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Category:    Home > Reviews > Concert > Rock > Jazz > Pop > Van Morrison – Astral Weeks Live At The Hollywood Bowl (DVD Concert Set)

Van Morrison – Astral Weeks Live At The Hollywood Bowl (DVD Concert Set)


Picture: C+     Sound: B-     Extras: C     Concert: B-



Rock/Jazz icon Van Morrison is back with a brand new concert and it focuses on the album that continues to be his masterwork.  Astral Weeks Live brings the album to life in what turns out to be another good performance and yet another interesting, entertaining DVD of the man and his music.  You can read more of our previous coverage at these links:


Live At Montreux 1980/1974


Under Review 1964 - 1974




The original album was issued in 1968, was his solo debut after being in the hit and Them and is often considered his signature work.  When most artists from that time try to play their music this many decades later, they falter.  They cannot sing the material, play the material well, rush the material or do it with such a lack of life that they should have stayed home.  Fortunately, Morrison has the energy, heart and soul (as well as a well-picked band and back-up singer section) to pull off classics like Beside You, Sweet Thing, Madame George and Cyprus Avenue.


If you are a fan, you will not be disappointed by the 84 minutes-long program and others less familiar will be surprised how good he is, was and that any spoofs of him do no do him justice.  All in all, one of the better concert DVDs we’ve seen for 2009.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 x 1 image was shot on High Definition video and unfortunately has some detail issues, but some of the problem may just be the downtrade to DVD, because depth and color can look pretty good throughout, but is always hampered by definition limits.  The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is better than the 2.0 Stereo version, but this sounds so good that you will hope for DTS.  Maybe a Blu-ray will deliver that.  Extras include bonus songs from the concert (Common One, Gloria) and a preview for an upcoming Morrison documentary.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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