23 and 24 november 2006 013 Tilburg
I attended both shows, and the friday show was better than the thursday show. On both days the first half was almost briljant. Great tight playing, good songs (although I don't have written down the songs I will try to write them down later on) and a great Ann Marie Calhoun on violin.
And her legs went on forever I might add.
On thursday I sat on the 5th row. But the stage was a bit high, so I missed some of Martin's handwork on the guitar!
The second part of the show started out great! Salamander with ukelele and violin, later some bass. Unfortunately Ian had some trouble with the lyrics. On thursday he said after the song, "this will sound great tomorrow" and he was right. I guess he looked up the lyrics... :-) They also played it much tighter and it is a bright shining pearl in the great and beautiful necklace of Tull live songs.
After that he actually played a celebration for all the good Americans! There you go! It was America from the Westside story.
On the first night the hardcore Tull songs My God and Aqualung were poorly performed, with My God being the worst live performance ever as far as I am concerned. He didn't get along with the flute effect footpeddles he was soo busy with that, that his fluteplaying was very poor and he actually didn't get to some very high notes. And unfortunately on friday it was no better.
On thursday a great part of the second set was messy and untight, on friday just My God stayed below ETL (Excellent Tull Level).
Aqualung (the acoustic version) was much better and made a great impression on some of the people I was attending the show with. But he missed some lyrics here now... repeated a verse twice... and the funny thing is, when he notices it, his face tells you all! (OOOPPPPSSS)
I think they have put a lot of attention on the first half of the show in their rehearsels and thought too lightly about the Tull classics. Some of which really sound different with only an acoustic guitar in the band!
A warning, Martin Barre, yes, the great guitarplayer, only plays on his acoustic guitar! No screaming guitarsolo's, whistling overtones, just plain old decent virtuosity from Martin. My tip, watch him as he is playing. By watching his hands and fingers you can hear his beautiful riffs and musical lines in the music. And we all know what a great guitarplayer he is! But, being the modest man he is (my wife even called him autistic...HUH?), he stays at the back of the stage most of the time, has an occasional encounter with Ann Marie (well who wouldn't like that at his age! or any age for that matter...), and plays his beautiful riffs.
There was actually a review in today's local paper and the man who wrote it, obviously not a Tull fanatic since he misspelled Jack-A-Lynn as Jacqueline, had nothing but praise for Ian and the boys. By the way: he never mentioned his singing... guess he didn't know how it was in the old days.
I spoke about ten people at the end of the show and they were all impressed. My friend, with whom I visited my first Jethro Tull show ever back in 1976, and who thought it would be nice to go and see them again after 30 years, was impressed by the level of performance.
Turned to tears on the first night first set, suffered through the first night second set, really enjoyed the second night first set and was relieved after the second night second set. My boys did a great job, and I hope that they pick my home town Tilburg again as the starting point of the next tour. I will gladly accept the lesser moments any time!
My personal highlight?
I met Ian during my lunchwalk on friday, we rubbed elbows and he called me a brave man for attending two shows.
Ok, so 2006 will go into my memory as the best Tull year ever.
For the record:
Ann Marie Calhoun
The songs performed (I think I have them all, but not in the right order)
Living in the Past (first on thursday, third on friday)
Up the pool (on friday, on thursday they played an instrumental song for/from? a turkish flautist)
Life is a long song (first on friday)
Skating away on the thin ice
some bluegrass song (featuring Anna Marie, Martin and John)
Runtie (a song by Ann Marie, with band)
Thick as a brick
Spanish tears (featuring Martin and Ann Marie)
Fat man (sorry, clinical obese person)
King Henry's Madrigal
Bourree (closing piece of the first set)
Salamander (opening piece of the second set)
America (from the westside story)
My God (very very very sloppy performed)
Aqualung (first night not too well played, second night very tight and impressive)
Locomotive Breath (the encore song and a truly great finale!)
NO BALLOONS (they were not missed)