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last public update: Wednesday, 06-May-2020 16:40:51 CEST
Songs Length
1h30m23s on 10JUL2008
I've not seen Van since March. Maybe I'm just recovering from a withdrawal period or maybe my expectations have been so lowered that any half decent show leaves me on a disproportionate high, but for me last nights show was one of the best I've seen since the demise of the Johnny Scott band and even surpasses many of their shows. Van was in excellent form, even with a little banter coming out. The band was tight and highly accomplished.
The set list was absolutely magic with recent standards sitting comfortably alongside (very) old (long unheard) classics. Great to watch Van directing the band, bringing them up & taking them down as the mood took him. There were wonderful moments of improvisation although not quite to the rant levels we sometimes see. Even the inclusion of BEG appeased an old Cs cynic by starting off acoustic and finishing in its more traditional arrangement.
What a great way to bring all the types of fan on board. I've tried to think of a better show I've seen. It's hard. Really only some of the 'tent events' and the longer shows of the 90's come to mind. Stretch last nights show by 30 minutes and put it in a tent & you'd blow it away.
I was lucky enough to see Neil Young earlier this year and he astounded me.
I really wondered why I'd been following Van for all these years. Last night Van re-established himself in my view as the hugely iconic star he is.
That said, I can't see him pulling off Astral Weeks in such a large venue as the Hollywood Bowl. If ever a Van show should be put in a small venue that's the one.
Van last night in The Phil at Liverpool was on top form.
As good as I've seen him in a decade.
He was loving the natural accoustics of the venue, even commenting on it, and , during All in the Game he instructed the backing singers to stand back from the mic, as they didn't need it.
Golden moment, sat in row 2 centre, I called out for Madame George in a spot of silence.
He then proceeded to do In the Afternoon, after which he walked off to get a new white accoustic then said I'm going to do a request now. Haven't done it in quite a while, but I'll give it a try.
He then sings Madame George!
Talk about conquered in my cat seat!
Comfortably Numb was a great band piece with Katie Kissoon and the percussion to the fore.
Also got a top notch St Dominic, Wavelength, and for me, highlight of the evening , Ballerina
Raving on towards Birmingham
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ - Alan O'Hare
Van was the man last night...
"Soul is not the colour of your skin," sang Van Morrison at the Philharmonic Hall last night. And in an age where the likes of Estelle, Duffy and Adele get all wound up about what soul music actually is - Morrison proved again last night, that still nobody can touch him when singing from inside yourself.
He's taken his knocks over the years - and deservedly so, at times - but last night was a true reminder of his talent. Hope Street was touched by greatness yesterday and a sold-out crowd knew it. Sure, there had been one or two murmurs recently about Morrison banning alcohol from venues on this tour, but all that was forgotten when the music started.
Which is the whole point. Morrison is an artist who needs his audience to listen. And when they do - he delivers like nobody. He spoke to the crowd last night about "this hall being made for acoustics," and you could see him getting lost inside the sound him and his 11-piece band were making. No frills, just great songs played with a lightness of touch and a whole lot of feeling. He cajoled his drummers, pointed for solos and asked the backing singers to step back and sing off-mic to create a feeling. He got it.
We got Madame George, The Way Young Lovers Do, And The Healing Has Begun, Wavelength and St. Dominic's Preview. A set-list to please even the most battle-hardened of Morrison's fans.
Soul music? Van's still the man ...

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