CONCERT REPORTS: Toronto (June 6, 7, 8, and 9)

Canada and Europe (May 11 - August 3, 2008). Concert reports, set lists, photos, media coverage, multimedia links, recollections...
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Re: Toronto (June 6 to 9)

Post by izielle » Sun Jun 08, 2008 6:22 pm

krewechief wrote:by request

If It Be Your Will

how did you hear my prayer krewechief?
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Re: Toronto (June 6 to 9)

Post by chris_b » Sun Jun 08, 2008 8:06 pm

Saturday's Toronto show was excellent, LC's performance was fabulous, the crowd was amazing as well, but I was surprised at how many people were taking photos.
Could someone share some with me, if you are willing to e-mail them to me please let me know and I will post my e-mail.
I would like to frame the tour poster, tickets and pictures of the show in a collage frame.


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Re: Toronto (June 6 to 9)

Post by phat » Sun Jun 08, 2008 8:13 pm

The Saturday show was missing Heart With No Companion during the first encore, but had an extra choral bit after the last encore. Just an observation.

Leonard also talked a bit more on Saturday than Friday, I thought.
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Re: Toronto (June 6 to 9)

Post by Robin » Mon Jun 09, 2008 12:02 am

There are some fantastic photographs of Friday's show here: ... n_Kurzweil

Leonard looks so happy. It is a real delight to see that.

- Robin
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Re: Toronto (June 6 to 9)

Post by leonardmtl » Mon Jun 09, 2008 4:53 am

A few comments about the Saturday show.....

I came away in awe of the personal space LC created that extended to each member of the audience, as if Leonard was inviting everyone on an individual basis.

He had a good time, so comfortable in his skin.....and his humor was one point, evaluating whistles from the audience!

His music is extraordinary to say the least, but in person ....well, there was a heightened sense of purity...I mean, it could be experienced so deeply.

As to LC himself, he was so real that when someone in the audience asked LC to marry her and Leonard shot back, "Sure but you don't know what you are getting yourself into" !!! Now, thats the man we know!!!

Lastly, could someone tell me approximately what the final words were, when the concert was ending and Leonard was holding hands with Sharon Robinson et al, facing the audience....(just before the statement of "farewell and Peace").... if I am not mistaken, it sounded biblical , and I would love to check out the reference.

I did get the hood...understated, attractive and comfortable

Leonard from Montreal
We're all on one road....we're only passing through....

1967 Montreal / 2008 Toronto/ 2009 New York Beacon /Boston 2x /New York MSG / Chelsea Hotel Plaque Celebration /San Jose / 2010 Las Vegas 2x / 2012 Montreal 2x /Boston 2x
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Re: Toronto (June 6 to 9)

Post by Bryn » Mon Jun 09, 2008 6:37 am

Susan and I had the privilege of attending the Hamilton show on the 3rd and Toronto on the 6th and 7th. On their own, each opportunity was the experience of a lifetime, however, if "pushed", we felt the second Toronto concert was more playful and exuberant. The chemistry between Leonard and the audience was electric. It was also great to see Dick and friends, having crossed paths at last year's Toronto Luminato events with Leonard and Philip Glass and the Drabinsky Gallery of Leonard's prints (and originals this year). Thanks so much to Krewchief for the tunes - If It Be Your Will moves us to ears every time we hear Leonard's spoken voice followed by the sublime / divine Webb sisters. It will be a precious memory forever. Sorry we can't join everyone in Edmonton (we have a family wedding), but looking forward to Krakow.
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Re: Toronto (June 6 to 9)

Post by anyolite » Mon Jun 09, 2008 6:38 am

I've just discovered this thread, and thought I'd post a link to my own report / review of last night's incredible, breathtaking performance. It's an entry in a LiveJournal community I posted earlier today, which also includes a photo and a few video clips: ... 72155.html

All I can add to it is that Leonard Cohen is one of the greatest artists the world has seen...
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Re: Toronto (June 6 to 9)

Post by Bryn » Mon Jun 09, 2008 6:49 am

Regarding the biblical message at the end of the second Toronto concert - "Wither thou goest" - this is one of the oldest statements of fidelity in literature.... perhaps a comment on the bond between Leonard and all of us. As a note from the web says:

"Part of a longer promise of fidelity, spoken by Ruth to Naomi, her mother-in-law. The longer text reads: “Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if aught but death part thee and me.”
Steve Wilcox
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Re: Toronto (June 6 to 9)

Post by Steve Wilcox » Mon Jun 09, 2008 12:49 pm

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Re: Toronto (June 6 to 9)

Post by marthaw » Mon Jun 09, 2008 6:20 pm

We traveled from NYC for the Saturday show, amazing!

My husband and I were lucky enough to meet him--we were getting out of a cab (must've been near his hotel) and I looked up and he was just standing on the street corner by himself, wearing one of his fabulous suits (needless to say the only formally dressed man on the street).

So I was brave and said hello and shook his hand, he was v. gracious. Such a thrill to hear that voice speaking to me! We didn't want to bother him, so only spoke a minute (NYC is full of celebrities and normally I'd never ever just walk up to someone famous on the street). But I felt this was a once in a life opportunity. The show would've been enough, but this made our trip so so worthwhile.
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Re: Toronto (June 6 to 9)

Post by dick » Mon Jun 09, 2008 7:57 pm

Two Toronto Shows, June 6 and 7, 2008

I feel blessed indeed to have been in the Toronto Sony Centre for Friday and Saturday segments of the Leonard Cohen World Tour. As I posted after the first show, it was “Pure bliss.”

None of the praise that has been heaped on these shows is unwarranted. It is difficult to find new ways to express just how enveloping the experience was. Some of these quotes mirror my feelings:

“This show is one for the ages.”
“This was a love-in because the man is the real deal, a songwriter who's contributed so much ageless, gorgeous verse to the English language that he makes one wonder why anyone else even bothers.”
“Icon Cohen breathtaking”
“Unforgettable. Thank you, Mr. Cohen, for the concert of my life.”
“For those two and a half hours, you are indeed in the right time and place. All is well with the universe.”

The fact that the Master was there delivering his exquisite songs in full voice, accompanied by matchless musicians performing impeccably, would have been more than enough for an unforgettable concert. But, there was somehow so much more. There was a tangible exchange of love and respect back and forth between audience and stage and between Leonard and his band – and it was completely genuine. I tear up just recalling it now, as I did more than once both nights.

There is no way to capture the rapture of this show in words. When Leonard belted out “I hope you’re satisfied,” the audience swooned and answered with sighs, and when he concluded, “and here’s a man, working for your smile,” I think he summarized his appeal. Every fiber of his soul was being offered to his audience for their pleasure. I can’t think of any other performer that gives that much of themselves so graciously.

As has also been written, each band member brings so much to the show that one can only hope this tour provides career boosts for each of them. Sharon’s new album, by the way, was available at the merchandise stand.

Adding to our pleasure were pre and post show meetings with wonderful friends: Marvelous Marie of Speaking Cohen, Ken, Don, Evelyn, Vern and Sue and son, Ray and Marlene, Marsha and Sarah, Tracey and Jim, Anne, Christy and Ron, Stan and Sally, Bryn and Susan, and New York Event Chairman Geoff Gompers with Delightful Donna.

We are very happy that we also have tickets for Leonard’s three concerts in Montreal. Trust me, if you can possibly make it, every Cohen fan should experience this show.

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Toronto Sun Article

Post by Anne » Tue Jun 10, 2008 12:02 am ... 1-sun.html

Mon, June 9, 2008
First he took Toronto


For over two-and-a-half-hours on Friday night at the Sony Centre, Leonard Cohen was our man.

Charming, funny, poignant, smart, sharp and sexy, -- yes at 73, decked out in a grey fedora, grey shirt and black double-breasted suit he is still a lady killer -- the Montreal poet-singer-songwriter easily seduced a sold-out crowd during the first of four back-to-back shows at the venue which wrap up tonight (some tickets are still available).

And that was no easy feat given he is touring for the first time in 15 years -- "I was a 60-year-old kid with a crazy dream," he quipped of the last time he was on the road.

Friday night's show was previously billed as the kick-off of his world tour, but in reality Cohen and his nine-piece band of master musicians and singers have been touring small venues in Atlantic Canada since the middle of May.

He opened on Friday night with his classic Dance Me to the End of Love, and the songwriter's songwriter, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier this year by Lou Reed, kept the gems from his lengthy repertoire coming --The Future, In My Secret Life, There Ain't No Cure For Love.

While never a great singer, his deep, rumbling voice has only improved with age, in terms of his recital of words -- a poetry reading of A Thousand Kisses Deep towards the end of the show was so powerful you wanted to weep openly. (Well, maybe if you were a girl.)

And the standouts of the night possessed genuine passion and flair -- Bird On a Wire, Everybody Knows, Who By Fire, Tower of Song (which featured Cohen playing keyboards in such an elemental fashion that he joked, "You're very kind," after the audience applauded) Hallelujah (which prompted a standing ovation), Suzanne, Democracy, I'm Your Man, Take This Waltz, Waiting For the Miracle, First We Take Manhattan, That Don't Make it Junk and Closing Time.

As for his backup singers, the lovely Sharon Robinson and sisters Charley and Hattie Webb, provided a warm bedrock onto which Cohen placed his low, sexy register and the innocent flirtation between him and the trio of women was fun to watch.

For example, as Tower of Song was winding down, Cohen begged the three singers to keep singing. "Don't stop. Don't stop. That's what I want to hear. That's all I want to hear," he said.

Often he sang directly to them and made Robinson his duet partner on Boogie Street, or let the Webb sisters take over completely and beautifully on If it Be Your Will.

He was also gracious to his band, taking off his fedora whenever someone performed a solo and introducing them to the audience numerous times.

Special mention should be made of Javier Mas on bandurria, laud, archilaud and 12-string guitar, and Rafael Gayol on drums and percussion, both of who excelled in their playing and respective solos.

If this is, in fact, Cohen's swansong in terms of being a live performer, there are much worse ways he could go out.

But I'm here to say he still has a lot of life left in him.

Sun Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5

Leonard Cohen

Friday night

Sony Centre
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Re: Toronto (June 6 to 9)

Post by greeksiren » Tue Jun 10, 2008 2:21 am

leonardmtl wrote: Lastly, could someone tell me approximately what the final words were, when the concert was ending and Leonard was holding hands with Sharon Robinson et al, facing the audience....(just before the statement of "farewell and Peace").... if I am not mistaken, it sounded biblical , and I would love to check out the reference.
The concert was, in a word, unforgettable. I was awestruck. One of the best concerts I have seen and probably ever will see.

I remember him saying something at the end of the Saturday show... something about not forgetting the "blessings of peace" in your life. Does anybody know exactly what he said? I was a little bit overwhelmed by all of it and can't remember.

What a legend. :D
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Re: Toronto (June 6 to 9)

Post by Sebby » Tue Jun 10, 2008 2:47 am

I went to Sunday's concert. What a gift it was. I will remain in awe. Aren't Leonard audiences the best in the world! He is loved. I waited a lifetime to see him... I finally made it.

Thank you, Leonard.
There is a crack in everything...that's how the light gets in.

Wandering Mind
Claw at your heart
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Re: Toronto (June 6 to 9)

Post by Claw at your heart » Tue Jun 10, 2008 3:12 am

Here's an article by Andy Green that appeared in Rolling Stone. This writer just doesn't get Leonard Cohen. Or can't see beyond his own arrogance... ... n-toronto/
Walking into the Sony Centre for Leonard Cohen’s Toronto concert on June 6th people had plenty of reasons to think the show might be a disappointment. The 73-year-old songwriting legend hadn’t performed a single concert in 15 years before this tour kicked off a few weeks back. He’s rarely been seen in public since then, and when he showed up at his Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction earlier this year he looked pretty meek and refused to perform. Also, it’s quite clear the only reason he agreed to do this tour was the fact his manager stole nearly all his money during his five years Buddhist retreat on Mount Baldy in California and he needed a nest egg for retirement. Yet, like a master bank robber forced out of retirement for one last gigantic score, Cohen poured everything he had into a stunning performance.

Cohen walked onstage with a nine-piece band promptly at 8:00, wearing a dark, double-breasted suit and a fedora — he looked like he just stepped out of the Dick Tracy retirement home. From the first seconds of “Dance Me to the End of Love” it was apparent that his deep baritone hadn’t deteriorated a bit since the 1993 tour. It’s a far cry from the tender voice that sang “Suzanne” 40 years ago, but he’s sounded husky for a while now and it suits his dark material perfectly. The band — featuring an amazing Hammond B3 organist and his longtime back-up singer Sharon Robinson — re-created the spooky atmosphere of his albums down to the smallest detail.

Cohen played a handful of his 1960s/early-1970s classics such as “Suzanne” and “Bird on a Wire,” but the set list was heavily tilted towards material from the second 20 years of his career. He featured six of the eight songs from 1988’s I’m Your Man, along with five from 1992’s The Future and four from 2000’s Ten New Songs. It was a drag not hearing “Famous Blue Raincoat” or “So Long Marianne,” but the later songs have always sounded better live. A double shot of “Waiting for the Miracle” and “First We Take Manhattan” towards the end of the night were clear highlights and “I’m Your Man” remains one of the horniest songs ever written — though delivered with the class and wit only Cohen can bring.

The biggest applause of the night came in the early part of the second set when he launched into “Hallelujah.” Since his last tour, the 1984 tune has been covered by just about everyone on the planet (including American Idol hopeful Jason Castro) and has become his most famous composition. John Cale, Rufus Wainwright and (of course) Jeff Buckley all managed to eclipse the original, and tonight Cohen sang it like he was trying to reclaim it for himself. The lines “Even thought it all went wrong I stood before the Lord of Song with nothing on my lips but Hallelujah” were belted out with stunning force and conviction. Equally powerful was the title track to The Future, though for some reason “Give me crack, anal sex” has become “Give me crack, careless sex.” “Democracy” took on new meaning during the weekend Hillary Clinton suspended her campaign, and the line “Democracy is coming to the USA” earned huge cheers from the Canadian crowd.

“My friends are gone and my hair is grey,” Cohen sang in “Tower of Song.” He wrote those when he was merely 53, and 20 years later those words are truer than ever. But the Leonard Cohen onstage didn’t seem anything like an old man pining for the past. After two and a half hours, he still returned for the encores with a huge grin on his face. The man may be older than Jerry Lee Lewis and John McCain, but other than the times he sang verses while awkwardly squinting at the ground (presumably at a teleprompter) that was very easy to forget. His touring schedule is brutal (this was night one of a four-consecutive-night stand) and pretty soon he’ll be bouncing around Europe like a madman. When it’s done he’ll probably return to Los Angeles with a dump truck full of money and never perform again. Still, it’s a hell of a way to go out.
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