CONCERT REPORT: Los Angeles, April 10 and 11

USA and Canada (April 1 - June 4, 2009). Special concert for fans in NYC (February 19). Concert reports, set lists, photos, media coverage, multimedia links, recollections...
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Leonard C & Co.: In L.A. - Nokia Theater 4/11/09

Postby BirdSong2 » Sun Apr 12, 2009 10:04 pm

Greetings All ~

The afterglow of last night's performance by The Master of Meaning & Music still lingers ~
We were relegated to the "outer rings of the solar system" in the Nokia seating perch but even so ~ The radiance and warmth eminating from the stage far below could be easily felt.
Best concert ever ~ HANDS DOWN!
We had in our company two friends who are recent explorers of the Leonard Cohen landscape. This concert completes their initiation - They are among the converted.

Anybody else out there in Los Angeles that shared in the experience Saturday night?

Robin in Glendale, CA
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Los Angeles, April 10 & 11

Postby TheBlueMask » Sun Apr 12, 2009 10:44 pm

I have not posted on this message board in years. I have been around here lingering on and off since 2003. I attended the New York 2004 Leonard Cohen event. I never thought I would see Mr. Cohen live. I could only close my eyes and put myself in the place of the live recordings until this past weekend...

I attended the April 10th show with my good friend Jason. I introduced him to Leonard Cohen sometime in high school at the end of the last decade or the beginning of this millennium. We used to drive around in my first car listening to many Cohen albums. Our favorite memories were listening to "Death of a Ladies' Man" and in looking back transitioning from teenagers into adults. We went to New York in 2004, as previously mentioned, for the Leonard Cohen event. If I am not mistaken, we were the youngest in attendance there. Being around so many Cohen fans was a treat and though we have not attended any more events, we take away the memories from 2004 with us today. We were just discussing how that event was nearly five years ago...

My first Leonard Cohen concert was perfection. The merchandise kids we were with posters, tour programs, t-shirts, DVDS, and CDs bought in hand. Each song passed by without a notion to the time and though I am not into writing reviews, I have to say that I was transformed into a beautiful realm that is entirely unacceptable to the modern world. Forgetting time and delving into each note, each word, and each flicker of delight during Friday's show sent me into orbit. I felt for those who could not attend and I said a silent prayer that the light of the evening would shine on them. We met remarkable people who accepted our experiences as we accepted theirs. The excitement buzzed, the audience quietly hummed or sang along, and I sat in silence taking in the words of a sage.

The next day...

I knew I had to attend the other show. I did not have tickets. I needed to take my fiance. I had to. She has limited knowledge of Cohen and his music. We have been together for nearly three years and I was waiting for the perfect moment to rightfully introduce her to Mr. Cohen. I called her Saturday morning with a mission--take her to see Leonard Cohen. Her excitement showed me I was right in my need to go to Saturday's concert. I found tickets online and purchased them. Earlier in the afternoon before the show we shared an iced coffee and some older gentlemen asked us about how long we had been together. He exclaimed that people need to take advantage of opportunity in life and do everything you want to do while you are YOUNG. I took YOUNG as being relative because youth is not an age but an attitude as he showed us. At the Nokia Theatre later that night, we ran into Michael, who I met the night before. He asked me on the first night if I was going Saturday and I said "No." I surprised him Saturday and told him he helped influence me to attend again. My fiance loved the show. The skip in Cohen's step made her giggle and the lyrics to the songs made her find an appreciate for his work and life. Her smile confirmed that I was correct to wait to introduce Cohen to her until a concert. Listening to a recording or a seeing a video clip could not compare. Sharing my love for Leonard Cohen with her was all the more special in a live performance setting. The evening drew to a close and my decision to attend the Saturday show was perfect.

If you have the chance to see a Leonard Cohen concert please do so. Do not let this opportunity pass you by. I went to both shows in Los Angeles. I had the chance to share my love for Cohen with someone new to him.

My eyes watered nearly twelve times between both concerts. Naked raw emotion is rarely seen in my circles. The opportunity to see reality is not taken for granted.

Thank you to all Leonard Cohen fans. His music would not have touched someone in my age group if it was not for you carrying his music on throughout the years.

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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Los Angeles, April 10 & 11

Postby MichaelLawlor » Sun Apr 12, 2009 11:43 pm

I enjoyed seeing Leonard's artwork projected behind the stage throughout the evening.

Before the concert started we saw the the Grecian woman playing a lyre, at the intermission
it was the blue guitar and at the end it was the interlocking hearts.

The exhibition of Leonard's artwork in Claremont is worth checking out. ... rtwork.php

Philip Glass used a lot of Leonard's artwork in the Book of Longing song cycle.

My notes from that show are below.

On Saturday, February 28, 2009 Philip Glass performed Book of Longing, a song cycle based on the poetry and painting of Leonard Cohen. The concert was held at the Garrison Theatre on the Scripps College campus in Claremont, California.

The performance was the fourth in a series of five concerts that marked the Southern California premiere of the composition, which had previously been performed in Toronto and London. The Claremont performances were significant because the Garrison Theatre sits below Mount Baldy, the place where Leonard Cohen practiced Zen Buddhism for many years.

Philip Glass presented Book of Longing as a multi-media event. Cohen’s self-portraits, still-life drawings, and sketches of nude women were projected on screens framed in a giant lattice, like a Piet Mondrian painting.

The music was performed by the Philip Glass Ensemble. Glass played keyboards, Gloria Justen played violin, and Wendy Sutter played cello. Four vocalists sang Cohen’s lyrics in sprechstimme, a style of declamation between singing and speaking that added a haunting quality to the ambivalent candor of Cohen’s words.

Solos by Gloria Justen on violin and Wendy Sutter on cello evoked a dissonant soundscape in which the reverent tone and ambivalent humor of Cohen’s poetry resonated.

Ms. Sutter plays an Ex-Vatican Stradivarius built in 1620 by Nicolo Amati and remodeled by Antonio Stradivari. Musicians in the 18th century played the cello in the Sistine Chapel. Georges Chanot, in the 19th century, painted a pair of angels, one holding a tamborine the other a harp, on the front. On the back he painted the Vatican flag, the papal hat and two dolphins.

The $650,000 Ex-Vatican Stradivarius is loaned to Ms. Sutter from Morel & Gradoux-Matt, a New York firm that specializes in the restoration and repair of stringed instruments. She plays the instrument on Glass’s recent recording “Songs and Poems for Cello.”

The Ensemble also included an oboe, double bass, bass clarinet, flute, piccolo, and English horn; as well as saxophone and percussion.

Glass included recordings of Leonard Cohen’s voice in the program. At one point during the concert the Garrison Theatre was filled with the sound of Cohen’s voice pronouncing a word rarely heard in the United States: “commonwealth.”

The poem containing the word “commonwealth” was not listed in the program or printed in the libretto.

Cohen was actually quoting from a poem entitled “Villanelle for Our Time” by F.R. Scott (1899 - 1985). F. R. Scott was a Canadian poet and professor of law at McGill University in Montreal. An advocate of socialist reform in Canada, he was a founding member of the League for Social Reconstruction (LSR) and the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF). The LSR and the CCF were founded to pursue economic reform and alleviate the suffering caused by the Great Depression that began on October 29, 1929.

The LSR and the CCF were critical of the privatization of public companies and the transfer of public money into corporate bank accounts after the second world war. Leonard Cohen’s recording of F.R. Scott’s poem sounded fresh and relevant when played in the context of the financial phantasmagoria of 2009:

“From bitter searching of the heart,

Quickened with passion and with pain

We rise to play a greater part.

This is the faith from which we start:

Men shall know commonwealth again

From bitter searching of the heart.”
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Leonard Cohen Makes Sublime Magic in L.A. - OC Reigister

Postby DrHGuy » Sun Apr 12, 2009 11:45 pm

MichaelLawlor already listed this review of the April 10 show. I'm mention it again in hopes of encouraging folks to take a look at this article which nicely blends the writer's personal perspective and knowledge (he's a long time Cohen fan) with his reporting of the performance itself. I think it goes over the top in a place or two and I don't agree with every conclusion but it beats the heck out of reading the same cliches that seem to make up the content of too many reviews of too many of the concerts on the tour.

The review is "Leonard Cohen Makes Sublime Magic in L.A." by Ben Wener (The Orange County Register , April 11, 2009). The link is ... hallelujah
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Los Angeles, April 10 & 11

Postby MKB » Mon Apr 13, 2009 2:26 am

I was the one who was posting live from Apr 10 show. My comment about Miracle is that it on the LA lists it replaced No Way To Say Goodbye which I got to hear him sing (to me!) in SD.
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Los Angeles, April 10 & 11

Postby MKB » Mon Apr 13, 2009 2:34 am

At the Friday show after they turned down house music it sounded like the guitarist (or the Barcelona multi-instrumentalist) was warming up. Then I slowly realized I was listening to a classical guitar rendition of Led Zeppelin's Stairway To Heaven. I actually clapped at the end (house lights were still up and no one else seemed to notice. Anyone know if that was a recording, or just a great musician warming up?
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Los Angeles, April 10 & 11

Postby truthseeker2032 » Mon Apr 13, 2009 3:49 am

I also noticed Stairway to Heaven, but it sounded more like a flamenco guitar version instead of classical guitar. I heard it before the concert began at around 8 pm and then again during the intermission. It was definitely a recording.
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Los Angeles, April 10 & 11

Postby capofrank » Mon Apr 13, 2009 4:35 am

MEB wrote:
Mabeanie1 wrote:I am a bit bemused by this blow by blow report of the concert. I am wondering how you can fully enjoy the concert, savour every moment and drink in the atmosphere if you're busy texting or e-mailing whatever throughout it? Would be interested to know what other people think.

Must admit I find it a little odd too and I know if I was sitting beside someone texting, email etc. during the show I would find it a little irritating.
What I found a little irritating are the people who use cellphone cameras to get a photo of their friend using Leonard as a background. Security had to break up a cluster of them.

This happened at the Grand Prairie show, which probably had the same percentage of texters and posers.
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Los Angeles, April 10 & 11

Postby MichaelLawlor » Mon Apr 13, 2009 6:23 am

A review of the April 10 show in LA appeared on the Huffington Post website: ... 85980.html
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Los Angeles, April 10 & 11

Postby Teratogen » Mon Apr 13, 2009 11:56 am

Mr. Lawlor, I believe you were the one my friend Sean (The Blue Mask) and I spoke to Friday evening at the show. It appears you were able to visit with him again Saturday night! He did not tell me he was going! But, alas, I had to work anyway. Good to see you posting here. :)
"Rock and roll is dead, but I am its revival. I'm prophesied by sages died, from Buddha to the Bible." --TERATOGEN (music page) (personal page)!/TheNoHoldsBard?ref=profile (Facebook page)
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Los Angeles, April 10 & 11

Postby MichaelLawlor » Mon Apr 13, 2009 5:40 pm

This article on the Bloomberg website refers to the Friday April 10 show in LA. ... refer=muse
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Los Angeles, April 10 & 11

Postby truthseeker2032 » Mon Apr 13, 2009 7:59 pm

Here is some video from YouTube. The video is from the April 10 performance. Leonard Cohen @ L.A. Live - "Everybody Knows" Leonard Cohen @ L.A. Live - "Intro/Anthem" Leonard Cohen - Hallelujah live at Nokia Theatre LA Leonard Cohen @ L.A. Live 4/10/09 - Audience Farewell


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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Los Angeles, April 10 & 11

Postby ocgypsy » Mon Apr 13, 2009 8:11 pm

Went to Coachella a couple years ago, when RATM was there (took my son).
It was very hot in the day but the crowd was very mellow, did not see one
harsh word between any two people the entire day. 8)
They kept the drinkers in a corral type beer garden, I love that, as I didn't
see anyone drunk either. I was very impressed overall & I'm 50+.
Walked in to see Willie Nelson up there & he made me feel right at home!
The Coachella kids are alright ...

I don't think the kids will necessarily flock to Leonard's stage. Conflicted
as they would miss something so special but I want the rail!!

Am also going to Ramblin Jack Elliott at McCabe's on Saturday.
April is really something this year.

We are the Woodstock generation, well almost,
come on, giddyup!! c u there
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Los Angeles, April 10 & 11

Postby Gypsy_Wife » Tue Apr 14, 2009 2:12 am

I met up with Squidgy on Friday just before she was leaving to go to the concert. It was great to see her again, last time we met up was in New York.

My husband I went to the concert on Saturday, April 11th the whole thing was amazing. Leonard is incredable, he alternated between running and skipping on the stage . Many of the songs he did on his knees, rising with very little effort while I was having trouble getting up from my chair. Perhaps all the kneeling he did on Mt. Baldy served him well.

His back-up musicians were each extremely gifted, Dino Saldo was great, but then I love horns. It was nice to see Bob Metzger again I saw him in 1989, and again in 2004. The byplay between Javier Mas and Leonard was enjoyable, but John Bilezikjian playing the Oud is a fond memory.

You know how when you put out a huge banquet and there is always that one person who complains about the one thing you didn't put out...well, I would loved to hear Joan of Arc. It might have been better if he sang Boogy Street, Sharon has a beautiful, much more musical voice, but I think that song does better sung by his Whiskey soaked, smokey voice.

While waiting for the concert to start we were chatting with the young fellow seated behind us, he had a book of his photographs taken by his uncle, Uri Dan. Uri was a war correspondant during the Yom Kipur war, in this book were photographs of Leonard entertaining the troops in Israel. What a neat thing to get to see.

All in all a really enjoyable evening, I am so glad we have the opportunity to see him in concert again, yet a little sad that he had to do it.
Here's to the few
who forgive what you do
and the fewer who don't even care
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Los Angeles, April 10 & 11

Postby basecamp » Tue Apr 14, 2009 10:29 pm

Good Friday With Leonard Cohen - Hallelujah!
By Lyndsey Parker
Posted on 04/12/09 at 03:27:11 am

As an intrepid music journalist/fan/geek lucky enough to live in a city where gob-smacking gigs take place almost every night of the week, I see a lot of shows. Sometimes I wonder if I see too many. Like, if at this rate, I will eventually become jaded, and it'll take all four Beatles, with John and George risen from the grave, riding on unicycles with Madonna and David Bowie balanced chickenfight-style on their shoulders, while performing all of the Who's Tommy , to get me excited again.

But then I saw Leonard Cohen play at L.A. Live this past Friday--here was a 75-year-old man, and still one of the coolest dudes on the planet--and I felt utterly inspired. It made me feel like there are many good years of gig-going ahead of me before any jadedness sets in.

But few future concerts I attend will be as remarkable as Leonard's beyond-good Good Friday performance.

Leonard is, like I said, incredibly cool....
more here: ... &tb=1&pb=1
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