CONCERT REPORTS: Ottawa, Ontario, May 25 and 26

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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Re: CONCERT REPORTS: Ottawa, Ontario May 25th and 26th

Post by sturgess66 » Sat May 30, 2009 6:24 am

A blogger writes about the May 26th Ottawa show (she has that "Diode" guy on drums too :) ) : ... cohen.html
Friday, May 29, 2009

"Dance Me To The End of Love" Leonard Cohen

He came out skipping onto the stage and into our hearts. I mean, literally skipping, like a child at the playground. If you were sitting close enough (we were), you could see the glint of mischief in his eyes. "Dance Me to the End of Love" was his first song of the evening, and we all followed him to the end...

May 26, 2009, at the NAC in Ottawa, Leonard Cohen, poet, singer, and former Buddhist monk gave a most spectacular three hour concert to an enthusiast crowd. Clearly, the fans adore him. From the minute he skipped onto the stage he owned the crowd. They sprang unto their feet giving him his first of many standing ovations of the night. And the fans were not shy about showering him with adulation, sprinkling the brief periods of silence between numbers with "I love you, Leonard!". He responded, "I love you, too!".

Everything about his performance was designed to entertain, and he did not disappoint. I especially loved his fedora hat, which throughout the evening he removed to give respect to the fans and his band. His band included Javier Mas on bandurria and laud, Dino Soldo on winds, guitarist Bob Metzger, Raphael Bernardo Diode on drums, Neil Larson on keyboards, bassist Roscoe Beck and, a long-time collaborator Sharon Robinson and the Webb Sisters - introducing them as his singing “angels”.

I am a relatively new fan compared to some of the fans who attended the concert. I spoke to a lady who followed the tour and saw 24 concerts so far all over Europe and Canada. She has tickets to see his birthday show in Spain this fall. She confided that her husband understood that he came second to Leonard. She confessed that she has been 'in love' with him for forty years. Now that is a fan! My husband, Alan, loves Leonard too. How much, well he would have to tell you himself.
Last edited by sturgess66 on Wed Jun 03, 2009 1:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: CONCERT REPORTS: Ottawa, Ontario May 25th and 26th

Post by coopersworkshop » Sat May 30, 2009 1:52 pm

Re: recording during concerts:

My camera only had the tiny 16mb card, so sure was I that that authoritative voice would come on the public address system and scold: "strictly forbidden". When it didn't, and the concert went from sublime to beyond, I rushed back to the car at intermission to reload with 2GB. I believe that LC has learned that posted fan video adds to the whole experience, and makes us thirst even more.

See my posts: ncressy on youtube
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Re: CONCERT REPORTS: Ottawa, Ontario May 25th and 26th

Post by Emeraude » Sat May 30, 2009 5:41 pm

I enjoyed reading your post theroman : Advice to Young Cohen Newbies; Read the Books First
Then the music and the stage performance completes the experience.

I've pulled out some of my old Cohen books for my 18 year-old son who's so enjoying Cohen's work that he now wants to apply to McGill and Mr. Cohen is one of the reasons he wants to go there.

This concert production is the latest manifest of the best of Leonard's literary work put into song and theatrical production. It's presentation is sheer brilliance and a thing of beauty that arouses all the primal senses.
So wonderfully put! I'm so sorry I didn't buy the DVD the night I was at the Arts Centre but after reading everyone's rave reviews I'll be looking for it soon. Unlike those of us who benefitted growing up with Leonard Cohen and experiencing his literary works first - I think working both ends toward the middle for some of our young people works fine too. -- It doesn't matter how you worship...

I've dedicated a few entries in my LiveJournal to the concert if anyone would like to visit:

You're in my blood like holy wine... J. Mitchell
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Re: CONCERT REPORTS: Ottawa, Ontario May 25th and 26th

Post by sturgess66 » Sat May 30, 2009 6:09 pm

Someone ("yogadarla") added a video on YouTube of "A Thousand Kisses Deep" from one of the Ottawa shows:
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Re: CONCERT REPORTS: Ottawa, Ontario, May 25 and 26

Post by sturgess66 » Wed Jun 03, 2009 1:42 am

An article in the Ottawa Citizen today written by Andrew Cohen who is, apparently, Leonard Cohen's cousin: ... story.html
The Wonders of Leonard Cohen

By Andrew Cohen, The Ottawa Citizen
June 2, 2009

As Leonard Cohen continues his triumphant march across North America and Europe, he is said to be more popular than ever. Perhaps so, but it is equally true that he has been popular -- hugely popular -- for decades.

In the early 1970s, when he was still establishing himself as a musician, it wouldn't be unusual to hear his recorded voice in a café in Budapest. Today his appeal is universal, existential, generational; to the unfamiliar, he is one of those overnight successes decades in the making.

It has been 41 years since he released Songs of Leonard Cohen. A younger, searching Cohen stares out from the black-framed cover of his debut album; on the reverse side a shackled Saint Bernadette of Lourdes is engulfed in flames.

He is still singing Suzanne and So Long, Marianne before live audiences, much as the Rolling Stones still offer Ruby Tuesday. When he tried to stay with newer songs on tour some years ago, he gave up. "They cry out for Suzanne," he said.

At his two appearances last week at the National Arts Centre, they cried early and often. Even for Ottawa, the standing ovation capital of the world, the reception was rapturous. They were on their feet more often than Congress applauding the president's state of the union address.

There is no one in the world of performing arts today like Leonard Cohen. A poet and novelist before he was a songwriter, he understands the English idiom instinctively and renders it exquisitely.

Oh, sure, there may be an unsung balladeer in the Australian Outback with his gift. But until such an artist emerges on Australian Idol, we can say this: the union of song and verse from the lips of Leonard Cohen is matchless.

But you knew that. What you might not know -- because Cohen performs live so seldom -- is his evolving, polished showmanship. It strikes you from the moment he skips -- nay, canters -- on stage.

He wears a charcoal double-breasted suit, a tieless shirt buttoned at the top and a grey fedora. The fedora is a prop. Its purpose is less sartorial than theatrical -- to come off to salute his able musicians. They're wearing fedoras, too.

The show opens with the joyous Dance Me to the End of Love. Cohen cradles the microphone, shambles and shuffles, and genuflects at the side of Javier Mas, a master of the 12-string guitar. He will fall often into this effortless crouch, an amazing elasticity for a guy pushing 75.

The show runs three hours. There is no warm-up act. The evening is broken by a 20-minute intermission. There is no gimmicky or mimicry, just hard work. Leonard is so worried about preserving his voice that he sees no relatives or friends on tour.

The Webb Sisters (Hattie and Charley) slip off their jackets and do an elegant cartwheel. Sharon Robinson, collaborator and background vocalist, sings with soul. Dino Soldo, the saxophonist, deploys his phalanx of "instruments of wind." Cohen acknowledges them all, individually, with appreciation.

Here is the convergence of the public and private man. He is on stage as he is in person -- courtly, generous, funny, self-deprecating and sardonic.

If ties of blood bind -- and yes, we are cousins -- they also blind. Leonard isn't perfection to critics of his "golden voice" or his lament of love. Yet he's perfection to his family and his fans.

They know his work so well that he changes a tense or inserts a word ("I'll examine every precious inch of you") at his peril. How dare he tamper with the scriptures! Did he apply for poetic licence?

In the pale light, I see him, his roots, my late father. I see the weary humour of post-war Jewish Montreal, I see the leafy parks of Westmount and the characters of The Favourite Game. I see the rebel, the bohemian, the lover, the darkness and the self-discipline.

I see my adolescent son, who is the same age now I was when Leonard began making music. I see that priceless thing that passes from father to son.

When Rabbi Cohen sings Who By Fire, he draws from the prayer book of the Day of Atonement. On Yom Kippur my father would always point out that well-thumbed passage detailing the menu of fate; it remains with me still.

Later, much later, I think of Charles Dalfen -- our effervescent friend, renowned lawyer and public servant, delightful polymath, Leonard's cousin by marriage -- who is with us at the concert.

Nobody knows this will be the last night of his life. He will die without warning, or justice, the next afternoon. He will die "in your merry, merry month of May."

It is devastating, numbing. I wonder: did Chuck, like so many others sitting in that dim hall, ponder his mortality amid the swelling chorus and the stirring melody of the night?

It's the ultimate irony. An irony worthy of Leonard Cohen.

Andrew Cohen is a professor of journalism and international affairs at Carleton University.

© Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen
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Re: CONCERT REPORTS: Ottawa, Ontario, May 25 and 26

Post by MaryB » Sat Jun 06, 2009 7:33 am

My deepest, deepest condolences to the family of Charles Dalfin.

Sincerest regards,
1993 Detroit 2008 Kitchener June 2-Hamilton June 3 & 4-Vienna Sept 24 & 25-London RAH Nov 17 2009 NYC Feb 19-Grand Prairie Apr 3-Phoenix Apr 5-Columbia May 11-Red Rocks Jun 4-Barcelona Sept 21-Columbus Oct 27-Las Vegas Nov 12-San Jose Nov 13 2010 Sligo Jul 31 & Aug 1-LV Dec 10 & 11 2012 Paris Sept 30-London Dec 11-Boston Dec 16 2013 Louisville Mar 30-Amsterdam Sept 20
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Re: CONCERT REPORTS: Ottawa, Ontario, May 25 and 26

Post by ladydi » Sun Jun 07, 2009 3:48 am

What an incredible article. I also extend my deepest condolences. On the eve of your last day on earth, to be at a Leonard Cohen concert, is very moving. Leonards words touch us on the highest and sometimes lowest levels. I myself would be content to have heard the maestro on my last day of this existence.

In Red Rocks there was an elderly lady in a wheelchair in front of me. Her granddaughter or companion was with her. She was bundled up for warmth with a knit hat covering her head. The young girl took many photos and several times leaned over to speak to the older woman...very kindly. But she never moved...I thought "why is she here?". Did her family think this would be beneficial for her? Then, Leonard began the first chords of "Chelsea Hotel". Suddenly, her mittened hands clapped together and a smile filled her face. Obviously this song touched a chord deep within her from many many years ago! The young girl hugged her.

I thought that if I was many years older, OR, if Leonard is still performing in 20 plus years, that could be me. Heck, it could be many of us!

We have no idea what the next few hours may bring. We need only appreciate and be thankful that we are indeed alive at the same time as Leonard Cohen. The journey IS the destination....his words ARE part of the destination.

My sympathies,
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Re: CONCERT REPORTS: Ottawa, Ontario, May 25 and 26

Post by sturgess66 » Sun Jun 28, 2009 3:38 am

'yogadarla" has posted some pretty good video clips from the Ottawa concert:

The Future - clip - beautifully captures the Webb Sisters' gymnastics :lol: :D 8)

The Partisan - clip
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Re: CONCERT REPORTS: Ottawa, Ontario, May 25 and 26

Post by Rob Lee » Tue Jul 27, 2010 5:25 pm

I saw the famous man a few years back, was the best night of my life!

Just found the video on youtube:

What a Legend!

The Cohen fan.
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