Astral Weeks Live at the Hollywood Bowl: The Concert Film is an in-concert reworking of the musical legend’s historic 1968 gold-certified solo album. Astral Weeks Live at the Hollywood Bowl: The Concert Film was recorded live over two nights at the Hollywood Bowl in November 2008.
Van Morrison first released Astral Weeks when he was only 22. The recording immediately became a critically-acclaimed classic and is still considered one of the greatest albums of the rock era. The fall 2008 shows 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. During the first half, the artist performed a number of the timeless classics he is famous for while the second half was an awe-inspiring performance of the Astral Weeks album. Among the songs included on the concert DVD are: “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”, and “Madame George.”
“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.
To rework Astral Weeks, Mr. Morrison added his signature stretching of songs in a manner unlike any before by creating new sections of songs live on stage.
Unbeknownst to Mr. Morrison at the time he planned the Hollywood Bowl shows, the concerts coincided exactly with the 40th anniversary of the release of Astral Weeks. He took it as a sign this project was destined to be. Astral Weeks broke new ground with its experimental free-flowing arrangements and deeply reflective songs. Mr. Morrison’s motivation to rework the music was to get back to his original signature sound: a blend of jazz, blues, classical and folk unique to Van Morrison.
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