FUTURISTIC FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Ian Anderson conjures novel spin on Jethro Tull, the man and the band BY JOHN COLLINGE
Anyone making music for 50 years is bound to hatch some odd
ideas in pursuit of variety, but nobody goes outside the box quite like
His latest leap of fancy is live concept show “Jethro Tull: The Rock Opera,” which obliges concertgoers to do their homework or risk abject bewilderment. Two key “plot points” are essential to grasping what is more band-accompanied cinema than conventional rock opera: (1) Jethro Tull is a name shared by Anderson’s former classic-progressive band and the pioneering 18th century British agriculturist, plus (2) the fictional narrative imagines antiquity’s Tull as a contemporary figure in near-future circumstances. That gets you to the starting line for an interactive performance between Anderson’s onstage solo group and virtual guests projected on the big screen.
Equal parts movie and rock concert, the presentation requires perfect timing as vocal leads from towering filmic characters sharetime with Ian singing live. In the foreground, in the flesh, are Anderson on vocals/flute/mandolin, etc., guitarist Florian Opahle, bassist Greig Robinson, drummer Scott Hammond and keyboardist John O’Hara.
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