Attending the Ian Anderson concert with his band Jethro Tull playing Aqualung, Living in the Past and of course Thick as a Brick, was a sensational nostalgic music adventure to me. I had the pleasure once before, 40 years ago and my very first concert ever. I was only 18 and for a country boy who just moved to the big capital Oslo, it was an almost indescribable adventure. People where drinking beer and there was an odd sweet fragrance in the air – they were screaming and clapping hands: I was overwhelmed *LoL*.
On the stage there was Jethro Tull from England leading by a long haired, tartan caped maniacal flute player named Ian Anderson: The concert is still reckoned as one of the great rock performances of the 70s. Most of the songs were in the album “Aqualung” released two months later. The year after, he made the album “Thick as a Brick” and of course it went through my head at this adventurous concert – this time together with my dear wife DianeCA. Our tickets were a gift from my friends at the “Boys Only” party when I turned 60 – some weeks ago. I gladly share our experience with you – this time with some collages of the photos – the light conditions where difficult, so I hope you understand:
Actually it was not Jethro Tull, only Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson on the posters this evening. Earlier this year it was 40 years since “Thick as a Brick” and with that in mind “Thick as a Brick 2” was made as a follow up album- however this time with Ian Anderson only on the cover.
It was the same band composition which Jethro Tull is known for: Guitar, bass, keyboards and drums – and in addition the boss’ with his special small guitar and his trademark: the Transverse flute. Besides, there was an extra vocalist, Ryan O’Donnell who also performed as an actor and mime artist – singing in a similar style and balancing out the more rusty voice of the boss.
The original work was performed as it was originally released on LP record – in two consecutive sessions. “Thick as a Brick” was originally featured a mixture of a prog-album and a rock opera. The so-called story – about childhood to Gerald Bostock was admittedly very in the background. In return here all the classic progressive elements with their frequent theme and tempo changes. It is not classic pop songs, but rather a coherent symphonic works. This could probably also be part of the reason that the material has been so seldom performed. The music was remarkable complex and unique in a style never copied through all these years.
The second half of the concert consisted of the raw material anno 2012. It continues the story of Gerald Bostock with a wide range of stories about what happened after adolescence. Unlike the first part of this disc consists of simple songs with a kind of cohesive story and not a coherent work. The material is also performed by this 65-year-old’s voice, and worked perfectly as successor to the first part of the concert.
And by “Locomotive Breath” as an encore, it was also a rehearsal with one of the classic songs from “Aqualung“. Although Ian Anderson doesn’t stand as long on one foot when he plays his flute solos, he is full of energy and the same enthusiasm and artistic aura which he had back in the 70s. A truly magical evening and a trip back memory lane all rolled into one.
Norwegian Military Tattoo, the biggest indoor event in Norway, draws multinational crowds of military music fans each year. This year marked its 10th anniversary with nearly 1,000 participants and 20 000 spectators turned out for the rousing band and precision drill performances.
The set in Oslo Spektrum Arena was a recreation of Akershus Fortress and the show was filled with spectacular entertainment. It is a colourful family-show featuring the leading military bands of the world as well as acrobatics, singing, dancing, drill and a competition between the military academies. Features on stage this year include e.g. the US Air Force Honor Guard’s Drill Team’s weapon manoeuvres show, an Irish dance show from The Emerald Isle Irish Dance Team, the Top Secret Drum Corps from Switzerland and not to forget Republic of Korea Ministry of National Defense Traditional Band:
Every year when we watch it on TV, I always say: we have to go next time and this year we made it thanks to my wife’s good planning as she bought tickets just before it was sold out. As much as I would like to, it’s almost impossible to describe, recreate or set the scene in words. However, since you know I love to share magic moments like this with you, I used my mobile phone, trying to capture the atmosphere. So out of 55 min film and 50 photos, I’ve made a movie to give you a taste. Before you click to enjoy, let me just share what I think was a special highlight this year:
“Some heroes do not die even if they sleep in” This was the comment of the Chief of the National Guard, Kristin Lund, on the passing away of Norway’s Second World War hero Gunnar “Kjakan” Sønsteby. The Military Tattoo this year had a very special performance in remembrance of this great Norwegian citizen who passed away only days before. Kjakan is known for his central participation in the Norwegian resistance fighters during the Second World War, but his service did not end there. He dedicated the rest of his lift to using the experiences from the war to be an important mediator in the aftermath, and as a living story teller to keep the history alive for future generations in order to stop anything like this from happening again. Sønsteby was important for the new generations after the war. The numerous lectures he gave in retrospect, has been important for shaping the values of the younger generation. Those of us who were born after the war have been told, based on his experience, how important it is to preserve democracy and respect it. He meant a lot to us as a nation.
The photo above is one I shot when the movie “Max Manus” was made some years ago in Oslo. It’s all about the resistance movements from the Second World War. Click to read my post from it: Max Manus with War and Peace in Oslo Norway
And then, as promised; here is the movie from this year’s tattoo – enjoy!
Picture yourself on a concert with Beatles – Rain made it easy to do in Oslo, Norway with a Beatles tribute at “Folketeateret”: A two-hour look back to pop music’s most shining pearls! My dear wife bought tickets a long time ago, but kept it a secret by only inviting me to a “spring date”. It became another quality time on a journey into my youth when Peace & Love was everyone’s mantra.
As the Beatles stopped touring early in 1966, Rain has been a welcome phenomenon that has filled the huge void left by the Beatles in the music world and its concert halls – and they do it in a way that would even have impressed the Beatles themselves. Their tribute show ran on Broadway with tremendous success, and the reception in Oslo has been remarkable. No wonder as it took me down the memory (or should I say Penny…) Lane in a way I would never know was possible. Sitting in the front row, I used my mobile phone to capture the moments so I can share with you: Imagine all the people (at a Beatles concert) – it’s easy if you try : -)
The show is also a visual pleasure. The band changed costumes at least as frequently as their heroes, in addition to several large screens that replayed historical record of The Beatles in the 60s. The screen on the stage behind them supported the themes and brought us in the mood of different Beatles periods according to the preformed music and albums. It even captures the ecstatic mood of the audience while we cheered and sang along:
They are all extremely talented musicians, and have studied every song for over three decades, every note, and every nuance of the Beatles’ songs were performed in a way that the legendary quartet would have loved.
The result is that they have taken the songs to a new level, and will perform several of the most sophisticated songs that the Beatles did not even do live. RAIN today has over 200 Beatles songs in its repertoire.
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band:
To me it really took off when they sat the scene for Stg. Pepper: the stage setting, the lights, the mood, the atmosphere and also their costumes changed accordingly. I was immediately sent back to June 1967 when I was 15 and felt like a rebelian child singing along to “Lucy in the Sky with Daimonds”. I so much remember the fight I had with my parents to let my hair grow even a bit over my ears – not to meantion playing the music at the top on my portable record player : -) A also vaugely remember the crush I had with a girl at that time… it all swirled in my head – like a fairy tale – as I experienced an intoxicating feeling of time from my youth in the previous millennium . I do hope this photo from the concert can give you a clue : -)
Best of all was to share this experience with my loving wife who surprised me with this Magical Mystery Tour of a spring date. Being together doubled the experience and tippled the fun ; -)