Sunday, March 01, 2009


George Ivan Morrison

Van Morrison and his band on stage at Madison Square GardenVan Morrison performed at Madison Square Garden last night.

As you can see from the not-very-good photo over there on the right (click to enlarge it), We weren’t terribly close to the stage. All the same, we could see and hear well... and it wasn’t too loud — in fact, the volume was just about right.

He did two sets, playing for almost exactly two hours, with a ten-minute break between. The first set was an anthology that included most of the hits, the songs everyone wanted to hear. “Moondance”, of course, “Domino”, “Wild Night”, “And It Stoned Me”, “Brown Eyed Girl”. The second set consisted of a live performance of the entire Astral Weeks album, his first hit album, which just turned 40 a couple of months ago. He came back on for a few more songs, finishing the night with his first hit single, “Gloria”.

He came on with quite a band (though not all played at once): two drum kits, one with congas; three guitars, plus a bass guitar, and Morrison himself played guitar in many of the songs; piano and organ; a string bass, two cellos, a viola, and two violins (one featured at center stage); a sax and a trumpet. He also had two women singing with him in the first set and the encore, and they added a gospel tone to his usual rock/jazz mix in some of the songs — especially in a great cover of Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb”.

Nice concert. The only flaw: they had two lights at the back of the stage that were usually pointed up, but that sometimes shone directly in our eyes and made it hard to look at the stage.

Well, it’s a marvelous night for a moondance
With the stars up above in your eyes
A fantabulous night to make romance
’Neath the cover of October skies
And all the leaves on the trees are falling
To the sound of the breezes that blow
And I’m trying to please to the calling
Of your heart-strings that play soft and low
And all the night’s magic seems to whisper and hush
And all the soft moonlight seems to shine in your blush


Thomas J. Brown said...

Oh man, I am so jealous.

Anonymous said...

Van Morrison's cover of "Comfortably Numb" was featured in "The Departed". I loved it there...