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Jethro Tull: Live at Montreux 2003 (DVD)

Boy, can Jethro Tull still rock or what? This first time appearance at the famous Montreux Jazz Festival in 2003 is being touted as a set split into two, with the first mostly acoustic and the final all electric. When listening to the companion 2 CD set (also reviewed here on the site) you can sort of feel that statement, but when you plop on this super-charged 2 hour DVD, it's obvious just how much energy and prog rock firepower these geezers still have. Sure, the opening batch of songs play off Tull's folky side, with wonderful renditions of "Life Is A Long Song", "Fat Man" (with guitarist Martin Barre manning the flute while Ian Anderson plays the guitar), "Pavane", and "Bouree" among the highlights, but these acoustic pieces are overshadowed by the ballsy heavy rock & prog of classics like "With You There To Help Me", the scorching "Hunting Girl", "Living in the Past", "Nothing Is Easy" (kudos to them for dusting off this gem), and of course favorites like "Aqualung", "My God", and "Locomotive Breath". Surprises include the more 'modern' Jethro Tull classics like "Budapest" and "Beside Myself", the latter from the excellent Roots to Branches album. The band's stellar take on the holiday classic "God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman" might just be the absolute winner here, as they inflect bits of rock, prog, and jazz into this seasonal favorite and really give it their own spin, as lovers of the Tull holiday CD are surely aware of.

This line-up of the band has now been together for many years, and it shows, as they rip through this set with a hunger befitting a band much younger, despite the fact that they've probably played these songs thousands of times. Anderson is at his whimsical best, and although his voice is not nearly what it once was, he's still one of the best frontmen in the business, and can play a mean flute & acoustic guitar. Speaking of guitar, Martin Barre just keeps getting better. This guy can flat out rip, with a scorching tone to go along with his crazy chops, and when he needs to throw in some deft jazz or lazy folk, he can do that as well. Keyboard player Andy Giddings has taken on a role somewhat similar to John Evans in the old days, as he adds an air of humor and bombast from his side of the stage, and Doane Perry's drums & Jonathan Noyce's bass hold down a solid groove. The stage design for this Montreux gig was well thought out and put together, allowing the band plenty of room to move around and display their brand of musical theatrics, including Ian's balloon hurling at the end of the show during "Locomotive Breath". By the time it's all over, the standing ovation from the Montreux faithful clearly states "thank you for finally coming Jethro Tull", as this was the first performance by the band at the festival in their near 40 years in the business.

A wonderful show-get yourself a copy and experience it over and over again.

Track Listing
1) Some Day The Sun Won't Shine For You
2) Life Is A Long Song
3) Bouree (Version de Noel)
4) With You There To Help Me
5) Pavane
6) Empty Cafe
7) Hunting Girl
8) Eurology
9) Dot Com
10) God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
11) Fat Man
12) Living In The Past
13) Nothing Is Easy
14) Beside Myself
15) My God
16) Budapest
17) New Jig
18) Aqualung
19) Locomotive Breath

Added: September 5th 2007
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Eagle Rock Entertainment
Hits: 1849
Language: english

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