If you were wondering why I didn’t post this blog and podcast until now (Thursday morning), now you have the answer. I went to see Van Morrison last night.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have seen Van a few times before. One thing I can tell you is that every show is a surprise. I saw one show where he had his back to the audience the entire show. Another time, he had another singer with him sharing the vocals (WHY? is a truly reasonable question). And the other singer felt it necessary to keep introducing Van Morrison in his best circus ringmaster voice constantly throughout the show. And I’ve seen Van Morrison put on one of the best concerts I’ve ever seen– and after 20+ years in music radio, I’ve seen hundreds (perhaps thousands?) of concerts…
Last night’s show was good. Technically, musically, it was great. The band was amazing, though Van Morrison never bothered to introduce the players, which really bugs me. Van showed off his vocal prowess, sounding as good as or better than ever. He surprised many audience members who didn’t know that Van was a consummate musician– playing piano, guitar and saxophone, and leading the band through very tight arrangements of the songs.
Although he faced the audience, he seemed to be just going through the paces. And his song choice was as uninspired.
Northern Muse (Solid Ground)
Brown Eyed Girl
Talk is Cheap
Keep It Simple
School of Hard Knocks
Have I Told You Lately
In The Garden
Healing Has Begun
Slim Slow Slider
Brown Eyed Girl, a song which Van Morrison has said he hates? But no Tupelo Honey, Into the Mystic or any of his other big hits he could have done instead?
And at the end of exactly 90 minutes, he walked off the stage, letting the band continue playing. Then they left, and the house lights came up.
But I’m really not complaining. Last night’s rendition of Moondance was amazing. And although there are many other Van Morrison “hits” I would have rather heard, “Have I Told You Lately” was still great to hear.
Anyway, I cut my show short last night so I could get to the Hard Rock Live on time. And it’s a good thing I did, as he hit the stage right at 8pm and was done at 9:30.
Christy Harvey of the Center for American Progress and MicCheckRadio joined me to start the show, as she does most every Wednesday evening. We talked about the UVa lacrosse murder case and the odd tack the media is taking on it, James Dobson’s former partner in crime George Rekers-who hired a “luggage carrier” from RentBoy.com, Florida’s challenge to Oklahoma for the title of the worst for women’s reproductive rights, how you can have Charlie Crist hanging in your home, and more…
And I also spoke with Stephen C. Webster of Raw Story about his two-part story on Oath Keepers. Oath Keepers founder slams conservative media ‘hypocrisy’ and Oath Keepers found hopes to rally liberals when Dems fall from power.
By the way, Van Morrison didn’t introduce his band… so I will:
Jay Berliner-electric guitar
David Hayes-double bass
Tony Fitzgibbon-violin, viola
Richie Buckley-flute, saxophone
Paul Moran-grand piano, trumpet & organ