CONCERT REPORT: Brighton, November 28

September 21 - November 30, 2008. Concert reports, set lists, photos, media coverage, multimedia links, recollections...
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CONCERT REPORT: Brighton, November 28

Post by AlisonandMandy » Sat Nov 29, 2008 11:01 am

Absolutely fantastic, of course. The man was in spritely form, looking really good and the voice still steals the show despite a really tight band - the musicians were excellent and the sound engineer had pulled it together so it was flawless. There has been a lot about the content of these concerts including the quips, but despite knowing the last line Leonard's timing is perfect. What a gentleman.
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Re: Brighton, Nov 28

Post by dynamiksdreamdebased » Sat Nov 29, 2008 11:52 am

an absolutely transcendent performance, incredibly, it was even better than the previous 5 times I've seen him on this tour, and in my hometown. nothing will ever beat this :)

"i didnt come to the glorious city of brighton to fool you"
blithe, urbane and inebriated.
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Re: Brighton, Nov 28

Post by John Etherington » Sun Nov 30, 2008 3:45 am

I was not too optimistic about this event...I remembered The Brighton Centre as a soul-less cattle shed. I thought that Leonard would surely be exhausted at the end of his tour. Brighton would presumably attract a young, rowdy crowd. Rain was forecast all day long. I really hoped this would not be the case, as I so wanted my last show to be a great one, and my friend Lena from Brighton who came with me had never seen Leonard before. Miraculously, my initial fears were unfounded. After a good meal at Food For Friends and some wine, the rain eased off - thus allowing a pleasant walk along the sea-front. Outside The Brighton Centre there was initially little sign that Leonard was appearing. In fact, I only saw one tout and only a handful of people looking for tickets. Of all the Leonard shows this time, Brighton really seems to have been the one where tickets genuinely sold out instantly, and few re-appeared. Inside the concert hall, the atmosphere was surprisingly welcoming. A subdued lilac glow lit the stage, and (after the O2) the place almost felt intimate. We had great seats in row L on the left hand aisle of the flat stalls. The audience were respectful and enthusiastic.

As soon as leapin' Len hit the stage, it was apparent that he was in great spirits and fine voice. "Bird on a Wire", "Suzanne", "So Long Marianne" and "The Partisan" sounded as good as I've ever heard them, and Leonard sung them with passion and conviction. More than ever at this show, I appreciated the excellence of the band's musicianship - most especially on "Who By Fire", "Gypsy Wife" and "I Tried to leave You" where they get a chance to demonstrate their individual skills. Sharon Robinson's solo vocal on "Boogie Street" and The Webb Sisters' "If It Be Your Will" were respectively as powerful and haunting as ever. "Leonard's spoken poems "A Thousand Kisses Deep" and "If It Be Your Will" were totally mesmerising, and "Famous Blue Raincoat" was wonderfully atmospheric with the blue lighting (in fact the lighting was better than on any of the other shows that I've seen on this tour). As I've mentioned before, particular favourites of mine are "Anthem", "Hallelujah", "Take This Waltz" and "Democracy". "Whither Thou Goest" was a perfect finish, and Leonard said words to the effect of "Stay strong during these difficult times", "Be lucky" and "God Bless You". Leonard was as gracious and humble as ever, acknowledging a girl who shouted "we love you, Leonard" and clutching a bunch of yellow flowers that were thrown to him, throughout a whole song. He was in good humour and added a few original touches to the now-familiar spoken introductions. He introduced the band twice, with virtually identical wording.

Brighton was better than the Royal Albert Hall (as good as that was) and was arguably the best of the four shows that I've attended this year. It was outstanding, awesome and extremely moving. There was just a hint of sadness to know that this may just be the last concert that I attend by the greatest living artist of our time. If it were (which I obviously hope it's not) then I could not wish for a better one.

Love to all, John E
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Re: Brighton, Nov 28

Post by ManiSav » Sun Nov 30, 2008 4:36 pm

I posted a review last night, but I dont see it - so here it is again.

My previous Concert on this tour was the Saturday night in Dublin. The Brighton Center, although a modern multi-use venue was immediatley a lot more intimate than an outdoor arena, and (thanks to this website) we had tickets in row M of the stalls.Leonard literally skipped on stage and started into 'Dance me to the end of Love'. I thought things were a bit mechanical for a while, but when we saw the Webb Sisters doing their 'White Girls dancing', and the genuine interactions between Lenoard and the Band - in particular with Javier and Dino I knew we were in for something
special, and we were not disappointed.

A stunning rendition of 'Chelsea Hotel' and 'The Partisan', both absent from the June Set. When Sharon Robinson was singing, Leonard was a little to stage left, close to Dino and I could see him softly singing along. When the Webb sisters finished 'If it be your will' I could see Leonard softly say
something like 'Beautiful, beautiful'

There were genuine moments of interaction with the crowd - when he finished playing the keyboards during 'Tower of Song' the crowd burst into Applause - Leonard smiled and said 'you're too kind'. Similarly when a member of the audience cried out 'we love you Leonard' when he was tuning up, he smiled, looked into the audience and said 'You're very kind'. As Tower of song
reduced to just him and the webb sisters, he mentioned the financial markets, and the volatile price of gold, but for them to ignore the audience, it was just them and him, and for them to sing him to sleep and cure his troubled heart.

I'm not sure if it was just me, given that I was on a weekend away in Brighton, but the concert had an end of term feel about it. The girls were really swinging and the evening wore on, and there were lots of smiles from the band, and Leonard skipping on stage after the breaks.

During the encores we were treated to Famous Blue Raincoat, and a final, touching Wither thou Goest. Leonard thanked the entire crew, and told us it was getting cold outside, and we should be lucky and God Bless us and finally thaked us for keeping his songs alive all this time .

A perfect evening. I'll probably never see him again, and I'm glad it was Brighton rathen than Dublin - the indoor arena and a noticably more polished performance did the impossible and made a great concert even better.

One other remark - on the way home my wife remarked that if spring water could made a sound, it would sound like the Webb Sisters.
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Re: Brighton, Nov 28

Post by jarkko » Mon Dec 01, 2008 10:21 am


This setlist was sent in by Kadir!
1988, 1993: Helsinki||2008: Manchester|Oslo|London O2|Berlin|Helsinki|London RAH|| 2009: New York Beacon|Berlin|Venice|Barcelona|Las Vegas|San José||2010: Salzburg|Helsinki|Gent|Bratislava|Las Vegas|| 2012: Gent|Helsinki|Verona|| 2013: New York|Pula|Oslo|||
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Re: Brighton, Nov 28

Post by shadowsonthewood » Mon Dec 01, 2008 3:26 pm

I can only echo what has been said. The performance was sublime.

I have a couple of queries:

The setlist shows the songs not played, but might've been, at the side. Is 'A Thousand Kisses Deep' there the song version? As the main list says 'POEM', I guess that it is. Has that not been played at all yet, or I have I just missed it somewhere?

Is there a full balcony? The seating chart shows one, but all I could see up there was a few heads peeking through a sort of gap. Are there many up there? How do they see? Or does the view from below (flat stalls) not give a good indication of what's going on up there?

I have griped before about the O2 show, and of my unfortunate position next to people who were not equal to the occasion. Since then, I have been dwelling under a cloud of despondency in my Leonard-thoughts. If that had been the final performance, it would be difficult to think or listen to Leonard in years to come without encountering the memory of his concert turned into a washed-out karaoke session. But I was redeemed from such a fate on Friday. The crowd was wonderful, mannerly and appreciative. And for a small audience, they made quite a noise of enthusiasm. They looked rather more hip, too. Maybe that's usual in Brighton though. Most people there appear as if they are, or have been at some distant point, an affluent art student.

How to describe Hallelujah? I was perturbed. I'd heard of the celebratory singalongs on the previous leg of the tour and heard that it had been toned down for this part. I thought it a shame to miss it performed in that fashion, but it seems well without it. There's a beautiful quietness, and evocation of stillness, in its chorus, to the extent that I felt part of a secular, though churchey, congregation. Like much of the show, there's something small, nuanced and precious happening on the stage that is at some distance from the spirit of a singalong. I suppose, ideally, I could've experienced the song in both fashions, but that's my fault for procrastinating during the summer.

The Brighton Centre. I'd never been there before and, given that I reside in London with all its concert halls, it's unlikely I'll ever need to return. So, considering he was playing the Royal Albert Hall, which no doubt would have had a naturally splendid atmosphere, I thought this show would certainly be an also-ran. I'd had worries that are probably typical, as I'd heard it was a soulless place and rather like a school hall, but I barely recognise it as such. Perhaps it was the transfigurative power of Leonard, his band and the tremendous filming and lighting that means I'll forever remember it as beautiful.
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Re: Brighton, Nov 28

Post by Ziyad » Wed Dec 03, 2008 11:11 pm

Brighton was a wonderful occasion - up there with the RAH and MAncehster Opera House as indoor concerts go.

I thought Chelsea Hotel, The Partisan and Famous Blue Raincoat were all excellent additions to the summer tour - and probably the highpoints at both RAH and Brighton.

And there was an end of term feel, Leonard and the band were very happy, full of smiles - from the get-go.

But in parts, Leonard seemed very tired. It felt as if he almost threw Democracy away, in comparison to previous concerts, I wondered if he was dissapointed that the audience meekly sat down when the song started up. As for Hallelujah, as with all 3 dates I've seen during the Autumn tour, Leonard downplayed the passion he showed in the Summer, when he was singing the chorus from the pit of his stomach. Different, though not as good for me. Also, Anthem, which for me was the highlight of the Summer tour, and the song that most signifies the tour for me, but for some reason, it has not soared quite as mystically as in the past. Small gripes, and I suspect it's mainly tiredness.
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Re: Brighton, Nov 28

Post by catswhiskers » Fri Dec 05, 2008 2:10 am

Well,I thought I had better add my bit here--just got home to Portugal.What can I say,thats not already been said? I felt I was in the presence of a "god"---it was truly magic.The audience were completely different than when I saw him in Lisbon.In Lisbon he attracted a much younger crowd--in Brighton it was more my own age group.When I knew the concert was coming to a close,tears were pouring down my cheeks--Would I ever see this master again? I left with a feeling of despair--but hummed his songs until I feel asleep that night.Next day I had the tours mottoo of the entwined hearts tattooed on my ankle--so I shall never forget..............
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Re: Brighton, Nov 28

Post by alphaeus1 » Mon Dec 15, 2008 9:49 pm

I was there at this concert: and I'm glad I was. I last saw Leonard 15 years ago at the ROYAl ALBERT HALL, and he was good than, but this concert was the best I have ever seen. The band was excellent and so was Leonard, and at 75 he was Brilliant.
And to see he skipping back on stage at the encores just made my day. Best Song was The Partisan. Well done Leonard, "I hope you have a good retirement."

I have seen this video from the concert on YOU TUBE; that is good quality. By the look of this video; someone film the whole show.
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Re: Brighton, Nov 28

Post by alphaeus1 » Tue Dec 16, 2008 12:07 am

John Etherington
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Re: Brighton, Nov 28

Post by John Etherington » Tue Dec 16, 2008 1:36 am

Hi alphaeus1,

I find this to be average youtube quality, with the occasional jerkiness and unwanted noises. By giving an e-mail number, it also looks as if whoever filmed it trying to cash in on it, by selling the whole DVD. "SECURITY"!

Cheers, John E
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Re: Brighton, Nov 28

Post by alphaeus1 » Tue Dec 16, 2008 10:57 am

That's what I thought. You are only taking his word for it that he has filmed the whole concert. You also don't know if you are going to receive it either.

These people are annoying when you sit behind them in a concert hall and you have a video camera distracting you the whole time: I don't mind one song, but the whole concert would be too much.

Although tempted because I enjoyed the concert so much; I will side on the side of caution on this one.
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