Jethro Tull - Manchester Apollo 3 April 2018

A couple of firsts here. This was my first visit to Manchester Apollo, which is a lovely art-deco theatre and the first time I’d seen Jethro Tull. (I know I’m a bit later to the party if this is the 50th anniversary tour).

On entering, the stage had a backdrop of an old style living room with a large TV set as the centre piece. The first half of the show was preluded with black and white footage of Jethro Tull giving the audience time to take their seats before the band opened up with My Sunday Feeling.

Tonight was a retrospective look at the band and Ian Anderson’s 50 year career. As Ian explained the band had had 36 members plus himself during this time. The current line-up includes Florian Opahle (Guitar), Scott Hammond (Drums), John O’Hara (keyboard) and David Goodier (Bass) all fantastic musicians. As the set progressed the backdrop was used as big screen which featured ex members of the band and stars from the current scene including Joe Bonamassa, Joe Elliot, Steve Harris and Slash to introduce songs.

Highlights from the first set were A Song for Jeffery, Living in the Past, A New Day Yesterday, My God and Cross-Eyed Mary.

After a 20 minute interlude the band returned with As Thick as a Brick. In this second set the backing video also provided video footage to visually enhance the songs. Most notably on Songs from the Wood and Farm on the Freeway. Ian Anderson also received vocal support from the video screen on Heavy Horses (sorry I missed the name of the female singer) and Aqualung where the backdrop really added to the story telling.

Time for one encore to close the night with the fantastic Locomotive Breath.  A very talented band and I’m glad I made the effort to see them. If you get a chance to take the opportunity to see some very classy classic rock.


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