Well, although it is not soo long that I have found the way out of my bed after last night's concert, there have already been so many posts here reminding us all of a wonderful concert that it might be hard to add actually new thoughts... However, I should like to try.
What was most striking to us was, right from the beginning, the sheer power with which Leonard and the band played last night. The Lörrach concert two years ago was our first live encounter, and in comparison could be described as 'academic'. Then, I was deeply moved, my wife, however, who came rather to accompany me than to experience Leonard Cohen, enjoyed that night. Yesterday, she said she begun to understand what there is to Cohen. He not only performed the songs for the umpteenth time (if even most of his audience could sing Bird on the Wire backwards, how much more used must he be to those words?), but he gave us the feeling of creating them right now there and then for us. Rhythmic recitation once more was more important than the melodies of the songs. I got the feeling that one or two songs, especially in the first set, were actually sung by Leonard only using two or three notes, the rhythm of the text doing the rest. And how he sang these notes: obviously enjoying the new found depths in his voice more than the musical line, he feasted on those deep, vibrating sounds as long as possible. Even before the new stanza in Bird on the Wire it was clear that this would not be a "Best of as you like it", but a "Look what I can do to songs you thought you knew".
Talking of the new lines. Can anyone confirm my memory of the new variation in Take this Waltz, where Leonard sang "Where Ø(?) doves love(?) to die"?
The three new songs were brilliant. All three of them 100% Cohen, rendering some of Dear Heather even odder in its context. Although I learned to love that album (it took me longer than every other), I felt happy about this return.
There is no way I -- and indeed as from last night we -- shall accept the idea that this might have been our last live concert with Leonard Cohen. The man was so energetic and belongs so much onto the stage that he simply has to go on! Proof of concept? Well, again the comparison with Lörrach. Then, it was Leonard Cohen and Band performing a great concert (and there is no way of saying anything negative about that!), but (or rather and) yesterday, we experienced a unified body of musicians, the poet as primus inter pares. I believe it was this new(?) unity that lead to all the wonderful ad hocs with forgotten texts and adresses to the most unlikely members of the band, and it was this unity that reminded me of the Field Commander Cohen experience (which, unfortunately, I only know from the canned album, but the atmosphere and the mystic bond between stage and audience can nearly be touched there). This time, it was Famous Blue Raincoat that came back to the stage, Field Commander Cohen is bound to come, too.
Lörrach 2008, Wiesbaden Wiesbaden 2010