At $225, he’s gone commercial, all right

“Albums are not the whole picture. You really need to go to loads of gigs to get the whole picture. That’s really what it’s about.” – Van Morrison.

Ah. To really understand the legendary singer, songwriter and musician, you should really see him in concert.

As it happens, the 61-year-old Irish singer will perform on Nov. 4 at the new WaMu theater at the Qwest Field Event Center.

“I never bought the commercial thing, at any stage of the game” – Van Morrison.

Tickets start at $95 and top out somewhere in the $225 range.

“Music has been taken over by commercialism or capitalism or whatever it is.” – Van Morrison

Apparently it has.

Morrison, of course, did not invent over-the-top concert ticket prices. And he’s always had a sporadic touring style, making it hard for fans to go to lots of gigs. And he’s always had a temperamental concert style, cutting it short or walking off stage if the vibe isn’t right.

But this is a singer whose spiritual songs greatly appeal (or appealed) to many fans, if not critics. So it’s a bit difficult to reconcile his many contradictions.

When his mystical songs were all the rage, he insisted they weren’t religious. Then later they were. But don’t call him a poet, a sage or prophet. He’s just a songwriter. A songwriter who doesn’t really like his fans, critics or reviewers or other musicians. He’s on record as feeling ripped off by musicians who were influenced by him, even when they acknowledge his influence.

“You’ve got to separate the singer and the songs.” – Van Morrison.

We’re trying.

Talk to us

More in Opinion

Editorial cartoons for Wednesday, Oct. 4

A sketchy look at the news of the day.… Continue reading

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., leaves the House floor after being ousted as Speaker of the House at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2023. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
Editorial: ‘This is the Republicans’ civil war,’ not Democrats’

Reps. Larsen, DelBene put responsibility on GOP to end its fight and agree to a budget deal.

3d rendering Stack of vote button badges.
Editorial: Bring Davis, Hoiby to Marysville School Board

Both women have deep ties to the community and demonstrate commitment to students and families.

FILE — In this Sept. 17, 2020 file photo, provided by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Chelbee Rosenkrance, of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, holds a male sockeye salmon at the Eagle Fish Hatchery in Eagle, Idaho. Wildlife officials said Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021, that an emergency trap-and-truck operation of Idaho-bound endangered sockeye salmon, due to high water temperatures in the Snake and Salomon rivers, netted enough fish at the Granite Dam in eastern Washington, last month, to sustain an elaborate hatchery program. (Travis Brown/Idaho Department of Fish and Game via AP, File)
Editorial: Pledge to honor treaties can save Columbia’s salmon

The Biden administration commits to honoring tribal treaties and preserving the rivers’ benefits.

Why has Providence hosptial not improved nurse staffing?

I am writing as a concerned citizen and a supporter of labor… Continue reading

Willis Tucker Park’s staff should switch to vinegar to kill weeds

After reading the article about Snohomish County Parks Department using Roundup spray… Continue reading

Years of work with Johnson proved ability to serve as sheriff

In my career of over 40 years working in and with law… Continue reading

Comment: U.S. greatness at heart of why it must support Ukraine

The U.S. holds that mantle; as it did in World War II, it’s responsible for defending democracies.

Comment: Young activists taking climate crisis case to courts

Even if lawsuits fail, there activists win by raising awareness and laying the groundwork for future campaigns.

Patricia Gambis, right, talks with her 4-year-old twin children, Emma, left, and Etienne in their home, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019, in Maplewood, N.J. Gambis' husband, an FBI agent, has been working without pay during the partial United States government shutdown, which has forced the couple to take financial decisions including laying off their babysitter. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Editorial: Shutdown hits kids, families at difficult moment

The shutdown risks food aid for low-income families as child poverty doubled last year and child care aid ends.

Editorial cartoons for Tuesday, Oct. 3

A sketchy look at the news of the day.… Continue reading

There’s no need to reduce carbon emissions; plants need CO2

National Geographic states that “Most life on Earth depends on photosynthesis.” Photosynthesis… Continue reading