"Welcome to the breakfast show."
Van already had the crowd's full attention when he offered that welcome last night right before he launched into In the Midnight, the third song of his scintillating 19 song set.
He then mumbled something that I believe involved lack of sleep before getting on with the show, which provided further proof that his improvisatory genius continues to burst out of him like a geyser.
Morrison subbed out 8 songs from the Friday set, if you count the full-blown "throw the motherfucker down" version of Burning Ground that flowed from In The Afternoon, seamlessly merging two intensely emotional declarations of love, at one point repeating the phrase "diamonds in the night" with a trancelike beauty.
The entire concert was like a musical tasting course at a 4-star restaurant, each song surprising the listener in delightful ways. In the midst of Stranded, Van and the band were floating dreamily like clouds above that "tiny, tiny" desert island when Morrison shouted "Wake Up!" and the song and the band exploded into life again. There Stands The Glass featured 5, count 'em, 5, rimshots tonight. When Morrison re-entered I Can't Stop Loving You after the chorus sang its verse, it almost elevated people out of their chairs. One Irish Rover was balladry at its best.
Help Me blew the roof off the joint. Moans, screams, wails. The old man ain't tired anymore, he just wants to lie down.
This was a show to gorge on. Last of the NYC trilogy tonight. Maybe Van will even pick up the guitar.