Thursday, 19 December 2013

Unforgettable Nights Lead to Brighter Days

 I received complimentary tickets in order to conduct my review. All opinions are 100% my own.

Some things fade from your memory quickly, others linger. Even after almost 2 months the sound of Jethro Tull's music reverberating through the Centennial Concert Hall still follows me.

The last concert I went to before this was of the metal genre, and while I enjoyed that one, it can't even compare to the Thick As A Break 1 & 2 show. I heard Ian Anderson was coming to the city, and I was beyond excited. I had been introduced to Tull's music quite a few years earlier by an old friend, and have been listening ever since. I have a special place in my heart for music from the earlier decades.

I brought my mom with me because she appreciates the same type of music as I do for the most part, and this is one band that we agreed was a classic. After finding out that we were close to the front and center, that's when my heart really started going. I couldn't believe what I was about to see. It was an experience I will never forget.

Like pretty much everything Ian Anderson does, this was very theatrical. It's important for me to be able to feel a song. The lyrics, the mood it sets, the guitar. All of that fit nicely together on stage that night. I felt every word, every note, every beat, even their movements. They built anticipation, brought some comedy, and filled that auditorium.

Ian's performance was amazing, and true to his style. He took his famous stance, and played that flute like he had been playing since birth.  I've really not heard anything similar before. It was almost unreal, yet you knew very well that it was, because it was all around you.

Pictured: Ian Anderson and Ryan O'Donnell, Courtesy of Anne Leighton of Leighton Media. Please do not copy.

The vocalist that really captured me was Ryan O'Donnell. His voice was very reminiscent of Mr. Anderson himself, so the two complimented each other perfectly well. Even when Ryan was silent, he had a presence that completely drew me in.

I loved that each musician was given their time to shine too, because each of them are very talented individuals. The guitarist, Florian Opahle had a very bluesy quality to his playing. Scott Hammond on drums, well he rocked it. On keyboards, John O'Hara brought just the right amount of kooky. And David Goodier made his bandmates proud on bass.

 Pictured: Ian Anderson and Florian Opahle, Courtesy of Anne Leighton of Leighton Media. Please do not copy.

The encore was the stand out part of the entire thing for me. They played one of my favourites, and I knew exactly what it was when I heard the intro start. It brought tears to my eyes, but I quickly pushed those aside and went back to absorbing as much energy as I could before it was over. Every time I hear it now, especially if my mom is with me, I go back to that moment. 

There was an incredibly eclectic crowd that came out to see them perform, and it was great to see so many different people come together.You could tell that everyone there left with a new sense of respect for the music they had just heard. I don't know about anyone else, but my mom and I both left the concert hall feeling totally refreshed.

For those of you in the UK, Switzerland and Germany, be on the lookout for the 2014 Tour, where Ian Anderson will be performing the new album 'Homo Erraticus' and the best of Jethro Tull. I personally hope that they add some North American dates, because I would love to see this one too.

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