This week Van Morrison was in town and I had tickets! It is the first, (and probably last) time that he has been or will be in Calgary in his entire career. Being that he apparently hates to tour and perform live and that he's now 61, I'm guessing that I will never see him live again. The same thing happened to me when James Brown came through town two years ago. I do wish good ole' Van a long and prosperous life!
The concert was in a domed arena, so the sound is never PREMIER, but it's the fact that you are experiencing something live- and that's exciting to me. Van and his band were incredible, and they even did "Brown Eyed Girl", which I read later in the paper that he swore he would never perform again because he was so sick of it!
Van's voice is still magical. As the concert progressed, so did his voice. There were times when I heard something that he sang-something that he did with his voice, that I had never heard anyone do before. Sometimes it was a warble, other times something in the richness of his voice.
All of the musicians playing with him were amazing and they were hauling around some really nice gear! Van's organ player was indeed carting around a real B3 with huge leslie cabinet and all. None of them were trying to prove anything or were super flashy, they just enjoyed playing! I'm so used to seeing a guitar player pull out 5-6 guitars, (or even U2's The Edge having a guitar for every song) but Van's guitarist only had one guitar that I saw.
Van's pedal steel/slide guitar player was the flashiest of them all, but she wasn't really showing off, it was just her personality to have fun. She pulled off some incredibly gorgeous solo's on her pedal steel that put her up there with Daniel Langlois and Jerry Douglas. (Yes, Daniel Langlois does play the pedal steel, just not in a bluegrass or country band. Check out some of his albums if you don't belive me!)
All in all, other than wishing that I was in a club in Ireland listening to Van, it was a great experience and I will never forget it.