RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson – Thick as a Brick Live in Iceland (Blu-Ray)
Eagle Rock Entertainment
www.eaglerockent.com

Rating: B+

Ian Anderson put his band Jethro Tull on hiatus and gathered up a new batch of musicians to take the stage and tour.  He took them to task right away, as they had to perform -in their entirety- two albums created some four decades apart: Thick as a Brick, the landmark tongue-in-cheek prog masterpiece followed by it's offspring Thick as a Brick 2 for a tour that was so damn progressive even fans of Emerson, Lake & Palmer thought it was over indulgent! 

Yes, this concert was two major pieces of Progressive Rock plastered on stage with funny bits, video screens, amazing musicianship and even a prostate exam...all from Iceland.  It gets no more Prog Rock Nerd than prostate exams in Iceland surrounded by flutes and long complex musical passages.  Ian Anderson lived on the edge with this tour, something that is solidly for his most sophisticated fans.  He and his band did it up right. 

The performances of both albums are grand.  The band looks, acts and sounds like a Prog Rock band and Anderson fits in perfectly as their leader.  He pushes the troops through the musical onslaught, throwing in a few bits of European humor that will be sure to roll the eyes of most Americans, who seem not as appreciative of this sort of humor, and might rather hear burping and fart jokes.  That said, Icelanders love this Monty Python type of thing, as does this writer, although I love a loud bottom noisemaker as well.  I should not be so quick to judge, as while there is no farting of any kind, there is the aforementioned prostate exam. 

While most fans will be more excited by the TAAB's performance, and it is done masterfully, this release proves just how damn strong the material on TAAB2 actually is.  Despite many decades between releases, Ian and his fictitious co-writer Gerald Bostock have done it again.  TAAB2 holds its own nicely alongside the classic stuff.  So much so, that any Tull fan worth his salt knows what I am talking about, as they plunked down the money to see this tour when it was making its way around the world. 

Now, they get to see what they missed in Iceland. 

Bottom line:  Buy this one, as it is very well done. 

Also, men over 50, get that bottom end checked out now!
 

By Jeb Wright

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