Van Morrison at the Wiltern Theater

            January 6, 2001


            I doubt many folks in the sold-out Van Morrison

audience expected to hear, "Don't Wear Mascara When

You Love a Married Man" on the night's playlist.  But

then again, Van's pairing with Linda Gail Lewis was

not promoted in early publicity for the show.  She was

a great bonus; she obviously learned piano from the

same piano teacher as her brother, Jerry Lee Lewis.

Between her phenomenal piano playing (with her high

heel boots banging on the keys) and the band's

incredible 3-piece horn section, you barely had time

to listen to the vocals. 


            Van strolled through his hits with a strong focus on

the music.  He interspersed the known songs with

offerings from his recent collaboration with Ms. Lewis

--country-tinged old rockers.  He ended with a great

rockin' medley of "Shake, Rattle, and Roll" "Whole

Lotta Shaking Going On" and "Roll Over Beethoven."   


            Van doesn't have much of a stage presence,

occasionally making a few scattered remarks between

songs, but he gave the audience a strong 2-hour set

with well-deserved attention focused on his very-able

band (aging baby-boomers in matching red suits).  The

best part --Van introduced Linda Gail Lewis to the

audience-- and I'd go see her again anytime.  The

worst part --the obnoxious folks sitting directly

behind us who were more interested in drinking beer,

smoking dope, and singing the lyrics (loudly) seconds

before Van Morrison sang them, then enjoying a good show.



Tracy Dressner