Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson - Thick as a Brick - Live in Iceland

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In this show the former Jethro Tull front man revisits the band's 1972 concept album Thick as a Brick as well as its 2012 follow-up, Thick as a Brick 2. There are a few differences in the performance of Thick from the sound of the original recording besides the slight difference in Anderson's voice and the fact that no other members of Tull appear here.

On the studio recording, for example, because of overdubs, Anderson could sing and play flute at the same time. Here though second vocalist Ryan O'Donnell handles the overlap nicely when Anderson's flute playing is required during this telling of the story of young Gerald Bostock.

Then there's a bit of modern tech wizardry; rather than improvise something for the brief part of the opus where a violin is called for in a fiddle-less band, Anna Phoebe plays those riffs via Skype from her bedroom in London.

The work seems to lean a bit more to the acoustic here than it did in its original form but it has lost none of its punch or bravado. Although the crowd in Iceland is not quite as old as what Anderson probably draws in the rest of the world, he kindly gives an intermission between Thick and Thick 2, where at first you think he's joking when he says the break is for old timers who can't make it all the way through a rock concert anymore without having to run to the bathroom. The bit gets quite serious though (although there is a funny skit involving audience members) as Anderson does a lengthy public service announcement touting prostate exams.

Obviously this part of the film will be a fast forward moment after you've seen it the first time, or it can be left playing while the viewer hits the head or the snack closet.

After intermission the band returns and the playing of Thick as a Brick 2 begins; most fans of Thick probably don't even know there is a Thick 2 but here's a good chance to get familiar.

Unlike Thick, which is broken into just two long segments, Thick 2 is structured in the traditional way with a bunch of shorter songs. The plot catches up to Bostock as an adult, still having problems but of a different sort, and playing out over cuts like the would've-been-a-radio-hit-in-the-'70s "Banker Bets, Banker Wins," spoken word (by both Anderson and O'Donnell) pieces like "Might Have Beens" and the at-once familiar "Old School Song" which appropriately recycles some of the memorable riffs from the original album.

You can find the Blu-ray version here, the DVD here and the album version here.

Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson - Thick as a Brick - Live in Iceland
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