I am hopelessly behind on email once again, so I’m sitting down to start hacking away at it for a little while. As I do so, I have this video on in the background. Someone caught the entire Ian Anderson (of Jethro Tull) show (minus the encore) from the current tour in which he performed Thick as a Brick and Thick as a Brick 2. It’s an amateur recording, obviously, but it’s neat to have the whole show in a single video.
Longtime fans like me know Ian’s voice, once so captivating and lyrical, hasn’t been the same since his throat infection in the mid-1980s. At 65, though, Ian is better than ever on the flute, and in this show he does his level best on vocals. It helps that young Ryan O’Donnell, who has grown on me, helps out on the singing.
Unlike some fans, who consider Thick as a Brick some of Tull’s best work, I’m not so sure. I think they had much better albums. But it’s still something else that an album consisting of one long song hit #1 on the Billboard charts, and that at 65 Anderson still performs it — along with the 2012 sequel — so well.