My own little hunk of Cyberspace

Monday, August 07, 2006

"Van the Man" completes the list

As discussed in earlier logs, Charmaine and I have been on a crusade to see the last of our favorite bands who we believed were near the end of their touring careers. One by one, we have notched another concert : Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Peter Gabriel, The Stones, the Eagles, Stanley Clarke, Earth Wind and Fire have all been crossed out. These were all bands that either we'd never seen, or had seen so long ago that it would be a crime not to catch them at least once more. Tonight - the list was completed when we went to the Patriot Center on the campus of George Mason, to see Van Morrison.

Again, as with the Stones show, I had anticipated that "Van the Man" would probably be a little past his prime, and again, I was proven dead wrong. At 61, Morrison's distinctive vocals sound as crisp and clear as his earliest studio efforts. His sax playing is top notch, and I think he is the best harmonica player I have ever heard (yes, even better that John Popper). He played for 2 straight hours, with no break between songs, no narration or talking - just one Van hit after another, mixing in some new songs from "Pay the Devil". His jazzy rendition of Moondance was riveting, and Charmaine was almost brought to tears by "Have I told you lately". His set was absolutely perfect. His opening act (which came on 1/2 hour BEFORE the 7:00 pm start time ) - James Hunter - was absolutely incredible, and he came out and played with Van for a couple of songs. Charmaine was able to buy some autographed CD's and meet him during the intermission. His unique vocals and energetic style lead me to believe he will be a favorite of Van fans for years to come.

So this was a "My Name is Earl" moment - checking that last performer off the list. Now - the pressure's off - we've seen all those that we felt like we needed to see - so every show from here on out is a bonus.