Van Morrison Live In Belfast

Right from the moment we picked our Van Morrison: Jump Into Ireland winner back in September, we knew a once-in-a-lifetime adventure lay ahead for winner Beth Trumper. Beth and her husband Dave went from discovering new music at WERS to discovering Belfast, Northern Ireland for an intimate concert from Van Morrison in his hometown and birthplace of the Titanic.

Thanks to a generous gift from Tourism Ireland, Exile Productions Limited, and Blue Note records, WERS gave away two tickets to see Van Morrison live in concert in his hometown of Belfast, Northern Ireland for our Jump Into Ireland with Van Morrison contest, as well as 2 round trip tickets and 3 nights hotel accommodations. The concert was on Saturday, October 20, where he performed songs from his new album Born to Sing: No Plan B (which you can read our review of here).

Beth, who had never been to Ireland before, was joined by other winners from San Francisco, New York, New Jersey, and Chicago who received tickets from their respective local stations. She found Belfast to be a very walk-able city, similar to Boston, and just as green and beautiful as it seems in the pictures. “Belfast is a fantastic city to visit,” she told WERS. “They had their fall leave colors and the typical Irish fields… That experience will stay for a while.”

Contest winners got ready for the Van Morrison concert Saturday night and were all very eager. Set in the Europa Hotel Ballroom, the small room was “decorated and fancy,” giving both an intimate setting as they all sat at the same table for the concert. Morrison took the stage with glasses on and a hat over his eyes, truly an interesting character filled with presence and attitude.

The crowd gave him so much applause early on that they brought a smile to a face and he cheered up. “You really couldn’t see him except his body. He would just point and jab at the horn section when he wanted them to play. If one thing was clear, it was that he was in charge.”

Morrison played new songs off of his new album, Born to Sing: No Plan B, as well as the classics. Beth told us he gave some of his older tracks a twist of swing, jazzing up the songs nearly everyone knows and loves: “Brown Eyed Girl”, “Moondance”, “Domino”, and more. Beth’s favorite moment was when he launched into “Burning Ground” off of his 1997 album The Healing Game. “The style that he did it in was so adamant and strong,” she said.

Beth’s whole trip would not be possible had she not pledged her support to become a WERS Member. As a frequent listener of WERS, Beth told us she has had her radio set to the station everyday for years; even her children, who are now much older, grew up listening to the Playground on weekends. What she loves most are the different styles of music genres the Daytime selection has. “It’s become even more eclectic,” she said. “You just never know what’s going to come next. I love it.”

We are so proud to offerour WERS Members the chance to enter contests like these and other fun WERS gifts. Pledge your support today to become a member — not only will you keep us commercial free, but you will have access to other exclusive offers we may have in the future!

By Nina Corcoran

If you liked this, check out:
“Born to Sing: No Plan B” by Van Morrison
Live Music Week Coverage 2012

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