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Ian Anderson in concert

SPECIAL "PATIENT" CONTRIBUTION
It's with great excitement that I bring you the following concert review.
Dr. Music reader Patrick Moreau gives us his take on a concert from Lowell, Massachusetts, where legendary Jethro Tull frontman Ian Anderson performed.
Reviews from readers is what the Dr. Music website is really all about. My mission when establishing the website was to create an arena in which dedicated fans of music could share their opinions and experiences. This review helps brings that mission to fruition, and it is greatly appreciated.  Enjoy!

Photo courtesy of Fotos By Folletts
Ian Anderson
Lowell Memorial Auditorium - Lowell, Massachusetts
November 20, 2010
 
By Patrick Moreau
 
When I heard Ian Anderson was coming to Lowell my first thought was, "Why?"
I mean, he could play in Boston somewhere, or at least Cambridge (Massachusetts).
Was this Ian Anderson from Jethro Tull?
It turned out to be true. It was Mr. Anderson - so I grabbed a pair of tickets.
 
When we walked in, the first thing I noticed was a sign on the door that read something like "Please do not scream, yell, or jump around by the request of the artist." This was not going to be a Jethro Tull rock show, but an intimate one. The show started off with Ian & the band playing "Life's A Long Song." It set the mood for a "light" set. No heavy power chords or explosions. It was Ian's flute with the drummer using brushes instead of the heavy pounding drumsticks. Since this was not a Tull show, Ian played songs that were not quite hits and some songs that haven't been played in decades. In between songs he would tell the audience really good stories. He could be telling us a story about "Set Aside," a song about paying farmers not to farm on perfectly good farmland, or songs that were only played for one tour, like "The Story Of The Hare Who Lost His Spectacles." Whatever the case may be, the songs were played very well - even if you never heard some of these songs.
 
The backing band was in top form. They were a big reason why the show flowed not ebbed. Ian's ability to engage the audience was another big reason. You always felt yourself hanging on to his words. His stories were short and to the point, and very witty. My favorite one was about his son-in-law, who happens to be the lead actor in the T.V. series "The Walking Dead." Anderson said something like "Imagine him sipping his tea in his bathrobe in the morning, and shooting zombies in the afternoon."
 
After the intermission, out came the "heavy" music. He opened up with "Thick As A Brick," of course. It was a nice version that they played for about 20 minutes. I'm so use to the radio edit that I forgot what a long piece it is. Then came "Budapest," a very underrated song and one of my favorites from the Tull catalog. Towards the end of the second set, Ian spoke about great rock riffs. "Riffs that you can identify in three notes. I give you Smoke on the Water," he said kiddingly as they started playing "Aqualung." Never let it be said that Mr. Anderson has no sense of humor.
 
After two-plus hours of great music, no show could be considered over until you've heard "Locomotive Breath." It's one of the coolest songs of the 70's, and should be in everyone's classic rock iPod. The audience could be forgiven if they had to get off their seats and boogie.
What else would you do on an autumn night in Massachusetts? This show was perfect, with Ian Anderson showing us a different side of Jethro Tull.
 
You can contact Patrick Moreau at: pjm2100@comcast.net
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