Concerts Music

The magic flute is living in the present – Jethro Tull concert at Helsinki Kulttuuri Talo

{mosimage}Just more than a band, a truly rock living legend, visited Finland to offer two excellent shows in Tampere and Helsinki during their 40th anniversary Tour. FREE! Magazine was in the show at the Finnish capital to check how Ian Anderson and company sounded there!



years is something that not many bands achieve. Fortunately, Jethro Tull is still alive and kicking ass! Probably the survival is due to the charisma of the only original component that remains, Ian Anderson. Nevertheless, he is the one who pulls the creative strings of the band, so it would have not been the same if Jethro Tull had ever lost him, and then basically, it would not be Jethro Tull anymore. Anderson himself joked during the concert about the continuous changes in the band formation, when introducing their “seventh” bass player David Goodier.

But before, a little adventure to arrive to the show on time…

I did not know if I would get the press ticket until a few minutes before the show, where happily I could see that LiveNation had positively attended my pledges. I was at that moment in the middle of nowhere in Espoo staying at a friend´s house, so after an odyssey through the “deep Helsinki big area”, and getting also lost in Kallio, I finally made it to Kulttuuri talo building. I had not been there since Yngwee Malmsteem´s concert, and the truth is that is not the best place in Helsinki to watch a concert. The acoustic is awful, and the organization places the fence 10 metres from the stage, losing much of the feeling of getting close to the artists.




During the evening, I saw the best and the worst of Finnish nature. On one hand, people were nice and helpful to help me find the venue, in the end I walked with another guy who was also assisting to the concert. On the other hand, the kind of things that break my nerves about Finland and their “squared minded” organization: the entrance to the hall was forbidden if you were wearing a jacket, but when you had to leave it in the wardrobe, you had to pay in cash, and it happened I did not have any in my pocket. With the concert about to start, finally they made an exception and I did not pay, but the girl on charge did not forget to remind me that “I had to pay next time”. Please…if any organizer reads this, when will they realize that the wardrobe should be included with the general price of the ticket? And what if I feel cold and I want to wear my jacket inside the venue, is that a sin? Finland and its rules…  a never ending story.


Nevertheless, I finally made it in, and after a short delay Anderson and his British fellows appeared on stage. The flutist with his unmistakable handkerchief on his head attacked the notes of Crossed-Eyed Mary and continued with a good collection of the greatest hits of the band though their long history:  Beggar´s Farm, A Song for a Cuckoo, Farm on the Freeway, the acoustic King Henry´s Madrigal or the amazing Song for Jeffrey were some of the songs played, with Anderson cheerful, joking with the audience and introducing every song with a little history, apart from showing his virtuoso talent in solos with the flute, long but not tedious. He also joked about the Grammy Award they got years ago as best metal band, telling that of course they are not a metal band. Somebody from the audience quickly answered the famous sentence “The flute is a heavy metal instrument” that appeared in Billboard magazine.

{mosimage}The concert was divided into two parts, with a break of around 20 minutes in the middle. I must confess I do not like breaks in concerts, but well, this gives a good chance to the Finnish audience to go for a pint of beer meanwhile and chit chat a bit. Back on stage, the band continued with his good arts playing more anthems like the always awesome Thick as a Brick or Aqualung to end up with Locomotive Breath.

All in all, just a great concert that shows how old rockers never die. The audience was not wild, but silently enjoying, like sharing something magical and special that you cannot feel every other day. Older and younger people mixed;  fans of all ages with the band´s t shirts on just on a kind of mystical trance, moving their feet at the rhythm of Anderson´s diabolical flute.  Let´s see if they continue as good as now for the 50th anniversary tour in 10 years!  

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