Van Morrison @ Ottawa Bluesfest

Albeit the sky above Ottawa looked ominous with local weather forecasts calling for possible rain and thunderstorms, a festival record breaking 35,000 Van Morrison fans sang, danced and grooved to The Blue Eyed Dubliner. Having thoroughly enjoyed the Van Morrison show the night before in Montreal, I was excited to head west on the 417 to Ottawa. The anticipation for this concert was palatable, not surprising since The Belfast Cowboy had not performed in Ottawa since the late 1960's. The Ottawa Bluesfest has become a must see festival for any music fan within driving distance of Ottawa.

Accompanied by a 10-piece band the 61 year-old musical genius began his concert with an up-tempo Talk Is Cheap into All Work And No Play (both from his 2002, Down The Road CD). Fortunately for everyone in attendance The Irish Soul-man seemed to be in high spirits and pleased to be in Ottawa. Smiling every so often and even making eye contact with fans from time to time.

The Irish soulster treated his fans to an outstanding performance and an above par set list of mostly classic hits from his fabled back catalogue. The sampling of music was superb and included: Cleaning Windows, Have I Told You Lately [Las Vegas version], Real Real Gone. Some of the older gems, in no particular order included: Here Comes The Night, Moondance (up-tempo with horns), Into The Mystic, Wild Night, Domino, Jackie Wilson Said, Baby, Please Don't Go, Brown Eyed Girl into a rollicking Gloria, finale. Then Van was wisped away in his limo, on to his next show in Toronto.

Last night's show wasn't merely a concert but rather a musical odyssey. Even though some of us had to drive long distances and crossed borders on Independence Day, Van Morrison's masterful 90 minute set was worth it; without a doubt. We were possibly treated to one of the best Van Morrison concerts of recent times judging by current live recordings and posted set-lists. Judge for yourself.

Van Morrison @ Ottawa Blues Fest / Set-List / July 4, 2007

Talk is Cheap
All Work and no Play
Moondance
Enlightenment
Cleaning Windows
Days Like This
Stop Drinking
Bright Side of the Road
Playhouse
Into the Mystic
Domino
Here Comes the Night
Jackie Wilson Said
Baby, Please Don't Go
Real Real Gone
Wonderful Remark
Wild Night
Precious Time
Don't Start Crying Now
Have I Told You Lately
Brown-Eyed Girl
Gloria

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