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Ian Anderson to Present Jethro Tull Rock Opera in October

by Matthew Martello
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Tuesday Sep 27, 2016
Ian Anderson to Present Jethro Tull Rock Opera in October

Legendary musician Ian Anderson will continue his presentation of "Jethro Tull The Rock Opera" starting in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 14th.

The show is a celebration of the life and times of English agricultural inventor (and band namesake) Jethro Tull. While it's based on the life of Tull, the story is re-imagined to take place in the near future, challenging him to face the imminent issues of climate change and mass migration. Virtual guests on video, newly-written songs and several classic songs assist in telling the story. In a recent interview, I asked Ian Anderson about the process of selecting songs for the show.

"I tended to stick with the obvious ones that dealt with farming and the environment," Anderson said. "I chose the songs that were an easy fit and that could be twisted into shape with some alterations."

Having reviewed the alterations myself, they are ever so slight and won't harm the enjoyment of the show, even for the most devoted fans. Some of the classic songs that are a part of the show include "Aqualung," "A New Day Yesterday," "Living In The Past," "Farm On The Freeway" and "Locomotive Breath."

With the show on its feet for over a year at this point, I asked Anderson about some of the most enjoyable moments so far.

"Having virtual guests is interesting because it seems intimate. It seems as if they're with you," he said.


Among the virtual guests is talented vocalist Ryan O'Donnell, who is currently starring in "Sunny Afternoon," a musical which tells the story of Ray Davies of The Kinks. O'Donnell spent three years prior as a vocalist on the "Thick As A Brick 2" and "Homo Erraticus" tours.

Accompanying Anderson onstage is David Goodier on bass, John O'Hara on keyboards, Florian Ophale on guitar and Scott Hammond on drums.

New songs such as "And The World Feeds Me," "The Turnstile Gate," and "Stick, Twist, Bust" further help to tell the story of Jethro Tull. Rather than offering a tired 'Best of' tour, Anderson remains committed to performing innovative shows that challenges audiences to think about the future and issues that need to be met head-on.

"We are looking at times of change. It's real science, not about pretending," Anderson commented. "We must do what we can to ameliorate the effects of climate change."

Beyond the enjoyment of classic songs, he invites his audience members to thoughtfully engage in discussions about what we can do as a society to improve the world. With several positive reviews to his credit thus far, this rock opera will prove to be a crowd-pleaser to Jethro Tull fans on the West Coast.

After Las Vegas, the tour continues in cities such as San Diego, Santa Barbara, San Jose, Portland and Seattle. Beyond that, the tour returns to Europe for shows in Germany and Switzerland.

For information on tour dates, visit www.jethrotull.com.


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