CONCERT REPORT: LG Arena, Birmingham UK - Sunday 8 September

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AndrewGMooney
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: LG Arena, Birmingham UK - Sunday 8 Septe

Postby AndrewGMooney » Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:06 pm

After last night, I thought I'd share some of the disappointment I feel about having to 'let Leonard go' after all these years.
From the overt corporate horror of AEG's agenda becoming visible at The 02 Arena in '08, to the ongoing problems of the "silent one" over events at Mount Baldy, to Hop Farm, to the 're-scheduling' of Verona, Leeds and London: enough is finally enough.

Whilst the Royal Albert Hall in 2008 was a night so sublime that I stopped going to concerts for the next 4 years to avoid having to compare other dross with that 'peak experience': the cognitive dissonance of compartmentalising how I feel about his music from how I feel about the rapacious greed of his corporate sponsors can no longer be held in balance.

I find myself trying to deny or minimise the evidence of cult thinking, cult behaviour, and sometimes covert or overt contempt for The Audience. The 'fans' who infest these entertainers are not to blame, they are suffering from a mass mental delusion of 'fame', but so are the 'stars' who enable this disorder. I have experienced some of my most rewarding mental and emotional states through listening to popular music, including Leonard Cohen. However, it's time to soberly reflect on how the Boomers destroyed Music Recording and Live Performance, whether by being co-conspirators with Big Music or Big Live Event corporations. I see greed, laziness, and a sloppy entitlement agenda informed by both shrill accountants and an entirely redundant ideology of The Outsider, parlayed ruthlessly for profit.

It's very difficult to have a 'conversation' online about any of these 'entertainers' as their myrmidons immediately rise in angry delusion to defend the indefensible, as some sort of self-appointed Praetorian Guard for the Caesars of pop culture.
When "The Telegraph" compares a Leonard Cohen concert to visiting the Sistine Chapel, I am moved both by the inappropriateness of the comparison given Cohen is a Buddhist/Jewish/Agnostic, whatevs. I am revulsed by the smug, consumerised cultural tourism agenda which informs the risible analogy.

I am forced to conclude that this 'return' has indeed been motivated as much by Money as Art, if not more. It's not acceptable for these entertainers to contract out the ethical dilemmas of ticket prices, corporate greed over parking, refreshment and ablution facilities, re-schedulings and cancellations, the entire P.R banalities of 'fan' sites and 'fan' journalist sham 'interviews'.

This whole panoply of exploitation needs to be called out for what it is: A Cult. A cult of exhausted Boomer and pseudo Punk/Post-Punk 'rebel yell' memes which are nothing more than an endless ker-ching of the till. I know that Leonard is a delightful, gracious person as surely as I know Morrissey is an insufferably rude bore by default. They both, like all the other 'stars' enable and sustain an utterly vile hierarchical model of The Stage over The Audience, The Star over The Fan, The Corporation over The Community. Prince is challenging but he only charged £31.21 for his O2 arena residency, and didn't trash the shows with noodling jams.

Previous comments on this thread crystalise my thinking on all this as they note the callous greed of allowing the sale of poor sight-line tickets at full face value. Just like people have complained about LC in Leeds and elsewhere. I have reluctantly concluded that it is not possible to help him cultivate an Audience ethically whilst these conditions pertain.
Thanks to all these corporate capitalist entertainers for some good stuff over the years, but as the 'factors of production' collapse with cheap home recording, and the live music experience is destroyed by 'pay to play', 'convenience charges' and £10 to park a car: it's time for me to box up all those CDs and give them to Oxfam.

To Leonard, I would say a genuine "thank you" and "goodbye". No doubt the myrmidons will censor this communique as from a 'troll' or as 'disrespectful', put it through the Grammar mincer, before trying to eradicate it from their shrine-sites and from their subconscious minds: all of which is pleasing to consider. But most who read it know that some, if not all of what I say is true, and that it's over. Unless or until someone finds a way to chart an ethical path through this minefield.
Jane Siberry and Sol Seppy point the way. Both appear to have consciously rejected the "star maker machinery behind the popular song". I can't imagine why any serious Artist would tolerate or propagate the restrictions and delusionality of Fame. Last night, I walked away from 'the greatest show on earth'. And finally, I think I'm free of the corrupt memeplex of modern 'culture'.

With every good wish.
Yours, in Jubilo!
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Mabeanie1
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: LG Arena, Birmingham UK - Sunday 8 Septe

Postby Mabeanie1 » Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:14 pm

AndrewGMooney wrote:the Royal Albert Hall in 2008 was a night so sublime that I stopped going to concerts for the next 4 years to avoid having to compare other dross with that 'peak experience'
Andrew

It is a great shame that you have let your feelings about all these other issues get in the way of your enjoyment of Leonard's live performances. The shows and more particularly Leonard's performances are infinitely more sublime than they were back in the "early" days of November 2008. I thought the RAH shows in 1993 were the best concerts I would ever go to in my life. I was wrong. It genuinely does keep on getting better and no, this is not sycophantic dross. I would say if I thought otherwise.

It's also a great shame that you choose to insult those of us who continue to enjoy the shows to make your points.

Wendy
Parsifal
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: LG Arena, Birmingham UK - Sunday 8 Septe

Postby Parsifal » Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:32 pm

AndrewGMooney wrote:After last night, I thought I'd share some of the disappointment I feel about having to 'let Leonard go' after all these years.
From the overt corporate horror of AEG's agenda becoming visible at The 02 Arena in '08, to the ongoing problems of the "silent one" over events at Mount Baldy, to Hop Farm, to the 're-scheduling' of Verona, Leeds and London: enough is finally enough.

Whilst the Royal Albert Hall in 2008 was a night so sublime that I stopped going to concerts for the next 4 years to avoid having to compare other dross with that 'peak experience': the cognitive dissonance of compartmentalising how I feel about his music from how I feel about the rapacious greed of his corporate sponsors can no longer be held in balance.

I find myself trying to deny or minimise the evidence of cult thinking, cult behaviour, and sometimes covert or overt contempt for The Audience. The 'fans' who infest these entertainers are not to blame, they are suffering from a mass mental delusion of 'fame', but so are the 'stars' who enable this disorder. I have experienced some of my most rewarding mental and emotional states through listening to popular music, including Leonard Cohen. However, it's time to soberly reflect on how the Boomers destroyed Music Recording and Live Performance, whether by being co-conspirators with Big Music or Big Live Event corporations. I see greed, laziness, and a sloppy entitlement agenda informed by both shrill accountants and an entirely redundant ideology of The Outsider, parlayed ruthlessly for profit.

It's very difficult to have a 'conversation' online about any of these 'entertainers' as their myrmidons immediately rise in angry delusion to defend the indefensible, as some sort of self-appointed Praetorian Guard for the Caesars of pop culture.
When "The Telegraph" compares a Leonard Cohen concert to visiting the Sistine Chapel, I am moved both by the inappropriateness of the comparison given Cohen is a Buddhist/Jewish/Agnostic, whatevs. I am revulsed by the smug, consumerised cultural tourism agenda which informs the risible analogy.

I am forced to conclude that this 'return' has indeed been motivated as much by Money as Art, if not more. It's not acceptable for these entertainers to contract out the ethical dilemmas of ticket prices, corporate greed over parking, refreshment and ablution facilities, re-schedulings and cancellations, the entire P.R banalities of 'fan' sites and 'fan' journalist sham 'interviews'.

This whole panoply of exploitation needs to be called out for what it is: A Cult. A cult of exhausted Boomer and pseudo Punk/Post-Punk 'rebel yell' memes which are nothing more than an endless ker-ching of the till. I know that Leonard is a delightful, gracious person as surely as I know Morrissey is an insufferably rude bore by default. They both, like all the other 'stars' enable and sustain an utterly vile hierarchical model of The Stage over The Audience, The Star over The Fan, The Corporation over The Community. Prince is challenging but he only charged £31.21 for his O2 arena residency, and didn't trash the shows with noodling jams.

Previous comments on this thread crystalise my thinking on all this as they note the callous greed of allowing the sale of poor sight-line tickets at full face value. Just like people have complained about LC in Leeds and elsewhere. I have reluctantly concluded that it is not possible to help him cultivate an Audience ethically whilst these conditions pertain.
Thanks to all these corporate capitalist entertainers for some good stuff over the years, but as the 'factors of production' collapse with cheap home recording, and the live music experience is destroyed by 'pay to play', 'convenience charges' and £10 to park a car: it's time for me to box up all those CDs and give them to Oxfam.

To Leonard, I would say a genuine "thank you" and "goodbye". No doubt the myrmidons will censor this communique as from a 'troll' or as 'disrespectful', put it through the Grammar mincer, before trying to eradicate it from their shrine-sites and from their subconscious minds: all of which is pleasing to consider. But most who read it know that some, if not all of what I say is true, and that it's over. Unless or until someone finds a way to chart an ethical path through this minefield.
Jane Siberry and Sol Seppy point the way. Both appear to have consciously rejected the "star maker machinery behind the popular song". I can't imagine why any serious Artist would tolerate or propagate the restrictions and delusionality of Fame. Last night, I walked away from 'the greatest show on earth'. And finally, I think I'm free of the corrupt memeplex of modern 'culture'.

With every good wish.
Yours, in Jubilo!

Agree with everything you say.

A long time ago, though, I learned that it is the ART that matters - I don't really give a hang for the person who produces the art, their corporate backers, or the feelings of the rest of their audience.

The concert experience in these venues is rarely a great one, except for those sitting at or near the front (and even then, as some postings on this section testify, not always even for them). That's why I carefully research the venue beforehand (site views are available on youtube, etc) and weigh up the pros and cons of atttending: will I get value for money/will the experience justify the price, etc? With LC, I would say the experience - provided it's from a decent vantage point - does justify the price. There's certainly no one else I'd pay this kind of money to see.

I can't say definitively but I suspect you may be right about the ultimate motives behind the tour; and I think you're certainly right about the motivation of the sponsors (but what else would you expect)? In the great scheme of things, they don't really matter - all that matters is your own experience and if your experience this time has not been good, you're entitled to feel aggrieved (with the provisos I mention above).

I don't buy into the worship of LC as some kind of 'higher being' - which is why I prefer not to refer to him familiarly. I've never met him, never will meet him and am not bothered about this. Leonard Cohen the individual - and his reasons for doing these tours - are immaterial to me. I enjoy his art and it's the art I'm paying to experience.

My advice, for what it's worth: keept the CDs. You enjoy them, so why should you let your feelings about the man get in the way.

Needless to add, I don't feel you've insulted me at all. :)
birminghamfan
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Location: Birmingham , UK

Re: CONCERT REPORT: LG Arena, Birmingham UK - Sunday 8 Septe

Postby birminghamfan » Mon Sep 09, 2013 3:07 pm

A big thank you to Leonard - another superb show , to add to the five shows already of a superb tour The venue , however , was appalling Security staff were intimidating and bullying and I am informed that one of our number was asked to leave the premises - ie removed - before the end of the concert This was the only show so far in the UK where security insisted on sending people back to seats when they tried to stand near the front to enjoy the encores , and did so in a bullying and intimidating manner , both to myself and to other fans. I do not wish to associate with organisations run by , or who employ , bullies , so I will not attending concerts at the LG again There are other arenas not too far from Birmingham If Leonard should return to the English Midlands , it would be wonderful if he would consider playing at an alternative venue whose staff may hopefully be less intimidating
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sturgess66
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: LG Arena, Birmingham UK - Sunday 8 Septe

Postby sturgess66 » Mon Sep 09, 2013 3:23 pm

Video uploaded by David/cohenadmirer - thanks!

Bird On The Wire
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSBEMQno9pI
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sturgess66
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: LG Arena, Birmingham UK - Sunday 8 Septe

Postby sturgess66 » Mon Sep 09, 2013 5:31 pm

Birmingham Mail gives Leonard Cohen a 5-Star Review -
http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/whats-o ... na-5855104
Review: Leonard Cohen, at the LG Arena, Birmingham
9 Sep 2013 09:14

At nearly 80 years old, the Canadian is still an artist of extraordinary talent, invention, verve and relevance.
Leonard Cohen, at the LG Arena
*****
Image
Fan photo: Leonard Cohen as seen through the Fulford cameraphone

Forget the fact that the average age of a Leonard Cohen audience makes a trip to the gents rather like a visit to a prostate clinic.

Forget, too, that at nearly 80 the pencil-thin Cohen moves with an old man’s lack of ease and increasingly resembles Jack Straw’s grandad.

What matters is that the gig he performed in Birmingham – lasting three hours and with repeated encores – shows an artist of extraordinary talent, invention, verve and relevance.

This was no singalong-with-Lenny tribute, but a vibrant and contemporary showcase of Cohen’s material performed by a set of musicians of great virtuosity.

Cohen interacts with his audience in a way that manages to transform even a cavernous, soulless space such as the NEC into somewhere intimate and special.

He chats easily, shares a few jokes and treats his fellow performers with courtesy and respect, remaining as still as a statue as they stand in the spotlight.

His voice is deeper than ever – here growling, there almost sonorous.

It works fantastically well with the sublime, honeyed harmonies of his long-time collaborator Sharon Robinson and the exquisite sisters Charley and Hattie Webb.

His songs are reworked, with influences of jazz, blues, country and Spanish music illuminating afresh numbers that are not the downbeat, wrist-slashing dirges that cliche would have us believe, but insightful, often witty and always humane.

Suzanne, Bird on the Wire, Tower of Song, Famous Blue Raincoat, Hallelujah, The Partisan... they come one after another.

Hurry back soon, Lenny.
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Mabeanie1
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: LG Arena, Birmingham UK - Sunday 8 Septe

Postby Mabeanie1 » Mon Sep 09, 2013 6:18 pm

...
Last edited by Mabeanie1 on Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.
HelenOE
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: LG Arena, Birmingham UK - Sunday 8 Septe

Postby HelenOE » Mon Sep 09, 2013 8:02 pm

"An old man's lack of ease"??? I'd like to see the reviewer kneel on the floor and get up a few times.
cohenadmirer
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: LG Arena, Birmingham UK - Sunday 8 Septe

Postby cohenadmirer » Mon Sep 09, 2013 9:16 pm

Ok review apart for the first 2 sentences!
Captured was the greatness of the performance , but only after observations which could be viewed as slightly offensive (all for free speech though )
As for the first , a reviewer joke of course but i think the 'flow' was good in the men's toilets if you know what i mean.
As for the second i hadn't ever thought of a jack straw connection , at least that's novel. But more like Jack's slightly older brother i would have thought and with absolutely none of the mobility issues that might affect many people nearing their 79th!
For non uk members Jack Straw is a British politician ! A more universally recognisable name might be Leonard Nimoy , and certainly Leonard C looks like he could be Leonard N's younger brother (Live long and prosper both)
As for Leonard's ' pencil thinness' i think this is the healthy kind of thin which can be associated with longevity !
Leonard's work resonates
Brighton 1979; Dublin , Manchester june 2008; glasgow, manchester Nov 2008; Liverpool july 2009 ; Barcelona Sept 2009 ;marseille, lille september2010: Ghent August 2012;Barcelona October 2012;Montreal x2 November 2012: 2013; Saint John NB April 2013; Brussels June 2013;Manchester August 2013; Leeds , Birmingham September 2013; Amsterdam September 2013
cohenadmirer
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: LG Arena, Birmingham UK - Sunday 8 Septe

Postby cohenadmirer » Mon Sep 09, 2013 9:24 pm

birminghamfan wrote: If Leonard should return to the English Midlands , it would be wonderful if he would consider playing at an alternative venue whose staff may hopefully be less intimidating
Seconded with enthusiasm. If they did eject one of our and Leonard's 'friends' , that's a misreading of the meaning of ' going home' !
During that song some of the security were shouting at some of the audience , who appropriately replied ' shush' !( only for the bullying behavior of security to intensify)
When i left the arena i looked back and thought 'never again'.
I've only ever made the 'trek' to 'the NEC' to see performers i really want to see who weren't playing nearer where i live( including the days , now gone, when i would go to every Dylan concert on a uk tour )
They've always been good concerts but the whole 'NEC experience' has tended to be a turn off.
I was hoping this would be better and help me to see this as a good venue - sadly it was the final turn off as far as i am concerned
No loss to them of course!
Leonard's work resonates
Brighton 1979; Dublin , Manchester june 2008; glasgow, manchester Nov 2008; Liverpool july 2009 ; Barcelona Sept 2009 ;marseille, lille september2010: Ghent August 2012;Barcelona October 2012;Montreal x2 November 2012: 2013; Saint John NB April 2013; Brussels June 2013;Manchester August 2013; Leeds , Birmingham September 2013; Amsterdam September 2013
D1054
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: LG Arena, Birmingham UK - Sunday 8 Septe

Postby D1054 » Mon Sep 09, 2013 11:14 pm

Not very good shots I took with my compact from last night at the LG Arena NEC Birmingham
Image
Shot took from Block 3 Row N

Image
Shot of the screen took from Block 3 Row N

Enjoyed the 3rd time of seeing Leonard in recent years
Mike
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sturgess66
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: LG Arena, Birmingham UK - Sunday 8 Septe

Postby sturgess66 » Tue Sep 10, 2013 2:30 am

sturgess66 wrote:Video uploaded by David/cohenadmirer - thanks!
Bird On The Wire
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSBEMQno9pI
Another video uploaded by David -

Tower of Song (partial)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHQzRioUScg

*********

Uploaded by Trev Jones -

Hallelujah
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58r49o_5cyg
Lazysuit
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: LG Arena, Birmingham UK - Sunday 8 Septe

Postby Lazysuit » Tue Sep 10, 2013 3:40 am

I was just going to correct a few things that I wrote late late last night but maybe best to delete the whole thing!
Why oh why do I keep breaking that 'don't post when drunk' vow that I made!
Last edited by Lazysuit on Tue Sep 10, 2013 7:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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sturgess66
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: LG Arena, Birmingham UK - Sunday 8 Septe

Postby sturgess66 » Tue Sep 10, 2013 5:23 am

Video uploaded by Jayne Collinson -
(audio a bit shaky - but ... )

Take This Waltz
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNiTcCaGPCs

So Long Marianne
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDGq3OmtC_c

Famous Blue Raincoat
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0voC7y4YqZs
James T
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: LG Arena, Birmingham UK - Sunday 8 Septe

Postby James T » Tue Sep 10, 2013 11:14 am

Prince DID trash those shows. Not all of them, but half of them.

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