View Full Version : Ian Anderson -- Pittsburgh, PA -- October 26th, 2010

10-26-2010, 10:04 PM
Carnegie Library Music Hall Of Homestead
Munhall (Pittsburgh), PA

Jethro Tull, you can say, are one of the many bands that got me into the heavier music. Actually, no. Jethro are just a bit more distinct compared to the others; even more distinct than my at the time off-and-on love for Black Sabbath (which admittedly never kicked in full form until a couple years later), as well as my eventual, obligatory Leadzepplin phase. Upon first hearing songs like "Teacher", "Bungle In The Jungle" and the Aqualung numbers at around age 11-12, I was enamored. However, it wasn't the intriguing, rock-solid (and criminally underrated) Martin Barre contemporary folk acoustic/bluesy electric guitar/rhythm section interplay that forever nabbed my attention. Surprisingly, it wasn't even the extremely amazing and highly original flute playing of Ian Anderson, either. It was, lo and behold, the downright scary, creepy, haunting, and oh so badass singing voice of which Ian Anderson most effectively used on these songs. Of course, the other notions would follow. But, man, that voice; it was like the Dr. Suess storytelling narrator tweaked with lots of Satan. Shortly after this revelation, I also discovered that this man, on many other occasions, could sound beauteously pleasant as well - for instance, "Skating Away (On The Thin Ice Of A New Day)", "Living In The Past", and the 3-minute intro to "Thick As A Brick". A couple years later, in the midst of my Leadzepplin phase, I finally reconnected with what was a short, but firm Jethro Tull phase and began buying their CDs - starting with the Best Of Jethro Tull - Anniversary Collection; a Greatest Hits package, sure, but it had all of the desired tracks, plus many many others. Aqualung, Thick As A Brick, Bursting Out, the Acoustic compilation were all to follow as well.

So, while I'm still very much a neophyte Jethro Tull fan, a million generations removed from expectations, the minute I read that particular bill on the venue's website, there was no holding me back. The second tickets went on sale for this bad boy, I bought the very, very best tickets available, and surely enough, I found myself within the first 2 seats, in front of the stage, in front of Mr. Tull himself, and his magical music. To Pittsburghers, this venue and the somewhat distant Palace Theater of Greensburg are just about identical to eachother; with the Palace Theater holding maybe a bit more in capacity. Nevertheless, it was a dream come true to see Ian Anderson, at age 63, make it to Pittsburgh in some capacity after several years. And in some respects, even moreso than what a full-blown Jethro Tull concert might've been.

Ian Anderson and his band - 100% World Class music. Their set was divided acoustically and electrically, not unlike Neil Young & Crazy Horse's Rust Never Sleeps. The most welcoming image of the evening, was Ian Anderson himself, though very much aged, looking stylish in his black bandana, and black and white vest suit and spending a vast majority of the show shuffling and dancing around, occasionally throwing kicks and hopping around on one foot with his flute, or his acoustic guitar. Pirate? Ninja? Get out! Ian Anderson deserves his own category. The tenacity of which he was able to perform is most worthy of noting here, despite after many decades of performing, and apparently a bout of throat cancer and deep vein thrombosis at one point... His voice, obviously aged since the Bursting Out days, was pleasantly surprising. He sang the songs in a hush, "storytelling" pitch, but it was firm throughout, and his flute-playing as phenomenal and frantic as ever. His sense of humor is impeccable, additionally, taking a jab at the "gloominess of Roger Waters" prior to playing 'Wond'ring Again', heavy metal bands when speaking of his guitar player Florian Opahle, and most other 70s Prog bands from time to time.

Which leads me to Florian Opahle himself. This man is quite simply a beast. He was noticeably the youngest of Ian Anderson's rhythm section. In appearance, he could pass off as the lovechild of Mustaine and Chris Caffery. As Ian Anderson joked when speaking of him, he is a fan of 80s metal (or "mad axe, 80s, MTV, thrashing heavy metal" as Ian Anderson himself put it) at heart, but very much classically trained. So as for his solos, he could easily duke it out with Caffery & Skolnick and et cetera. Now for the setlist!

Life's A Long Song
Up To Me
In The Grip Of Stronger Stuff
Set Aside
Hare In The Wine Cup
Wond'ring Again
Adantino (Florian Opalhe Flamenco Guitar Solo)
Adrift and Dumfounded
Passion Play, Pt. 2: The Story Of The Hare Who Lost His Spectacles (performed w/ Ian wearing spectacles, no less!) :rocker::light::party:
Bach Prelude In C Major / Bouree
New Song (Instrumental)
Thick As A Brick (10-15 minutes) :drool:
Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor (F.O. Electric Guitar Solo)
A Change Of Horses
Aqualung: Jam (Ian teased beginning by humming the 'Smoke On The Water' riff :D) - > Verses/Choruses
Locomotive Breath: Jam -> Verses/Choruses

After the show was finished, I managed to pick up a setlist, but the setlist I received was marked "Ottawa Only" so it's inconsistent to what they played tonight (i.e. 'Bungle In The Jungle' was not played, 'In The Grip Of Stronger Stuff' was played). Not that I'm complaining. ;)


10-27-2010, 12:34 AM

10-27-2010, 07:18 AM
Growing up my brothers got me into Yes, Tull, Crimson and bands like that. Definitely an experience live but I rarely listen to them unless I'm going to an upcoming show. Brings back memories though.

I always scratch my head at the fact that Tull rarely ever plays Cross-Eyed Mary. Anyone have a clue why that is?

10-27-2010, 04:15 PM
I wish I could see this show in Richmond but I doubt I'll have the money.

10-27-2010, 09:01 PM
Life is a long song...man that is cool. I have seen Tull 4 times in the past 25 years, hard to catch them when they don't tour that much. seen great shows and really boring ones. some good stuff at your concert.