Aqualung and me go back a long way. There was something about the way Ian Anderson sang about the reclusive vagabond that formed a very clear mental image of the character in my mind. It was a friend that was three or so years my senior who introduced me to music like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Jethro Tull during those days.
At the time these guys were in their prime. We’d listen to new releases on my friend’s cassette player as he managed to save up enough to go to the record store and buy them. In retrospect, listening to those legendary songs on a mono cassette player seems like heresy, but that’s what we had at the time and I still cherish the memories of listening to that music when it was brand-new.
With the continuing popularity of the classic rock genre, it’s sometimes hard to date that stuff, but it becomes quite easy for me when I envision those cassettes being popped into the player, enabling us to tune into the latest and greatest that era had to offer. Although it seems like it was a lifetime ago, at times it seems like it was just yesterday. Those are the kinds of tricks time plays on you as you put more and more if it in the rearview mirror.
It’s been a while, and like so many other acts from that era, not all the original members are still with the band, but Jethro Tull is coming back to America this summer and they’ve agreed to bring the venerable Aqualung along with them. The group will start their tour in June and plan to perform the Aqualung album in its entirety, bringing classics like “Cross-eyed Mary,” “Locomotive Breath” and of course, “Aqualung” to life on stage.
The group has a pretty extensive 4-decade catalog to draw from, so there will surely be much more to this tour than Aqualung, although I suspect the “Aqualung moments” will be the most memorable for a good number of fans. The tour is being billed as a celebration of the group’s 40th Anniversary and will continue on to various venues in Europe once the U.S. tour has wrapped up.
Although none of the U.S. venues are anywhere near me, and as a result I am unlikely to attend, I might still find myself wondering if a fleeting glimpse of Aqualung himself might be caught near some shadowy area of the stage during the show. Sure, all sane individuals know he’s simply a fictional character, but for a one who formed such a vivid image in my mind’s eye, I suppose I just cannot help myself.
Jethro Tull has planned the following U.S. and Canadian Tour dates:
June 08: Red Rock Amphitheater, Morrison, CO
June 10: Comerica Theatre, Phoenix, AZ
June 11: The Greek Theatre, Los Angeles, CA
June 12: TBA, Valley Center, CA
June 13: The Grove, Anaheim, CA
June 14: TBA, Saratoga, CA
June 16: Cuthbert Amphitheater, Eugene, OR
June 17: McMenamins Edgefield Concerts On The Lawn, Troutdale, OR
June 18: TBA, Woodinville, WA
June 19: Centre for the Performing Arts, Vancouver, BC
June 21: Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, Edmonton, AB
June 22: Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, Calgary, AB
June 23: Casino Regina, Regina, SK
June 25: Orpheum Theatre, Minneapolis, MN
June 26: Chicago Theatre, Chicago, IL
June 27: Rosemont Theatre, Rosemont, IL