OK time for my report now...
It was an absolutely amazing, stunning and very emotional show. Simply brilliant. I was lucky enough to be in the 24th row during the show, and in the encores we went forward and I was actually standing near the third row!! it was more then I could ever imagine. And I also asked - and got - a setlist in the end! I'm obviously going to frame it and put it in my room
Now here is a more detailed review... If you want details, read this
Most of my memories from Ramat-Gan stadium involves noisy and dirty football games, and disappointments at the loses of our team. To my surprise, it turned out to be a much more respectful and nice place for the concert. The entrance wasn't very clean but the stadium itself looked - and even more surprising, sounded - great. I was happy to see the merchandise counters (got myself a "Songs of Love and Hate" shirt and the beautiful little tour book), and much to my amusement, they even sold Sushi in there.
The only reminder of our location was the audio delay... Whenever the audience tried to clap along, it always came out really messy and not in beat. It also happens in football games. Can't fix that, I guess.
The show was absolutely beautiful, of course. Leonard looked and sounded great, and done all his usual kneeling down/skipping/etc... The band was in top form, I really got to appreciate all of them a lot more (Neil Larsen especially, I didn't remember his playing was that awesome!). Leonard talked a lot about peace and also said several prayers in Hebrew. People cheered quiet loudly for "I'm the little jew who wrote the bible"... he's one of us, I guess
Leonard didn't talk much during most of the show, to my surprise. He didn't introduce "Tower of Song" "If It Be Your Will" or "Ain't No Cure For Love". He didn't say some of his signature jokes, like "A kid with a crazy dream", and he didn't even do the "want to know the answer" think in Tower of Song for some reason. I also expected some sort of introduction for "Why By Fire" or "Lover Lover Lover", seeing that these songs are very connected to Israel, but nothing.
Anyway, the mood was great and the concert was truly sublime... Surely a night to remember
Sadly, where I was sitting the crowd was kind of bad. The people before us didn't even pay for their tickets (got them as a present), and when "Bird on the Wire" began, one of them asked loudly "Isn't this Hallelujah?". Whatever. Anyway, most of the crowd was really great, people cheered in the right places, the green stick lights were great (although you couldn't clap your hands and hold them up at the same time). Even the lukewarm audience got excited for the Hallelujah-->I'm Your Man-->Take This Waltz string of songs.
After Take This Waltz people started moving forward, and of course I took the opportunity and did so too. I managed to sneak in the isle until I got to the third row and I saw the man himself closer then ever, it was amazing!! The crowd there was amazing too, knew all the words, danced in Manhattan and Closing Time, were obviously touched in Raincoat and were totally quiet in If It Be Your Will. Got to experience the encores the best way I could ask for, and they seemed to go on and on! "That's no way to say goodbye" took me by surprise, but it was great. After the show I went forward and asked the guard if I can ask for a setlist. He agreed, so I called the roadies and they were nice enough to throw me one... people realized what's happening and wanted it too, but the guard was decent and gave it to me since I asked for it first
So anyway, overall the crowd was great, but I do have some bad words about the sitting thing. If you wondered why it was almost impossible to get a set in the first 12 rows, it's because it was saved to all sorts of important businessman and stuff, not real fans, and ironically a lot of people who hardly knew the songs were right there at the front. I guess a stand-up concert isn't appropriate for the music, but at least it assures that the real fans (or really strong people) get to the front.
Anyway, magical night, magical concert, thank you Leonard!
BTW. The setlist given in previous pages is missing "The Gypsy's Wife" before The Partisan.