Concert Review: Van Morrison — Engaged Rather than Grumpy

By Paul Robicheau

A relatively short-but-sweet night that struck just enough highs and no real lows — as long as one accepts that Van Morrison gives more heed to covers than his own hits.

Van Morrison at the Leader Bank Pavilion. Photo: Paul Robicheau

Anyone headed into a Van Morrison concert has long faced the question: will he be engaged and on point or will he be grumpy and mail it in? To add an extra level of uncertainty these days, consider the revered Irish R&B singer’s repudiation of pandemic restrictions and other grievances on his two latest albums.

Morrison immediately drew from that recent material at Boston’s sold-out Leader Bank Pavilion on Saturday. He took the stage in fighting trim at age 77, sporting a crisp white suit, dark fedora, and usual sunglasses as he opened with “Dangerous,” which alluded to his back-and-forth spat with a Northern Ireland health minister who used that term for the singer’s questioning of evidence. “Somebody said I was dangerous,” Morrison sang. “I must be getting close to the truth.”

At the same time, the stoic singer’s vocal delivery was nonconfrontational, the lyrics gliding by as he spread attention to soloists within his nine-piece band, a trend continued as they rolled out “Thank God for the Blues” to set the night’s stylistic tone. Most critically, Van appeared in both good voice and mood — and even mumbled “Thank you” a couple of times.

Soon he was on to the positive reflection of “Days Like This” (once adopted as an anthem for his country’s peace process), adding his own ribbony alto-sax break, then led a perky swing through Moondance nugget “These Dreams of You” and turned to scat in a jaunty “Precious Time” over a swirl of organ and baritone sax.

Even when he stopped and restarted the band after a miscue with opening-act guest James Hunter’s tradeoff on harmonica and vocals in “Tell Me,” Morrison appeared to laugh it off. He and Hunter really clicked on the oldie “Money (That’s What I Want),” done as a bluesy bop. On a roll at that moment, Morrison and his band hit the blues harder with a twangy “Baby, Please Don’t Go” (which he first recorded with his ’60s band Them), singing into his harmonica mic at one point. And that song segued into “Got My Mojo Working,” the singer tilting his head back in a spirited call-and-response as his band picked up steam.

The edge and energy were emanating from Morrison at center stage through the rest of the players, carried through “I’ve Been Working,” marked by its staccato refrains of “woman” and “alright” and crackling with horn, guitar, and organ solos. Then Morrison loosened up for a lighter attitude in his phrasing to the standard “You’re Driving Me Crazy,” which he dedicated to jazz organist Joey DeFrancesco, his onetime recording partner who died in August at age 51.

Van Morrison at the Leader Bank Pavilion. Photo: Paul Robicheau

Morrison finally tapped the spiritual, searching side of his own ’80s repertoire for a back-to-back “Dweller on the Threshold” (undercut by its rippling riff of horns) and “In the Garden,” apparently an on-the-fly call given the paperwork delivered to his music stand. It made a welcome inclusion, though its “No guru, no method, no teacher” musing didn’t approach the song’s transcendence in decades past.

That segment still served more grist than perfunctory, crowd-pleasing renditions of late-set romper “Wild Night” and “Brown Eyed Girl,” which began the encore with house lights up and Hunter returning for the call-and-response of “Gloria,” where Morrison waved his mic to the crowd for replies of “Alright!” and “So good!” Then he walked off mid-song to let his band work another 10 minutes of hearty soloing, including a trumpet shot of “Tequila” and a vibraphone tease of unsung favorite “Moondance,” padding the show to 95 minutes.

Alas, by that point, Morrison was surely off in the moonlight and not coming back, on a relatively short-but-sweet night that struck just enough highs and no real lows — as long as one accepts that he gives more heed to covers than his own hits.

Paul Robicheau served more than 20 years as contributing editor for music at the Improper Bostonian in addition to writing and photography for the Boston Globe, Rolling Stone, and many other publications. He was also the founding arts editor of Boston Metro.


  1. Michael on September 8, 2022 at 1:32 pm

    The concert in Tanglewood was the same. At first it was jamming blues and covers, then it still was and still was some more. Then he just wandered off stage, the band played another 5 hours of GLORIA rumbled moondance on xylophone then stopped. House lights and go home. No bow, no nothing.

    Not the experience we hoped for. The place was electric waiting to be dancing and singing then nothing. The crowd realizing it was not going to live up to expectations and started leaving and decided it was social chat time and everyone went on their phone and talked. Very disappointed

    • Paul Robicheau on September 9, 2022 at 1:48 pm

      Yeah, also seemed like the Boston crowd didn’t know whether to sit, stand or give up at times.

      • Susan on September 10, 2022 at 1:31 pm

        I have been a long time fan of Van Morrison and was completely disappointed with the show in Philadelphia
        All he did was yell into the microphone no true Van singing
        If you’re looking to enjoy the Van of old it’s not here
        We left after an hour and half of complete disappointment

      • SJ on September 14, 2022 at 1:50 pm

        Very disappointing Van show but should have expected same as saw him also do a les than inspired performance at Hollywood Bowl years ago.
        Fans pay high prices and honest ones end up always voicing disappointment especially the rude act of walking off a few minutes into Gloria at the end! Aside from his crazy rants about pandemic he also has expressed great disdain about performing any shows outside Ireland, Scotland or the UK so no suprise as it shows on stage.
        Time to give it up Van and let us all remember the “Good Ol Days”!

      • Lynn on November 23, 2022 at 8:54 pm

        Sir Van is great at every concert. So many people want the old standards- get over it, understand this is how he does his gigs. and listen to the last 4 CDs – all great songs, Van is not there to engage with you he’s there to sing. “Down To Joy” — robbed of an Oscar. Enjoy his music and don’t expect Mr Showbiz to woo you. Love Van anytime, anywhere. Saw him 3 times – LV and Saratoga. His arrangements are superior and the horns were a R&B plus.

    • Geo on September 9, 2022 at 6:04 pm

      Exactly the same thing in Philly. 28 minutes of Gloria and he walked out 10
      Minutes in. Pretty boring.

    • Kevin on September 10, 2022 at 10:38 pm

      At tanglewood also. My wife has always said she wanted to see Van Morrison live so for Mother’s Day I got her the tickets. It wasn’t a bad show he sounded good and We did like the jazz and blues that he was playing but at a certain point I looked at my phone saw the time and the realization settled in that he was not going to play at least some of the hits that we were all waiting for as a crowd.
      It kind of felt like he thought if he played Briwn Eyed Girl everybody would be happy and he could go home.
      Again he sounded great and the band was wonderful but never really delivered.
      4-5 more classics and totally different experience.

    • Sue on September 11, 2022 at 12:07 am

      Same here! Saw him tonight in Queens , NY
      Very disappointed…he only played 3 songs that the audience knew… everyone chatted… he walked off before the end of his last song..never to come back on stage! Now Tom Jones who opened for him was amazing!!.. Ive been to many concerts and this one was definitely not a crowd pleasurer…

      • Bill on September 11, 2022 at 9:33 am

        Was also at the show, agree completely. The acoustics were turned way down for Van compared to Tom. I couldn’t hear him or band and the hits weren’t played. Left early very frustrated. Sad for such a talented legend.

        • Mick on September 13, 2022 at 12:07 am

          Also would have been nice if Van allowed the cameras to put his band up on the big screen behind him.

      • Adam Kronstat on September 11, 2022 at 12:16 pm

        Couldn’t agree more, was there last night and Morrison was a complete disappointment. Jones was amazing!

        • RCV on September 11, 2022 at 5:51 pm

          Wow, not my experience at all. Loved the show. Two guys pushing 80 and knowing their limitations probably influences set list, although Van is known for not relying heavily on his hits when touring. He leaves that to the every other tour out there. He sounded great and his band was tight, so what he choose to perform was not that important. He’s a unique voice and Everyone there last night should really appreciate what these legends were able to deliver, a Great concert!

          No complaints, other than the cost of drinks!

        • Mick on September 13, 2022 at 12:04 am

          I agree Adam. Tom Jones was fantastic. His voice was no different than 50 years ago! He totally connected, everyone loved him.
          Van was disappointing. Basically we paid hundreds of dollars to see a great cover band. But none of his best songs. NONE. At least I knew ahead of time after checking every set list for the past few months. The best moment was when he did Good night Irene with Tom Jones. Magic. But the rest?….Thievery

      • flo on September 12, 2022 at 11:42 am

        I WAS there too, and felt like you. No known songs were attempted, just blues that I did not ever hear him do before. No engagement with the audience not a word, no thank yous. I felt unsatisfied, and glad I didnt pay for these tix.

    • STEVE FORREST on September 16, 2022 at 7:39 pm

      He is a mother fucka. I saw him saturday night in Forest Hills. Played some rockabilly and jazzy stuff. Only one of his classic hits Brown Eyed Girl. And NO OTHER HITS! Total ripoff at $275 per seat And yes, he walked off in the middle of Gloria and never came back. Had no connection with the audience whatsoever. No stories. No hello. No Goodbye. nothing! WTF!!

      • john harper on September 23, 2022 at 5:20 am

        275.00 caveat emptor

        • Donald Krug on October 12, 2022 at 5:07 pm

          275.00 you got off cheap! We paid $1200 each for 5th row seats at Caesar’s Palace and got the same show with none of his old songs!
          What a disappointment and rip off!
          Not only that but the show was for February but was postponed till October due to Covid.
          Thank god for all the other good shows in Vegas that we went to see, both times.

  2. Frank on September 8, 2022 at 3:23 pm

    What was strange is that he released a very provocative album containing some exceptional music but played next to nothing from it. I think there were people ready to cheer and revel in the counter culture aspect of the “What’s it going to take” album but he chickened out.

    • Tom on September 9, 2022 at 12:13 am

      At Philly show tonight (Sept 8) and Van the Man mailed it in. Played nothing noteworthy and disappointed tremendously. Embarrassing performance!!!

      • Kraig on September 9, 2022 at 7:40 pm

        I couldn’t agree more. I wish I had checked the playlist websites before I bought the tickets and not in the car on our 2 1/2-hour drive down to the Mann. The venue was awesome and the crowd spectacular. I felt Van was so disengaged from the crowd like he was playing for himself only. I mean really, there was a beautiful full moon over the city at sunset, you’re telling me he couldn’t have segued that into playing Moondance.
        I took my daughter for her birthday with family and her friends as Van is her favorite. The one and only high point was that I was able to dance with my brown eyed girl to Van singing brown eyed girl (and hate to admit it but that song and 2 others were the only songs I knew out of the 20 they played) Very disappointed. My advice to anyone wanting to see a good Van Morrison show would be to find a good cover band.

    • Paul Robicheau on September 9, 2022 at 1:51 pm

      True, he might have been more selective and doubled down on including more of that newer music rather than so many blues covers…

  3. Cheryl on September 8, 2022 at 10:46 pm

    His concert in Philly tonight was exactly the same. He walked off in the middle of Hloria and never came back, He didn’t play Moondance, Into the Mystic, Somebody Like You or Tupelo Honey. I have waited so long to see him in concert, and he phoned it in. So disappointed…,

    • Paul Robicheau on September 9, 2022 at 1:53 pm

      Unfortunately for his old fans, he’s never going to play all the favorites… he’d rather avoid them for the most part.

      • Frank on September 14, 2022 at 5:48 pm

        The sad thing is I saw Van Morrison at Forest Hills in 2016 and the 2018 and they were the two best concerts I’ve ever seen. Last week’s Forest Hills concert was dreadful because Van never grabbed the drunk crowd which talked loudly all night as if they were in a loud bar. The acoustics, sound system, and his band were decidedly inferior from the 2016 and 2018 concerts. I blame the crowd for talking but Van never made them shut up by playing a few more of his beloved songs. In 2018 for example he opened at 8 pm sharp with two songs from Astral Weeks and the crowd was in the palm of his hand. Then he played all the jazz standards like Symphony Sid which I loved because I could actually hear them without the crowd noise and better sound quality. Van has as many great songs as Dylan, Beatles, or Stones. Although I blame the crowd for rudeness I blame Van for not grabbing them early with a few of his classics instead opening with his new angry pandemic songs. I don’t love him less because of his political views but let’s not make the last night of summer about pandemic politics.

  4. Larry on September 8, 2022 at 11:55 pm

    His concert in Philly missed the mark as he is not playing to the audience or the venue. Heavily reliant on covers, obscurities and jazz-infused songs rather than the more recognized part of his catalogue. Only bright light was the involvement of his opening act, Curtis Stigers who brought energy and fun to the stage. Plus, playing for barely 90 minutes with a large part consumed by solos is hardly what was expected.

    • Paul Robicheau on September 9, 2022 at 1:56 pm

      Curtis is very good indeed. Did you not get James Hunter as well? Wonder what Van would do without his contributions during his set — or did Curtis join him?

      • Larry Trenk on September 9, 2022 at 4:13 pm

        Curtis joined him for roughly half of the numbers.

      • Howie in DC on September 10, 2022 at 2:31 pm

        James Hunter opened (solo) for VM at Wolf Trap on Wednesday. He then joined in for the later part of the main set. That was the day before Philly. I’ve read some of the negative reviews of the Philly concert and wondering if Van needs a day off instead of playing back to back dates these days. He seemed pretty energetic. I didn’t expect to hear a bunch of old VM songs, and there were few, they closed with Brown Eyed Girl and Gloria. As a teenager I always had 8-tracks of Moondance and Street Choir jammed into my car’s tape deck. I didn’t expect to hear much of that music – and there wasn’t. That was fine with me, I have most of his 80’s and 90’s music too. He never gives an oldies show. I got what I expected. Good but not great.

  5. Joan on September 9, 2022 at 12:04 am

    I saw the Philly show and agree with Cheryl. My husband and I treated ourselves to very expensive seats, so we could experience up close some nostalgia from 3 decades ago. He was not going to give us that satisfaction. How selfish of him. It was all about him and his new songs. There went $750 down the drain. We left feeling cheated!

  6. Lisa on September 9, 2022 at 12:56 am

    Was so looking forward to this show! All 8 of my family were so excited to see you. I understand wanting to introduce us to new music. I have no problem with that. What I don’t understand is how you can disappoint all your fans by not playing most of the songs that your fans came to hear. Why wouldn’t you blend in some new songs in between some of your popular ones? Walking off the stage to leave the band playing Gloria for what felt like an eternity and never coming out for an encore was just bizarre. You never even gave acknowledgment to your band members. What a disappointment!

  7. patti on September 9, 2022 at 10:24 am

    I thought the Philly show was wonderful. They did not play my favorites, but loved “Carrying the Torch” and “Dweller on the Threshold” and “Gloria.” His voice was great, the band was excellent, the sound was good. His catalog is so huge you know you’re not going to get all his big hits. Beautiful night under a full moon, great to be back at the Mann. My 5th time seeing him; not the best one ever, but plenty good enough. Play on.

    • Carl on September 9, 2022 at 12:30 pm

      Was one of your 4 other times seeing Van, the time he played at the Spectrum, maybe 20 years ago, and he walked off the stage after 35 minutes to go play another gig in Atlantic City? Such a feeling off being ripped off I’ve never experienced before or since.

      Though last nights concert was better, its still far from satisfying. I would have liked an introduction of his fabulous band mates for starters. And maybe a goodbye and thank you from Van. Full version of Moon Dance, considering the moon was full…

      It was a beautiful night though for sure.

    • Aud B. on September 9, 2022 at 2:49 pm

      I enjoyed last night’s performance as well! He did a few of my favs so I’m happy! I thought his voice sounded great, strong and clear, I thought he looked dapper, very stylish. I thoroughly enjoyed last night’s show.

  8. john b on September 9, 2022 at 6:13 pm

    His last great record was The Healing Game and his tour in late 90s as replicated on One Night in SanFrancisco with a great dynamic band behind him was peak of his powers. Outside of revisting Astral weeks around 15 years ago his live performances and records have become frankly boring and dull- set list largely unchanged – predictably finishing with gloria and swing jazz versions of the odd old hits dumbed down. He seems determined not to revisit back catalogues. I have seen him maybe 20 times- including this year and the magic is gone.

  9. Leonard on September 9, 2022 at 8:25 pm

    Most of the people have posted what I would have said, do not waste your money and see Van Morrison. Stay at home and play his hits and some of his new music instead. The band that backed him was excellent, he was not worth the time. The only positive experience last night in Philadelphia was the beautiful weather and wonderful venue. After wanting to see him perform for so many years, what a letdown.

  10. Dave S on September 10, 2022 at 7:43 am

    Great show except for his final exodus without return to a very appreciative crowd – that was a mystery as if he may have been sick or tired or those lines of powder took too long to blow!!

  11. Carmela Conklin on September 10, 2022 at 8:39 am

    I guess the majority of you are not really fans of Mr. Morrison. Your reviews are not surprising. You don’t see him often enough. He has a message to relay to all and you missed it because you were waiting for his hits from 40 years ago. Do yourselves a favor and don’t go to any more shows unless you stay updated on his current brilliant music. You make it miserable for all of his true fans.

    • Dan on September 12, 2022 at 5:00 pm

      You seem to be the only one with something good to say about his performance. He was awful and rude to his fans Saturday night but you keep buying his albums and going to his concerts because he’s got to make money somehow. Hope you’re able to subsidize his retirement single-handedly because he won’t get another dime from me or the people he screamed his songs at on Saturday night. Never again!!

  12. Albert Dente on September 10, 2022 at 9:58 am

    I was ecstatic after the Van Morrison at the Mann show – SOULFUL and so generous with his fantastic band including Curtis Stigers. If you want to hear his greatest hits, dust off your CD. Artists like Van Morrison are not going to take requests – they spend their lives chasing the muse, and the last thing they want to do is attempt to satisfy other peoples’ expectations of what they should play. They are trying to escape their own expectations of what they should play! What we saw at the Mann was a mature artist with his vocal and instrumental skills in solid form deeply immersed in the rhythm and blues, soul and jazz heritage that gave birth to his unique genius. I had a very similar experience seeing Buddy Guy earlier this year – chops are still the tops, and there is also a deep sense of commitment and gratitude to the art form he has dedicated his life to. Also embedded within Van’s performance was the subtle, intensely personal connection to Spirituality – both Eastern and Western – that no other rock and roll artist has delved into as deeply as Van. As Van would say, stay in the Nigh – live in the moment and you can have a life of creation and discovery leading to ecstatic revelation. John the Revelator – amazing! Quoting Bob Dylan here, “Yesterday is just a memory, tomorrow is never what it’s supposed to be so darling, don’t fall apart on me tonight.” Can’t wait to see him again.

    • Aidan on October 3, 2022 at 5:43 am

      I saw Van in a small club in Belfast at the start of the year (The Limelight) and he was very chatty and asked for requests! He played an afternoon show and and an evening show and both were totally different vibes. I put both gigs on YouTube (sound only), you can listen here:

  13. Anne on September 10, 2022 at 10:31 pm

    The NYC Queens Forest Hills concert was a huge disappointment. I’ve never been to a concert that was remotely close to this level of disengagement from the performer. There was not a hello, good night, introduction of the band members, or encore. He sang 3 songs that we recognized and never once engaged with the audience. Everybody was walking out during Gloria at the end. What an overpriced disappointment!

  14. Steven on September 11, 2022 at 7:10 am

    Seen him in his hometown of Belfast and he didn’t disappoint, vocally he still has it not like other artists around his age, granted not much chat from him but you get what you know a brilliant musician, lets just enjoy a grumpy genius live while we can.

  15. Mike on September 11, 2022 at 10:48 am

    BOOOORRIING … saw the Forest Hills show last night. Tom Jones was great, Van Morrison put the crowd to sleep. Concert seemed like a jazz session at the Blue Note,leaving about 95% of the crowd sitting still waiting to hear some of the classics that never came. But I guess Van is a genius who is going to play what he wants and is not worried about providing a great time to the Suckers who actually pay to see him.

    • Guy on September 11, 2022 at 11:50 am

      Please your an ass! Not trying to be nostalgic, but cmon ? People wanted to hear a few old songs. Not the whole show. Guaranty next time around ,people won’t show and pay high prices to hear other peoples music.

      • Mike on September 11, 2022 at 2:55 pm

        Are you calling Me an ass or VM,Because you seem to agreeing with my point.Another gripe I forgot(which someone else mentioned) was every other performer at FH is seen on a giant screen except VM,guess he dosnt care if the largely older crowd gets to see him either

        • Mike on September 11, 2022 at 3:10 pm

          Ive always loved VMs music but never saw him live because Ive heard what a dick he could be.A friend who worked Jones Beach security says he instructed them to have a clear path for him to walk off the stage and straight into a waiting car,which he did while music was still playing.My friend was telling people holding up lighters and calling for an encore that Van was probably on the Grand Central by now.

  16. Mary Singh on September 11, 2022 at 11:42 am

    What is the name of Van Morrison’s backup singer? Hartford Healthcare (Bridgeport) and Forest Hills Stadium show?

  17. Kathy S on September 11, 2022 at 1:53 pm

    Forest Hills- Tom Jones was fantastic! Engaging, powerful voice, mixed up old and new songs and gave everyone a good time. 82 yrs old and singing like he does- wow! Van Morrison as most people have already stated was a disappointment. Very much about what he wants to do and could care less for the audience and why they paid quite a bit of money to see someone they loved through the years. He kept the screen behind him the same for his entire set- his name only. This stadium has seats that are quite far back- would have been nice if he let the camera give a more intimate view of the stage to his fans. Nothing welcoming or appreciative said by him to the audience. The entire set (for the most part) sounded exactly the same -hard to distinguish one song from another. Morrison & Jones teamed up for three songs and Jones blew him out of the park. If you are not interested in performing- don’t perform. If you are performing take a cue from your friend Tom put yourself into it and respect/appreciate your fans. What’s the point – why do something that seems to make you miserable at 78 yrs. old.

  18. Frank on September 11, 2022 at 2:34 pm

    Sorry to hear that many were disappointed at Forest Hills last night. My 5 guests and I (ages 32- 72) loved it all. While I was sorry not to see video coverage for Van’s act, I thought that the stage backdrop was awesome and would have been blocked by a screen. As for the song set , I knew all of them and thought it was a great display of Van’s talent, Finishing with Road to Joy, the movie Belfast’s opening number (and Oscar nominated song), Brown Eyed Girl and Gloria was icing on the cake. Van always leaves during the last song and showcases the band. Seeing him the next opportunity, a certainty.

    Agree with reviews of Tom Jones. Still a great voice and an inspired choice for the opener.

  19. Julie Newman on September 11, 2022 at 5:40 pm

    I was at last night’s show at Forest Hills. Having never seen Van Morrison live, I was moved beyond words. I went to see a brilliant and talented musician and I was beyond pleased. His enthusiasm and talent presented in every song. I loved hearing the songs to which I knew all the words but the newer, perhaps less popular, songs were so well done. The band was incredible, especially the two women. Tom Jones was also incredibly entertaining and their two duets were moving and beautiful.

  20. john on September 12, 2022 at 8:25 am

    I have all his records bar none and a serious fan from Veedon Fleece in ’70s right up to his tours with Georgie Fame, P Wee Ellis, Candy Dulfer, Ronnie Johnson, Teena Lyle, Kate St John. John Lee Hooker, Junior wells, Jimmy Witherspoon etc….current line up and set list resembles a hotel lobby tight jazz set by comparison going through the motions. Lyrically he really doesn’t care any more and doesn’t seem to enjoy it. Gone is the soul and his voice has become one dimensional. You will never see him streach it out anymore and the swing type versions are lazy efforts. Always finishing on “Gloria” and walking out before the half was the point. Too many chips on his shoulder to care

  21. john on September 12, 2022 at 4:51 pm

    I dream he would recognize his back catalogue one more time but its not going to happen. Setlist that never was (forget brown eyed girl):
    Snow in San Anselmo
    Tupelo Honey
    Streets of Arklow
    You don’t pull no punches
    Listen to the Lion
    Purple Heather
    In the days before rock n roll
    A sense of wonder
    Daring night
    Linden Arden stole the Highlights
    Tir Na Nog
    Queen of the Slipstream
    Daring Night
    Santa Fe/Beautiful Obsession

    • Howie in DC on September 12, 2022 at 11:10 pm

      Hey John, I totally get it. Yes, I also have John Lee Hooker, Junior Wells, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGee and a ton of other blues albums, and most of VM’s. It is great that he played with and/or pays homage to those guys. I enjoyed the few blues covers at his Wolf Trap concert. But the ladies sitting near me came to hear Gloria, Moondance, and Brown Eyed Girl, etc. I don’t need to hear those again, or much of the other early 70’s stuff either. Of course, I’m no youngster, and I’ve already played the hell out of them. (OK, would like to hear him do Street Choir, but now he is down on America in his latest work,) Would have been just as happy to hear my 80’s/90’s favorites like Get On With the Show, Precious Time, or New Biography, where he already took a poke at the internet 20 years ago. In many ways he is a victim of his own commercial longevity and breadth. I like some of his new music like Dangerous and Stage Name, where he pokes fun at Tom Jones and Georgie Fame, guys he has played with. He did both at Wolf Trap. A VM live concert will never resemble an oldies special on PBS. I understand the disappointment that many casual fans have after a concert. But if you go to see him, go with a sense of curiosity, instead of expectation. Will you get the Crusty OF or a slightly engaged legendary songwriter/musician with a decent band? That is the real question that gets answered at his live shows.

  22. Cathy on September 14, 2022 at 11:32 am

    @Tanglewood – kicked off strong with “Dangerous”…downhill from there. Too many mid tempo interpretations of blues and jazz tunes…I’ll see an authentic blues artist if I want to hear real blues music. Disappointing. Left before the encore wrapped.

  23. Jay on September 14, 2022 at 1:11 pm

    The banal jazz phase that Van started around 2010 onwards including jazz versions of his own songs led to really poor and dull concerts. He appears to be incapable of re discovering enthusiasm at this stage.

  24. john b on September 15, 2022 at 9:08 am

    Trust me SJ…his concerts in Ireland have been equally as poor and crowd generally gets bored and starts talking through it. He has not played a concert in Dublin for several years now as he tends to fall out with everyone. On stage he doesn’t seem into the music anymore and song choices are his dullest. Going through the motions regardless of location.

  25. jay on September 16, 2022 at 4:13 pm

    Indeed instead of finishing on predictable Gloria which i am sure he is bored would be great see him think outside box and sign off with something quirky like Bein Green (from much underrated Hardnose the Highway)- a childrens song which is so meaningful and deep in todays world. Now that would be a cool sign off…

  26. DD Dodman on October 11, 2022 at 10:28 pm

    I saw Van Morrison in the mid 1990’s in the Seattle . He didn’t so as sing as he did passing out.
    My husband and I were devastated because we spent a lot of money on good seats didn’t get anywhere near what we thought the experience would be.

    Buyer Beware with Van Morrison!

  27. Pat on October 13, 2022 at 6:07 am

    Van Morrison was fabulous tonight in Phoenix. His voice was beautiful. He and the other musicians were beyond sublime. Every song was amazing. He played a great set list with many of his biggest hits. It was wonderful. I traveled 1,200 miles to attend and am so thankful I did. I feel grateful and inspired by tonight’s performance.

    • Jay on October 23, 2022 at 6:54 pm

      Most would disagree with his performance in Phoenix’ Pat. Finishing on predictable brown eyed girl and gloria which he is obviously bored of…stuck in a jazz swing mediocre set list

  28. Sharon on April 11, 2023 at 7:16 am

    Saw him years ago at PPAC I. I thought I was the only one who felt this way but after reading the reviews I was right. I just heard he’s coming back in May. I was initially excited because I have listened to his music for years but I quickly remembered how unfriendly he was and how short his concert was. No hello goodbye. Song choices. It was awful. Save your money

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