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.