Gosh I have no idea where to start from. How about, Yippieeee! I got to watch Jethro Tull Live. Better still, Jethro Tull & Anoushka Shankar fusing Indian Classical and Rock Celtic Blues Music.
Let me start by saying though that my heart and that of the entire world goes out to the people of Mumbai. Thos that lost their lives and those that are still fighting to provide the freedom that we so enjoy. Towards that effect the concert started with a minutes silence to pay homage and solidarity with the people of India’s Commercial Capital, Mumbai.
All this turmoil on the western coast led to beefed up security at the venue of the concert at Science City Auditorium. So we had to be at the venue two hours before the concert. So I reached at about 5.30 pm and picked up the tickets that I had booked online. Thank god for that because I was like the 10th person in the line that turned out to twist and turn all the way up to the main gate way past the parking area by 6.30 pm. We finally got in and got seated by about 7ish and it wasn’t till 8pm that people were finally seated after going through all the security checks and the concert kicked off after we all stood for a minutes of silence for the events occurring in Mumbai.
Ian Anderson came on stage and in his witty way introduced the three parts of the two part concert. The first was Anoushka Shankar with Tanmay Bose doing a pure classical thing which would be followed by The Band itself, Jethro Tull who would play what he said was an attempt at Rock and the third and final part of the program would be Jethro Tull jamming with Anoushka Shankar in an east meets west kind of Music soiree.
Anoushka took stage with Tanmay on Tabla and accompanied by two artists on Tanpura and one on the Flute. A two track repertoire of classical music with a fast paced crescendo set it up for a break after about an hour.
While the stage was setup people waited anxiously for Jethro Tull to take the stage. Sure enough as the master performer Ian Anderson got on stage to a loud applause he humoured the crowd with some quips and went straight into Act II with his antics on stage. I was amazed by his energy and agility even at his age as he did his trademark Krishna pose with the flute and kept kicking his legs way up into the air. It was encore after encore as he progressed into his early days of music with likes of Aqualung and It was A New Day Yesterday but it’s an Old Day Now.
It was about half past 10 when Anoushka Shankar joined him on stage and they sent the crowd into a tizzy with some mind blowing fusion specially composed for this tour. The “jugalbandi” between “The Piper & The Princess” on Sitar was fantastic. The show ended and after being called back by the crowd who was craving for more, the final Encore was “Locomotive Breath” when the Band was called back and played till nearly half past 11.
Here I’d like to add something which I found quite annoying and maybe quite stupid. The “pseudo happening” people of Kolkata paying Rs. 1500/- per ticket occupying the front section of the auditorium were the most dead set of rockers I’d ever seen in my life. The crowd up in the balcony who had paid the lowest denomination tickets were the ones who were actually egging the concert on, showing much appreciation for the music. Yeah I guess they have some new party talk, these psuedo types. Lets get this straight, either you're a rocker or you're not. Just attending a TULL Concert doesn't make you cool.
Anyway that said I’d like to add that this is like the gates of dawn with the Piper setting up a whole new era of International Acts looking at Kolkata as a venue to perform. Keep them coming man! We love great music!