Thursday, November 17, 2022

Jethro Tull @ Olympia, Paris - November 17th, 2022

Jethro Tull has been active in one form or another for over 55 years. The current iteration of the band is in the middle of a world tour entitled "The Prog Years", which is a bit of a head scratcher until you remember that the Grammys labeled them as Heavy Metal in 1989... Which goes to show the inanity of such categorization. But while other musicians from that scene may shy away from the "Prog" label, Ian Anderson embraces it without reservation.

Essentially, the band is now Ian Anderson and some backing musicians. Martin Barre, who was Jethro Tull's guitarist for a long time, is long gone and in his place now stands Joe Parrish-James, a young musician with a more "metal" approach to the instrument and to the repertoire. Their excellent new album The Zealot Gene was released last year and three excerpts were presented at the show. Everything else is classic Tull with hits and bangers like Hunt By Numbers, Clasp, BourrĂ©e, Too Old To Rock N' Roll and of course Locomotive Breath and Aqualung.

At 75, Anderson is no spring chicken and if his voice isn't as strong as it once was, he still leaps around the stage like a demented leprechaun, playing that flute that gave the band its trademark sound. The band just announced that their next album is ready and scheduled for release in the spring of next year.

The already excellent show was made even better by the (near total) lack of cell phones and photography until the encores, when everyone was encouraged to take out their devices and shoot away. Needless to say, we were glad to oblige.

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