Just when it looked like the rumoured superstar jam session was not going to materialise in the Point last night, Van Morrison wheeled out a stellar line-up that left the audience literally weak at the knees.
He was joined onstage by Bono, Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello, Kris Kristofferson, Chrissie Hynde, Nanci Griffith and Stevie Winwood, for a rousing version of "It's All Over Now Baby Blue."
The crowd went gaga, unable to believe their eyes and ears.
Earlier on Bono had leapt onstage during "Gloria," like some demented preacher in black. He grabbed the microphone declaring: "this is the place, this is my church," as he breathed some much-needed life into the song, The audience responded by roaring their approval, while the woman beside me turned and enquired "who's your man up there?" Nobody could possibly have guessed at what was to come later.
Those who missed the superstars indulging in their favourite pastime, included an early-departing Liam O'Maonlai of the Hothouse Flowers and actor Daniel Day Lewis, who looked very Last of the Mohicanish as he escorted a young woman from the theatre. Indeed everybody in the world of entertainment seemed to be there, or was at least rumoured to be there.
Earlier, Van had turned in a decidedly lacklustre performance, his band occasionally sounding like the background music that is used to tranquilise passengers in airports.
The cantankerous codger stuck steadfastedly to his golden rule of no idle chatter, letting his music (and later, his guests) do the talking. There was a marked difference between this and his previous performance in the same venue six months ago.
Last night veered into occasional self-indulgence and cocktail-jazz. There was also far too much tickling of vibes, of the non-cosmic variety.
Of all the people to bring the superstars together last night, Van certainly seemed the most unlikely. Yet he commands the respect and admiration of his peers, many of who regard him as the poet laureate of the rock generation. Maybe it was just an off-night.