Jethro Tull playing three Czech shows

Ian Anderson’s band will be in Ostrava, Brno and Prague for the 50th anniversary tour

Progressive rock band Jethro Tull will be back in the Czech Republic for three dates on the 50th-anniversary tour. They will be in Prague at the Congress Center on March 24, 2019, and just before that at Gong in Ostrava on March 22 and at BVV in Brno on March 23.

Tickets are available from Ticketportal.

Nobody in the band ever was named Jethro Tull. The name refers to an 18th-century historical figure involved in agriculture. The frontman is Ian Anderson. For close to a decade he has been touring under his own name but has gone back again to the band’s original name of the anniversary.

The lineup has changed often. “This is a celebration of all the 33 band members who graced our ranks – musicians who brought their talents, skills and styles to bear on the performances live and in the studio,” Ian Anderson said when the tour was announced.

The current lineup includes guitarist Florian Opahle, keyboardist John O'Hara, bass guitarist David Goodier and drummer Scott Hammond.

Video messages from Tony Iommi, Joe Bonamassa, Steve Harris, Joe Elliott and Slash are projected during the show.

The Czech dates come late in the anniversary tour, which began in the UK in April 2018. It was on Feb. 2, 1968, at the Marquee Club in London that Jethro Tull first performed under that name.

The debut album, This Was, came out later that same year. Ian Anderson is credited with introducing the flute to rock as a lead instrument.

The anniversary concerts feature a broad mix of material, from the earlier formative period through to the “heavy hitters” of the Tull catalog from the albums This Was, Stand Up, Benefit, Aqualung, Thick As A Brick, Too Old To Rock And Roll: Too Young To Die, Songs From The Wood, Heavy Horses, Crest Of A Knave and TAAB2 from 2012, the band said in a press release.

Almost 20 songs are included in the two-hour show made of two sets and an encore. “Songs From the Wood,” “Aqualung” and “Farm on the Freeway” have been in every show so far on the anniversary tour. Others like “Living in the Past” and a cover of Henry VIII’s tune “Pastime With Good Company” turn up more sporadically.

Ian Anderson was last in Prague in 2016 with Jethro Tull: The Rock Opera, which worked songs into a narrative with a video projection. He has also been here with an orchestra in 2015 and 2011, to play the album Thick as a Brick in 2013 and a Christmas show in 2009.

Different lineups of Jethro Tull have played Prague nine times since 1991, including a 40th-anniversary tour in 2008.

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