Posted in music | tour dates on January 16, 2009

Astral Weeks

Multi-award winning soul singer and musical legend Van Morrison is set to release "Astral Weeks: Live at the Hollywood Bowl," an in-concert reworking of his historic 1968 gold-certified solo album. Recorded live over two nights at the Hollywood Bowl this past Nov. 7 and 8, the album marks the premiere release on Mr. Morrison's new EMI-distributed label, Listen to the Lion Records. "Astral Weeks: Live at the Hollywood Bowl" arrives in stores Feb. 10, 2009. A double-vinyl edition with three bonus tracks (including a live version of "Gloria") arrives in stores the same day.

The concerts marked the first time Mr. Morrison ever performed "Astral Weeks" in one complete concert set. Joining him was an orchestral string section and a band composed of world-class musicians, some of whom played with Van on the original "Astral Weeks" sessions 40 years ago. Tracks on the CD include: "Astral Weeks/I Believe I've Transcended," "Beside You," "Slim Slow Slider/ I Start Breaking Down," "Sweet Thing," "The Way Young Lovers Do," "Cyprus Avenue / You Came Walking Down," "Ballerina," "Madame George" and two bonus tracks, "Listen to the Lion / The Lion Speaks" and "Common One."

The Hollywood Bowl concerts gave me a welcome opportunity to perform these songs the way I originally intended them to be," says Mr. Morrison, who amazingly held only one rehearsal prior to the concerts. "There are certain dynamics you can get in live recordings that you just cannot get in a studio recording. I love listening to live recordings. You get the whole thing right there, unabridged, raw and in the moment. There was a distinct alchemy happening on that stage in Hollywood. I felt it."....

....Both Bowl shows were filmed in high-definition, and will later be available as a commercial DVD concert film. Due to overwhelming demand, Mr. Morrison will perform "Astral Weeks" again, in show at the Theater at New York's Madison Square Garden, on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 27 & 28. Accompanied by two different bands, Mr. Morrison will play two sets per show: one of "Astral Weeks" cover to cover, the other of rarely played Van Morrison classics. He may even pull out rare gems "TB Sheets," "Mystic Eyes," "Who Drove the Red Sports Car" and "Baby Please Don't Go."

Tickets for both NYC shows go on Am Ex presale this Sunday at 10AM.

Tickets go on Am Ex presale one week later for the two Paul Simon shows at Beacon Theatre.



Comments (36)

Wow. I wish I had an American Express card.

Posted by michaelways | January 16, 2009 10:56 AM

wow! can they have a few more shows going on this weekend? (Van Morrison, David Byrne, Grizzly Bear, Trail of Dead, Juana Molina, Blitzen Trapper). And yet these last two weeks in new york have been as dead as door nails.

Posted by Anonymous | January 16, 2009 10:56 AM

Damn, you are right. I already was having a hard time figuring which shows to see between They Might Be Giants, Trail of Dead and David Byrne. Now this!

Posted by Anonymous | January 16, 2009 11:02 AM

Van is notorious for excessive ticket prices, I can only imagine what the 100's section will go for these shows. $275? $350?

Posted by Anonymous | January 16, 2009 11:24 AM

I went to one of the hollywood bowl shows. Totally worth it. I can't imagine him playing TB Sheets or Who drove the red sports car but he did pull out some gems like baby please don't go and Caravan.

Posted by anonymous2 | January 16, 2009 11:33 AM

Will he play "Brown Eyed Girl"?

Posted by Regular reader | January 16, 2009 11:42 AM


Posted by Anonymous | January 16, 2009 11:52 AM

90.... to three hundred and FIFTY dollars..
GET the fuck outta here..
i love Van and all but goddamn..

Posted by Anonymous | January 16, 2009 12:30 PM


Posted by Anonymous | January 16, 2009 1:04 PM

12:30 I agree with you. I love Van, but $90 cheap seats. Plus Ticketmaster rape charges. Ridiculous...

Posted by Anonymous | January 16, 2009 1:21 PM

Van Morrison is overrated? Somehow when the Fleet Foxes play the same music, it gets album of the year.

I will never understand scenesters.

Posted by Anonymous | January 16, 2009 1:22 PM

you are correct sir.

Posted by Anonymous | January 16, 2009 1:53 PM

best album ever. but these prices are for the bourgeoisie. i'll stay home with the LP.

Posted by b | January 16, 2009 1:57 PM

No but really do you think he will play brown eyed girl? Seriously. Because there are people who will pay the 300$ fee to see this and grab their wifey or girley by the waist and hold up their wine spritzers to see this live.

I kid, Van Morrison is great.

But I think Box of Wine and Van Morrison do go hand in glove.

Posted by Dooder City | January 16, 2009 2:07 PM

He is consistently less-than-scintillating live. Put it another way: never again.

Posted by Anonymous | January 16, 2009 2:19 PM

Wow ... some crazy prices

Posted by New Rap Songs | January 16, 2009 2:57 PM

one of the greatest albums ever recorded performed live? i'm selling one of my kidneys right now on ebay

Posted by Anonymous | January 16, 2009 4:24 PM

That is of course the problem with Van, if he's on, its an incredible experience. If he's drunk or belligerent or generally in a bad mood, it can suck. For 350, 3 freaking 50, yeah, its a real crap shoot.

Posted by Anonymous | January 16, 2009 4:48 PM

who gives a shit about the price, this is a concert of a fucking life time, get a job

Posted by Anonymous | January 16, 2009 5:43 PM

does van still have the voice for these 41 year old songs?
saw him once: he doesn't have the nickname "singing statue" for nothing?

Posted by donn | January 16, 2009 6:13 PM

Van was amazing at the Hollywood Bowl in November. I'm looking forward to seeing him again in NYC. And the $350 tix are totally worth it.

Posted by mona | January 16, 2009 7:18 PM

Astral Weeks is a wonderful record. 350 is almost half my rent! Jesus! this elitist (aka rich) show scene as of late is at odds with what makes music a revolutionary experience/act.

But I guess this is what you get for liking music that was made by people 35 years ago = ticket prices aimed at boushy boomers.

ps. I do have a job.

Posted by Anonymous | January 17, 2009 11:22 AM

Nailed it!

Posted by PBS 1970 | January 17, 2009 11:47 AM

I love Van's music and could afford it, but as a matter of prinicple will not pay $100 for nosebleeds, and find $300+ for decent seats offensive.

Posted by bmcquil | January 21, 2009 1:04 PM

screw the brown eyed girl...
i wanna hear Mystic Eyes...
the rest of the van catalog
is soft rock pap...

Posted by Anonymous | January 21, 2009 1:22 PM

Van Morrison is a genius. He is also a narcissistic prick. But I still love him. He is not the kind of man to look fondly on the past. For instance, he rarely, if ever, plays any of his Bang recordings, especially Brown Eyed Girl (he was totally screwed by Lester Bangs on those recordings/songs). The notion that he may play T.B. Sheets is extraordinary in itself. If this man is going to play deep catalog and an album in its entirety, its ALL about the money. And the people will pay. This is a show for fifty and sixty year olds, not people who read BV. Nevertheless, I am okay with it, and would love to go if I could somehow get a free ticket because, to be honest, who from that era, will perform better than Van? Not Dylan, not Paul Simon, that's for sure.

Posted by Anonymous | January 21, 2009 1:38 PM

what, no 50-year-olds read BV?
my presence here proves you wrong.
I last saw van morrison in 1980 in a bar in suburban chicago. they left the tvs with the baseball playoffs on. it was memorable.
but I'm not paying $350 ($700 for two) for one evening of anything.
if you do go, please experience the show as it goes on, don't spend the whole night recording the show on your fracking cell phone, as happened at the david byrne show last month.

Posted by Red Hat | January 22, 2009 11:23 AM

Well I occasionally enjoy this blog... but maybe I shouldn't since I missed the the cut off date - I'm 60.

Good old Anonymous sure got it wrong with "(he was totally screwed by Lester Bangs on those recordings/songs" - Holy crap: read your history. Lester Bangs was a seminal, original rock critic, but he was lucky if he paid his rent... He didn't own Bang Records.

As to Van, AW may well be the most wonderful record of the rock era, but about 2 years after that Van lost the plot and he's been milking it since.

I got drunk alone with Van in a small bar in 1969 I think. AW was then his most recent LP - and I had all the Them stuff which is (still) truly great as well.

I'd driven 400 miles to see him and find out from the man himself if he had any idea of the deep seam he was mining on AW. He had no clue. He was embarrassing and proof that one shouldn't meet their heroes.

It's just that I had met Keith Richards 2 years before - and he was articulate, funny, kind - even asking about my life - I grew up on the river near Detroit where the Stones were banned at the time. A wonderful person... unlike Van.

So Van can milk some more..... without my help.

And Fleet Foxes are no album of the year - you heard Glasvegas, the Enemy, Mogwai - Howl, Dirtbombs new one? And they are certainly no AW!

Posted by Old guy | January 23, 2009 10:09 AM

oh no now we get old guy tellin us about the good old days of meeting other old farts

NOBODY cares about old crap

Youth rules old skool sucks

anybody over 29 pleezse go

Posted by dj slapnutz | January 25, 2009 2:11 PM

I wonder if Madame George took American Express.

the show will be great, it will have no problem selling out, and yet I will pass. instead of $100 for a ticket I will listen to the album on headphones walking around in the snow in Cambridge drinking bourbon from a Pringles can.

Posted by Anonymous | January 25, 2009 3:56 PM

Does he play INTO The MYSTIC?

Posted by penny | February 26, 2009 7:42 AM

Here's the close to set list from 2-27-09 at WAMU. I might have the last song in Set I wrong and there may have been another number

Set I
Northern Muse (Solid Ground)
Glad Tidings
T.B. Sheets
Who Drove The Red Sports Car?
And It Stoned Me
So Quiet In Here
St. James Infirmary
Comfortably Numb (yes the Pink Floyd Song)
Mystic Eyes (partial)>Gloria
Common One

Set II
Astral Weeks Live (album sequence)

E. Listen To The Lion

Posted by Anonymous | February 28, 2009 12:35 AM

3:56 -- nice job. Sounds shit-tastic to me. Go pass out behind an Arby's and rejoice.


Posted by Anonymous | February 28, 2009 12:50 AM

If there is one musical artist I would pay $350 to see, it is Van. In my opinion, Astral Weeks is easily the greatest album ever. The live version that he just put out is wonderful.

Posted by eric k | March 1, 2009 2:04 PM

No but really do you think he will play brown eyed girl? Seriously. Because there are people who will pay the 300$ fee to see this and grab their wifey or girley by the waist and hold up their wine spritzers to see this live.

I kid, Van Morrison is great.

But I think Box of Wine and Van Morrison do go hand in glove.

Posted by Sample Thank You For The Interview | May 17, 2013 5:59 AM

I love time warp posts.

Posted by Anonymous | May 17, 2013 9:29 AM

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