My two favorite bands of all time are Pink Floyd and Jethro Tull. Earlier this year, Jennifer and I got the chance to see an excellent Pink Floyd cover band called Brit Floyd. To my surprise, Jennifer really liked the concert, and wanted to hear more of Pink Floyd. That only left introducing her to Jethro Tull.
Well, it turned out I would get my chance. Ian Anderson (the guy behind Jethro Tull) was doing a world tour promoting his new album, Homo Erraticus; the tour touted that not only would he perform material from his new album, he would perform the best of Jethro Tull. Needless to say, we got tickets as soon as I learned about it.
The concert was tonight. To be perfectly honest, it was something of a disappointment.
The first half of the concert, aside from the last two songs, were all songs from Homo Erraticus. The songs pretty much reminded me of one track from Jethro Tull’s last album, J-Tull Dot Com, called “Hot Mango Flush”. That track was kind of discordant, and had rather nonsensical lyrics. The music from the CD felt the same way; as “Hot Mango Flush” was easily my least liked Tull track, you can imagine I didn’t care for it.
Once they got to the actual Tull material, things improved a bit. I knew the songs, and the musicians were all good and played very well… with one notable exception.
Is it sad that the one whose name is on the group is the weakest of the group?
Anderson’s instrumentals on flute and mandolin were excellent as always. However, his singing was terrible. He was off-key, his intonation was off-sequence, and it sounded like he was straining badly. Personally, it reminded me of when I would sing karaoke and would sing a song that was out of my range; in those cases, my voice would break and end up rasping near the end. Anderson was no different.
The sad thing is that he had a backup singer that would sing alongside him, and he honestly sounded more like Anderson in his prime than Anderson himself did. The backup singer would alternate with Anderson on lyrics; Jennifer and I were both of the opinion that he should have stayed on vocals and Anderson should have stuck with instrumentals.
The real telling sign of how this concert reflected Jethro Tull was what happened afterwards. After the Brit Floyd concert, I played Jennifer some Pink Floyd because she wanted to hear more of it. After this concert, I played Jennifer some Jethro Tull to prove that Anderson wasn’t always that bad.
It’s a real shame, because with this concert I’ve decided never to go to any more Jethro Tull or Ian Anderson concerts. If this was any indication, Anderson’s singing career needs to end. He can stay with instrumentals when touring and have someone else sing, but he needs to give up the singing part himself.