Thursday, 9 May 2013

A Tale of Two Concerts

Here are two interesting Van concert reviews with some subtle differences. The first from Canada is by Pastor Ben and the second from Norway is by Per Ole Hagen.  Both reviews have been shortened for the sake of brevity (we live in the era of the diminished attention span after all).  Read the full reviews by clicking on the links.   

Concert 1  -  MTS Centre, Winnipeg, Canada (01/03/2007)
Last night my friend Frank and I went to the Van Morrison concert. It was totally awesome. I would have to say that it was the best concert that I have ever been to. It was also totally different from any concert that I have ever seen.

Every concert I had been to had been a show that was rehearsed and programed. It did not matter if the group was a large name or just some local group. Van Morrison was just about the music. There was no light show, no smoke, no jokes, just really good music. They appeared to decide to do certain songs while on stage. And during the songs Van Morrison would point to different members of the band to indicate that they should do a solo at that point. It was amazing. They were so very, very talented.
The other thing that made Van Morrison different from other groups is that he really highlighted his band. When he was not singing or doing a sax solo he would move to the back of the stage to allow the other musicians to have the spot light. Often I have seen other rock stars love to be worshipped. There was also no warm up act. His band came on and did two numbers without him. Then he joined them and played for 90 minutes. Van Morrison then walked off to the side (the band stayed where they were) and then came back on to do two closing numbers.

Concert 2  -  Norwegian Wood Festival, Oslo, Norway (10/06/2000)
I have seen Van Morrison on several occasions, and loved all his performances. My best experience with Van Morrison, is the concert he did at the Norwegian Wood festival in Oslo  in June 2000. Both because Van the Man was telling jokes on stage, and making fun of his musicians. But also because of the dove.

Early in the set, a dove flew in and landed on organist Geraint Watkins’ instrument. There it sat through the whole concert. Van was in a great mood, the band played excellent, and he sang all his best songs during the concert. After Have I Told You Lately, where he introduced the song with “It’s just a song that I wrote that Rod Stewart made famous, it’s alright, I don’t mind” Van and the band did a long version of It’s All In The Game as an encore. The dove still sat there, as if it was listening to the great music. When the applause ended and the stage crew started to clear the stage, the dove fell down from the organ, dead.
Sten Fredriksen from the festival tells that they buried the dove backstage. I like to think that the dove probably was dying, but got a beautiful death accompanied by one of rock history’s greatest songs, Have I Told You Lately That I Love You.

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