Saturday, April 01, 2006

Van Morrison

John gave me his Van Morrison ticket and a quick lesson in what to expect:
“He’s promoting his country album so there won’t be any trumpet or sax, and he won’t play his classics. But if he’s in the mood it’ll be a great show.”
“What if he’s not in the mood?”
“If he’s not in the mood, or he doesn’t feel the audience are into it… he might walk off. Or turn his back on the audience and sing like that.”
“Cool!”
“But he hasn’t done that for years. Here’s some things to watch out for. He’ll give a little nod or just look at someone in the band and they’ll go off on a solo, or you’ll see him pump his fist and they’ll play faster. He’s so talented he can hear all the instruments, so if he hears a mistake he’ll give them a dirty look. Then sometimes he’ll pick up on the mood of the audience, and he’ll bring the band down really really quiet… and keep it there… and just at the right moment… up! They’ll go loud again. His timing is really perfect. But you won’t get that tonight – it’ll just be some country stuff. About 50% of it is good.”
The show was, simply, 100% good. Or a word that means better than good. Superb, perhaps.
My seat was about five metres directly in front of Van Morrison. He treated me to the full range of tricks – little nods, hand signals, playing really quietly, everything John had told me about! And, if I weren’t spoiled enough, he sang Brown Eyed Girl, Gloria, Days Like This, and my favourite, Moondance.
Mr. Van Morrison, ladies and gentlemen!

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