This was one helluva double bill, folks. A couple of photos will follow, with more to appear on my Facebook photo page. Links also forthcoming for anyone so interested. Anyhow:
Procol: Shine On Brightly (what an opener, eh?), Homburg, Pandora’s Box, Grand Hotel (the single hope of a fellow concert-goer; after Procol’s set we ran into each other and he was elated, over the moon, and it was a lovely thing to see), Wall Street Blues (Brooker said, “This was written about five years before the collapse”; it’s from their most recent studio CD), In the Blink Of an Eye (“….written for the dead of 9/11”), The Devil Came From Kansas, and then the wind-up: Conquistador, Salty Dog (“….for all those who watch us from above”), an incredible version of Simple Sister, and for an encore, Whiter Shade of Pale. Oh, yeah. That one. If I’d have hoped for one other tune it would’ve been Whisky Train, but that’s neither here nor there because they threw a wonderful set. No kidding.
Ian Anderson and co. had a rather large mountain to climb after that performance. The complication was Anderson’s voice; Tull was three shows from the end of the tour’s first half, and Anderson’s voice was, to put it gently, shot. Even dropping a number of tunes by several tones didn’t completely resolve the problem, but the music—well, it’s Tull. Doane Perry was back behind the batterie, and Martin Barre’s guitar work is fluid and lovely as ever: Nothing is Easy, Beggar’s Farm (from This Was, if you please), A New Day Yesterday, Past Time & Good Company, Songs From the Wood, Bourée, Hare in the Wine Cupboard (a new one: “My wife called while we were on tour, to say there was a hare in the wine cupboard. I said that has to be a song, and I couldn’t wait to get home to see the hare. Of course—by the time I got home, the dog had eaten the hare….”), My God, Budapest (from Crest of a Knave), Aqualung, and for the encore Locomotive Breath, complete with the large pale balloons with which the audience had much fun.
The evening was relatively brief owing to the 11 p.m. curfew at Molson Amphitheatre, but in some ways it wasn’t all that important. The music, however, was.