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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Liverpool, July 14

Posted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 11:50 pm
by Undertow
dawnb wrote: The only disappointment for me was the audience, who seemed subdued, and some around me seemed to think we were in a library - a man further down my row was very aggressive towards the man behind him who was singing along - telling him to shut the f*** up, and the bloke in front of us told us off for being rowdy, although we were only singing along a bit too. But it didn't spoil our night, it was fantastic to see LC in Liverpool, something I'll never forget...
See that kinda stuff would really piss me off. REALLY. Were all there to enjoy the presence of Leonard, cant we be civil to each other atleast?

Reading that has made me really thankful I went to the Weybridge gig instead of the Liverpool one.

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Liverpool, July 14

Posted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 2:05 am
by Parsifal
Singing I don't mind, most of the time. I myself find it very difficult NOT to sing along sometimes, but I try to restrict my 'contribution' to a low key hum.

Talking, however, reallly gets my goat. A couple of people behind me kept up a pretty constant stream of (loud) chatter throughout the first few numbers....fortunately, they stopped (maybe someone asked them to?), otherwise I might have been minded to intervene - though I would have tried to be more polite than the man in the incident mentioned above.

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Liverpool, July 14

Posted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 2:50 am
by slapperoonie
This was my first Leonard Cohen concert, and I really hope not my last... for the first couple of songs I just almost had to pinch myself... yes I was actually hearing him live, no it wasn't a dream! And yes I kind of sung along a bit, but under my breath, and I was moved to shout and make funny woooooooooooooo noises on several occasions (surprised myself there!)

But I would have been really annoyed if people had been talking and making lots of noise around me, especially as I was hearing this beautiful music live for the first time and I just wanted to absorb it all. Of course some songs invite audience participation, especially in encores but for the most part I just find it a bit disrespectful to the artists and to the people around to make the kind of noise that intrudes into a performance. There's a happy medium somewhere! I think you might as well sit at home and listen to a cd if you want to talk all through it... and to the man in the row in front of me who got up and pushed past the whole row and then made everyone stand up again to let him back in not just once, but 3 times during Hallelujah... purleeeeeeeeese was it really necessary??? But thank you anyway, you made me concentrate just that little bit harder!

As for the general atmosphere - I'm used to going to classical concerts, so when I read about stuffy audiences on here it makes me giggle a bit! I thought the audience were very warm and appreciative. I've been to lots of concerts in these vast barns and I think the sound engineers did a great job managing the acoustics, and of course it's a testament to the compelling power of Mr Cohen that he can make such a massive place feel so small. At the moment I'm having trouble thinking of a better concert that I've ever been to...

Liz xxxx

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Liverpool, July 14

Posted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 5:09 pm
by stan
I went to Manchester last year and it was my first LC concert,and to be honest i dont think i could match it any where else.
This year i went to the Liverpool arena and will not be returning, i dont mind the singing or clapping cos its peoples way of showing how mutch they are enjoying themselves,but the 2 seats in front of me T 44&45 sat 2 scottsmen and they must have thought they where at an AC/DC concert rocking back and forth and talked through 75% of the concert, i can only think there behaviour was fueled by drink because every 15 minutes they went to the bar and returned with 4 bottles of beer, we all like a drink but in the right place like the dispensary, that was beautifuly organised by Dave and co before the concert.

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Liverpool, July 14

Posted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 5:52 pm
by Paul Zagreb
Because of time limitations there were no closing blessings at the Liverpool show but here are my own personal thanks:

1. to Leonard for a wonderful show despite battling a cold (and for the wonderful coupling of Heart with no companion and Waiting for the miracle)
2. to Dino for an amazing display of musicianship and movement
3. to Sharon for the most soulful version of Boogie street I have heard
4. to Hattie and Charley for still bringing tears to my eyes with If it be your will (the rest of the ensemble were wonderful as ever of course!)
5. to Deveeliver for the meet up and sarnies at the Dispensary and for the chance to meet old and new friends
6. to Liverpoolken for waiting with us at the bus stop
7. to the nice man in Row K who was so nice in asking silently for me to stop my out of tune singing along
8. to my son Luka for being there and loving it
9. and last but not least to Jarkko for the chance to get such wonderful seats without too much hassle (no thanks to ticketmaster however for making sure that they tickets came at the last possible moment)

only Belgrade and Barcelona left now for me but both will bring new friendships and affirmations ... thank-you to the forum for making all this possible and to Leonard who seems to still be fine with being posted from place to place ... not bad for a man who used to not get out much!!!!!


Re: CONCERT REPORT: Liverpool, July 14

Posted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 9:50 pm
by John Etherington
Hi All,

Better late than never, with my own refections on Liverpool. This was my sixth concert since Leonard's comeback, and my twenty second overall (I've never missed a UK tour). I consider the number 22 to be significant, since there are twenty two paths in the Kaballah. As it happens, I almost didn't come to this. When tickets went on sale, money was short and despite being offered a fourth row seat on the left hand aisle, I rejected it. I suddenly thought - what AM I doing?...spending an estimated £200 odd travelling to a huge northern arena to perhaps have less than the ideal experience of last year's four shows. Nonetheless, my friend Anthony, from Liverpool, happened to have a spare seat in the centre of row K, and when I was offered it...well, how could I refuse?

Actually, I ended up getting an amazingly good deal with this (my second) visit to Liverpool, from London. I got a return train journey for £16 and a half price room at the Jury's Inn, which,apart from the bar service, turned out to be the ideal place to stay, since it directly faces the entrance to the Echo Arena. In between the two buildings is a circular Pizza Express, which also served me nicely, as I pre-empted the 6 o-clock rush. Upon arrival at the Jury's Inn, reception told me that a lot of people staying at the hotel were there for the concert, and it was good to meet a few of them whilst signing in and standing in the bar queue before the show. I was also good to meet my friend's friends and answer some Leonard questions.

Protesters about Leonard's visit to Israel lined the forecourt of the Echo Arena, and I found their presence irritating. Leonard's music concerns the human heart and spiritual matters and he speaks to receptive souls throughout the world. I cannot see that his playing anywhere has any political significance, and I believe that the protesters are using his iconic status purely for their own agenda - regardless of whether the politics are correct or not. I told the people who challenged me that I trust Leonard implicitly and that I am sure that he knows exactly what he is doing by playing in Israel.

I found the Echo Arena to resemble a slightly smaller version of the O2, and felt lucky to have such a great seat. For such a place, the sound was indeed excellent. As I was sitting in block B, row K, seat 20, I was surprised not to recognize anyone around me. In fact, the only person I knew in my vicinity was Andy Jones, though I also met Jim Devlin since I knew where he was sitting, plus in the break we both had a brief chat with Simon.

In the area where I was sitting, the audience were remarkably respectful with virtually no talking and no singing (except on the expected chorus of “So Long Marianne”). A couple of rows in front of me (I 19 /H 19 or thereabouts) there was a guy who filmed the whole of the first half. While cameras usually irritate the hell out of me, the culprit kept it remarkably still, and I was able to avert my eyes from the glare. Sitting next to me on my left was a young man of maybe 10-12 years old with his father. The father whooped and yelled between songs, but to my amazement, the young man behaved exceptionally well and seemed to thoroughly enjoy the show. Thank God! ... considering this may (though hopefully not) be the last time I ever get to listen to Leonard live, while the karaoke fans have the rest of their lives to mimic Leonard in front of the mirror.

Finally to the concert itself, and what more is there to say about a show which has reached the level of perfection that only a double Virgo could achieve? Leonard’s vocals were excellent, and he sang every song as if were the version that he would be remembered for, forever thereafter. Every phrase and syllable was sung so as to wrench the most heartfelt and profound meaning from them. Was this the best version of “Bird on a Wire” he had ever sung? Possibly yes...and the same applies to most other songs –“Hallelujah”, “The Partisan”, even “So Long Marianne”. I honestly had no idea that Leonard had a cold, even though I saw him use a handkerchief fleetingly. As Leonard skipped off the stage each time, he seemed more sprightly than ever.

It was great to hear “Waiting For the Miracle” for the first time this tour, even at the expense of “Democracy” which is a favourite of mine. “Heart With No Companion” sounded wonderful, and so joyous considering the lyrics and my personal association of heartbreak with the song. I also really enjoyed “Boogie Street” this time, and Sharon looked so happy as she sang it. Other high spots, as ever, were “Anthem”, “Sisters of Mercy”, “Take This Waltz” “Famous Blue Raincoat” and “If it Be Your Will”. My only regret was not hearing “Whither Thou Goest”, but I presumed there was a curfew.

I found the concert every bit as captivating as my previous five shows, and I savoured every moment of it (I have purposefully only watched the DVD once so far, and have not even got round to buying the CD). I’m sorry that I didn’t get to meet more people from the LC files , though I did connect briefly with some others in the Jury’s Inn bar, afterwards. Also, it’s a pity that Jim Devlin had to rush off to get his train. I didn’t get my train home till lunchtime on Friday, so it was good to walk around the docks, read the reviews in the local papers and visit The Cavern for the first time.

“All You Need is Love”, John E

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Liverpool, July 14

Posted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 9:58 pm
by Paul Zagreb
John Etherington wrote:Hi all,

Sitting next to me on my left was a young man of maybe 10-12 years old with his father. The father whooped and yelled between songs, but to my amazement, the young man behaved exceptionally well and seemed to thoroughly enjoy the show. Thank God! ... considering this may (though hopefully not) be the last time I ever get to listen to Leonard live, while the karaoke fans have the rest of their lives to mimic Leonard in front of the mirror!.
John E
Well, the whooping father Paul and young man Luka in Row K seats 18 and 19 finally get to say hi to the nice man in Row K seat 20 (see above!!!) ... and thanks for the great review ...

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Liverpool, July 14

Posted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 10:14 pm
by John Etherington
Hey Paul,

So we meet in retrospect! Though, I hope we get a chance to meet at another Leonard show.

All best wishes to you and your son, from John E

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Liverpool, July 14

Posted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 3:29 pm
by ScottM
Just read the report by John Etherington and will not attempt to add too much to such a well written piece. Only my own agreement with his review. We (my wife Helen and I) also attended our 6th concert since Dublin last year. Leonard was in as good form as ever and we believe that the concerns over his health (which I am sure a genuinely held) are a little exagerated. If he does have a cold it did not, in any way, impinge on his performance and he skipped off as lithely as in any previous show. We were in row F of Block C and had an excellent view of the stage. (Thanks Jarkko). My own highlight of the show came quite early with an electrifing version of the "The Future". This is one of the numbers which I believe does not usually get as much credit as other songs in the present set list. Coming, as it does, after "Dance me...." it always gets me out of my seat and really sets the tone for the evening. (Don't be concerned you guys who disagree with such spontaneity, I sit back down in time for "Ain't no cure for love".) The Partisan was outstanding again although I think the version we heard at Brighton last year might just have shaded it. Closing Time was joyous and some ladies behind us and others close by joined in, not too loudly so did not spoil our enjoyment in any way. Overall a fantastic night.
As to the rest of our trip great thanks to Dave for organising the meetup. We only spent about an hour in the Dispensary (The beer was so good and any longer there and more than a couple of pints might have meant too full a bladder for the concert). Nice to meet some of you. We sat with Stan and his son Philip who were really nice guys. Also bumped into Stan again during the interval at the gig. (Sorry to hear that you had such overly loud people in front of you.). Also recognised Paula from the Troubador last year so chatted briefly. At the meet-up later in the restaurant we had great fun sitting with Dave's mate Barry enjoying a few beers and interesting conversation. (Eventually left after 1.00 a.m).
We stayed an extra night at the Premier Inn at the Albert Dock and visited some of the Pubs reccommended by Dave so had another great night in Liverpool. Also, while out during the day, our LC T-shirts attracted many positive comments from others who had attended the show (as well as a few who wished they had gone) and allowed us to meet many other fans. So once again thanks Dave, we will certainly be making a return trip to Liverpool. However next stop Madrid and the big one in Barcelona..........


Scott & Helen :D

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Liverpool, July 14

Posted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 8:04 pm
by Andrew McGeever
I agree with everything written in the previous pages. I especially agree with those who've chosen to disagree. No arguments from me, yet some things must be said...
A big thankyou to John and Margaret for putting me up (or putting up with me :roll: ) for two nights in Chester. Also, a big thanks to Lesa for gifting me a mobile phone for my birthday. Without that cellphone I'd still be searching for James St. Station :oops:
The biggest thanks goes to the most attractive man I haven't yet met........


Re: CONCERT REPORT: Liverpool, July 14

Posted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 2:45 am
by edphoto
Thanks to everyone for all your views on the Liverpool concert... it's a fascinating read. I've posted quite a few videos of the concert on Youtube. Not close to the stage I'm afraid, but they are relatively watchable and the audio is reasonable. Hope I didn't annoy anyone with the camera. I'll upload a few more shortly -

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Liverpool, July 14

Posted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 3:12 am
by burningviolin
Thanks for that upload of Waiting for the Miracle. Hearing it live totally transformed the song for me. Hope he does it again in Dublin on Monday!!

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Liverpool, July 14

Posted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 5:10 pm
by brightnow
Apparently there was a "drunken punch-up" at the concert, which prompted the city council to consider an alcohol ban at the arena: ... -24940090/
Does anyone have any first-hand knowledge of this incident? (Sounds like a bit of an exaggeration for me; a fight? at a Leonard Cohen concert?)

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Liverpool, July 14

Posted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 6:06 pm
by UrPal
Ironically, the only aggravation and near violence I witnessed at Liverpool Echo Arena at the LC gig was due to the smoking ban.

An indoor smoking ban is understandable enough in the Arena (and now also a legal requirement of course). However, when it came to the interval one and a half hours into a 3.5 hour set, it turned out the ban also extended to locking the exit doors around the arena building to prevent those smokers wanting to take the brief opportunity to top up on their nicotine intake from taking a noxious breather.

I was one of a crowd of several increasingly irritable smokers left stranded at one of the exit doors by the bouncers and having to wait out the interval in frustrated hope at being allowed simple passage to the great outdoors. Some people actually convinced the bouncers to let them step outside but on the express understanding that once outside of the building there would be no re-admission for the second half of the show (a show which those punters had presumably paid the best part of a hundred quid to see).

The councillors should perhaps look at this issue of unlawful imprisonment and denial of civil rights as well whilst they contemplate their alcohol ban. It seems to me that this Arena policy is one more likely to lead to "violence on the terraces".