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Re: Leonard Cohen: TOUR 2008

Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 3:59 pm
by John Etherington
Hi Hydriot,

You say that you feel that Leonard's work is intensely personal, and I totally agree with you, as far as his recordings go. Whenever I play one of Leonard's records, it has to be because I really want to listen to it. I also have to hear it in otherwise total silence. Thus, if I listen with someone else, they have to go along with this. I never ever play Leonard as background music.

However, my experience of Leonard's live concerts has been different. I have always found the audiences to be extremely respectful, and there is a shared sense of communion. One can only get a hint of how great it is to hear Leonard live from videos or DVDs. I have found Leonard's concerts to be profoundly spiritual experiences, and most especially the one at The Royal Albert Hall in 1976.

Experiencing Leonard at the Isle of Wight, was something totally different to witnessing one of his indoor concerts. However, I found
the I.O.W. concert was also very profund in its own way (as the one-off event that it was). For this, I was lucky enough to get a central spot, just behind the press enclosure at the front, so I saw the concert from as good a viewpoint as possible.

The thing that I personally can't stand is listening to most other people singing Leonard's songs, or the sort of ghastly "singalongalenny" sessions that have taken place at some gatherings (that I have seen on DVD). One exception to this was the
joyful, spontaneous, almost-hymnal singing of virtually the whole Leonard Cohen song-book that took place at the Lincoln event, which I attended.

I do have some concerns at what might transpire at some of the forthcoming shows, however. First of all, this will be the first tour where people have the opportunity to hold up their intensely irritating little mobiles, so that they can put some random snippets onto
youtube (strange how many people seem to find this more important, then watching the show). Also, because of Leonard's much wider
cult-appeal and the fact that younger people seem to have more money, the concerts could attract some of the same types that have turned up for Dylan, in recent years. At Brixton, talking and drinking seemed to be the main priorities. I even had someone standing next to me holding a conversation on a mobile while Dylan was singing "Girl From the North Country"! (presumably these sort of people just want to tell their friends that thy've "done Dylan"?!). Another problem that I have experienced is when parties of people from record companies just turn-up for the event - regarding it as a party night out. Despite these concerns, I will still see as many Leonard shows as I possibly can, because I realise that this will almost certainly be my last chance.

All the best, John E

Re: Leonard Cohen: TOUR 2008

Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 4:12 pm
by John Etherington
One thing that I meant to add here, is that the forthcoming concerts will almost certainly be different from earlier ones in that Leonard will presumably be semi-reciting or at best intoning the songs (rather than singing them as he used to). Most of us here will find this totally acceptable. However, those who only remember Leonard from earlier days, may not find it so agreeable. Thus, they
may be more prone to make nuisances of themselves (I suspect this was largely the case at the Dylan shows that I mentioned).

Re: Leonard Cohen: TOUR 2008

Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 5:17 pm
by peter danielsen
I cannot breathe....

Peter

Re: Leonard Cohen: TOUR 2008

Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 6:01 pm
by John Etherington
Yes you can, Peter....but every breath you take someone will be watching you! Seriously though, Leonard audiences have always been considerate and friendly in the past, so hopefully this will be the case this time. I guess my very worst concert experience was Simon and Garfunkel at Hyde Park...Tickets were £75 each (at a considerable distance from the stage) and the two guys next to me regarded the whole thing as some sort of karoake. Making things even worse though, they tried to keep one line ahead of S& G, to let everyone else know that they new all the words!

Cheers, John E

Re: Leonard Cohen: TOUR 2008

Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 7:33 pm
by richardrj
John Etherington wrote:One thing that I meant to add here, is that the forthcoming concerts will almost certainly be different from earlier ones in that Leonard will presumably be semi-reciting or at best intoning the songs (rather than singing them as he used to). Most of us here will find this totally acceptable. However, those who only remember Leonard from earlier days, may not find it so agreeable.
Yes, that would be one of my major concerns as well. Let's face it, Leonard can't really sing any more, so we can expect these shows to be more recitative than those of previous years. But hey, it's still Leonard.

Also, I do wonder how the onset of age is affecting his ability to play the guitar. I suspect we may not get the lengthy solo spots of previous tours.

Richard

Re: Leonard Cohen: TOUR 2008

Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 8:11 pm
by hydriot
John Etherington wrote: I found the I.O.W. concert was also very profund in its own way (as the one-off event that it was). For this, I was lucky enough to get a central spot, just behind the press enclosure at the front, so I saw the concert from as good a viewpoint as possible.
Then you were about 30 yards away: I was close to the light-tower, stage-left. Ah, we aged hippies. How innocent we all were back then, with our kaftans and Moroccan beads.

I don't see there is any reason to believe that the audience will be anything but respectful, as at the Glass concert. The main problem I foresee is getting the standing ovation to end so that he can get on with the show!

I agree about Leonard's voice. But ironically, precisely because his style has always been close to recitative (think of Priests), with sophisticatedly simple melodies, the change won't be so noticeable, not the way it would be if Art Garfunkel started singing at 73!

Mervyn Peake once said: "To have lived at all is miracle enough". To me, any concert tour is a small miracle, and I shall go in that frame of mind.

Re: Leonard Cohen: TOUR 2008

Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 8:40 pm
by John Etherington
Thanks for your comments richardrj and hydiot... We can only speculate what it will be like, but I'd come even if Leonard was miming!

This is indeed a miracle, assuming it all goes ahead okay. Since 2001, I have seen several artists that I never dreamed would play live agin ...Brian Wilson, Arthur Lee, P.P.Arnold, Terry Reid, P.F. Sloan (and in all cases they were unbelievably excellent).

All the best, John E

Re: Leonard Cohen: TOUR 2008

Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 9:27 pm
by zehlein
Hey, this is a news so full of joy that it is worth my first post in this forum. Hello to all, and hope to see you soon :-)

Re: Leonard Cohen: TOUR 2008

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 2:48 am
by DBCohen
Jarkko,

Any chance of convincing him to include Japan in his tour? He has many admirers here, although he never gave a concert in this country. He could stop over on his way back from Europe to LA…

Re: Leonard Cohen: TOUR 2008

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 4:43 am
by Baldwyn
What?! I hope the timing doesn't interfere with my plans to see Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull!!!!!!

Just kidding, great news, I can't wait!

Re: Leonard Cohen: TOUR 2008

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 5:04 am
by lizzytysh
Hi John ~

I just read your list of concerns. Some of those are really dreadful to consider. Geez, I sure hope you're wrong. What a travesty that would be. I want pure silence when he performs. No more, no less.

I've never put him on as background music, either.


~ Lizzy

Re: Leonard Cohen: TOUR 2008

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 6:25 am
by old waits fan
Obviously very exciting news.

My wife & I courted to Leonard & are still courting to him 36 years later

We both hope to get the chance to see him after all these years.

Re: Leonard Cohen: TOUR 2008

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 7:43 am
by Hec
Great news about the tour! I wonder if this means there is a new album to be promoted ? Not that this matters overly much, it will be great to see him live on stage.

Re: Leonard Cohen: TOUR 2008

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 8:27 am
by cbjulson
That is exciting news indeed! I am a relatively new convert. I first discovered Leonard Cohen in the fall of 2006 through an interview on National Public Radio. I'd never heard of LC but was so intrigued by the interview and the musical excerpts that I craved more. I picked up a copy of Field Commander Cohen at a local used CD shop and was blown away. I then ran out and purchased a brand new copy of The Essential Leonard Cohen and every time I listen my reaction is the same...How could a guy like me possibly have lived on this planet for 49 years and not have heard of this man??? I then hit the internet to find out when he was touring next so I could perhaps see him live. I was disappointed to find that he hasn't toured in years, and wondered why. I then studied his bio a little more and realized that if he didn't start his music career until his mid-thirties and his first album came out four decades ago, then the man in his seventies. I felt like a jerk for being dissappointed that he's not out on tour. He's a legend and doesn't need to be out on the road like some young pup, and I resigned myself to the reality that I will probably never see Leonard Cohen in person. When I saw the news here that Leonard will be touring this year, I was nothing short of giddy. I think my recent discovery of LC makes me the most avid type of fan as I view it as 30+ years of missed musical opportunities and have a desire to not miss anything from here on out. Needless to say, I will go to great lengths to attend a Leonard Cohen concert this year.

Re: Leonard Cohen: TOUR 2008

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 10:40 am
by Rabbit
Oh wondrous news! And now four long years of providing for my firstborn are over - I have have a reason (and a need) to sell him!