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25 November 1972
Although the American press has never treated Ian Anderson and his boys very well, Jethro Tull managed to sell out the huge Madison Square Garden once again, and played for an astounding two-and-a-half hours to an ecstatic crowd.
They began their set with "a rather long number" from their last LP, Thick As A Brick, which lasted 90 minutes and was laced with extended soloing and rather bizarre dra-matics. Mr Anderson introduced the second tune in his usual way, and Jethro Tull launched into a pastiche of hot hits from previous discs, including 'Locomotive Breath', 'Bouree', and 'Wind Up'.
Surprisingly enough, the band performed several numbers which have not yet been put on disc; they seemed to be quite diverse in nature, ranging from the very complicated melodic and rhythmic transitions which we've been used to from Tull to rather simple, three-chord riffs lifted straight out of the Who's repertoire.
Their set was, for the most part, extremely tight and well-arranged, with notes always right in place even when Ian performed some unnatural acts upon the person of the guitarist, a gimmick which reeked of Bowieness.
The rest of Jethro Tull is not to be overlooked, as they're fairly interesting characters as well. Jeffrey Hammond-Hammond is the only member of the band lacking a beard, and his stage manner also has much of the Don Van Vliet (Beefheart) to it, even to the bass playing.
Whenever John Evan got out from behind his piano he acted like a mimic of Anderson, twirling around his hands and doing what has come to be known as the Ian Strut.
Drummer Barrie Barlow played a twenty minute solo which owed too much to Clive Bunker and Ginger Baker, in addition to being extraordinarily boring; his drumming during the rest of the show was flawless, so this tasteless display was a bit of a surprise.
Martin Lancelot Barre (whose birthday it was the very day of the concert) played a fine rhythm guitar but fell apart during his half-hour solo, which consisted of techniques ripped-off of various modern masters (Pete Townshend, Jimmy Page, and Eric Clapton).
Thanks to Harry Auras for this article.