The band has released 30 albums, selling over 60 million copies, and performing over 3,000 concerts in 40 countries.
Anderson’s showmanship was on full display at Forest Hills Stadium, freely dancing and employing his signature single-legged flute stance. Two sets included songs like “Dharma for One,” “Thick as a Brick,” and “A New Day Yesterday,” as well as “Aqualung” and “Locomotive Breath.”
“This is a piece that has sentimental value during the years that I spent in agriculture in the highlands of Scotland back in the 80s and 90s,” Anderson said before “Warm Sporran,” a song that has only been played publicly in the last few weeks. “I could often be found back then wandering through the glorious glens of the mountainsides, along the steep river banks, wearing nothing but a warm sporran.”
“This is the oldest theme of all,” Anderson said before performing “Pastime With Good Company.” “It wasn’t written by me, since I was still in short trousers back then in the 16th century when it was recorded as King Henry VIII’s madrigal in merry old England.”
“For a lead singer to alternate vocals with playing a wind instrument with his level of mastery is impressive,” said longtime fan Eric Schreiber of Anderson’s signature flute. “With some bands, the lead guitarist creates the band’s signature sound, but with Jethro Tull, it’s definitely Anderson’s flute and vocals.”
Linda Glaser appreciated the rapport with the audience.
“Every song had a story, and past musicians were presented on video to narrate the songs,” she said, noting the show’s ambience. “The people we met in our row felt like long-lost friends.”
“My memories came flooding back, reliving my journey with them over 50 years,” added Steven Rosen. “Ian referred to seeing old friends again, which was nice to hear.”
Jane Firkser-Brody was reminded of a 1970 Jethro Tull show at the Fillmore East.
“I absolutely love the sound of a flute, and Ian Anderson plays as good as ever,” she said. “Even though he is the only original member, his band sounds as if they have been playing together for years.”
For Kevin Wadalavage, it was his 14th Jethro Tull engagement. He has kept his ticket stubs since a 1972 show at Madison Square Garden.
“The musicians of early Tull, including Barriemore Barlow, Jeffrey Hammond and Clive Bunker, were amazingly skilled and I would invite anyone to watch some of their early concert footage,” he said. “I first came to Forest Hills Stadium to see The Who in 1971, and having always lived in Queens, it has been a real treat to see the stadium come back to life. I can see world-class talent and still be home in ten minutes.”