Flying lingerie only disorder at Jones gig
Van Morrison headed a stellar line-up of acts at the last of three outdoor gigs at Marlay Park last night.
Heavy security was a feature of all three concerts, following the violence at the Swedish House Mafia concert at the Phoenix Park last month.
On Friday night, 30,000 young dance fans packed Marlay Park to see French superstar DJ David Guetta.
To the relief of promoters MCD and the Garda, the night passed off peacefully, and there were 35 arrests, mostly for public disorder or minor drug offences.
It was a very different scenario – and age profile - at the Van Morrison concert on last night. The mostly middle-aged crowd of around 10,000 were well-behaved, cigar smoke was the predominant aroma, and no arrests were made.
The only signs of public disorder were few pieces of lingerie being thrown onstage during Tom Jones’s set.
Mostly, the fans had to contend with the muddy ground, made even more slippery by the rain and the dancing feet of the Guetta fans the previous night.
US soul legend Bobby Womack was due to join the line-up last night, but pulled out of the concert. He was replaced by Irish bluesman Don Baker, whose band also featured Sinead O’Connor.
Although she had announced on Twitter last Thursday that she was pulling out of the concert due to lack of rehearsal time, she changed her mind and went ahead with her appearance.
Some Tom Jones fans were surprised that the Welsh pop star wasn’t headlining instead of Van Morrison.
Jones’s 2009 album Praise And Blame saw him trying his tonsils out on some old soul and gospel standards – very different to his usual pop-cabaret style.
This year he has worked with Jack White of The White Stripes, and he has covered songs by Leonard Cohen, Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, Tom Waits and Blind Willie Johnson on his current album, Spirit In the Room.
Last night, however, he made sure to put plenty of hits into his set, including Delilah, It’s Not Unusual and The Green, Green Grass of Home. He ended with his hit cover of Prince’s Kiss.
Van Morrison’s show was clearly tailored to entertain a festival crowd.
Unlike his concert at the O2 last February, which required hushed attention and reverence, his set at Marlay Park was designed to get the feet tapping in the mud.
He opened with Brown-Eyed Girl, followed swiftly by Baby Please Don’t Go, which neatly segued into Here Comes the Night.
Morrison ended his set with Gloria, by which time the crowd were happy to raise their voices for the chorus and save Morrison from straining his vocal chords.
His voice is more of a bark than a lilt these days, but it's still commanding and skilfully controlled.