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Author Topic: REVIEW: Jethro Tull, Blackpool Opera House  (Read 30777 times)
Matthew
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« on: March 06, 2006, 09:47:39 AM »

Last night (5th March), was a great night for us.  We'd booked tickets for Jethro Tull's Blackpool concert (Ian Andersons 'homecoming') several months ago and, having seen them a couple of years ago in Liverpool, were anticipating something good.  What we got was far more than good - it completely blew us away and, I think, the rest of the audience.

This is billed as the 'Aqualung' tour, off the back of the band's excellent live re-recording of that classic album for XFM which was released on CD last year.  Consequently everything from that album was played during the concert, although not in album order and dispersed amongst lots of other wonderful Tull music.  The first half was very acoustic, including a brilliant 'Living In The Past' and 'Bouree'.  There was a lot of classical influence during this half, bolstered by the appearance of a young classical violinist - a Juillard School graduate.  Anderson's latest 're-composition', a play on themes by Mozart, was extraordinary and showed off the virtuosity  not only of Anderson, but also the entire band.

The second half saw a huge upward move in terms of visceral impact, starting with two pieces from Lucia Marcielli's album (she was the violinist), backed by the Tull in steaming form, and then progressing to a whole trench of great, heavy Tull.  Aqualung tracks like 'Hymn 43' sounded better than ever and the concert just got better and better.  'Aqualung' itself exploded on to the stage with incredible impact, Martin Barre being in particularly savage mood on this song and Ian Anderson's voice being very much on top form.  'Budapest' was atmospheric and full of incredible instrumental improvisation, and the encore was something else again.  The band came back on stage to play 'Wind Up' which was then followed by that unmistakable piano intro (played brilliantly) which lead into the best performance (studio or live) of Locomotive Breath I have ever heard.

Last night, Tull represented the absolute pinnacle of British music making.  The sound was the best live sound I have ever heard, the professionalism of the band was incredible (despite it being the fifth night on the run they had performed), every performer on the stage was at the height of their virtuosity, and the whole thing communicated a joy and passion for music making that is rarely seen.  By the end of the concert members of the audience were up and dancing to 'Locomotive Breath' and the band finally left the stage to massive applause from an audience that had been gripped from the very first note.

This was far better than the Liverpool gig I saw a couple of years ago.  The venue was far superior for a start and the band have stepped up another class altogether.  Last night, no other band in the world could possibly have bettered Jethro Tull.

Top class musicians, a superb catalogue of songs, a great venue, excellent sound and a very appreciative audience.  Quite simply the best concert I have ever seen (and I've seen a lot). On the basis of last night's audience, I reckon the tour has sold very well, but if you can still get hold of a ticket I would heartily recommend it as a life changing experience.

Regards
Matt
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« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2006, 12:57:02 PM »

I was at the Manchester Apollo the night before and can only agree with everything Matt has written about the 2006 version of Tull, particularly the "get a ticket if you still can" bit.  I've seen Tull a number of times and it's a while since I've seen them in such a rich vein of form, Mr Anderson was particularly scintillating both musically & also with his between songs banter.  Wink

Sir Bob, I was very disappointed by Tull's Cropredy performance but all I can say is don't give up on them just yet!

Cheers
Dunc
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« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2006, 06:08:45 PM »

Just a cheeky  Yank taking particular delight in saying I told you so re this particular Tull edition. In seeing every Tull tour since 5/72 there have been numerous times I've been disapointed at least in small part, and for various reasons, for instance in the seventies you  would never see them passed 72 in an arena intentded for music, like smaller than 20000, and frequently the sound would suffer badly. I've always maintained a belief in their overall credibility, never  considering missing a tour. Would love to see music recuced to sport, complete with final scores, with Tull at the top of their game versus anyone else currently residing in the Hall  of Fame, in particular Led Zeppelin, Sex Pistols, Bruce Springsteen, Velvet Underground (Ithink they're in there), and Elvis Costello.  Notably not mentioned, Beatles, Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix and Miles Davis. Not that the Tull wouldn't hold their own, merely out of a depth of respect lacking in varying degrees to the other "notables." I would have given Ian points re Croperdy from reference to a comment I saw on here where someone in the crowd shouted Orion! re the Tull song to which Ian excitedly responded "Where?" Sort of like their worst albums always have at least one excellent song on there to maintain the belief of their faithful. Here, Here!
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« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2006, 08:40:54 PM »

Always been a Tull fan myself; their Cropredy performance was not that bad- was spoilt by poor sound and a strange fondness for wanting to play "medleys" rather than the full versions of the somgs themselves. On the positive side, many much younger people than me in the crowd that night, seemed to really enjoy them, as did I. Was not planning on seeing them on this current tour, but now you got me thinking....
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johanna/ulla
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« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2006, 11:08:30 AM »

Was not planning on seeing them on this current tour, but now you got me thinking....

Before you try to get a ticket for a more or less sold out tour, read some other reviews on the Tull´s official site www.j-tull.com
In the forum you can see that not everybody is happy with the current tour, especially with violinist Lucia.
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Matthew
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« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2006, 01:32:09 PM »

Was not planning on seeing them on this current tour, but now you got me thinking....

Before you try to get a ticket for a more or less sold out tour, read some other reviews on the Tull´s official site www.j-tull.com
In the forum you can see that not everybody is happy with the current tour, especially with violinist Lucia.

I'm probably being thick but can't find reviews of the tour on j-tull.com and its a site I check quite a lot!

I can see how Lucia the violinist might not be popular with those Tull fans who fall very definitely on the heavier side.  Her guest appearance with the band has prompted a new injection of interest in the band's classical influences and, I must admit, even for a classical musician (which I basically am), hearing JUST the violin part of the Sibelius Violin Concerto without accompaniment and over-played (as Lucia blatantly does) is a bit testing.  The work's success really depends on the interplay between soloist and orchestra..... listen to someone like Isaac Stern playing it...  That Lucia does seem a bit full of herself and I don't think she would last 5 minutes in a concert hall with a full orchestra and the critics of Gramophone magazine or such like!

However, this aside, I still stand by what I said before.  I think a band like Tull are bound to draw differing views from different fans at different times and making the first half of the concert mainly acoustic and so classical and folk influence dominated was a very brave thing to do.  For me (and my family) it paid off in dividends and only served to make the contrasting second half even more exciting and thrilling.  But hey, if we all thought the same it would be a boring world indeed!  I guess the only way to really find out, is to see for yourself...
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« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2006, 01:47:56 PM »


 No reviews, and the board is closed to new users   fair enough  Lord Fruitcake  I,ll save my money this time round  Sad Sad

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« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2006, 05:18:48 PM »

bought our tickets for monday 13th at Brighton ages ago, thank goodness. Anyone else going?
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« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2006, 01:27:51 AM »

Go Tull Go. Git all  live on they ass. HURRAH!
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« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2006, 10:37:27 AM »

Off to Shepherds Bush tonight. Grin

Really looking forwards to it: I've only ever seen Tull live once previously (Croppers) and I thought they were rather good there and why I fancied tonight's excursion.

The Empire is, I think, one of the best venues in London so I've got high hopes of a great evening.

(And I get to drink some great Aussie beer - and no; that is not a contradictory statement -  beforehand!)
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« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2006, 05:13:15 PM »

Off to the anvil on Sunday, and looking forward to it.  Saw them year before last at Cropreddy and on the Broadsword and Beast tour.
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« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2006, 08:47:43 AM »

Hope you had a good time at the Tull gig last night John, I agree with you the Empire is a terrific venue.
I'm going this evening, I've arranged to meet Aldo and Maurizia from "Itullians" (the Italian Tull fanclub) outside at 7pm. so if anyone would care to join us for a beer !
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« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2006, 03:05:05 PM »

hope you have a great time tonight Martin, will be thinking of you. say Hi to Aldo and Maurizia from us, if they remember us! our turn Monday.
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« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2006, 01:58:30 AM »

Hi Angela,  You are in for a treat on Monday, this was the best Tull show I have seen for a while and I've seen a few. I would encourage anyone without a ticket, to get one anyway they can.
The young female violinist Lucia has not been universally welcomed by all but in Shepherds Bush she was well received by an appreciative audience. In my view she added to the musical content in a positive way for the most part and she leads the band with a couple of pieces of classic rock music you wouldn't usually associate with JT.
Another big day tomorrow, heading down to Cheltenham for Steve Ashley's birthday bash, hope to see some of you there.....it should be fun.

and now to bed  Kiss  Sleepy
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« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2006, 06:20:28 PM »

Tull at the Anvil last night was great. Were they better than or not as good as the night before or the day before that, I dont care. 

The violinist  Lucia was very good, again I know nothing about playing the violin, but it sounded good to me.  Kashmir by Zed Leppelin was a surprise, but very well played.  I know what I like and I liked the whole show, and  I will be looking out for the next tour.

 
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« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2006, 09:05:21 PM »

Me and the wife went to Brighton last night. This was make or break for us and Tull. I must have seen them around 50 times since 1977, and been a fan since '73. 1978 was the best (buy Bursting Out to see why) but they've all been good to brilliant, 'till recently. We all know about Ian's voice and it's been a bit up and down since his problems in '84, but not enough to spoil the overall effect. However, recently (and culminating in Croppers '04) what with medlies(?) and some iffy recent albums we thought long and hard about going to Brighton.
But...I can state catagorically that last night was the best I've ever seen them apart from the 1978 tour. Lucia Micarelli may not be going down well in some quarters (very surprised to hear that BTW) but we all loved her in Brighton. She seems to have sparked a new lease of life into the old boys. I. A. was on form, cracking jokes (can't get the image of Sir Cliff in his pants out of my mind, yuk), Andy Giddings VERY impressive, Martin back to his old self and Doane giving it so much welly in the second half I thought his trusty Premier was going to come to bits. Even Jon smiled, once. Loved the Moe's Art, huge laughter all 'round at Bohemian Rhapsody (no, really) and all the best bits from the Tull back catalogue, with no excess fat as there has been in recent years.
Accept no substitue, they are on FIRE. 
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Col
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« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2006, 04:16:48 PM »

Both nights at Shepherds Bush were teriffic. Great to see a rejuvinated Tull at last! I thought Lucia's parts worked really well. Did anyone take any photos from this tour BTW? My camera was in the repair shop so I didn't get any. I have a new Tull forum at http://jethrotull.proboards61.com/index.cgi so if anyone would be gracious enogh to share any pics they took I would be more than grateful  Grin

Hello everyone BTW  Wink
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jude
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« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2006, 05:08:45 PM »

Well, hello to you Col, and Nick the Stick

hang around and have a natter and a cup or glass of something virtual

Jude Cheesy
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« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2006, 07:20:02 PM »

Why thank you very much. I'll take you up on the natter but if you don't mind I'll have a big glass of something literal instead (so excuse me if the typing goes a bit wonky  Grin )
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« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2006, 07:27:24 PM »

Col

If you have a look at the Welcome To new Members section (at the top of the board), in the Please read this first......bit, you will find out how to become unanonymoused, and then........

You can ask to come in the Corporation Arms, where things can (and do) get very silly

Jude - one of the new members welcomers and assistant-ers Cheesy
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