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Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Leonard Cohen Concert!

Leonard Cohen in concert

First of all, here is the explanation of why I decided to have two posts today. When I was writing the earlier post it was two days ago. I had just had a great radio show and I was looking forward to seeing the Leonard Cohen concert for which we paid a considerable amount. I was unaware that my post would not be available to me in a few minutes. I clicked on a friend's link and got an error message. So I tried to get around the error message and couldn't do it. I'm sure that many of you have gotten error messages, clicked them off and tried to go again with success. Not this time! I clicked it off and went to my Blogger home. I got the error message. I figured the message would go away if I quit Safari and tried Firefox. It didn't go away. So I decided to restart my computer and it still didn't go away. Finally I was so frustrated I needed help or I was going to punch my computer screen.:) I went into the Help Forum for Blogger and a lot of people had the same error message. They too were getting frustrated. I asked my question and left the forum for a few minutes. When I got back to the forum I saw this sad Sorry message as the first post. The message explained that Blogger was having a problem and they were working to fix it. They apologized for the inconvenience. I went to bed, because occasionally even I need to sleep.:)

The following day I had no time to think about the blog, but after the fantastic concert I'm about to tell you about, I had no energy to write anything on the blog. So I put it off for today and as a result all the information I was going to tell you about going to the concert became obsolete.:) Yet I wanted all of you to know the experience we had last night or should I say Friday night.:)

I have been to many, many concerts of all kinds, yet last night was almost a religious experience. Seeing Leonard Cohen at 75 performing for us in such a humble and simple way made me cry at times. His poetry is so beautiful I was wiping my eyes a lot during the evening. The band is composed of excellent musicians who play together in perfect harmony, and his back up singers also do some gymnastics, play the flute, and one had an entire solo. They are composed of two sisters, and another woman who is responsible for much of the co-writing on Cohen's new songs. The sisters sing like soprano angels and along with the third woman they provide a wonderful background to Leonard Cohen's low and gruff voice.

But the star is definitely Leonard Cohen who started out the show on bended knee with his first song and managed to captivate the audience in just a single note. Of course, this audience was in his palm before he began. He got a ten minute standing ovation before he sang a note. Then during the performance people spontaneously rose to give him one after many of his songs. Hearing Leonard Cohen's voice was for me like getting a warm massage. Though he has sparse gray hair he covers it with a felt fedora in the manner of Frank Sinatra and he has a great deal of energy. He's sexy in a way many singers cannot manage today. He goes from kneeling on one knee to standing and belting out his song/poems and at the end of the evening he had enough energy to skip off the stage after each encore. But his music and poetry are what captivated the audience. Before a few of his songs he would recite a poem and then the song would be the poem and at times this synergy was so amazing. Most of his songs are about love - having love and losing it or extolling love or love gone wrong.

Some of the poetry almost lifted me right out of my seat it was so good.:) Have you ever felt that if you didn't place your hands on your chest that the joy you were feeling would make you lift out of your seat and float up to the ceiling? That is how I felt at this concert. He did many of his new songs in the first half. Then after a long intermission he came back and did "Suzanne", "So Long Marianne" and some of his other songs. People were recording during the whole performance without anyone stopping them. Also something I have never seen at a concert before. And he is so gracious he introduced his band and then gave each of the players a chance to perform a solo.

Leonard Cohen plays the guitar, six string guitar and electric piano. He played on many of his songs, but he also sang without his own accompaniment with just a hand held microphone. He told the audience that he was there to give his all and he did!! He sang "Hallelujah" in a way that I have never heard him sing it before and people were recording like crazy on that song. Then during one of his encores he performed "Famous Blue Raincoat" . On the second encore after having done three songs for the first one he sang "Closing Time" and his last song for his last encore was "Goodbye"*. After the concert I knew that I had seen a very special performance.

For anyone who would like to see him in concert there is a DVD of him performing in London that shows him in performance. If you like Tom Waits you will love Leonard Cohen. Cohen's voice is stronger and less gravelly than Tom Waits and I'll be surprised if you don't fall in love with this singer/songwriter/poet and want to see him in concert. Click on some of the links and check him out. You won't be sorry.:)

Do you think I liked the concert?:)

Let me know what you think of Leonard Cohen's music or if any of you have seen him in concert. Hello to the new readers who just joined me and thank you again to the ones who have been with me reading my crazy meanderings.

*Correction: According to DrHGuy who has an awesome blog that features everything you could ever need to know or want to buy about Leonard Cohen, the last song was "I Tried to Leave You". Sorry as I mentioned in my comment to him, I'm really bad about song names.:) He has a few of the videos from the performance I saw if you scroll down to the end. Also some very interesting merchandise including a not so PG bath towel.LOL Thank you again DrHGuy for pointing that out.


  1. I'm a resolute Cohen fan who puts out a Conhencentric blog at Heck Of A Guy. I can add little to your accolades for the performance, but would make a small correction: the final song at the MSG concert was "I Tried To Leave You."

    Also, in addition to the Live In London album, a DVD of Leonard Cohen's Isle Of Wight performance in 1970 just went on sale and is a treasure for fans of his early work.

  2. You are right! I am a fan, but I don't have your knowledge of the songs. So thank you very much for correcting me. I will definitely correct this in my next blog!

    Thank you for visiting my blog and I will definitely visit yours too! I will link to your page so my visitors can see your blog too.:)

  3. The Leonard Cohen concert sounds great!! I love experiences like that. They always make me want to continue on my creative journey. Thanks for sharing your experience!

  4. Hi V.R.,
    Thank you for stopping by my blog. Yes, it was definitely a memorable night. It isn't often that you see New Yorkers get so excited over a performer. The last concert I went to that had this much enthusiasm was The Rolling Stones, also in the Garden. I had no idea that we were in for that kind of night. You are right that it does get your creative juices going. However, it's more an affirmation of art in general that a man of his age still has the ability to bring New York to its feet.:)

  5. Great taste and wonderful writing too.
    This is like having an online magazine and I thank you for your insights and information.

  6. Margaret,
    Thank you so much!! I'm so glad you are enjoying my writing. I am also honored that you consider this an online magazine.:) It's really just my life and as I said in my intro, unusual things happen to me.:)


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