Ian Anderson - vocals, flute, guitar; Martin Barre - guitar, mandolin; Doane Perry - drums; Dave Pegg - bass, mandolin, vocals; Don Airey - keyboards, vocals
This show from Philly's Tower Theater represented a rebirth for Jethro Tull. Although most of the band had been together for several years (since the onset of the 1980s most of guys in this line-up were in place), the band was playing with renewed vigor propelled by the success of "Steel Monkey," a rocker that brought them considerable radio airplay once again. In fact, it was the recording of "Steel Monkey" that got Tull the Grammy for Best Heavy Metal recording in 1987, beating out Metallica, who most anticipated would win.
New to the band for this tour was keyboardist Don Airey, who worked with Whitesnake, and is now the organist in Deep Purple. The newer songs in the show went down well, but it was the Tull classics that make this one of the best live recordings of the band.
Opening with "Songs From The Wood," the band breaks into a stunning version of "Thick As a Brick," which they also reprise at the end of the show. "Living In The Past," "Wond'Ring Aloud," "Skating Away On The Thin Ice Of A New Day," and "Too Old To Rock and Roll Too Young To Die" add to the greatest hits presented in this show (only "Teacher" is greatly missed from the band's legendary repertoire). The triple whammy closer of "Aqualung," "Locomotive Breath," and "Wind Up" brings the show to a climax, as it has done on hundreds of other Tull concerts.
When this show was recorded for the King Biscuit Flower Hour in 1987, only Ian Anderson remained from the original line up of bassist Glen Cornick, guitarist Mick Abrahams, and drummer Clive Bunker, so Jethro Tull had essentially became a vehicle for Ian Anderson with a back-up band.
Jethro Tull is still going strong 40 years after its first release on Reprise Records. The line-up has often changed, but Ian Anderson has never let the quality of the music suffer. This show proves that.