Review ¦ Montreux Jazz Festival 2022 – Van Morrison, Jeff Beck / Johnny Depp

I was lucky enough to be flying in to Geneva on the penultimate day of the Montreux Jazz Festival 2022, so thought lets get a ticket, it’s a once in a life time opportunity.  Luckily for me that night was Van Morrison and Jeff Beck.  Although well famous, I personally know little of their music but in for a penny etc.  It was a bit of a tight squeeze getting there thanks to Easyjet moving my flight to the afternoon, but I eventually got to Montreux around 18:00 thanks to my cousins speedy driving.

Montreux is in a wonderful setting on the lake, the streets were rammed with people and there was plenty of free music available outside.  So I grabbed a burger and beer and watched a band called Soft Loft, who were actually pretty good.  Then off to the main event at the Montreax Stravinski Theatre.  The place was already very full so I picked my way through to the middle as close as I could get to the stage so I could get some good shots and videos with my camera.

Van Morrison did a 90 minute setting commencing at 20:00.  Resplendent in a light blue suit and big shades, and Panama hat he proceeded through his set without once talking in between songs – he has a reputation of being a miserable sod after all 😊.  His backing band consisted of eight, 2 percussion, 2 horns, guitar, bass, keyboards and a lovely black lady singer with an amazing voice.  Van mainly sang or joined in with sax, harmonica or guitar as required.  The set had a jazzy feel with each song extended so that all the band could have a little bit of a jam in turn – typically jazz ! 

As it turns out I did know a few of his songs – ‘Baby, Please Don’t Go’, ‘Moondance’, and ‘Gloria’ which were fine.  Van basically stood centre stage and didn’t move much, but hey he’s 76 so good on him for even being there.  In fairness his voice was really rather good (unlike say Rod Stewart whose is totally shot) and he used it to good effect on a couple of audience singalongs.

Van Morrison Setlist (click on link to watch my YouTube video)

  1. Dangerous
  2. Thank God for the Blues
  3. Up County Down
  4. Days Like This
  5. These Dreams of You
  6. Centerpiece / Every Day I Have the Blues / Times Are Gettin’ Tougher Than Tough
  7. The New Symphony Sid (Lester Young)
  8. Goin’ Down Geneva / Brand New Cadillac
  9. Baby, Please Don’t Go / Got My Mojo Working
  10. I Can Tell (Bo Diddley)
  11. Moondance
  12. Broken Record
  13. In the Afternoon
  14. Laughin’ and Clownin’  (Sam Cooke)
  15. Early in the Mornin’ (Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five)
  16. Cleaning Windows
  17. Down to Joy
  18. Help Me (Sonny Boy Williamson)
  19. Gloria (Them)

I’m not a fan and don’t own any of his records so for me he was ok, I’ve seen him now but wouldn’t want to watch him again.

Now I was hoping that the audience would dissipate somewhat (beer, toilet etc) but alas I was sadly mistaken.  Hardly anyone moved, and the place got even more full – I wonder why he said wryly😊?

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