The Old Train Station
Original Dungeons and Dragons prog-rockers Jethro Tull kicked off three Israel appearances at Jerusalem's most fashionable new outdoor venue with its only veteran members, Ian Anderson and Martin Barre, on stage.
After the duo's acoustic "Someday the Sun," they were joined by bassist David Goodier, keyboardist/accordionist John O'Hara and drummer James Duncan for the seasoned band's anthem-like "Living in the Past," which was first released in the Sixties. Also making an appearance early on in the set list was "Thick as a Brick," which thankfully received the 10 minute progressive jam treatment, rather than the three-minute radio edited one.
The band was tight and skilled, giving the impression that they were holding back on their improvisations. Not that Jethro Tull was in any way going through the motions on Thursday night. Even obligatory crowd pleasers like the iconic "Aqualung" were given fresh arrangements that shook up the crowd's expectations.
Anderson joked that his arrangement of J.S. Bach's "Bouree" had transformed it into "porno-jazz." In "Bouree" and throughout the night, Anderson's flute-work led the melodies, but also served to accent rhythms, thanks to his intricate beatbox-like tongue-rolls and gasps into the flute mic. The band got even headier when they busted out Keith Emerson's progged-out arrangement of West Side Story's "America," which included teases of everything between "When the Saints Go Marching In" and "Purple Haze."
By the time the last bars of "Locomotive Breath" completed the encore, the capitol's multi-generational classic rock aficionado community seemed to be satiated.