Where the Bands Are (Van Morrison, 16 July, 2018)

It was a last minute decision to go see Van Morrison in Gothenburg last night. I’m not that fond of jazzy music, but checking off “Van the man” from my bucket list was reason enough to give it a go.

Morrison shows up on stage ten past eight on this very hot and sunny summer evening. He is wearing his customary dark suit, shades and a hat. He and his six-piece band deliverers a brisk 90 minutes set with mostly old numbers. The jazzy music is very tight featuring keyboards, guitars, bass, trumpets, fiddles, drums, glockenspiel and a woman singing funky backing vocals. Morrison stands front and center with a microphone in front of him and his unmistakable vocals is of course the most significant, but he also plays the saxophone and the harmonica.

In the middle of the set it starts to rain, leaving us all soaked but refreshed. The highlights for me are the few songs (the hits) I recognise: Days Like This, Have I Told You Lately, Moondance and Brown Eyed Girl.

I like this show, I really do. The music is jazzy but not too jazzy and it makes me want to dance (which I do). One thing that I don’t like is the lack of interaction with the audience. Van Morrison does not utter one word to the spectators during the whole show (just like Dylan on the exact same stage four years ago) and in the middle of the last song, Gloria,  he walks out never to return. I must say that it baffles me. It’s really direct opposite to what I’ve experienced when attending Bruce Springsteen concerts and what I experienced the other day on Ed Sheeran’s show, where Sheeran was very keen on pointing out to the crowd that they are a very important part of the show.

The show is over at 9:45 pm just as a thunder storm comes rolling in.



Photo cred: Torkel Freed

Support act: Graham Nash

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