Afgelopen december was het eindelijk zover. Ian Anderson trad weer eens op in Nederland. Ik heb over dat concert (want dat was het echt!) een recensie geschreven voor een mailinglist van Jethro Tullfans waar ik al enkele jaren lid van ben. Het is in mijn beste steenkolenengels, maar dat houdt het wel oorspronkelijk. Als ik het zou vertalen, ga ik toch weer verbeteringen aanbrengen. Dus hierbij integraal, met fouten en al, mijn belevenissen van die avond.
Fellow Tullians, read and weep!
Last tuesday my wife and I (and some 2000 other fans) went to the Heineken Music Hall to watch Ian Anderson and his orchestral band, and orchestra AND Lucia Micarelli! It wasn't announced that she would be part of the concert. Of course I was thrilled when I heard her being announced since the stories and pictures from the American tour of Jethro Tull. A barefooted young goddess playing some awesome violin. I went there with no particular idea of what I could expect. Of course there was Ian Anderson playing Tull songs with an orchestra. I saw the DVD of a similar concert a few times and thought I was prepared. Far from it. It turned out to be an evening to remember forever. It is hard for me to find the words to describe the emotions that got a grip on me during the concert. Especially since English is not my native tongue. It was so different to what I "thought" it would be, and me not having a clear picture beforehand makes that sentence even weirder than it is already. So it was not what I did not expect... huh? Never mind.
Ian and the band started of with Eurology followed by Living in the Past. Then the orchestra joined on stage. Forst song with orchestra, Life is a long song. Hearing that song with the orginal string arrangements was a thrilling experience. And since there were no very high notes even the singing sounded acceptable. After that Grimmelli's Lament. That was the song that woke me up somehow. This is not Jethro Tull playing. Somehow that image had planted itselfs in my head. It will an evening of Jethro Tull with an orchestra. Nope. Wrong. This are songs of a magnificent composer, some of which are finally performed as they should have in the first place. Awakening from that dream Ian announced Lucia. BIG SUPRISE! I was very curious about her input an stage dynamics. And I must admit that some of you have painted a good portrait of that! FIRE ON STAGE. Does she love to play the violin and is she eager to get the energy through to the audience!! It was the Love theme from the Godfather that she played first.
This concert was making some strange turns now! Semi classical. Followed by an excerpt of a violin concerto of Sibelius. Totally classical! Lucia called that piece Aurora. Great stuff... Then to make a U turn, Wond'ring aloud. Totally Ian. Then Moz'art, a congestion of Mozart themes and tunes. Imagine... A stunning violin player, a great flute player... a symphony orchestra en some boys playing electrical instruments. And that force plays together like rock. But no rock played... This set ended with Cheap Day Return, Mother Goose (with hobo, bassoon and violin), God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, and finally, to my surprise, a very large excerpt from Thick as a Brick.
Long time ago when I last heard those tunes and lyrics again. I have to admit that Ian had better not sing all of that... his voice cannot catch the right rythm that belongs to those lyrics any more. Pity but true. Then a break. A break? Yes a break! Cannot remember ever in the 30 years of Tull concerts to have had a real break... But I am starting to forget things! Bars opened, the smokers rushed out for their kicks, and we lamented some wondering what we were witnessing that evening. Ploughing back through the curtains of smoke in the corridors we returned for the second set. This turned out to be a more "rock"-set. Started off with In A Black Box followd by the beautiful She's Like A Swallow. Very touching song, performed brilliantly by violin and flute. Top of the bill. Great basslines from the bass and chello players in the orchestra.
Lucia , Tull and orchestra playing Cashmir somewhere in the US.
Then the beautiful new arrangements of Aqualung. Followed by Cashmir. Let me tell you folks, that sounds even better with an orchestra! That rocked! My God, Bouree, Budapest and the encore with Locomotive Breath ended a great evening. I am still trying to grasp what I experienced that evening even though it has been some nights ago. Maybe I am still somewhat in shock. Locomotive Breath with an orchestra playing the theme powerfully... Impressive. Budapest sounded better than ever, Bouree.. well.. shouldn't that be always played with an orchestra? My God... always a weak spot for that song. What can I say more!?!?! I am a lucky bastard to have attendend one of three concerts played in Europe. That's for sure. Lucia was totally in place this evening. Great energy, playing lika e mad woman, good interaction with Ian. No sign of disrespect from him, nothing like some of you reflected upon in some e-mails about Ian being a pompous, selfindulgent assole of a human being. He was happy, played some of his greatest songs Weren't there any downsides? Of course. Ian singing... not that it was bad all the time, but some songs he should leave without him straining himself. The flute... was it a technical flaw? The really high notes sounded like crap... cracked... not good. Fortunately those weren't played too much. Ian shatters... too sexist some of the time for a concert like this in my opinion.. and maybe he should take a jokewriter... some of the jokes go back a looooooooong time! (Even though I still smile about them.. it's part of the act... No balloons... NO BALLOONS????? Definitive proof that this was not Jethro Tull playing... No downside here. I can do without the balloons. I have my piece :-).
The audience?? A big, big compliment. Sitting, listening, you could actually hear a pin drop on the quiet parts of the concert. No jerks at all, besides the people that come late at every occasion.. And what happens too me every time again: it is over when I am just getting the feeling I wanna be there forever... Hope you enjoyed this somewhat lengthy review! Oh and finally I would love to hear Martin play again over here! (just in case he reads along)