Jethro Tull's
Ian Anderson
Plays Thick as a Brick 1 & 2

Cobb Energy Centre
September 27, 2012

Live Show Review By: Cyndi Ford
Ian Anderson - Flute, Guitar, Bouzouki, Mandolin, Harmonica, Vocal
David Goodier - Bass guitar and double bass
Scott Hammond - Drums, percussion
Ryan O'Donnell - Vocals and warehouse broom
John O'Hara - Orchestral conductor, piano, keyboards and accordion
Florian Opahle - Guitar
It was almost the full Harvest Moon, what an appropriate time to go see the Scottish lad Ian Anderson. When a friend mentioned that he was coming, and showed an interest in going, I thought sounds cool...and just a little leg work and we were on. Thanks Anne.
I knew the popular tunes by Jethro Tull, but as I discovered that his albums told stories of characters, and his shows were very extravagant, I was intrigued.
After the usual hustle and bustle of getting ready for a show on a "school night" we headed out to the venue, a first time visit, and was definitely not disappointed. It was like a mini Fox Theater, sound was excellent and lights were magical.
Our timing was perfect, just as we got our beers, it was show time. The big time props that were so famous from the shows of days past were missing, but not the ability to tell the story. I was impressed first by the sheer talent of all the musicians, and the complexity of the compositions. The usual repetition of choruses was missing, and only hints of the hooks were present throughout the tunes. It was a show that compelled the audience to be silent, as in a play. It was only at key moments did the crowd erupt in applause.
Something that was a nice touch was the fact that he had a mention of prostate cancer and other problems of aging men. He even brought up a couple of volunteers from the audience (could have been staged?). One of the chosen people was a semi-popular lawyer from the Atlanta area, often featured on the local news, which sent the audience to roar with laughter!
The use of a screen in the back that was used to show close ups of the band, but mostly for snipets of video that helped tell the story that the song conveyed. The figure of a man in scuba gear with an aqualung was often shown as it appeared he was on a search for water? While on his way he was confronted by the discomfort that life often deals us. My take on the story any ways....
After a nice intermission, it was time for "Thick as a Brick 2." A modern take on the continuing saga of the Aqualung guy. I was most impressed by the performance of Ryan O'Donnell, as he did quite a bit of the vocal work, and was the one that appeared to be the on stage character telling the story. All the musicians looked like characters, the bass player David Goodier, looked like Mozart in his dress and hair. The keyboard player was like Beethoven. The drummer Scott Hammond, was amazing in his solo as well as the ability to provide the often chaotic beat to the songs. The Les Paul playing of Florian Opahle was off the hook. I was amazed at the pure talent that these guys have. It is rare that one is treated to a magical performance of this caliber. I am thankful that I had this opportunity, it will def stand out in the ole memory bank. Thanks for the suggestion Joe!
Special thanks to Martin Webb for the fabulous photos.