a chance to take it in don’t hesitate, even if you have seen Anderson perform many times. This rock opera rounds out a long career wonderfully.
Review by Donna Erichsen
Photos by George Bekris

Set list :
Heavy Horses
With You There to Help Me
Back to the Family
Farm on the Freeway
Prosperous Pasture Anderson
Fruits of Frankenfield Anderson
Songs From the Wood
And the World Feeds Me
Living in the Past
The Witch’s Promise
Stick, Twist, Bust
Cheap Day Return
A New Day Yesterday
The Turnstile Gate
Locomotive Breath
Requiem and Fugue
(with Bourée snippet)