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Ian Anderson Chevy Theater Wallingford CT 10/18/09 reviewed by Helen Bach: Stand Up For Gramps

Contributing writer Helen Bach meets her past halfway…

Jethro Tull was a part of my childhood. My older brothers 10 and 11 years older than me were hardcore fans. I remember them jumping on the bed pretending to play flute with their long hair flying around the room. I always loved Tull. He reminded me of my youth when I, in my footie jammies, would hide peeking around the stairwell as one of my brothers watched tv with a girl. I remember waiting to see if they would kiss. Gross.

I remember my oldest brother singing Minstrel in the Gallery full faux Brit accent. Still makes me smile to this day..hell to this minute.

I have never seen Jethro Tull live. I had played his songs over and over and danced around the room singing Bungle in the Jungle and whistling Bouree as I went about my daily tasks. I still use the phrase……’really dont mind if I sit this one out….’

So tonight my friends……decades later I went to see Ian Anderson. I jokingly called him Grampy Ian all week. I was scared. Do I really want to see him now? NOW?? Were talking 35+ years from prime. I debated this back and forth since I got the tickets. But they were comps and the venue is reasonable close what the hell. Ill do it.

I went blank. Expecting the ……..well nothing. Id here a few oldies but goodies call it an early night boom done.

Nope. That’s not what a happened at all.

Tonight I saw the best concert of my life.

hang on- halt…….of my life.

Mr Anderson still has it and more.with nothing more than a couple of cheesy light stacks and a couple friends…..he completely and totally overwhelmed me on every level. Now most reviews as that you toss out the set list. I cant. I know he did Skating Away, and I Dont Want to be a Fatman…and few ‘out takes’ as he referred to them from the Aqualung days. I have never heard clearer warmth in music. The acoustic aspect of this show had such a powerful impact on me. Like teetering on the edge of euphoria, til it almost becomes frustration of restraint. It sustained in a tantric lull I have never encountered before. The show was split in two, Ian stating we should go have a drink see the merch guy and meet him back in about 15. He was full of quips and banter, as if we were all sorta hanging out. Generally I hate that folksy crap- shut up and entertain me…but

I couldnt move.

I sat there and said.. ok one more song and I’m out. But like a magnet in my core I couldn’t go. I sat there in a tunnel. Almost afraid to move as if should I shift in any direction this constant hum in my soul would be displaced. Am I making any sense?

Ian Anderson is a performer extraordinaire. He is brilliant.

I would mark the highlight of the evening a brilliant rendition of Bouree. I am not ashamed to say I wept. There I was in a crowded theater tears trickled down my face. I was stunned at my reaction.

I didn’t want to leave. I wanted to stay forever in this envelope of warmth. But I had to leave before it ended. It became a fear of anything going wrong. I had to leave before anything shifted the perfection of the event.

And I refuse to end this with some dumb ass quote about too old to rock and roll, or something. So cliche’ so pathetic

Tonight awoke a part of me I didn’t even know was there and came in on a river of emotion.. I’m gonna ride it like a surf wave.

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