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CONCERT REPORT: Minneapolis, May 3

Posted: Mon May 04, 2009 9:02 am
by Joe Way
Just returned from a magnificient concert! I was fortunate enough to have a front row seat and to attend with my brother and sister. Leonard and the band were in great spirits and in terrific form on a beautiful evening in Minneapolis. There were many standing ovations and the crowd seemed very enthusiastic.

Set list:

Dance Me to the End of Love
The Future
Ain't No Cure For Love
Bird on the Wire
Everybody Knows
In My Secret Life
Who By Fire
Chelsea Hotel
Waiting For the Miracle
Tower of Song
The Gypsy's Wife
The Partisan
Boogie Street (Sharon Robinson)
I'm Your Man
A Thousand Kisses Deep (poem)
Take This Waltz
(1st encore)
So Long Marianne
First We Take Manhatten
(2nd encore)
Famous Blue Raincoat
If It Be Your Will (The Webb Sisters)
(3rd encore)
I Tried to Leave You
Whither Thou Goest

Highlights for me especially were first time for Chelsea Hotel and Famous Blue Raincoat and a different version of Boogie Street that I thought was simply transcendent.

My brother and sister really enjoyed the concert and can now understand my passion a little better. They absolutely loved the Webb Sisters version of If It Be Your Will.

I'll write more later-but on to Chicago on Tuesday.


Re: CONCERT REPORT: Minneapolis, May 3

Posted: Mon May 04, 2009 6:19 pm
by bridger15
From: Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Hallelujah" chorus greets Cohen
May 5, 2009
In Leonard Cohen's first Twin Cities appearance since 1993, the legendary bard's marathon was like a religious experience.

They don't make men like that anymore," a woman was overheard saying to her man at the intermission of Leonard Cohen's concert Sunday at the Orpheum Theatre. "He's such a gentleman."

Courtly would have been the word to describe the 74-year-old Canadian's demeanor onstage. So would romantic, sexy, spiritual, political, poetic, profound and ageless.

The Mick Jagger-thin man in the sharp black suit, bolo tie and fedora trotted onstage and skipped off during a two-set, three-hour, four-encore performance. This was deeply satisfying, tantric concertizing by the Jewish Buddhist monk. And the worshipful sell-out audience responded as if they were having a religious experience at the House of Cohen.

In his first Twin Cities appearance since 1993, the revered songwriter and rumbling singer dressed his poems of hope, love and despair in a rich tapestry of smooth-jazz, gospel-lite and gypsy-tinged world music. Like a jazz concert, the approach allowed each of the six musicians and three backup singers to shine. Javier Mas, from Barcelona, was especially outstanding on bandurria, laud, archilaud and 12-string acoustic guitar, and the Webb Sisters, Hattie and Charley, did some lovely Irish vocalizing on the prayer-like "If It Be Your Will" and eye-popping cartwheels during "The Future," following Cohen's own little soft shoe routine.

Seeming more like a performance artist than a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Cohen was lost in his own world, head bent down, eyes closed, right hand clutching the microphone, left hand clenched around the microphone chord. He often dropped to one knee and once to both (during "Chelsea Hotel #2" about his fling with Janis Joplin), but this routine began to seem like an affectation. He plucked a guitar on a few tunes and plunked a couple of notes on an electric piano on "Tower of Song" in a way that was so slight that fans applauded and he joked about their applause.

Making his first U.S. tour in 15 years in order to replenish his retirement fund squandered by an ex-manager, Cohen is finding many new converts, who may have discovered him in the lyrics of a Nirvana song or via versions of his "Hallelujah" by Jeff Buckley, "American Idol" finalist Jason Castro or in the movie "Shrek."

Not surprisingly, the increasingly famous "Hallelujah," done with hymn-like restraint by Cohen, received a standing ovation on Sunday. The brightest of the other highlights included the hauntingly spare "Chelsea Hotel #2" (with the great line: "we are ugly but we have the music"); the spoken-word poem about wanting the relationship to go 1,000 kisses deep; "First We Take Manhattan" with its soulful groove; "I Tried To Leave You" as a fittingly false finale, and the gypsy soul strut "I'm Your Man," a perfect combination of the playful and the profound, just like the gentleman himself.

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Minneapolis, May 3

Posted: Mon May 04, 2009 6:31 pm
by bridger15
Set list reported in the Minneapolis Star Tribune ... n-orpheum/
Leonard Cohen @ Orpheum
Posted on May 4th, 2009 – 3:04 AM
By Jon Bream
It wasn’t surprising to see all the Pitchfork-obsessed young hipsters at the Orpheum on Sunday for Leonard Cohen. I expected all the graybeards and all the women of various ages (one critic dubbed Lenny the Barry White of the bookclub set). But the number of guys surprised me a bit.

Maybe guys are romantic, too. Or they just appreciate one of the greatest songwriters of our time.

We could all probably fill a college bluebook with our thoughts about the Cohen concert. You can read my full review elsewhere but let’s just say I appreciated Mr. Cohen’s courtliness (loved how he doffed his cap to thank the audience for their applause and his soloists for their musicianship), his choice of material (did miss “Sisters of Mercy”), the varied textures of his tunes (even though we know his vocals are limited) and the fabulous picking of Javier Mas on various stringed instruments. (I could have done withouth the Kenny G-evoking wind man Dino Soldo, though his harmonica was effective).

The set list and many of the between-song comments were almost identical to what can be heard on Cohen’s new Live in London CD/DVD. Here’s what he played at the Orpheum:

Set I: Dance Me to the End of Love; The Future; Ain’t No Cure for Love; Bird on a Wire; Everybody Knows; In My Secret Life; Who By Fire; Chelsea Hotel #2; Waiting for the Miracle; Anthem

Set II: Tower of Song; Suzanne; The Gypsy’s Wife; The Partisan; Boogie Street (sung by Sharon Robinson); Hallelujah; I’m Your Man; untitled poem ; Take This Waltz

ENCORES: So Long, Marianne; First We Take Manhattan; Famous Blue Raincoat; If It Be Your Will; Democracy; I Tried To Leave You; Wither Thou Goest

Minnesota concert

Posted: Tue May 05, 2009 12:16 am
by jslauver
Last night I had the honor to see one of the top 5 concerts I have ever witnessed (better than the stones in 1972). Leonard & the tour group were far better live than the london concert recording. If you can beg borrow or steal you have to see this show!

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Minneapolis, May 3

Posted: Tue May 05, 2009 2:18 am
by afrothunder89
I won't forget this night as long as I have to live.

To the kind lady who found me in the crowd to offer me her friend's seat, i am still taken aback by your kindness and would have never imagined seeing leonard from the 4th row in my life (even if it was only for the first half of the show until your friend finally caught up :). I'm still lost in words, you have the heart of a million souls, if only i could have straightened myself out for a proper conversation, i was very excited as you may have noticed. Thank you, thank you, thank you. - uluc (frizzy hair)

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Minneapolis, May 3

Posted: Tue May 05, 2009 9:32 am
by Dan33185
This was easily the best concert I've been to, topping Dylan barely. Someone has already uploaded a recording of it if you're interested:

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Minneapolis, May 3

Posted: Tue May 05, 2009 7:46 pm
by Neophyte
As expected, the concert was exquisite; I'll leave descriptions to those more eloquent. But I just want to comment on how much we appreciated meeting Rafael, Dino, Roscoe and Charley!!! They were so kind as they autographed and posed for pictures and put up with my babble. It all happened so fast after we entered that it wasn't until later that I thought of what I wished I'd said! Many thanks to these stars, to whomever planned these encounters and to the sweet young lady who made sure we met each of the stars!! Lovely start to a perfect evening!

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Minneapolis, May 3

Posted: Thu May 07, 2009 2:35 pm
by LizzieM
I was also lucky enough to attend this show and have just returned to my computer in the UK. I loved it (of course) and was delighted when the crowd gave Leonard an enthusiastic welcome on stage.
Compared to the UK concerts I attended last November (Bournemouth & RAH), I thought Leonard seemed more relaxed and comfortable with the lively audience.
I'm now looking forward to July 11th in Weybridge. I never thought I'd want to see the 'same' concert more than once but I was as excited when he walked on stage this time as I was at the first concert. Maybe because I knew how good it was going to be!

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Minneapolis, May 3

Posted: Thu May 07, 2009 3:22 pm
by cpl593h
i agree- repeated attendance at 'the same show' only seem to make better and better!

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Minneapolis, May 3

Posted: Thu May 07, 2009 10:57 pm
by Evie B
Strange how in his Minneapolis Star Tribune report on 5th May Jon Bream reported “the Webb Sisters, Hattie and Charley, did some lovely Irish vocalizing on the prayer-like "If It Be Your Will"..... Wonder what he meant as surely he knows they are English, from Kent! He only had to look at his concert programme to discover their nationality, if he wasn't sure. Perhaps he thinks only Irish musicians play harps. Very odd. Also irritating how he refers to Leonard as the "Jewish Buddist monk".

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Minneapolis, May 3

Posted: Fri May 08, 2009 3:37 pm
by LizzieM
Evie B you're not the only one to find Jon Bream's reporting a bit flippant and dismissive. I noticed the same things. His pre-concert write up in the same paper a few days before made it quite clear he didn't rate Leonard Cohen as a singer/performer at all. The majority of the article was dedicated to listing all the other people who have recorded Leonards songs and, according to Mr Bream, they are all better versions than Leonard's own recordings.
I obviously disagree but there does seem to be that type of sentiment about Leonard Cohen's work in the USA. Let's hope this tour changes opinions.

Re: Minnesota concert

Posted: Sat May 09, 2009 1:24 am
by Rabbit
jslauver wrote:Leonard & the tour group were far better live than the london concert recording.
It was my impression that by the time he made it to my neck of the woods in January, Leonard's singing was so much better than in the various Youtube clips, etc, that I'd heard by that point. Watching the London DVD bears this out. He's getting better as he goes along!

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Minneapolis, May 3

Posted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 12:45 pm
by verynewsongs
I was just listening to a recording of this show, which I attended, and here, for the record, is Leonard's final blessing at the end of Whither Thou Goest:

"Friends, the weather's deceptive, so take care not to catch a cold.
If you've got to fall, fall on the side of luck.
And may you be surrounded by friends and family.
And if this is not your lot, may the blessings find you in your solitude.
Thank you so much for this evening, friends, we won't forget it."

One other tidbit. Leonard makes a humorous mistake after "If It Be Your Will."

He first says, "Beautiful." And then, "Hattie and Charley Webb, the Webb Sisters."
Then he turns toward Neil Larsen and says, "And Neil Hammond on the Hansen B3."