CONCERT REPORT: London, UK , September 15, 2013

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William HK
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: London, UK , September 15, 2013

Postby William HK » Wed Sep 18, 2013 4:38 pm

Thanks sturgess66. That's a great insight. For me, the man is an ageless paradox, and was from the first. He had a wisdom and maturity way beyond his years when he was in his twenties. And now as 80 beckons, he has acquired the mischief and joie de vivre of youth, without losing any of the wisdom. He has not had to grow old gracefully, or pay homage to any of the other ghastly clichés about the ageing process, because he has floated effortlessly on the river of time with never a sign of sinking. And if one may quote, he's been as stubborn as a garbage bag that time cannot decay. When you see him, you don't see an old man, or a young man, or something in between. You just see Leonard Cohen as he always was and always will be.
John Etherington
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: London, UK , September 15, 2013

Postby John Etherington » Wed Sep 18, 2013 5:12 pm

Great post, William! It describes Leonard very succinctly and accurately.
greyfeathers
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: London, UK , September 15, 2013

Postby greyfeathers » Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:10 pm

Still bathing in the music from Mr. Cohen's sublime concert on Sunday. Every person on that stage shone in their own right, dimming their own spark a little all the better to illluminate Leonard and his perfect songs. His commanding charisma and sexual presence is slightly unnerving, so thank goodness his powers are chanelled into the world via the beauty of his words and music. I love the fact that the darkness isn't overwhelming him and that the cracks are letting in more light at present. The honesty still makes me cry though. Thanks for the presale, everyone who arranged it, I couldn't have borne to see him in such a huge arena without an upfront seat and the illusion of a little intimacy. Even if it did involve more than a small sacrifice from the household budget. If you read entries in this forum, Leonard, thank you for giving such as practised performance that never seems stale, just caring and careful, thank you for signing off as 'A Friend', and hey, you can wear any mask you want for me - the old man one isn't so bad.
holydove
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: London, UK , September 15, 2013

Postby holydove » Thu Sep 19, 2013 6:28 pm

At the beginning of the concert, after Dance Me, when Leonard was thanking the people who had “climbed those heights” to the high bleachers, he said, “If you feel neglected, just call out my name”. I almost wished I had been sitting up there, so that I would be included in this invitation to call out his name! At the end of the concert, when Leonard was saying good night, he said, “It is a joy to be united with you in song”. Yes, it certainly is a great incomparable joy to be united in song with Leonard Cohen.

I remember, years ago, reading a theory which indicated that the reason people become addicted to heroine is because there is a molecular structure in the brain with which the molecular structure of heroine interlocks perfectly, & when the interlocking occurs, it produces the euphoria which people crave to experience again & again. Whether that is true or not, it occurs to me that this is one way to describe my experience of Leonard Cohen & the power of his music & poetry - a wondrous interlocking of souls which produces an experience of ecstasy that I will always crave. And while I am infinitely grateful for everything Leonard Cohen has given us - every single concert, book & album - the truth is that I’ve got him like a habit & I’ll never get enough.

For me, every concert has its own unique beauty, its own nuances & surprises, & each one touches me & moves me in its own special way, & I love every moment of every live performance. So I have no desire to get into comparisons & details, because, while those things are noticed & interesting in their own right, I don’t really want to spend time writing about that, & anyway, I find it hard to remember all those details at any given moment. I’m glad that Gypsy’s Wife returned to the setlist recently, it was great to hear that one, & several of the songs that have been performed repeatedly have been changing & evolving throughout the tour, & it was really delightful to be present for a live performance of Got A Little Secret - I was hoping that would be included, & it was. So Long Marianne & Going Home have become highlights for me. Leonard’s performance of So Long Marianne is so incredibly intense & passionate, & Going Home is just increasingly phenomenal with each performance. Tower of Song has also had some very sublime passionate moments, along with the hilarious piano solo antics. In both Vienna & London, Leonard sang a line in Bird On The Wire that he hasn’t sung in a long time (decades, I think): in the place of “…if I have been untrue/ it’s just that I thought a lover has to be some kind of liar too”, he sang, “…if I have been untrue/ I hope you know it was never to you”; when I heard it in Vienna, it seemed really momentous, & I was glad to hear it again in London (I love the other line very much, but it’s always interesting to experience the return of an old line after such a long absence). Darkness, Amen & Come Healing - anything from Old Ideas - are always highlights for me, & I am still enamored with the “new” version of Darkness - I wish Leonard would record this version - it’s so different from the other version, & I think it would be nice for the world to have a permanent official record of it. I love Chelsea Hotel as a semi-solo, & it had me in tears this time - so heartbreakingly beautiful. I could go on & on about all the songs, they are all so wonderful, but this is getting way too long, so I must stop. . .

I had an interesting interaction with a security guard at this concert. He was sitting directly in front of me for the whole concert, & I nodded & smiled to him before the concert began, & he returned the greeting, & we had a few friendly exchanges during the concert. It was clear that he noticed my little recording device, & it was also clear that he wasn’t going to bother me about it at all. Then when everyone went to the front for the encores, he stood up & said “You have to sit down” (he was gentle, not aggressive at all); everyone continued to stand there, & he said something like, “you all have seats that you can sit in”; he was still right in front of me, so I answered him, saying, “I know, but we want to be near him” (meaning LC, of course); the guard laughed & said, “but you have a front row seat”; I just stared at him silently, thinking, “yes, but I have to be closer” (but I didn’t say that aloud), & everyone just continued to stand there, obviously not intending to go anywhere, & the security guard gave up & sat down in his seat. I don’t know if someone signaled him from somewhere else in the hall, or if he just gave up on his own, but he didn’t make any subsequent efforts to make anyone sit down.

This was my last concert (for now, maybe forever, hopefully not. . .), & I almost considered cancelling the trip, because I thought it might have been better to experience the “last” concert without knowing that it was the last one. Of course, I couldn’t cancel, & if I did, I would have regretted that forever, so I’m very glad that I went. It was also wonderful seeing some forum friends at the meetup & at the venue - members of the Leonard Cohen family together again is always such a sweet feeling - & that’s another reason I’m glad I went.

This report (if one can call it that) turned out to be much longer than I had intended - sorry for taking up so much space; I guess the possibility that this might be my last opportunity to write a concert report has stoked the flames a little higher than the forecast would have predicted. . .

I want to thank Leonard Cohen & the UHTC for the most amazing & beautiful experiences of my life, for filling every venue with the most transcendent music imaginable, filling the atmosphere with love so gentle, yet so intense & tangible that the power of it can, at once, shatter one’s heart to pieces & sew it back together with its golden threads of healing.

And finally, my prayer to Leonard Cohen: please take good care of yourself, be well & happy, & if it be your will, forget where that hook is. . . & come back to us, & draw us near, & bind us tight, & keep singing to us with your exquisite golden voice. The airplane seats are narrow, but our arms are always open wide.
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somewhat_nifty
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: London, UK , September 15, 2013

Postby somewhat_nifty » Thu Sep 19, 2013 6:34 pm

holydove wrote:At the beginning of the concert, after Dance Me, when Leonard was thanking the people who had “climbed those heights” to the high bleachers, he said, “If you feel neglected, just call out my name”. I almost wished I had been sitting up there, so that I would be included in this invitation to call out his name!
hehe, Holydove - I was one of those up there, and I did call out his name! Don't think he heard me though. I think I'd have preferred be sitting where you were - not seeing their faces just wasn't the same. I'm glad your 'final' concert was so special and memorable.
I'm chained to the old masquerade...
2008: London O2 14th Nov, RAH 18th Nov; 2009: NY RCMH 16th May, Weybridge MBW 11th July, Barcelona 21st Sept; 2010: Sligo 31st July, Lille 25th Sept, Las Vegas 11th Dec; 2012: Wembley Arena 8th Sept, Dublin 11th Sept 2013: London O2 21st June, London O2 14th Sept
holydove
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: London, UK , September 15, 2013

Postby holydove » Thu Sep 19, 2013 6:44 pm

somewhat_nifty wrote:
hehe, Holydove - I was one of those up there, and I did call out his name! Don't think he heard me though. I think I'd have preferred be sitting where you were - not seeing their faces just wasn't the same. I'm glad your 'final' concert was so special and memorable.
Oh, that was you?? I heard you!! So maybe Leonard heard you too. . .

Actually, I called out his name too, even though I wasn't in the high places - I yelled (quietly): "Leooonaaard. . I always feel neglected"; (I mean, one doesn't have to climb heights to feel neglected), but I don't think he heard me either. . .

Thank you for being glad for me, somewhat_nifty. I wish we could have met in person. Maybe next time. . .
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Cheshire gal
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: London, UK , September 15, 2013

Postby Cheshire gal » Thu Sep 19, 2013 7:57 pm

I loved your account of the London concert Rachel. I truly hope it is not your last concert, but if it is, it was a very memorable one and you brought it to life for those of us who where not there. Thank you for that.

Marie
'...and here's a man still working for your little smile' -Leonard Cohen
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musicmania
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: London, UK , September 15, 2013

Postby musicmania » Thu Sep 19, 2013 8:00 pm

Thank you Rachel for a fantastic review. I especially love the closing lines:
I want to thank Leonard Cohen & the UHTC for the most amazing & beautiful experiences of my life, for filling every venue with the most transcendent music imaginable, filling the atmosphere with love so gentle, yet so intense & tangible that the power of it can, at once, shatter one’s heart to pieces & sew it back together with its golden threads of healing.

And finally, my prayer to Leonard Cohen: please take good care of yourself, be well & happy, & if it be your will, forget where that hook is. . . & come back to us, & draw us near, & bind us tight, & keep singing to us with your exquisite golden voice. The airplane seats are narrow, but our arms are always open wide.
2009 Dublin 2010 Lissadell Katowice LV x2 2012 Ghent x2 Dublin x4 Montreal x2 Toronto x2 2013 New York x2 Brussels Dublin x2

Gwen's Leonard Cohen Journey: http://myleonardcohenjourney.wordpress.com/

"I did my best, it wasn't much"
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sturgess66
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: London, UK , September 15, 2013

Postby sturgess66 » Fri Sep 20, 2013 2:06 am

Video uploaded by Kieron Banerji - partials

In My Secret Life
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nf9OsUPnfe4

The Gypsy's Wife
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GF_4Z2YX-xY

Hallelujah
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKeIQ8z72NQ
William HK
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: London, UK , September 15, 2013

Postby William HK » Fri Sep 20, 2013 6:58 am

John Etherington wrote:Great post, William! It describes Leonard very succinctly and accurately.
Many thanks John. Incidentally I've just read your magisterial Amazon review on the Leonard Cohen biography by Sylvie Simmons and have added it to my birthday wish list.
songwriter
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: London, UK , September 15, 2013

Postby songwriter » Fri Sep 20, 2013 11:09 am

holydove wrote:At the beginning of the concert, after Dance Me, when Leonard was thanking the people who had “climbed those heights” to the high bleachers, he said, “If you feel neglected, just call out my name”. I almost wished I had been sitting up there, so that I would be included in this invitation to call out his name! At the end of the concert, when Leonard was saying good night, he said, “It is a joy to be united with you in song”. Yes, it certainly is a great incomparable joy to be united in song with Leonard Cohen.

I remember, years ago, reading a theory which indicated that the reason people become addicted to heroine is because there is a molecular structure in the brain with which the molecular structure of heroine interlocks perfectly, & when the interlocking occurs, it produces the euphoria which people crave to experience again & again. Whether that is true or not, it occurs to me that this is one way to describe my experience of Leonard Cohen & the power of his music & poetry - a wondrous interlocking of souls which produces an experience of ecstasy that I will always crave. And while I am infinitely grateful for everything Leonard Cohen has given us - every single concert, book & album - the truth is that I’ve got him like a habit & I’ll never get enough.

For me, every concert has its own unique beauty, its own nuances & surprises, & each one touches me & moves me in its own special way, & I love every moment of every live performance. So I have no desire to get into comparisons & details, because, while those things are noticed & interesting in their own right, I don’t really want to spend time writing about that, & anyway, I find it hard to remember all those details at any given moment. I’m glad that Gypsy’s Wife returned to the setlist recently, it was great to hear that one, & several of the songs that have been performed repeatedly have been changing & evolving throughout the tour, & it was really delightful to be present for a live performance of Got A Little Secret - I was hoping that would be included, & it was. So Long Marianne & Going Home have become highlights for me. Leonard’s performance of So Long Marianne is so incredibly intense & passionate, & Going Home is just increasingly phenomenal with each performance. Tower of Song has also had some very sublime passionate moments, along with the hilarious piano solo antics. In both Vienna & London, Leonard sang a line in Bird On The Wire that he hasn’t sung in a long time (decades, I think): in the place of “…if I have been untrue/ it’s just that I thought a lover has to be some kind of liar too”, he sang, “…if I have been untrue/ I hope you know it was never to you”; when I heard it in Vienna, it seemed really momentous, & I was glad to hear it again in London (I love the other line very much, but it’s always interesting to experience the return of an old line after such a long absence). Darkness, Amen & Come Healing - anything from Old Ideas - are always highlights for me, & I am still enamored with the “new” version of Darkness - I wish Leonard would record this version - it’s so different from the other version, & I think it would be nice for the world to have a permanent official record of it. I love Chelsea Hotel as a semi-solo, & it had me in tears this time - so heartbreakingly beautiful. I could go on & on about all the songs, they are all so wonderful, but this is getting way too long, so I must stop. . .

I had an interesting interaction with a security guard at this concert. He was sitting directly in front of me for the whole concert, & I nodded & smiled to him before the concert began, & he returned the greeting, & we had a few friendly exchanges during the concert. It was clear that he noticed my little recording device, & it was also clear that he wasn’t going to bother me about it at all. Then when everyone went to the front for the encores, he stood up & said “You have to sit down” (he was gentle, not aggressive at all); everyone continued to stand there, & he said something like, “you all have seats that you can sit in”; he was still right in front of me, so I answered him, saying, “I know, but we want to be near him” (meaning LC, of course); the guard laughed & said, “but you have a front row seat”; I just stared at him silently, thinking, “yes, but I have to be closer” (but I didn’t say that aloud), & everyone just continued to stand there, obviously not intending to go anywhere, & the security guard gave up & sat down in his seat. I don’t know if someone signaled him from somewhere else in the hall, or if he just gave up on his own, but he didn’t make any subsequent efforts to make anyone sit down.

This was my last concert (for now, maybe forever, hopefully not. . .), & I almost considered cancelling the trip, because I thought it might have been better to experience the “last” concert without knowing that it was the last one. Of course, I couldn’t cancel, & if I did, I would have regretted that forever, so I’m very glad that I went. It was also wonderful seeing some forum friends at the meetup & at the venue - members of the Leonard Cohen family together again is always such a sweet feeling - & that’s another reason I’m glad I went.

This report (if one can call it that) turned out to be much longer than I had intended - sorry for taking up so much space; I guess the possibility that this might be my last opportunity to write a concert report has stoked the flames a little higher than the forecast would have predicted. . .

I want to thank Leonard Cohen & the UHTC for the most amazing & beautiful experiences of my life, for filling every venue with the most transcendent music imaginable, filling the atmosphere with love so gentle, yet so intense & tangible that the power of it can, at once, shatter one’s heart to pieces & sew it back together with its golden threads of healing.

And finally, my prayer to Leonard Cohen: please take good care of yourself, be well & happy, & if it be your will, forget where that hook is. . . & come back to us, & draw us near, & bind us tight, & keep singing to us with your exquisite golden voice. The airplane seats are narrow, but our arms are always open wide.

thank you for this deeply personal and moving report. It was beautiful to read.
cohenadmirer
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: London, UK , September 15, 2013

Postby cohenadmirer » Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:19 pm

Very nice report Rachel. You have a way with words. It was good to meet you a few times over the last few years.
David
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
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mutti
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: London, UK , September 15, 2013

Postby mutti » Fri Sep 20, 2013 4:25 pm

Thank you Rachel for your great concert report! You do have a way with words...
Leslie 8)
1988 Vancouver
2009 Victoria/Seattle/Almost Red Rocks/Las Vegas/San Jose.
2010 Sligo x 2/Victoria/Vancouver/Portland/Las Vegas x 2.
2012 Austin x 2/Seattle/Vancouver/Montreal x 2.
2013 Oakland x 2/New York City x 2/Winnipeg...
MaryB
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: London, UK , September 15, 2013

Postby MaryB » Fri Sep 20, 2013 4:45 pm

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful Rachel! I enjoyed going on your word journey.
1993 Detroit 2008 Kitchener June 2-Hamilton June 3 & 4-Vienna Sept 24 & 25-London RAH Nov 17 2009 NYC Feb 19-Grand Prairie Apr 3-Phoenix Apr 5-Columbia May 11-Red Rocks Jun 4-Barcelona Sept 21-Columbus Oct 27-Las Vegas Nov 12-San Jose Nov 13 2010 Sligo Jul 31 & Aug 1-LV Dec 10 & 11 2012 Paris Sept 30-London Dec 11-Boston Dec 16 2013 Louisville Mar 30-Amsterdam Sept 20
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sturgess66
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: London, UK , September 15, 2013

Postby sturgess66 » Fri Sep 20, 2013 5:39 pm

http://www.zettelfilmreviews.co.uk/2013 ... -triumphs/

We have not seen his like for the last 40 years and I rather think, may not ever again. The man delivers: more than we have a right to expect; and with an authenticity and passion it was privilege to share.
Leonard Cohen – O2 Arena Sept 16th 2013: The One-man Genre Triumphs
Posted on September 17th, 2013 by Zettel Film Reviewer

Image
Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen – O2 Arena Sunday September 16th 2013

Songs of innocence and experience… and love with the occasional edge of lust: 3 hours with seven encores, every word he wrote himself; the one-man genre that is the extraordinary Leonard Cohen still had his delighted audience asking for more.

Cohen is a Class Act: gracious and grateful both to his audience and especially to the superb group of musician and singer friends he has surrounded himself with. There was a valedictory spirit in the air when he appositely remarked at 78 years of age that there was no way of telling “when or if we will meet again my friends”. And then with the ironic, self-mocking counterpoint that marks both his sense of humour and a genuine-sounding humility, he defused the sentimental undertones of the remark with “I’m not ready yet to hang up my boxing gloves….but I now where the hook is.”

Fedora-hatted this angular, iconic figure, still full of vital, jerkily energetic and potent physicality; crouched and knelt, skipped and boxer-stanced his way through most of his extraordinarily rich catalogue of poetic songs and musical poems with a freshness it was a privilege to see and a warmly satisfying experience to hear – to share.

His words – eloquent, articulate, always heartfelt, sometimes profound – insinuated themselves into the private spaces of our inner thoughts and feelings borne on melodies and rhythms shamelessly infectious but never dull. Exploiting to the full the rhythmic flexibility of a song’s stretched vowels but retaining a semblance of poetic metre, a Cohen rendition is part poem, part song – but all enjoyment. Ideas – playful and scabrous; affectionate and mockingly angry; romantic and wistful – elicit an inward nod of recognition and approval that stills cynicism and silences the sceptic. The Trinity that comprises the Cohen phenomenon, after the words and the music – is a voice to die for: deep, sonorous, expressive; and carrying however quietly used. This is a voice you can’t doubt when it speaks of love, and loss, and life.

Often striking an almost Sinatra-like pose (maybe it’s the Fedora) Cohen captures that sense of an easy, unforced cool we can neither define nor miss. Half way through the second set a voice rang out across the O2 Arena “thank you for an evening of intelligent songs that matter.” Embarrassing but true.

I’m not sure of his remaining tour plans or any future projects. But as one who was a mildly curious, occasional listener before last night, if you get a chance to see this man – don’t miss it. We have not seen his like for the last 40 years and I rather think, may not ever again. The man delivers: more than we have a right to expect; and with an authenticity and passion it was privilege to share.

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