Written on the 16th of November, 2014
I’m a happy man. I saw Martin Barre in concert yesterday. The guy’s 68, I expected a nice show but he was amazing, and so was his band. The concert went on for more than two hours, and it was easy to see Martin and the guys were having a blast while they were playing.
It’s not easy to write something structured, considering I still feel overexcited about the concert. You have to understand that Jethro Tull and their music (in case I haven’t made it clear enough) mean a lot to me, and Martin Barre was a very big part of Jethro Tull. He looks like a really chill and humble dude, I love his guitar playing, and well, I think I’m not exaggerating when I say going to yesterday’s concert was a dream come true.
However, not many people shared my opinion. That, or the concert was just not advertised (I have to admit I found out about it by chance). There weren’t more than a hundred and fifty people in the place, which could have up to a thousand people inside. Proportionally, there were more women than I’d have thought, and most of the men had either very long hair or no hair at all.
The show started with Mind Your Step, and old 60s song which can be found on Martin’s newest CD, Order of Play (which, by the way, I bought at the concert), followed by some Martin Barre song I can’t remember at the moment. Then came the serious stuff. First, Minstrel in the Gallery and To Cry You a Song, which started rallying the audience up. To Cry You a Song is such an amazing classic rock song, and having two electric guitars made it even better.
Update: I had videos of those two songs and another two, but my channel was deleted. Fortunately, there’s a video of the whole concert. Here it is:
Most of the Tull stuff they played was from the first five albums: A Song for Jeffrey, A New Day Yesterday (which featured an amazing bass solo by Alan Thomson), Fat Man, To Cry You a Song, Teacher, Wondr’ing Aloud, Hymn 43 (which Martin rearranged brilliantly, with him and singer/guitarist Dan Crisp playing mandolin), Locomotive Breath (which closed the concert) and excerpts from Thick as a Brick. They also played Minstrel in the Gallery, an instrumental version of the infamous Under Wraps’s Paparazzi, and Still Loving You Tonight, which was rearranged into a very intimate guitar duet.
Although they played lots of Tull stuff, the concert was, apart from the mandolin thing, a rock/blues one. Take into account there was no flute, no keyboards, and in the other hand there were two guitars.
There was also some Dan Crisp stuff in the program (the guy can play and sing), a Porcupine Tree song (Blackest Eyes), a cool rendition of Rock Me Baby and also some Martin Barre songs, including Misère, which may be his best solo track.
Before I finish, I would also like to praise George Lindsay, who did a great job (like everyone else) on drums.
This is it, basically. Martin put on a great show, it’s obvious he still enjoys what he does, and I can only thank him a million times for the concert, it was worth every single cent I paid. He’s still an excellent guitarist and did a few mindblowing solos. My only regret is not recharging my camera before the show, but the songs are going to be inside my head for a very, very long time anyway.