Performing hit songs that stretch back more than four decades, Jethro Tull by Ian Anderson delighted fans with a classic, progressive, folk and theatrical rock show for more than two hours plus—one encore—at Austin City Limits’ Moody Theater.
The band opened with 1969’s “Living in the Past,” the title track off their 1972 compilation album. Today the song’s lyrical meaning remains as mysterious as the commercial appeal of its uncommon 5/4 time signature. Anderson, a 69-year-old multitalented musician, danced across the stage while playing flute, guitar, Bouzouki, harmonica and singing lead vocals to his original 15 sophisticated and stylistic songs.
Vintage concert footage of Anderson intermittently projected onto a video backdrop together with a plethora of colorful iconic images poetically timed to his song lyrics. “Aqualung” brought an audience of mostly Baby Boomers to their feet before the percussive encore, “Locomotive Breath,” drew the memorable night to a raucous close.
Celebrating a lengthy musical career that spans 30 albums, Anderson led outstanding younger musicians: Florian Opahle on lead guitar, Scott Hammond on drums and percussion, John O’Hara on keyboards and accordion, and David Goodier on bass. Hardcore fans and those who missed the tour will enjoy Jethro Tull — Songs from the Wood, a 40th anniversary three CD and two DVD set released this May
–Donna Marie Miller