Live review: Jethro Tull at Red Rocks Amphitheatre - Reverb

Live review: Jethro Tull @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull and his magic flute. Photo by Marcelo Hernandez, AP.

Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull and his magic flute. Photo by Marcelo Hernandez, AP.

I remember well playing the hell out of a Jethro Tull 8-track, particularly “Skating Away On The Thin Ice Of A New Day,” until the tape unraveled. Tull didn’t do “Skating Away” at Red Rocks Amphitheatre last night, but the band’s classic rock on the Rocks entertained entirely, beginning with “Thick as a Brick.”

A common misconception confuses the band’s front man, Ian Anderson, with Jethro Tull. Not so: The British band immortalizes an 18th century English agricultural pioneer. Yet given Anderson’s commanding court jester jinks, it’s understandable that people associate the band with him. Fit as a fiddle, the impish Anderson pranced, paraded, skulked, and, yes, played flute standing on one leg. IA, as he signs himself, introduced flute to rock and rocks the instrument like nobody else. The Jimi Hendrix of flautists, his merry-making minstrel act included rollicking runs, flutter-tongue trills, even snorts. Anderson nimbly played strings, too.

Anderson’s Scottish roots lend a lilting Celtic air to ironic songs fusing blues, jazz, classical and full-on rock: boisterous live music. Original band member Martin Barre still wails on lead guitar. Guitarist Magazine listed Barre on “The 20 Greatest Guitar Solos of All Time” for his work on “Aqualung.” Upon hearing the song’s iconic first six notes, the crowd immediately combusted.

Based on abundant audience tie-dye and grizzled hair, Tull fans are not “Too Old To Rock and Roll,” but they didn’t complain much when the band failed to reappear for an encore. On the Rocks, Tull demonstrated why their 30-odd albums have sold more than 50 million copies.

Click here to read our feature: “Jethro Tull and the day the music died.”

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Colleen Smith’s critically acclaimed first novel “Glass Halo” is now available as an e-book, in addition to hardcover. Her new nonfiction work “Laid-Back Skier” will be released for autumn 2011..

  • Mike

    this site has the most pathetic reviews in the denver area.u00a0 what a joke.u00a0

  • Anonymous

    Read somewhere once that Ian Anderson, once a rock ‘n’ roller who plays flute, has become a flutist who plays rock ‘n’ roll. Still great, and perhaps better,u00a0after all these years.

  • Aaron

    Was there a bassist and a drummer also?nnThis “review” does not paint much of a picture of last night’s show.

  • Mark

    What was the playlist?

  • Glenn

    The concert was just OK – I would upgrade it to fairly good if the Jimi Hendrix of flautists had bothered to do an encore. How lame is that? By the way; I hadn’t seen Kansas perform since the late 70’s & although the same energy from then wasn’t there, their set was still quite enjoyable.

  • Duke

    Was anybody listening? The audio man for this concert should have been fired!u00a0 Ian’s mike clipped everytime there was a song with percussion in it (which was 70% of the time).u00a0 Worst mixed concert I’ve ever attended. The audio man totally desecrated an artists hard work.

  • 102448

    I have seen Tull many times and they have always given their all & came back out for an encore.Maybe there was a problem like a health issue after all they are in their 60’s and believe or not are only human .