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Van Morrison at the Greek kicks off our 2009 concert season

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When we woke up last Saturday morning and drove to Sonoma for our nephew’s birthday party, we were treated to a steady diet of rain and showers.  Steady enough and heavy enough at times that Keturah kept dropping the “this show is going to be a horrible time” lines on me.  I countered by stopping by a sporting goods store to pick up a bunch of rain gear.  At $125 a ticket and the fact that it was Van Morrison performing one of my all time favorite albums, it was going to take some flooding to keep me from making it to Berkeley for this show.

Then the rain let up and the sun came up
And we were gettin dry

Though the sun never did come out and shine down last Saturday, it did let up long enough for this show to be a good time.  It was a much more subdued experience than I was expecting.  The rain kept the crowds away, which meant a miracle of no bathroom lines at the Greek.

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Still, the important part of the experience was the music.  And it was a home run.  Van’s voice was clear and hit his notes.  Our friend Denise noted “I can actually understand what he’s singing”.  There were plenty of classic Van moments of him using his voice as an instrument to accompany the 12 piece band.

Here’s the set list

Set 1

Northern Muse (Solid Ground)
Troubadours
And It Stoned Me
Baby Please Don’t Go
Magic Time
Have I Told You Lately
Wild Night
It’s All In The Game
Queen of the Slipstream
Moondance
And the Healing Has Begun
Common One

Set 2

Astral Weeks
Beside You
Slim Slow Slider
Sweet Thing
The Way Young Lovers Do
Cypus Avenue
Ballerina
Madame George
Listen To The Lion
Mystic Eyes/Gloria

Highlights for me were “Baby Please Don’t Go”, “Sweet Thing”, and “Cypress Avenue”.  Overall, it was a great start the series of concerts Keturah and I are attending this summer.  We continue with Iron and Wine this Thursday at the VERY intimate Swedish American Hall, then its back to the Greek in June for Wilco, and then the return of Phish to the Bay Area in early August.

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