Monday, May 31, 2010

Home Theater Concert: Jethro Tull

I've been a fan of Jethro Tull for about 33 years now, and they are easily one of my favorite artists of all time. In fact, among my all-time favorite artists, only Kansas matches (and just barely surpasses) them in longevity, being a favorite of mine since 1976.
I own every official Tull album and DVD or Blu-ray disc. I just watched the latest DVD, 'Live at AVO Session Basel.' As far as modern-day Tull goes, this is a great DVD. The performance is well executed as per usual Ian Anderson standards, and the setlist contains a good mix of older tracks (the only song written after 1978 is Rocks On The Road from 1991's Catfish Rising album), including a few rarely played ones like Nursie, Dharma For One, and Heavy Horses. It's a good selection of songs that Ian's very limited vocal range can and does handle pretty well. The band can still rock pretty well, albeit with a slightly more subdued sound. I can't really put my finger on just doesn't pack the same punch as it used to (musicians' ages shouldn't affect the sound of the instruments). On the up side, I think Martin's guitar playing has only gotten better over the years, and Ian can still belt it out on the flute. On the down side, while limited to only one track here (IIRC), that dreaded accordion is still present. I was hoping that was just a phase Ian was going through, but it's gone on way too long to be a phase. All in all I really enjoyed it, although I still like the Live At Montreaux 2003 performance a little better.
The one disappointment in this for me is that it was not released on Blu-ray, only DVD. Judging by the video, it seems to be near-HD quality, so why it was not released as a Blu-ray disc escapes me.

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