CONCERT REPORT: London, O2 Arena (July 17) [merged threads]

Canada and Europe (May 11 - August 3, 2008). Concert reports, set lists, photos, media coverage, multimedia links, recollections...
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Re: London July 17

Post by A.Sukitu » Fri Jul 18, 2008 9:22 pm

... a p.s. ....
I would also like to add that I was impressed by the sound at the 02 - I am an aged hippy who used to rail against the 02 as a political albatross. All power to the sound engineers. The music felt very warm.


to Bela - glad you were there to share the evening. for me, that concert will always be remembered as the time I saw Leonard enjoying the reaction of the audience en masse - and read 100% ecstatic appreciative reviews in the press.
"You let me sing, you lifted me up, you gave my soul a beam to travel on. ... You gave the injury a tongue to heal itself."
Leonard Cohen in Book of Mercy (1984) Ch. 19.
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Re: London July 17

Post by itsjustaride » Fri Jul 18, 2008 10:29 pm

How was the volume of the sound at the O2? Its a big place.

It was perfect in Manchester, crystal clear and not too loud.
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Re: London July 17

Post by phreil » Fri Jul 18, 2008 10:41 pm

Look, I don't want to cause a rush, but if you go to you can buy tickets for 13 November 2008 at the 02. I just did. Don't tell any touts
...more...or less...or more again...the rest is plain to see..
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Re: London July 17

Post by che » Fri Jul 18, 2008 11:01 pm

I love the show in London and I meet some of the people from the forum which is nice for me. My sister and my friend had a wonderful time at the concert. And I look forward now to see Leonard in a warmer place.
Thank you to Leonard.
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Re: London July 17

Post by howthelightgetsin » Fri Jul 18, 2008 11:07 pm

"He is like a battery and the audience is the charger. He visibly energizes from the audience. I think Kelley Lynch has actually done him a big favour he just comes alive on stage."

Great description Paula, exactly how I feel about him on stage and his unfortunate situation with Kelley.

Last night was simply amazing. Sat in block 111 I wondered how good the sound would be in the O2 after it being slightly off at one of the Prince gigs I went to last year(I have a love/hate relationship with the place, love my memories of Prince and now Leonard but hate the commercial feel of it) - but I felt it was great last night, he is great!

Probably the best gig I've ever been to, didn't think I'd get to see him live - thought I'd missed the boat being 27. I don't cry or get teary at much but Cohen's performance yesterday made my eyes well up and my hairs stand up - breathtaking!

Now trying to work out how to get to The Big Chill... :)
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Re: London July 17

Post by philo » Sat Jul 19, 2008 12:09 am

the last time i was in leonards company was probably about thirty years ago. he came to london, to victoria in the early 80s .

i bought the tickets for last nights concert with some trepidation, wondering whether the 02 was really the right kind of theater for a man who is suited to a more intimate venue , i need not have worried, for it really seemed as though we were indeed gathered together in some intimate little place, with leonard communing directly to each and every one of us. the evening was magic, leonards chocolate brown voice, frequently merging with sharon robinsons soulful sounds...and here i was again, some forty years after having listened to him for the first time, falling in love with this beautiful man yet again.

i arrived home in the early hours of this morning, and as i fell into bed, a text arrived from my friend who had shared the evening with me 'had a wonderful evening, i will remember it forever' .... a feeling echoed, no doubt, by the other 19,999 people who were fortunate enough to share an evening with this towering man of words....
life is the school, love is the lesson.
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Re: London July 17

Post by Rabbit » Sat Jul 19, 2008 2:14 am

I'm overwhelmed by the reviews Leonard is receiving on this tour. The whole venture is a triumph of magnificent proportions.

I do, however, get a little tired of reviewers constantly referring to Leonard being "forced" out of retirement due to financial problems. If they looked into it a little more carefully (even if they just read the interview I posted a link to at ... 2deab9a0df), they'd realise he's out there because he WANTS to be out there.

I doubt Leonard would cheapen himself and his legacy by dragging his reluctant ass out on tour merely to make a buck. He's no nostalgia act. He's a vibrant, vital, current, and far from spent, force.
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Re: London July 17

Post by ColinD » Sat Jul 19, 2008 1:12 pm

After 38 years the great day came - that's from the time I first heard Leonard to first seeing him live - a day that I had almost given up on.
The superlatives have all be used up (and I totally agree with them!). I had been worried about the venue, but from our seats in Bk 111 Row D, everything was fine. The sound was perfect and Leonard's performance exceeded our high expectations.
What makes this day even more memorable for us was meeting members of the forum for the first time - everyone was very open and friendly and we were made to feel really welcome.
Best Regards to everyone,
ColinD & Meriel
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Re: London July 17

Post by linmag » Sat Jul 19, 2008 2:11 pm

Hear, hear Rabbit! It's perfectly obvious, seeing Leonard on stage, that he is enjoying himself hugely on this tour. I think that he, as well as we, should be very grateful to Kelley for giving him a reason to get back out there. He was drifting into withdrawal, and may never have found the impetus by himself.

I too was worried about the atmosphere at the O2 being wrong for Leonard. I should have known better. One deft quip about meeting "just the other side of intimacy" and we were all under the spell, safe in Leonard's hands for the evening - and where else could anyone possibly wish to be!

1972: Leeds, 2008: Manchester, Lyon, London O2, 2009: Wet Weybridge, 2012: Hop Farm/Wembley Arena
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Re: London July 17

Post by Alan_1 » Sat Jul 19, 2008 2:26 pm

I enjoyed the concert at the O2 but I have to say for me the Manchester concert was far better.
The big problem for me at the O2 was that as I was quite a way from the stage (back row of the first tier and 3/4 of the way along the right hand side from the stage) I had to watch the big screens to see anything properly and the seats weren't facing the stage, which gave me neck ache.
The sound was good for such a big place and Leonard put on a great show but it was spoilt slightly by this.
I don't think if I went again I would go for a side ticket.
I see that he is playing several other places including the Bournemouth International Centre in November as well as the O2 again.
Last edited by Alan_1 on Sat Jul 19, 2008 10:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Manchester 18 June 2008
London 02 17 July 2008
Bournemouth 11 November 2008
London 02 21 June 2013
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Re: London July 17

Post by Bela » Sat Jul 19, 2008 3:30 pm

Rabbit wrote:I'm overwhelmed by the reviews Leonard is receiving on this tour. The whole venture is a triumph of magnificent proportions.

I do, however, get a little tired of reviewers constantly referring to Leonard being "forced" out of retirement due to financial problems. If they looked into it a little more carefully (even if they just read the interview I posted a link to at ... 2deab9a0df), they'd realise he's out there because he WANTS to be out there.

I doubt Leonard would cheapen himself and his legacy by dragging his reluctant ass out on tour merely to make a buck. He's no nostalgia act. He's a vibrant, vital, current, and far from spent, force.
It is indeed obvious he's thoroughly enjoying himself, but I, for one, have no doubt he's also doing it for the money. Being 73 and having only a meagre sum in your retirement pot ($150 000 is peanuts these days) is no joke. I know: I'm only 60, but I'm not very well and cannot work full-time; my pension is tiny and if I were to lose all my savings, god forbid, I would feel suicidal. It is a wonderful thing that he has the strength to do this gruelling tour and rebuild his fortune - while giving us all so much pleasure. The swindle he was the victim of may well have been a blessing in disguise in that it has rejuvenated him. But still... the money is important.
London O2 Arena 17 July (with binoculars)
London RAH 17 November (without binoculars)
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Leonards O2 concert on 17 July...

Post by geoffelondon » Sat Jul 19, 2008 5:48 pm

To those clever pundits out there, I sink beneath your stoned wisdom.

I've been on first name terms with Leonard since the late 60s, and seen him once or twice since. My off-spring accompanied me on Thursday, because she likes Leonard as well now. Our tears flowed through That's no way to say goodbye for absent friends. Our seats J13 & 14 were awash with Dance me, Bird on a wire, Sisters of Mercy, Suzanne, of course So Long Marianne plus a few more. I'm sure if my friends were still there, they would of missed the Partisan and The Night comes on. Personally, I missed the jews harp of Lady Midnight and one day hope to hear The Story of Issac again...

And did the emperors backing detract from His Masters Voice most times- well maybe...

And some time later at Bills Bar, we drank to "And here's to the few, who care what you do, and the fewer who don't even care...", and afterwards we went back to the world, though we wouldn't of missed Leonard for the universe that night... Geoff@ East London.

Back to your wisdom folks...
Last edited by geoffelondon on Sat Jul 19, 2008 11:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Leonards O2 concert on 17 July...

Post by yhtrownu » Sat Jul 19, 2008 9:31 pm

Geoff, I'd like to hear The Partisan too. And I'd like to be on first name terms with Leonard. :)

nb: You might consider posting this again in the "Summer Tour 2008 - on the road with Leonard" section, where there is an entry for the July 17 concert, 'cos people might miss your post here, all lonely in the Fall Tour section. :)
Manchester, June 18 2008
Manchester, June 19 2008
London O2, July 17 2008
London O2, November 14 2008
Royal Albert Hall, November 17 2008
Mercedes Benz World, Weybridge, July 11 2009
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Re: London July 17

Post by Pete » Sat Jul 19, 2008 10:40 pm

That was a truly memorable evening.

Liz and I were in block 420 (which was up in the gods to the right) and the experience from there was very moving...not physically that is otherwise we'd have fallen on top of Paula :shock:
The sound quality was absolutely excellent...
As we looked down on the stage we had the screen just to the right and it was fascinating seeing the two side by side.
it was also fascinating being able to survey the whole arena from that height and to also see another screen suspended in the middle facing back towards the stage. That was quite interesting..seeing leonard's image suspended above everyone.... and Leonard and the band would have been able to see themselves..
From where we were, the atmosphere was brilliant.
It was one of those evenings where I could have died and gone to heaven..but only after 'wither thou goest' fact block 420 was half way there :D

It was also great to bump into people we knew and people we didn't.
It was great to see Davido and his family before the show (we dined next to them at Frankie and Benny's... hope they're not still waiting for their food :D ) Also bumped into Padma and Harry and Lizzie and Peter and Ray. Also bumped into loads of people after the show..but that was when we were queuing for the tube!!
and I spotted Paula in the crowd..and spoke during the interval (on the phone!!!) I felt sorry for her having to sit down there amongst the riff raff :)
and met Ann for the first time the next day...but no straw :)

Liz and I treated our stay in London as a short Derbyshire folk don't get to go to London much... it was a bit busier than Matlock. On the Friday we had a walk in the Thames Barrier park before taking the boat down the river to the Tate Modern.... Liz enjoyed the Tate Modern so much.. I had a short nap in a chair...hope I wasn't mistaken for one of the exhibits. :roll:
We met up with Tim and Andrew Darbyshire at the London Eye and had a was nearly as high as block 420 :) and then we had some fish chips and mushy peas in a pub (are you reading this Bobbie???? :lol: ) cos we were all starving.
Later, we found some other Cohenites in an Indian restaurant.. Andrea, Willy, Wijbe, Ken, Harry amongst others. We deposited Andrew with them cos he wanted a pudding. Tim had to catch a train back to Somerset before it was closed and Liz and I made our way back to Woolwich.. sorry we didnt stay longer but we'd had such a long day. Liz now believes that my Cohen friends are not imaginary :D
BTW...the bloody fire alarm went off in the night ...a false alarm but ruined my beauty sleep.
This morning we went to Camden. I bought a CD (Porcupine Tree) and Liz bought a postcard...sounds about right to me.
Got home early evening and now bought tickets for Birmingham. I've been to the NEC quite a few times over the years ..
Mike Oldfield (twice)
Lionel Ritchie
Paul Simon
Moody Blues
Big Country
and the Sisters of Mercy (twice)
Leonard at the NEC will be brilliant..w e saw him in the 70's at Birmingham Town Hall but that's a little smaller than the NEC.
another seats with the riff raff this time..block F


p.s Andrew... I see you're reading was great to see you again..happy travelling!!!
Last edited by Pete on Sun Jul 20, 2008 1:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
1974: Brighton Dome 1976: Birmingham Town Hall 1993: London RAH 2008: Manchester Opera House, London O2, Matlock Bandstand, Birmingham NEC 2009: Liverpool Echo Arena 2013 Birmingham
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Re: London July 17

Post by mickey_one » Sat Jul 19, 2008 11:12 pm

I saw Che with William.
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