Monday, December 29, 2008

Warchild at Sellersville

Last night I went to the Sellersville Theater for the first time.  It's a beautiful little theater.  It's stage is far too small for theatrical productions but is sufficiently large enough for most live music shows.  The house PA provides a nice clear, clean sound that is room filling without making your ears bleed.  Kudos to the house sound crew.  The concession stand has alcoholic and soft beverages and a limited snack menu.  The front rows are loose chairs at tables but you may enjoy your refreshments in any seat in the house.  The rest is standard theater ticketed seating.  Go hear a show there.  You will enjoy yourself.

And enjoy myself I did.  I went to hear Warchild.  Billed as "A Faithful Jethro Tull Recreation," they put on a great show.  Even though I'm a fan of Progressive Rock and even though Tull was a band that got a lot of radio play back in the day, I must admit that I am not fully versed with the entire Tull oeuvre.  But I have seen Tull live.  Also, being a musician who has heard certain songs enough times to know how they should sound and who has seriously played and recorded a small number of Tull classics, I can honestly say that Warchild does not disappoint.

Fronted by Paul Caruso in the Ian Anderson persona, Warchild puts forth a nice recreation of a live Tull show.  Caruso has cultivated his hair, beard, flute playing, and voice to fill the role convincingly.  Not just with singing, he even talks and acts like Anderson in between numbers.  Without a good Anderson, a Tull tribute band wouldn't stand a chance.  With Caruso, Warchild is off to a good start.

Bobb Freund on bass holds down the bottom of the band quite well.  Being a bass player myself, I was most impressed with his ability to play on Minstrel in the Gallery and Bouree.  Joe Torre on drums does a great job holding things together.  His solo toward the end of the second set is one of those things that I don't have the required exposure to live Tull shows to know if he's playing a stick-for-stick recreation, but it's easy to see that he's a good drummer in his own right.  On guitar, Erick Milcetic has mastered the sound of Martin Barre.  While not always playing a perfect note-for-note rendition, you must remember that this is a recreation of live shows, not the recordings.  Erick hits the essential parts that the ear wants to hear and has the various tones nailed.  Finally, Mike Grin ..boards was softest in the mix.  A shame.  Perhaps if I had left my seat and walked around the room the mix would have been different but I was able to hear organ, piano, sound effects, and orchestral parts.  Oh, did I mention Mike's daughter dancing ballet?  And Renee on glockenspiel?  Add a violinist and cellist to the mix and there were a lot of people on stage by the end of the show.  Lots of fun and a great sound.

Set One:
To Cry You a Song
With You There - 1000 Mothers
My Sunday Feeling
Song for Jeffery
New Day Yesterday
Back to the Family
For Later
Love Story
Living In the Past
Sweet Dream
Play in Time
Nothing Is Easy

Set Two:
Minstrel In the Gallery
Locomotive Breath
Cross Eyed Mary
My God
Critique Oblique/Passion Play
Third Hoorah
Bungle In the Jungle
Too Old To Rock and Roll
Rainbow Blues
Dharma For One
Thick as a Brick
Dambuster's March

Wind Up
Hymn 43

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