Tuesday, October 29, 2013

20 Oct 13 - Thick As A Brick 1 & 2

"...Are you a Tull fan?" ~ a question used by Tull fans when meeting other Tull fans

It was so good the first time, blogspot readers, that she had to see it again!

Almost three months to the date from when SouthSide saw Ian Anderson perform Thick As A Brick 1 & 2 (in their entirety) at Ravinia that she had to see it at Star Plaza Theatre (located in Merrilville, IN) with her good friend and number 1 fan, Joe. Besides being able to see this incredible theatric-like rock concert again, it gave this reviewer an opportunity to compare both productions. So which one was the best? Good question ...and it will be answered at the end of this review.

Thick As A Brick (part 1) is more than just a concept album but an long lyrical song written by a fictional boy named Gerald Bostock whose poetic words speak of his story about growing up and the decision he must make - should he be a soldier like his father before him or should he be poet. Such a tough dilemma placed on his shoulders. Throughout the course of his young life, he's told serving in a war as a soldier is an honorable profession and that it brings glory meanwhile being an artist garners no such thing in society. Yet while growing older, he discovers war isn't all guts and glory (as he was led to believe) ...there's destruction, depression, and death. Meanwhile Thick As A Brick 2 answers the question - what happened to Gerald Bostock now that he's grown to adulthood? Well, we as the audience are given a few possible ideas since this is the  "...time of maybes, what ifs, might have beens, and wait and sees..." during part two, blogspot readers. We get to see Gerald as a greedy corporate banker, a homeless gay man, a holier-than-thou evangelistic reverend, a soldier serving in the Gulf War, and then finally an ordinary married but childless man who owns a shop. However, throughout the "...maybes, what ifs, might have beens, and wait and sees...", it's not just Gerald Bostock in which Ian Anderson sings about. You will get the general idea (in some sort of way) each and every one of us personifies Gerald Bostock in our own lives as we make crucial decisions that could change our life direction.

Comparing his Ravinia performance three months ago, blogspot readers, Ian's TAAB 1 & 2  performance here at Star Plaza Theatre was slightly different in some ways with a few surprises even though keeping the rest the same. For this reviewer, seeing Thick As A Brick 1 & 2 again still contained that same awe and wonder like it did when she first experienced the magic and music of pied piper known as Ian Anderson. Despite knowing what would happen or which song would be performed next, SouthSide found herself lost in the rhythmic motions of this progressive rock musician while delighting his audience of hardcore Tull fans with each agile prance across the stage with his flute or spoken poetic prose that would have fans shouting excited outbursts throughout the concert. Ryan portraying as the younger version of Gerald Bostock was still thrilling to watch, blogspot readers. With him as Ian's lyrical voice (during certain moments) still made the famous songs pop to life with such acting enthusiasm and vocal vigor.  Overall, it was still a thought-provoking theatric type of rock performance as she listened to songs like The Poet and The Painter, Tales of Your Life and of course Thick As A Brick from part 1 as well as Medley: Upper Sixth Loan Shark/Banker Bets, Banker Wins and Medley: Power and Spirit/Give Till It Hurts (SouthSide's favorite) from part 2.

So what was different this time? How about an impromptu male health inspection featuring "doctor" Muldoon and his patient from the audience named Tom during Ian's public service announcement? Yep, this actually did happen - believe it or not.  Once again during the UK weather (about temperature and depression), Ian once again was on a mission instructing man in taking better care of themselves  upon reaching that certain age. It was funny having a guy on stage getting a "prostate examination" ...don't worry, he was well hidden behind the modesty screen. "...save a life ...it might be his..." says Ian before showing a video image montage of photos of notable deceased faces like Frank Zappa, Joey Ramone, Jimi Hendrix, Telly Savalas - to name a few. SouthSide also enjoyed listening to the audience react ...respond is a better word here, blogspot readers, to each TAAB song performed. Unlike at Ravinia where it was more subdued, this audience was alive and very vocal in their appreciation of Ian Anderson and his music. And those poor ushers - these fans had them working hard whenever many tried to snap a photo or video any part of the performance with their phones. There were moments during the concert when you could hear fans singing along to the famous Tull songs especially during Thick As A Brick and the encore Locomotive Breath. Speaking of which, that was a better version than what was heard at Ravinia. Ian Anderson and the band TOTALLY rocked out ...rocked down the Star Plaza Theatre to the ground with a rousing version which had many Tull fans crowding the front rows (with their camera phones) singing and rocking out with the band. Ian left them hungry for more Jethro Tull, blogspot readers, after taking standing ovations with the band and Ryan as well as shaking hands with a few fans.

SouthSide highly recommends seeing Ian Anderson perform Thick As A Brick 1 & 2 wherever the pied piper of progressive rock performs at a town and/or venue near you, blogspot readers. For more information and where he's performing next, visit http://www.jethrotull.com.

Until next time, support your local scene,

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