This is one that puts him at the head of the list - from the Sydney Morning Herald, Australia -
http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2009/12/ ... 06597.html
Cohen Proves It: He's The Man
A night of joy with the man in the hat ... Leonard Cohen at the Entertainment Centre.
Photo: Jon Reid
December 30, 2009
It wasn't the biggest: for that you need to look at the 3832 (or thereabouts) shows performed by Pink in Australia this year. The artist formerly known as Alecia Moore mixed gymnastics with burlesque, explosions with cover versions, and excess with unprecedented success.
It wasn't the best example of optimism trumping reality: that would be anyone who turned up for an American hip-hop show expecting (a) the act to have made it through immigration; (b) the headliner to perform rather than spruiking clothing lines, going off stage to "refresh" or handing the microphone over to lesser-known members of the posse; (c) anyone other than the Wu-Tang Clan looking like they gave a damn about the audience – yes, we're looking at you, Game and Flo Rida.
It wasn't the most surprising: that would be either the pensionable-age Grace Jones proving not only astonishingly lithe, lucid and lavishly attired but largely entertaining, or the Specials proving that reunions of once fractious bands can be really meant and really good.
And it definitely was not the most disappointing: that would be either Flaming Lips being grim and turgid rather than uplifting and the epitome of fun, or Fleet Foxes, by all accounts just about God's gift to music at the Metro but missed by this reviewer, who was instead at a family wedding. No, since you ask, I'm not over it.
Nor was it the crassest: that would be the spectacular plastic pomp of Britney Spears (who can't sing, can't dance, can't focus but can make money) and the faux high-minded tripe spouted by too much of the media who mistook her show for something to take seriously.
Leonard Cohen's show was none of those. It was instead the gig of the year. Dapper, charming and amusing, the sexiest 70-something in the world had so much material on which to draw, he played for three hours of brilliant song after brilliant song and still didn't touch a dozen gems. But what he did play was mesmerising, sensual, poetic, moving and funny.
Not that far behind in the special gig category was Bon Iver, one of the treats of the Sydney Festival, as the City Recital Hall in summer somehow became a snowbound cabin in Wisconsin for 90 minutes.
You could also count Abbe May roaring through the Annandale with blues and fire, Tina Harrod baring her soul at the Basement and Josh Pyke discovering he is a pop star among the sweaty hordes of the Metro as rather special. Not to mention Elbow's third visit here, which only confirmed what we've known since 2004: they are a superior band.
Too little known for now but hopefully rectified on future visits were a few minor gems: Jenny Lewis's middle-of-the day set at V Festival; Rachel Unthank and the Winterset's folk return at the Factory; and Aimee Mann's pop songwriting masterclass at the Enmore.
There were artists who offered disappointingly ordinary gigs despite having more hits than a Tiger Woods scandal website: Air Supply were simultaneously needy and smug; Fleetwood Mac had longevity but lacked drive; and Beyonce used a sledgehammer when only a tap was necessary.
Plenty of others lacked the hits but had the heart: Justin Townes Earle, Lucinda Williams, My Morning Jacket, Ry Cooder/Nick Lowe, Kitty, Daisy and Lewis, and Jarvis Cocker.
Still, to borrow a line from Elbow, it was that man in the fedora, Mr Cohen, who had you thinking: "One day like this a year would see me right."
This story was found at: http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2009/12/ ... 06597.html