CONCERT REPORT: Boston, May 29 and 30

USA and Canada (April 1 - June 4, 2009). Special concert for fans in NYC (February 19). Concert reports, set lists, photos, media coverage, multimedia links, recollections...
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sturgess66
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Boston, May 29 and 30

Postby sturgess66 » Sun May 31, 2009 11:40 pm

Allan Hunter writes about the concert last night:

http://allanhunter.net/2009/05/31/leonard-cohen/
and
http://www.intent.com/drallanhunter/blo ... creativity


Leonard Cohen

Posted on | May 31, 2009 |

Last night I went to see Leonard Cohen, the man who helped transform the 1960s and 1970s, at the Wang Theater. The old stager was every bit as good as ever, and, once again, he turned our hearts inside out.

Perhaps part of his appeal is that he doesn’t just sing about events, or things, or love, he sings about all these things in terms of what it means to be an artist who can’t be anything else. Indeed, as he approaches 75 we might ask why would he do these gruelling tours? The answer is evident the moment he steps on stage; he does it because that’s who he is. He’s an artist who will write and sing about the poetry that comes to him, asking to be made into song, and he’ll do so until he can sing no more. That’s what was at the center of his heart-rending version of ‘If it be your will’. It was a prayer to the gods of creativity saying he’s always been in their hands, and if they want him to stop, then he won’t have much control over that. And the unspoken part is that this would break him, but he’d accept it, as the will of a much higher power than any of us can contradict.

Significantly he turned this song over to the Webb sisters, whose astonishing, delicate, clear harmonies were so beauteous, and in some ways so opposite to Leonard’s gravel pit growl of a rumbling bass. It was, on stage, an enacting of the handing over to others that the song spoke about, a relinquishing that we all must face one day. I don’t know if there was a dry eye in the house, and it was a full house, believe me.

It’s not often that a concert turns itself, with gracious ease, into an act of gratitude and prayer to the power of creativity that can be loaned to us, for a while. It’s both inspiring and humbling. Last night we were in a sacred space.

Isn’t that what art’s all about?
Last edited by sturgess66 on Mon Jun 01, 2009 12:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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sturgess66
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Boston, May 29 and 30

Postby sturgess66 » Sun May 31, 2009 11:44 pm

And Cat Bennett on her site:

http://catbennett.net/2009/05/31/thank- ... ard-cohen/

Thank You, Leonard Cohen

Posted on | May 31, 2009 |

Last night Leonard Cohen played to a packed house at the beautiful old Wang Center in Boston and we were so very blessed to be there. It’s hard to put into words the ways in which his very artfully constructed concert and presence brought tears to our eyes. The music was brilliant—every single musician absolutely first rate and the sound so beautifully balanced that even up in the rafters we could hear every instrument and every word. One of the great things about the words is that they open your heart and light it up too. He keeps telling the human story of how we fail to love each other and we somehow inch a little closer to compassion. Hallelujah.

He’s 74 now and I don’t expect he’ll tour for much longer even though he’s off next to Europe. I really hope he’ll do more writing when he gets back home. He inspires us to be fully present, to see what’s there in the world and in our own hearts and to have compassion. At the end of the concert he introduced and thanked even the truck drivers who schlepp the equipment from gig to gig. Then he said good night, how glad he was to have been here and asked us to be as kind as we can. Amen and thank you, Leonard Cohen.

The London concert from last year is now available on DVD here.
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Boston, May 29 and 30

Postby marebo » Mon Jun 01, 2009 2:35 am

Ahhhhhh... Leonard

Leonard Cohen sings to my soul, and he did in fact on Saturday night in Boston. From my perch in the mezzanine I had a wonderful view as he took command of the stage with boundless energy and joy, from the first opening note the audience was enraptured. As was I. In the grandeur of the greek revival theater the simplicity of the stage setting was the perfect backdrop to the ensemble performing to an appreciative crowd, no obnoxious drunkards, hecklers, or insensitive people carrying on their intrusive conversations whilst we try to enjoy the music. It was a collective meeting of the minds that we all were here to witness what most of us never thought we would ever in our lifetime...Leonard Cohen in concert. He did not disappoint. Singing to a very eclectic crowd, from the very chic well appointed...lots of black suits and fedoras ...designer heels and bags...to the hippies....tie dye and birkenstocks. All ages...from the shock of white hair and beards ...to the strawberry blonde mop of curls of the adorable girl of about 8 sitting on a booster seat in the row in front of me. All of us here to join together for a magical night of music. As much as we might listen to live concert cd's or watch dvd's, it cannot convey the energy of the live audience and the interaction of how the performer and audience feeds off each other. The magic was there, a well behaved feeding frenzy. There was effusive applause for each song , also for the oh so impressive solos of the musicians ,and the vocals of Sharon Robinson and the sublime Webb sisters. Leonard skillfully weaving through out the night songs laced with religious imagery and strident political themes that seem to defy the passage of time and relevancy...The set list included every song I wanted to hear and left out every song I wanted to hear., even a three hour concert cannot contain the creative body of work that is Leonard. As he leaves us for his summer tour in Europe there are vague rumors of a fall tour in North America, while i am so appreciative to have seen him live, it makes me want more. In my best Oliver Twist accent...please sir...may i have some more. So I will no longer delete from my email cheap flights to Europe for the summer, and hope that the old saying ..be careful what you wish for because you just might get it...comes true
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brightnow
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Boston, May 29 and 30

Postby brightnow » Mon Jun 01, 2009 4:04 am

My notes from the Friday (May 29) concert:

The folks at the Wang theater enforced the pre-sale rules strictly. They had a dedicated ticket window for pre-sale tickets and they would not release any of those tickets before 6:30. I got to finally meet Leonard (leonardmtl + son Nathan) and Pam (redstudio -- see you at the picture game!); I also made some new friends: Dan (Merganser), Lori (Pomona) and Felicia (FeliciaBOS). One minor disappointment: no band members at early entrance. The US tour programs are now on sale for $10, get yours in Red Rocks if you haven't yet.

The concert was incredible. The set list has changed a bit since May 11 and it was wonderful to listen to "Sisters of Mercy" (a "special" rendition, more on that below), "Closing Time" and "Famous Blue Raincoat". The band was relaxed and a lot of smiles were exchanged on stage. It seemed to me that Leonard was in a more "chatty" mood: he brought back the "just a kid with a crazy dream" joke, acknowledged several of our standing ovations with comments like "we really appreciate this response" and told a new joke (well, at least to me it was new). It was a wonderful experience and I am grateful for the chance to be there.

Now, Leonard did fumble with the Lyrics of "Sisters of Mercy" and in dealing with it proved again what a great performer he is. In the middle of the second verse, he started singing the second half of the third verse. From my seat at the fifth row I could see it in his face: a split-second of concern and then the resolution. I wasn't sure what he was going to do, but he simply kept singing the end of the third verse and then elegantly stitched the missing lines from the second verse to the end of the third. That he did this on stage, in front of almost four thousand people without missing a beat is absolutely amazing.
Columbia May 11, 2009; Boston May 29, 2009; Durham November 3, 2009; Las Vegas December 10 & 11, 2010; Austin November 1, 2012; Boston December 15, 2012; Brooklyn December 20, 2012
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brightnow
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Boston, May 29 and 30

Postby brightnow » Mon Jun 01, 2009 4:04 am

marebo wrote:Ahhhhhh... Leonard

Leonard Cohen sings to my soul, and he did in fact on Saturday night in Boston. From my perch in the mezzanine I had a wonderful view as he took command of the stage with boundless energy and joy, from the first opening note the audience was enraptured. As was I. In the grandeur of the greek revival theater the simplicity of the stage setting was the perfect backdrop to the ensemble performing to an appreciative crowd, no obnoxious drunkards, hecklers, or insensitive people carrying on their intrusive conversations whilst we try to enjoy the music. It was a collective meeting of the minds that we all were here to witness what most of us never thought we would ever in our lifetime...Leonard Cohen in concert. He did not disappoint. Singing to a very eclectic crowd, from the very chic well appointed...lots of black suits and fedoras ...designer heels and bags...to the hippies....tie dye and birkenstocks. All ages...from the shock of white hair and beards ...to the strawberry blonde mop of curls of the adorable girl of about 8 sitting on a booster seat in the row in front of me. All of us here to join together for a magical night of music. As much as we might listen to live concert cd's or watch dvd's, it cannot convey the energy of the live audience and the interaction of how the performer and audience feeds off each other. The magic was there, a well behaved feeding frenzy. There was effusive applause for each song , also for the oh so impressive solos of the musicians ,and the vocals of Sharon Robinson and the sublime Webb sisters. Leonard skillfully weaving through out the night songs laced with religious imagery and strident political themes that seem to defy the passage of time and relevancy...The set list included every song I wanted to hear and left out every song I wanted to hear., even a three hour concert cannot contain the creative body of work that is Leonard. As he leaves us for his summer tour in Europe there are vague rumors of a fall tour in North America, while i am so appreciative to have seen him live, it makes me want more. In my best Oliver Twist accent...please sir...may i have some more. So I will no longer delete from my email cheap flights to Europe for the summer, and hope that the old saying ..be careful what you wish for because you just might get it...comes true
Welcome to the forum marebo.
Columbia May 11, 2009; Boston May 29, 2009; Durham November 3, 2009; Las Vegas December 10 & 11, 2010; Austin November 1, 2012; Boston December 15, 2012; Brooklyn December 20, 2012
RainDog1980
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Boston, May 29 and 30

Postby RainDog1980 » Mon Jun 01, 2009 6:11 am

Just got back to Maine after making the trip down to Boston this weekend for the show. We saw the show on Friday, the 29th.

We were in row EE in the orchestra, which was pretty much the back of the theater, but still had a great view. The only thing I can really say about this show is that I am so grateful to have seen this man perform.

What a spiritual, uplifting experience. I've only been a fan for the last eight or nine years, but this music was the soundtrack of my life for quite some time, and to have it brought to us with such joy, by the man who created it, was really like an out of body experience.

As I expected, there would be tears. "Dance Me" brought a couple, just because it was the realization that this was really happening. But it wasn't until "Bird on a Wire", hearing him call out to the one that he has always been true, it grabbed a hold of my insides, and brought a new level of appreciation for this song. It was by far my favorite of the night. Let me take a minute here to say just how impressed I was by the CLASS of the musicians touring with Leonard. Bob Metzger's solo during that song was so beautiful, with such restrained and precise playing, and that was followed up by Dino's amazing sax solo. The performance was better than any live recording I've heard so far. Maybe it was the intimate setting in the smaller theater, but damn... I am still enraptured by it.

"Everybody Knows" was also another jerker for me, as I have labored over my own recordings and versions of the song, which have never seen the light of day, because I am never satisfied. To be seeing the original inspiration right there before my eyes, again, took a hold of me and shook my foundation.

"Anthem" was beautiful, and was a perfect end to an emotional set (emotional for me). The rest of the night was just pure fun. I REALLY hope that "Famous Blue Raincoat" makes it onto a live disc or DVD somewhere, because the images of them playing that song are still haunting me. The Webb Sisters are adorable, and Sharon has got some pipes, and what a smile.

Leonard's voice was ON. There was one point he was singing along with the vocalists during "Manhattan", during the bridge. And he was yelping! He just seemed so into it. There was a lot of "oomph" behind him. I really hope that one of the later shows in the tour gets put on CD, especially if they were all as spot on as this show. "Live in London" is great, but at times was a little rough around the edges. This is one well-oiled machine that needs to be documented... because I don't think we'll hear anything like it again.
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Boston, May 29 and 30

Postby xrayspx » Mon Jun 01, 2009 6:18 am

Hey guys, I'm glad you liked the shots from the balcony, that's what we get for having to get 4 tickets, but they really turned out better than I thought they would.

What a great show. We were so happy to hear he was coming around again after all these years, he's just amazing and I never thought I would get the chance to be in the same room as the man. We loved it, this show was a real benchmark for amazing concerts.
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Boston, May 29 and 30

Postby bridger15 » Mon Jun 01, 2009 6:23 am

RainDog1980 wrote: As I expected, there would be tears.
Thanks for your post. A very beautiful review, RainDog. You actually brought tears to my eyes while I was reading it. I identified completely with everything you wrote.
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sturgess66
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Boston, May 29 and 30

Postby sturgess66 » Mon Jun 01, 2009 10:29 am

Another blogger writes about the Boston show:

http://epiphanic-pomes.blogspot.com/200 ... eater.html

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Leonard Cohen at the Wang Theater

Leonard Cohen paid tribute to the music and I was there to see it.

With a 9-person band of excellent musicians, including a virtuous flamenco guitarist, and a “maestro of breath” who played at times the Saxophone, Clarinet and keyboard, Leonard Cohen brought to life his timeless songs in his rumbling voice, like the stirring of the very earth.

The now seventy-four year old poet and priest to many introduced his performance by saying “It has now been 15 years since I last stood on this stage – at the time I was just a 60 year-old kid with a crazy dream.”

It was a performance of reverence. On multiple occasions, the old man dropped to one knee as he sung, seemingly in awe of the flamenco guitar. And his hat was off to honor his fellow musicians who delivered their well sutured solos under the spotlight's grace.

He also recited a few of his poems, and I was struck as always by the words. A thousand kisses deep was one song that remained unsung, but its many verses were recited, a version of the endlessly worked-on verses are below—they are well worth the read:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKL3MDxMZUM

1. You came to me this morning
And you handled me like meat.
You´d have to be a man to know
How good that feels, how sweet.
My mirror twin, my next of kin,
I´d know you in my sleep.
And who but you would take me in
A thousand kisses deep?

2. I loved you when you opened
Like a lily to the heat.
I´m just another snowman
Standing in the rain and sleet,
Who loved you with his frozen love
His second-hand physique -
With all he is, and all he was
A thousand kisses deep.

3. All soaked in sex, and pressed against
The limits of the sea:
I saw there were no oceans left
For scavengers like me.
We made it to the forward deck
I blessed our remnant fleet -
And then consented to be wrecked
A thousand kisses deep.

Etc...
Posted by JT at 8:37 PM
Labels: Leonard Cohen
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elsamaria
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Boston, May 29 and 30

Postby elsamaria » Mon Jun 01, 2009 3:26 pm

MY 15 year old wrote this on her blog. :lol:


Sunday, May 31, 2009
Leonard Cohen
Last night's concert was very good! I really enjoyed it, and there are a lot of his songs that I really like. He was great, his band was great, the theater building was great, the lighting was great, it was all AWESOME! But even though now I know a bit more why people like him so much, I still think his fans are all rather... well, crazy! hehehe, and that includes my mom! :)

We got there about an hour and a half early so that we could "meet other fans"... My mom had posted on the Leonard Cohen Forum that she was coming with me and her sister, and that she would be wearing red shoes but she thought it was just a joke and nearly didn't wear them, but my aunt convinced her to do it, and she did. And sure enough a few minutes after we got there a lady came up to my mom and said "Do you post on the forum? Are you the one who said she was going to wear red shoes?" And so my mom and the lady started talking. The lady was from Ireland, and was a big fan, she even got her kids into liking Leonard Cohen! She had gone to his NYC concert (and had a picture of him and her at his hotel), and now she came to the Boston one, and she was planning to every concert in Ireland, one in the UK, and another in Lisbon (which my mom is thinking of going to), and one in Barcelona. In other words she's going to nearly every single one of his concerts. Yup, his fans are all pretty crazy! But they have good reason, he really is a great songwriter, and poet. I feel sorry for him though, 74 years old and he has to sing for 3 hours and put up with his insane fans lol, and I think there would be a riot if he was to get married because there are many lady fans who still haven't gotten to propose to him yet, hehehe.

Still, it was a very fun concert, and I enjoyed it and recommend you to go to one of his concerts! HURRAH FOR LEONARD ON A GREAT JOB!!
under L.C. spell since 1981.
Toronto June 8 /Boston May 30
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Boston, May 29 and 30

Postby brightnow » Mon Jun 01, 2009 4:43 pm

elsamaria wrote:...I still think his fans are all rather... well, crazy! ...
That we are; that, we are... :D
Columbia May 11, 2009; Boston May 29, 2009; Durham November 3, 2009; Las Vegas December 10 & 11, 2010; Austin November 1, 2012; Boston December 15, 2012; Brooklyn December 20, 2012
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Boston, May 29 and 30

Postby elsamaria » Mon Jun 01, 2009 5:54 pm

:D yes we are, and we love it!
I told Filipa that I was going to post her review here and she said, but I call all of you crazy... hihihi
under L.C. spell since 1981.
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Minerva
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Boston, May 29 and 30

Postby Minerva » Mon Jun 01, 2009 6:15 pm

I was surprised not to see Anjani on the stage. Regardless, it was a fabulous show!
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Boston, May 29 and 30

Postby bridger15 » Mon Jun 01, 2009 7:18 pm

sturgess66 wrote:Another blogger writes about the Boston show:
...excellent musicians, including a virtuous flamenco guitarist..
A very amusing typo, I presume.
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Arlene's Leonard Cohen Scrapbook http://onboogiestreet.blogspot.com
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Boston, May 29 and 30

Postby IrishMar » Mon Jun 01, 2009 8:29 pm

Saturday at the Wang was one great night! It started off on a high, I arrived along for the early entry at 6.30 and had the pleasure of meeting Roscoe Beck and Rafael Gayol. I had a few words with Roscoe and gave him a little something for the elusive Monkey (something he will need for later on in the summer).

I was on my own as my friend could only join me later so I walked around and chatted to some people, I met Elsamaria from the Forum. It was wonderful to meet you Elsa and your sister and daughter, those red shoes helped me locate you, what a laugh we had, oh yes Filipa, we are all crazy, and its great! :D Despite valiant efforts I couldn't locate Leonard from Montreal (pity I missed you Leonard), I only had my iphone with me and found it hard to navigate the Forum on it so I missed your post about where you were sitting.

The show was wonderful, pure pleasure, I think it was partly my fantastic seat, I was orchestra centre so Leonard was directly in front of me, usually I am to the side, so this was special. As always Leonard gave it his all, he was in fine form, I particularly loved Bird on The Wire, the one that started it all for me. It was marvelous that he also played the Partisan, as I see that was out of the list on the previous night. I am always on an emotional rollercoaster at the shows, I have to watch Leonard recite Thousand Kisses Deep through wet eyes and that didn't change. My friend was unable to join me but her husband took her place, he was seeing Leonard for the first time and was very impressed. He was amazed given the long tour how fresh everybody sounds He gives me a hard time for my devotion and multiple concert going, think he was also slightly alarmed by my use of binoculars despite my proximity to the stage!! Think he understands a little more after such a brilliant night.

Leonard, wishing you well for your last date in the USA knowing that it will be as wonderful as the first one at the Beacon. All you lucky people attending, have a great time, I will be thinking of you all and eager to read your reports.

Looking forward to a fab summer of Leonard!

Marie
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