Music icon

Music icon Van Morrison added to Tanglewood lineup | Berkshire landscapes

LENOX – Van Morrison, the Northern Irish singer-songwriter best known for hits such as “Brown Eyed Girl”, “Moondance” and “Gloria”, is booked for a Tanglewood Popular Artists show on the weekend of the labor Day.

Morrison will perform at 7 p.m. Sept. 4 at the Koussevitzky Music Shed, the Boston Symphony Orchestra announced Monday.

Van Morrison’s anti-vax and anti-Semitic views spark a social media storm

Tickets, ranging from $35 to $189, go on sale at 10 a.m. April 1 at tanglewood.org or by phone at 888-266-1200.

Morrison’s spring and fall US tour includes 13 more shows scheduled so far, starting in Florida next month and wrapping up in Las Vegas in October. This won’t be his first gig in Berkshire: Van Morrison headlined a show in 1973 at the famous Music Inn on the Lenox/Stockbridge line, just down the road from Tanglewood.

Sir George Ivan Morrison, 76, is also a multi-instrumentalist and record producer who won two Grammy Awards during his seven-decade career which began in the late 1950s.

Playing the role of Van Morrison, he became a hitmaker in the mid-1960s when he recorded the classic “Gloria” with the Northern Ireland-based band Them.

Her solo career blossomed in 1967 with the release of her single “Brown Eyed Girl”. In 1970, his first album, “Moondance”, launched him as one of rock’s major artists. It was followed throughout the 70s with sold-out shows and more critically and publicly acclaimed albums.

His “Celtic soul” style mixes soul, R&B, jazz and improvised stories, notably in the album “Astral Weeks”. Critics have called his shows and recordings “transcendent” and “inspiring.”

Eighteen of his albums have made the Billboard Top 40 charts in the United States, including 12 between 1997 and 2017. He has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 2016 he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to the music industry and tourism in Northern Ireland.

During the coronavirus pandemic, Morrison has fought back against social distancing measures that have halted live music events, calling for a “struggle” against “pseudo-science”.

He released three new songs in September 2020 as protest messages against COVID-19 lockdowns in the UK, and accused the UK government of “taking away our freedom”, according to published reports. The BBC has condemned the lyrics of the songs as hinting at a conspiracy theory about COVID-19.

He had performed concerts socially before, but said the shows were not a sign of “conformity”.

He was sued by Northern Ireland’s health minister after Morrison called him “very dangerous” for his handling of coronavirus restrictions, according to Billboard magazine.

Last June, The Times of London reported that “appropriately for someone who has so vehemently opposed the lockdown. … Van Morrison gave one of the first large-scale concerts in London since events, albeit tentatively, began again. Critic Will Hodgkinson wrote that the show “made as good a case for the return of live music as you could want”.

Tanglewood has booked 10 shows by popular artists so far for this summer. Previously announced lineup includes Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band (June 17), Bonnie Raitt with Lucinda Williams (June 18), The Mavericks and Nick Lowe with Los Straitjackets (June 26), The Black Crowes Present Shake Your Money Maker ( June 29), James Taylor (July 3 and 4), Earth, Wind & Fire (August 8), Brandi Carlile with Indigo Girls (August 30) and Judy Collins with Richard Thompson (September 3).

Tickets for all concerts in the Tanglewood 2022 season other than Morrison’s, including all other concerts by popular artists, are currently available at tanglewood.org or by calling 888-266-1200.