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Category Archives: Live

Is it strange that the first thing that comes to mind when I think about how to review Jethro Tull’s concert in Sheffield City Hall last night is ‘the volume was just right’ ?

I don’t know a huge amount of Jethro Tull. I have the album Aqualung and love it, but they’ve done a lot since then, none of which I have heard, so when I went to see them with my dad last night I didn’t really know what to expect. As it turns out they’re amazing whether you know their songs or not. The set opened with a nice chilled out number with Ian Anderson initially alone on the stage later being joined by guitarist Martin Barre. They eased the audience into the set with a couple of slower numbers before cracking out the flute and some more up tempo songs, though as I didn’t know most of these I couldn’t say what they were. Ian Anderson was as energetic as ever, prancing about the stage (and I mean that in a good way) interacting with the rest of the band and the audience.

One thing that really stood out to me about this gig in comparison to the many others I’ve been to (other than the fact that it was seated only) was the volume. Most gigs that I’ve been to, especially smaller or unsigned gigs, have been almost unbearably loud, with the levels of the instruments and vocals either all wrong, or all so loud that you can’t tell them apart. There was no part in this gig where I felt any one instrument was being forced out by another, which meant that the long instrumental sections were especially impressive, with the bass, guitar, keys, and flute all playing in sync and with perfect levels. But it wasn’t just the levels that were influenced by the easy volume, but my enjoyment of hearing the music. Now call me an old man if you will, but I’ve recently been finding much more enjoyment in listening to music quietly due to fucking up my ears with too many metal gigs, and this just made it so much nicer to listen to. The fact that everyone was sat down detracted from the music slightly, as at most gigs I’ve been to the band is only 80% of what makes it good, with the audience singing, moshing, or just waving their arms in the air being part of the awesomeness. However this was outweighed by the fact that I was actually able to see the band (as I’m quite short you see), and if anything it was a well thought out move as being young I was part of a very small minority.

There’s not much more I can say except all in all this was an extremely enjoyable gig. With the highlight being the final song (pre-encore) being one of my favourites, Aqualung.

Finally I shall leave you with this, as it was the first thing that came to mind when Ian Anderson first did a flute solo, and rightly so considering that’s what it’s inspired by.