CONCERT REPORT: Edinburgh (July 16)

Canada and Europe (May 11 - August 3, 2008). Concert reports, set lists, photos, media coverage, multimedia links, recollections...
commonweal
Posts: 93
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 12:33 am
Location: Scotland

Re: Edinburgh July 16th

Postby commonweal » Thu Jul 17, 2008 10:57 am

At its best last night's concert in Edinburgh was again stunning. The sound quality, the energy of the band, Leonard's evident enjoyment, and the crowd were all top notch. But the venue was not great. Great views, for sure, and the Castle is evocative and all that, but from where I was sitting (in front of the mixing desk) it felt too much like the concert was going on for someone else. Among the songs I enjoyed best were those I listened to with my eyes closed - where I forget about straining to see the stage clearly - or where we all stood up and partied (Closing Time especially). That said, almost all of the songs were performed brilliantly last night - some even better than as I heard them in Manchester earlier in this tour.

To start with, Leonard's voice is getting BETTER. (Has anyone else noticed this?) Not only is it STRONGER than it was earlier in the tour, but he is singing better. In every song bar one last night he was really hitting the notes, with no bum notes. (This was not true in Manchester and, judging from youtube clips, nor was it true in the earlier Canadian shows.) The only exception last night was Democracy where in some of the verses he was flat. This is the song that immediately follows Hallelujah, into which Leonard pours an extraordinary amount of emotion and power and, in any case, is carried by the angels and the band. It was one of the best songs in Manchester, and it was very good again last night.

Songs which were even better last night (to my ears) than when I heard them in Manchester (I was there the first night) include The Future, Bird on the Wire (which was absolutely nailed last night - Leonard, Bob Metzger and Dino Soldo were awesome), Anthem, and Closing Time. In The Future and Anthem the improvement is Leonard's singing. Closing Time last night was just phenomenal. In Manchester it was rushed. Last night it was perfect. It was the last song (no I Tried to Leave You and no Whither Thou Goest) and both the band and the crowd really were happening. One song which was not so good was Boogie Street - Sharon was superb, but there was something wrong in the timing and the bass was too dominant in the mix. As in Manchester a special word has to be reserved for A Thousand Kisses Deep and for If It Be Your Will. Both were performed in astonished silence and both were real highlights, again.

The set was a bit shorter. No Gypsy's Wife, and nothing after Closing Time. But I'm not complaining. As I say, at its best what we were served up last night was stunning, and the crowd lapped it up.

Next up for me will be the Big Chill, where I will be nowhere near the mixing desk and very very near the stage. Oh yes.
nlamont
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 3:33 pm

Re: Edinburgh July 16th

Postby nlamont » Thu Jul 17, 2008 11:18 am

There's a review of Edinburgh at my site http://www.normanlamont.com. A great show, better than I dared hope it would be.
tommylen
Posts: 70
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 6:04 pm

Re: Edinburgh July 16th

Postby tommylen » Thu Jul 17, 2008 11:59 am

I suppose I am a seasoned concert goer and ive seen some great bands over the years.

Leonard Cohens performance last night was simply wonderful. Pure theatre and the engagement with the band and the audience provided an unforgettable night.

"Democracy" was inspiring and you could hear a pin drop during the ballads.What a performance.Every song was rivetting listening.

What can I say.Great .Absolutely great.Inspiring.
dissapointed
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2008 12:16 pm

Re: Edinburgh July 16th

Postby dissapointed » Thu Jul 17, 2008 12:23 pm

I'm guessing that I was at a different gig from you guys last night, now don't get me wrong, I love the work of Leonard Cohen...but last night with it's bloated arrangements, cheesy saxophone, classic melodies lost in sub standard musical posturing.

The only redeeming features were.
Sisters of Mercy
Suzanne
Halleleujah
The Future....

The rest to a certain extent were just cheese.
Dav1d UK
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2008 12:27 pm
Location: West Calder, Scotland

Re: Edinburgh July 16th

Postby Dav1d UK » Thu Jul 17, 2008 1:25 pm

A consummate performance by Leonard Cohen last night at Edinburgh Castle Esplanade.

I was worried I'd be disappointed, particularly for my partner, who wasn't familiar with his work. I needn't have worried. I enjoyed it immensely and so did she.

This was a truly magical evening performed by one of the great contemporary music legends.

In my student party days, all I knew of Leonard was that unmistakable voice on vinyl CBS albums and a picture on the sleeve. I had spent my pocket money on his first two albums and part of my first wage packet on "Songs of Love and Hate". I never thought I'd ever see him live. I am so glad that I finally did last night.

The voice is a few octaves lower and he's adapted his rendition of those early songs to suit - "Bird on The Wire" being a good example. But I guess at 73 he can be forgiven for that. Nevertheless that famous deep baritone is still there.

Behind the dark song lyrics is a man with droll but witty sense of humour, who came across as a charming and graceful human being.

This was a night to remember.
duncan1957
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 5:03 pm

Re: Edinburgh July 16th

Postby duncan1957 » Thu Jul 17, 2008 3:37 pm

I thought the Castle concert was superb.

Two gripes ....

1. The venue is IMO grossly overrated. Toilet facilities awful and exit a shambles.

2. Leonard has not been to Scotland for years and years, chances are he won’t be back.
So when it says on the ticket "on stage at 8pm " why do people insist on turning up 15 / 20 minutes late ?
To the bloke who came in 25 minutes after the start, sat down, promptly jumping up to yell " Leonard .... You’re the man" ...... buy yourself a watch and ponder what’s more important, a concert of a lifetime or that last pint in the boozer !

But hey ..... It was great !
Midnight Choir
Posts: 110
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 1:11 pm

Re: Edinburgh July 16th

Postby Midnight Choir » Thu Jul 17, 2008 4:31 pm

looks like he may be back in Scotland on November 5th!
2008: O2 London - July 17 | O2 London - November 13 | O2 London - November 14 | RAH London - November 17 | 2009: Antwerp - July 4 | Weybridge - July 11
dissapointed
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2008 12:16 pm

Re: Edinburgh July 16th

Postby dissapointed » Thu Jul 17, 2008 4:55 pm

duncan1957 wrote: 2. Leonard has not been to Scotland for years and years, chances are he won’t be back.
So when it says on the ticket "on stage at 8pm " why do people insist on turning up 15 / 20 minutes late ?
To the bloke who came in 25 minutes after the start, sat down, promptly jumping up to yell " Leonard .... You’re the man" ...... buy yourself a watch and ponder what’s more important, a concert of a lifetime or that last pint in the boozer !
We were down on castle terrace, and did not actually start getting let in until 7:50...
duncan1957
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 5:03 pm

Re: Edinburgh July 16th

Postby duncan1957 » Thu Jul 17, 2008 5:36 pm

dissapointed wrote:
duncan1957 wrote: 2. Leonard has not been to Scotland for years and years, chances are he won’t be back.
So when it says on the ticket "on stage at 8pm " why do people insist on turning up 15 / 20 minutes late ?
To the bloke who came in 25 minutes after the start, sat down, promptly jumping up to yell " Leonard .... You’re the man" ...... buy yourself a watch and ponder what’s more important, a concert of a lifetime or that last pint in the boozer !
We were down on castle terrace, and did not actually start getting let in until 7:50...

Appologies if there was some sort of hold up at the entrance .... but that only backs up my thoughts about the Castle being an overrated venue.

Whats this about November 5th ?
jikan4
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2008 3:03 pm

Re: Edinburgh July 16th

Postby jikan4 » Thu Jul 17, 2008 6:34 pm

Thought the concert was immense, it's amazing how proper artists can make a song sound better live, Hallelujah for example is 10 times better live than on the album, as were other songs to be fair but that one stuck out for me.

I quite liked the venue to be honest, maybe thats because I had decent seats in the bottom section as some other people have been complaining about views etc. I challenge them to go to just about any gig where you have to stand up and then tell me that the view at the castle was bad. Can't comment on the toilets, didn't need to go. Got in the gig about 7.40, started to queue for merchandise and after not moving for 10 mins decided against it.

My only gripe (should I have to have one) is the lack of banter from Leonard, the other gigs seemed to have a bit of craic, his jokes seemed to be cut out of this gig, and the fact he kept on introducing the band after every 2 songs got me wondering if it was our benefit or his?! Oh and the last couple of songs were missing, wondered if that was because of the rain or maybe a time schedule for an outdoor gig?

But, great sound, great backdrop, great view (for me anyway, if it'd been a smaller venue then less people would've seen him, a bigger venue then the views would've been a lot worse), and a terrific performer who epitomized the essence of cool.

No Chelsea hotel though.

Gutted.
Born With The Gift Of A G
Posts: 328
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 6:08 pm
Location: Manchester, England

Re: Edinburgh July 16th

Postby Born With The Gift Of A G » Thu Jul 17, 2008 7:03 pm

Review from The Scotsman/Edinburgh Evening News:

http://news.scotsman.com/latestnews/Imp ... 4297314.jp
"Little lady.....I AM Kris Kristofferson....."
London: 10 & 11 May 1993; Manchester: 17, 18, 19 & 20 June 2008; Vienna: 25 September 2008; London: 17 November 2008; Paris: 26 November 2008; Manchester: 30 November 2008; Liverpool: 14 July 2009; Paris: 28 September 2012; Manchester: 31 August 2013; Leeds: 7 September 2013.
honeybee1403
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2008 7:22 pm

Re: Edinburgh July 16th

Postby honeybee1403 » Thu Jul 17, 2008 8:04 pm

I thought the concert last night was wonderful. For me the highlights were Hallelujah (sung with tremendous emotion), First We Take Manhatten and Closing Time. I have waited so long to see Leonard Cohen and I never thought I would!

I have to agree with some of the negative remarks about the organisation of the event. We arrived at 7.25 to be directed down Johnstone Terrace. It took us over 10 minutes of brisk walking to reach the end of the queue! (Almost at Princes Street). It then took us over 20 minutes to walk all the way back up resulting in us being about five minutes late getting in. Please don't complain about latecomers - it wasn't our fault!!!! Does anyone know what went so badly wrong here? By the time we reached the people taking tickets there was a real danger of a crush. Quite scary. There were similar problems on leaving. I also have to agree that the toilet facilties were poor.

However, all of the above are minor gripes and will be quickly forgotten about while the wonderful evening in the company of Leonard never will!
daft about lennie
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2008 4:26 am

Re: Edinburgh July 16th

Postby daft about lennie » Thu Jul 17, 2008 8:42 pm

What a sperlative evening. Leonard was in fantastic form.
racer76
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun May 11, 2008 9:08 pm

Re: Edinburgh July 16th

Postby racer76 » Thu Jul 17, 2008 9:59 pm

WOW! Magnificent! Edinburgh Evening News gave 5 stars and one fan was quoted as "The best concert ever seen"

Wonderful to experience Lenny and what a voice, his best vocal period ever and also what a band!

He looked genuinely chuffed at the crowds reaction to it all and seemed to be enjoying it as much as we were.

Leonard you have made my musical life. 16th July 2008.
kenseaton
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:36 pm

Re: Edinburgh July 16th

Postby kenseaton » Thu Jul 17, 2008 10:00 pm

NME says Leonard will be playing Glasgow Armadillo on November 5...

Ken

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