Dinner and Jethro Tull
Last night, we went to see Jethro Tull in concert. It was really just on a whim, I heard an interview with Ian Anderson, who is, of course, the creative force behind the band and an inspiration to several generations of flautists throughout the world. After listening to him, and I really was enthralled, I got a couple of tickets for the 2nd of 2 shows at the Paramount Theatre, here in Denver. I’ve always really like this band, and even though I have (only) 4 of their CDs, I’d never had to opportunity to see them live.
The evening started out with going to will call and picking up the tickets, where I listened to a guy snivel that the parking garage was 2 blocks away. Yes, it was chilly out, about mid 30s, but it’s 2 blocks people! Actually it was 2 blocks up and 2 blocks over, but still, these aren’t NY blocks, they’re squares. And the parking is free! Whatever.
Right next door to the Paramount is a restaurant called “Bayou Bob’s.” Normally I would go to the Paramount Café on the other side of the theatre, but a non-smoking section was in order this night.
Even though we didn’t have to wait in line, it still took a while to get seated. We browsed the menu for a few minutes, decided what we wanted, then waited. Another group was seated across from us a few minutes later, their waiter came, they ordered their drinks, got them, and we still hadn’t seen our waiter. I knew then that he was a shitty waiter, and unfortunately he proved me correct.
We ordered 2 hurricanes, since they were half price for another 9 minutes. I ordered a double, since I love Myers Rum. YUM! 7 or 8 minutes later our food arrived. A few minutes after that Greg came back with 1 of the hurricanes. 1. Well, at least I got to get started. We reminded him again to bring water too. Believe it or not, he did come back a few minutes later, threw down the other hurricane and water, and scampered off.
Now, this place was occupied but it wasn’t packed. It took 20 full minutes to get our complete drink order. There was a mumbled apology, but it was less than sincere. Clearly, he didn’t give a fuck.
On the other hand, the food was…OUTSTANDING! Blackened catfish smothered in crawfish etoufee. YUM!
When we got the check (there were no more drink orders) I had faith in humanity again. There were only 2 hurricanes on the menu. My natural assumption was that he comp’ed the second one, since it took 20 minutes to arrive. Guess what? After he ran the credit card he came back to the table explaining that only 2 of the 3 drinks (double) made it to the check, so he went ahead and added in the ‘third’ drink. Are you shitting me? You fucking asshole. So he got a 10% tip, and I secretly applauded myself, because he bought the drink anyway. Fuck him.
Off to fight the crowds next door! We got in, received to free CDs, which were part of a promotion that the band was doing. It was a live recording of the “Aqualung” cd in its entirety from earlier this year. Awesome. Mine’s going to my cousin, Tony, in Texas. He’s a huge Tull fan, and he’d likely never be able to get his hands on this CD otherwise.
We got some cocktails and then the show began. The music started with just a single instrument, then spotlights came on one-by-one as each player/instrument was added to the song. Very tastefully done. They started playing some older pieces, and Ian Anderson, at 58, had all of the energy I would expect of someone half his age. He flat out rocked! His singing was a little strange though, sort of up and down on word-end accents, sounding sort of like someone was playing with the volume knob. Strange.
Ian’s flute playing is legendary, and for good reason; it’s astounding. There’s a lot of tonguing involved in playing the flute, you know, a flick of the tongue on the inside of the lips, or embouchure. It occurred to me, after listening to him for a few minutes, that the ladies must love him. After all, it’s a well-known fact that most men don’t know what a tongue is for. What? Don’t look at me like that, you know it’s true.
During the show, there was an occasional ruckus a few rows in front of us. A group of very drunk college boys (ever wonder why they’re never referred to as “college men”?) were causing trouble. You know, talking in quiet parts, getting up to pee every 7 minutes, that sort of thing.
At one point one of the guys seated directly in front of this group squared off with the kid behind him. It was so exciting! It even contained the all-too-popular: “You wanna a piece o’ me?” The smell of testosterone was crisp and musky! It didn’t go anywhere, the bouncers were standing by waiting for the punch, but it was just preening and feather ruffling. The drunkest of this pack left his seat just after intermission and never came back. Dang! (No one outside of Kentucky uses that word anymore, have you noticed?)
One of the highlights of the show was a recently 22-year old Violinist named Lucia Micarelli. Holy. Shit. She was fabulous! She and Ian did a number of Duets, and even some medleys. There was one piece that began with her and the keyboards actually, it was the first piece in the 2nd set. The music swelled, swooned, swirled and sang. It was a great piece and then…WTF?…yep, they went right into an instrumental version of “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Brilliant.
A violin-led version of “Kashmir” was to follow, then she sort of came and went for the rest of the show. What an amazing player. From Julliard, no less.
The show was really geared towards the true J.T. fans though, there were only 3 radio hits that they played the whole show, which were all from “Aqualung”. Come to think of it, I think they played virtually every song from that album.
Even though I didn’t know much of the material, it was a great concert and I would recommend them to anyone. ROCK ON!!!!!!!!!