CONCERT REPORT: Memphis, TN - March 24, 2013

Everything about the first leg of Leonard Cohen's World Tour 2013
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sturgess66
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CONCERT REPORT: Memphis, TN - March 24, 2013

Postby sturgess66 » Fri Mar 22, 2013 5:53 pm

Pre-Concert article - MemphisFlyer -
http://www.memphisflyer.com/memphis/leo ... id=3370253

"Whatever it is that keeps the growling singer on the road and accessible to his legion of fans, hallelujah."

Leonard Cohen at the Orpheum
by Chris Davis

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"I'm junk, but I'm still holding up this wild little bouquet." — Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen is nothing if not direct. There's a moment in Tony Palmer's 1972 Bird on a Wire documentary when the poet and songwriter, then 37, is asked to define success. After a brief pause, he answers, "Success is survival," with just a hint of weariness and indignation in his voice.

By his own modest terms, Cohen, who has never released a platinum-selling record in the United States, in spite of the fact that his song "Hallelujah" has traveled the long road from obscurity to cliché to become a staple of performance-based reality television, is wildly successful. More than 40 years after Bird on a Wire, he's still touring hard and has finally achieved a level of name recognition that, in spite of his reputation as the ultimate songwriter's songwriter, eluded him for so long.

The question now is whether or not Cohen would have achieved so much late-career success, or ever embarked on another tour, if it weren't for the need to survive. In 2004, he was all but retired and living the life of a monk at the Mt. Baldy Zen Center near Los Angeles, when he received word that a longtime friend and business manager had been steadily depleting his bank accounts. Tours and new recordings followed.

Cohen, who has since replenished his retirement accounts, continues to tour and make music, suggesting that there may be more to his late-career resurgence than mere survival. Whatever it is that keeps the growling singer on the road and accessible to his legion of fans, hallelujah.

Leonard Cohen plays the Orpheum on Sunday, March 24th. Showtime is 8 p.m.
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Memphis, TN - March 24, 2013

Postby sturgess66 » Fri Mar 22, 2013 6:20 pm

Another gorgeous theatre - a former movie palace dating back to the 1920's - The Orpheum - located at South Main & Beale in Memphis - Memphis blues and Delta blues country.
Seating capacity is 2,500.
Legend has it that it could be haunted by a ghost - or two ...
http://www.hauntedhouses.com/states/tn/ ... heatre.htm
http://www.prairieghosts.com/orpheum.html

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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Memphis, TN - March 24, 2013

Postby Zimmy66 » Fri Mar 22, 2013 6:59 pm

What a beautiful interior to a theatre. So perfect for a Cohen gig. Thanks for sharing.
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Memphis, TN - March 24, 2013

Postby holydove » Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:02 pm

Thanks for the posts & links, Linda! Very interesting. I'll be on the lookout for little Mary. . .
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Memphis, TN - March 24, 2013

Postby lpfreak1170 » Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:22 pm

The Orpheum is the best and most beautiful place in Memphis for concerts. So ready for tomorrow night.
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Memphis, TN - March 24, 2013

Postby joyezekiel » Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:48 pm

It looks gorgeous.... getting very excited now!
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Memphis, TN - March 24, 2013

Postby SeldomSeen » Sun Mar 24, 2013 5:29 pm

For a different take on tonight's concert, which primarily considers the perspective of Cohen biographer Sylvie Simmons, check out this preview of the show -- or, "meeting of the faithful" -- from The Commercial Appeal, Memphis' daily newspaper:

(Here's the link, but subscription required: http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/20 ... ranscends/)
______

'A genre of one': Leonard Cohen biographer weave strands into portrait of artist renewed
By Bob Mehr

Since returning to performing five years ago amid financial troubles, singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen has enjoyed some of the best reviews of his career and cemented his place among the pantheon of pop greats.
As Leonard Cohen’s most able biographer, Sylvie Simmons’ opinion of the singer-songwriter doesn’t come as a great surprise. “To me he’s in the pantheon; he’s up there with the greats,” says Simmons, author of the recent study “I’m Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen” (Ecco).

“But what’s most interesting about him is he’s a one-off; he’s sui generis. Those people are the ones who’ve always fascinated me. Neil Young is like that — he’s a genre of one. You could use the same description for Bob Dylan and for Leonard Cohen. Leonard Cohen simply can’t sound like anybody but Leonard Cohen.”

Over the course of his 78 years, Cohen has been many different things but always himself: a poet, novelist, folk singer, louche pop performer. His catalog is loaded with songs that have become standards, transcending genres and generations: “Hallelujah,” “Suzanne,” “Bird on the Wire,” “Everybody Knows.”

His life — or more accurately, his many lives — have found him as a man of letters, a soldier, a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and a spiritual seeker (Cohen is a dedicated Jew, has explored Scientology, and has been ordained as a Buddhist monk). On Sunday night, he will make his very first concert appearance in Memphis, performing at Downtown’s Orpheum theater.

For Simmons — a native of London, now based in San Francisco — “I’m Your Man” was a lifetime in the making. “My love of Leonard Cohen began when I was not even quite a teenager,” she says. “I bought (the 1968) compilation called The Rock Machine Turns You On, an album that came out in England. I heard Leonard Cohen’s voice, and for some reason it picked me up and threw me against a wall. The musical love has gone back that far.”

A pioneering female music journalist — she worked as a correspondent for magazines like Sounds, Creem and Kerrang! — Simmons wrote a story on Cohen in 2001 for the British magazine MOJO. Her interview with the singer lasted three days and continued in a lengthy e-mail correspondence. She walked away from her encounter feeling it had been an incredible experience but also that Cohen had blown “smoke in my eyes,” she says. “He’s an opaque guy, a man of mystery.”

Afterward, Simmons began reading the various biographies and histories of Cohen that had been published, “but I still didn’t feel I knew him very well. Her desire to gain a deeper understanding of the singer ultimately led her to write “I’m Your Man.”

In 2008, after 15 years — some of which Cohen spent in spiritual seclusion at the Mt. Baldy Zen Center in California — he finally returned to the road. His comeback tour was a forced engagement, as his former manager had misappropriated more than $5 million of his savings, basically his entire fortune. Cohen spent much of 2008 and 2009 touring the world to a rapturous reception wherever he went. “After I saw the wave of love that greeted him, I thought this is the moment to do the book,” Simmons says.

She would spend the next three years working on the project, interviewing friends, family, lovers, muses and collaborators, and tracing Cohen’s life from his middle class Canadian-Jewish upbringing to a career that would find him revered in the worlds of high art and pop culture.

“What I wanted to do, if I could, was try and get the whole man,” Simmons says of her goals for the project. “When I started, there were all these strands of his life that I knew existed. For example: the women, the religion, his depression, his interest in the military, his poetry, and his songs. All these things were there, but they weren’t just stations along the way. Each one couldn’t exist without the other. It was almost like taking apart the helix of his DNA and getting it back together again at the end. That sounds a bit grandiose, but it did seem a bit like that.”

Simmons’ book was published last fall to great critical acclaim and commercial success (it’s been reprinted in four English editions and a dozen different languages so far). The responses from readers further confirmed Simmons’ assessment of Cohen’s uniquely diverse appeal. “Just as I identify with different parts of Leonard, people pick out different parts of him, and they’re attracted to those things. There are so many sides of him that people can relate to — as writer, as a person — and they do.”

As Cohen makes his way to Memphis for the Orpheum performance, he continues to draw unusually reverent crowds.

“Sometimes, it is a bit like a papal visit when he comes and plays somewhere,” Simmons says. “When you go to see a show now, it’s very much a meeting of the faithful.”

Though Cohen’s initial reason for returning to the road was financial, and while he had much trepidation about performing again, he’s clearly relishing his resurgence late in life. “When I saw him last, he looked 10 years younger,” Simmons says. “He was so glad to be back on the road. To him, it’s almost like the discipline of being in the army or being in the Buddhist monastery. It’s a routine, and a wonderful routine that’s freed up his spirit. After the last tour, he came in and bashed out an album in record time. So, clearly, it’s been good for him creatively.”

Reviews of Cohen’s recent concerts have been especially glowing, noting his easy command of the stage and his catalog.

“This time, he seems to be taking much more control of things, especially with the (older) guitar songs,” Simmons says. “In the past, he worried that he wouldn’t be able to inhabit them in quite the same way. He was much happier behind his synthesizer or crooning. But now, even playing some of the very old songs that he’s been adding to the sets, he’s really able to inhabit them totally.”

Although Cohen is approaching octogenarian status — he will turn 80 next year — he remains the picture of poetic, sexy cool, a Rat Pack rabbi of sorts.

“He’s almost presetting himself as an aging icon like a Sinatra or a Dean Martin,” Simmons says. “But yet he’s still totally Leonard Cohen.”
______

Looks like about 100 or so tickets remain: http://www.ticketmaster.com/event/1B004 ... entKeyword

I can't wait for tonight!
March 24, 2013: Memphis
March 30, 2013: Louisville
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sturgess66
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Memphis, TN - March 24, 2013

Postby sturgess66 » Mon Mar 25, 2013 4:32 am

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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Memphis, TN - March 24, 2013

Postby sue7 » Mon Mar 25, 2013 6:37 am

A few tweets from Memphis:
(Apologies for the size of the bus photo)
Amanda Isbell ‏@amandashires 4h
Leonard Cohen's busses. pic.twitter.com/1IRQIOvpPFImage
Aisling Maki ‏@aislingmaki 1h
Leonard Cohen in #Memphis @TheOrpheumTN right now #swoon pic.twitter.com/i7zF1jsADo
Steve Cohen ‏@RepCohen 2h
#LeonardCohen intermission.Tower of Song yet to come pic.twitter.com/DaXM94Y3eNImage
Andrea ‏@gofreaksgogo 1h
Leonard Cohen, legendary singer and songwriter, at @TheOrpheumTN. #memphis pic.twitter.com/eFrK9ztDOnImage
Fast Planet ‏@FastPlanetBand 1h
I think everyone in Memphis is at Leonard Cohen
David Plunkett ‏@Rocknrolldawgie 1h
@LeonardCohen74 has more "cool" in his pinky finger than most other celeb's have in their whole bodies. Great show! #LeonardCohen #oldideas
Wilson McCloy ‏@wilsonmccloy
Fantastic performance by #LeonardCohen tonight at @TheOrpheumTN #Memphis pic.twitter.com/t7LfG97pJXImage
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Memphis, TN - March 24, 2013

Postby joyezekiel » Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:19 am

Really one of the best concerts I've ever seen. Relaxed, energized, seamless.... and lots of laughter. Will post my thoughts later, but meanwhile here's the set list:

Dance me
Future
Bird on a wire
Everybody knows
Who by fire
Darkness
Ain't no cure
Amen
Come healing
Democracy
Thousand kisses deep
Anthem

Tower of song
Suzanne
Heart with no companion
Waiting for the miracle
Show me the place
Anyhow
Lover lover
Alexandra leaving
I'm your man
Hallelujah
Take this waltz

So long Marianne
Going home
First we take Manhattan

Famous blue raincoat
If it be your will
Closing time
1976 Leicester 2008 London O2/Cardiff 2009 NYC/Austin/Weybridge/Nashville 2010 Ghent x 2/Las Vegas x 2 2012 Ghent x 2/Austin/Montreal/Quebec City/Boston x 2 2013 Memphis/New Orleans/Winnipeg/Birmingham/London O2/Amsterdam/Auckland
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Memphis, TN - March 24, 2013

Postby sturgess66 » Mon Mar 25, 2013 6:08 pm

A few more from Twitter -
@fargonia 2m Leonard Cohen playing a Jew's Harp? Leonard Cohen playing a Jew's Harp. pic.twitter.com/NOp5C1W8QG
Image
‏@scouterificus Hahaha. Leonard Cohen just skipped, yes skipped, off stage for a set break.
@designomaticINC Last time I saw Hallelujah performed live in Memphis was Jeff Buckley 2 days b4 his death. Leonard Cohen's original was gorgeous last nite
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Memphis, TN - March 24, 2013

Postby fargonia » Mon Mar 25, 2013 6:58 pm

Hey, you got my tweet!

Not only that, but my car makes a cameo in the tour bus picture. :)

Since those posts showed up, here is a quick FB post I made after the show. I should write a great deal more, but I'm still processing the event.
Quick observations:

If you have an opportunity to see Leonard Cohen in concert, do it. Sit in the nosebleeds. Ignore the hipsters--LC will take care of them.

If you don't know who Leonard Cohen is, I envy and pity you. Buy "Songs from a Room" or "The Essential Leonard Cohen" at your earliest convenience. Listen repeatedly.

I hope that, when pushing 80, I am able to put the energy, sincerity, poetry, and wit into my life that Leonard Cohen does.

Namaste.
I can't recall a better concert in my life. There are a couple that stand out -- Elvis Costello in 2004, Morphine in 1997 -- but I don't think I ever left a concert feeling so affirmed and full of joy.
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SeldomSeen
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Memphis, TN - March 24, 2013

Postby SeldomSeen » Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:54 pm

I am still buzzing from that show, and it has nothing to do with all the wine I consumed last night.

I had never seen Leonard Cohen perform live before, so I can’t compare last night’s Memphis show to anything of his from the past, but I can say it ranks as one of the best concerts I’ve ever witnessed.

It was more entertaining and enjoyable than the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, U2, the Eagles, Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen, to name just a few. Granted, this wasn’t an arena show like U2 or the Stones, so it’s not really an apples-to-apples comparison, but the only concerts that rival Cohen’s Orpheum performance in terms of amazement for me are the Grateful Dead and Neil Young.

And I wasn’t alone. A gentleman sitting next to me said afterward that the performance -- his sixth Cohen concert -- was by far the best he’d seen. He and his son had driven in from Oklahoma and they were overjoyed with the show, the venue and the city. For selfish and civic reasons, it was great to have Cohen play Memphis.

I have listened to Cohen’s recent live albums, and I had been following the set lists on the spring tour, so I knew what to expect from the song selections and arrangements. But even though it was a given that he’d start with “Dance Me to the End of Love,” finish with “Closing Time” and play the concert standards in between, I wasn’t prepared for the emotional punch he and the band delivered with each tune.

He exuded poetry every time he opened his mouth, kneeled on stage or tipped his hat to the backup singers. Whether it was the songs I desperately wanted to hear -- “Famous Blue Raincoat,” “Suzanne,” “Who By Fire,” “If It Be Your Will,” among others -- or some of the new ones I wasn’t as familiar with, I was enthralled with Cohen's every move, mesmerized by his every word.

I hope everyone else in attendance last night felt even a shred of what I felt during the show, what I still feel today and what I likely will feel for a long, long time to come.
March 24, 2013: Memphis
March 30, 2013: Louisville
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sturgess66
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Memphis, TN - March 24, 2013

Postby sturgess66 » Tue Mar 26, 2013 1:22 pm

Video uploaded by "Painted Television" - Thanks!

Leonard Cohen (a compilation video)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDQPCGTANkc
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Memphis, TN - March 24, 2013

Postby tiffanyknox » Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:49 pm

I wanted to share a few photos I took during the show in Memphis. I had the privilege to sit front row. It was such an amazing show! I'm so thankful I was able to be a part of it and to see it at such a close proximity was magical!

if you use these photos for any reason, please credit me as the source.
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