Feb 2, 2006

Mr Anderson!

I still think that my Agent Smith imitation works for only two words: Mr Anderson. And yesterday, I went to the Jehtro Tull concert expecting fully to be able to use them, heh heh. But I didn’t. And even though I’m not a Tull fan, no not even after yesterday’s concert, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

However, a couple of sore points. Like all Indian events, this one didn’t start on time either. In fact, at 20:03, one gent – you’re the man, whoever you are – screamed into the empty stage, ‘IT'S EIGHT O'CLOCK. START THE CONCERT NOW... I HAVE TO TAKE MY DAUGHTER TO SCHOOL EARLY. IF YOU WEREN'T PLANNING TO START BY EIGHT, WHY DID YOU PRINT 07:30 PM SHARP ON THE TICKET?'

We all laughed with him and then Uday Benegal walked out to start the proceedings. Er… Alms for Shanti is okay, but only just. Gandhi’s guitar has an angry, screaming voice that seems out of place and out of time. I think the age of anger is past. Today its either angst or not caring that’s the flavour, really. But that aside, I think their single Nagoom has a lot of potential. But they need a better second vocalist than the Vivek, the Mridangam player.

But all the murmurs of dissent and occasional shouts of ‘We want Tull’ faded away as the frisky Mr Ian Anderson finally took the stage.

He’s quite a creature, isn't he? His skill with the flute is amazing and his penchant for humming, spitting, scatting while playing is just amazing. His between song humour is nice too - almost to the point of being what I was waiting for while listening to the flute - and I think he connected with the audience in a way that I haven’t seen in a while. His lead guitarist, Florian something or the other, is a bit of a find, and he played a nicely understated lead. Very, very nice. And I like the fact that his electric guitar had a sleekness of note and fluency of tone similar to Dire Straits' Mark Knopfler.

At the end of the evening, my companion and I slipped out into the warm night, just as the crowds began to chant 'one more, one more...'

There's something great and grand about live music, innit? Like a race-canned Ducati doing a fly-by as you stand stunned by the side of the road...