CONCERT REPORT: Atlanta, October 20

October 17 - November 13, 2009. Concert reports, set lists, photos, media coverage, multimedia links, recollections...
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Atlanta, October 20

Post by goldstei » Thu Oct 22, 2009 11:12 pm

LC has said he doesn't feel comfortable in jeans. If you don't think he's being himself--certainly as much or more than any other performer--I think you're really not connecting.
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Atlanta, October 20

Post by lizzytysh » Fri Oct 23, 2009 3:19 am

It's interesting how some people feel compelled to tell Leonard how to be when his choices to be himself from the very beginning, regardless of how other people thought he ought to be, are the very reasons he is who he is and where he is today. A conundrum for some, but not for everyone. Bless you, Leonard. There's only one you and there will forever be only one you. Thanks for being exactly who you are in accordance with your own choices.
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
~ Oscar Wilde
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Atlanta, October 20

Post by imaginary friend » Sat Oct 24, 2009 2:43 am

October 21st, 2009
4:28 pm

What a transcendent experience it was to be there. A love fest between artist and audience. A man of a certain age determined to reach heights he’s never reached as long as he is able. Classy. Sexy. Masterful. He’s “my man.”

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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Atlanta, October 20

Post by ksargent » Sat Oct 24, 2009 5:02 pm

This is my first posting to the forum. We were fortunate enough to attend the Atlanta concert Tuesday night and it was indeed a transcendent experience. I posted a short piece on my blog if anyone is interested:

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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Atlanta, October 20

Post by sturgess66 » Tue Oct 27, 2009 3:46 am

In DeKalb County's (Alabama) Times-Journal ... b227c4c381
Cohen's Musical Influence Important
By Mark Harrison
The Times-Journal

Published October 26, 2009

Déjà vu. I wrote a column similar to this in 2006, about Joan Baez.

Being a longtime lover of folk music, it was impossible to turn down an opportunity last week to see Leonard Cohen in concert at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. I’ve been a fan of Cohen since my college days.

In Cohen’s case, he’s more than a musician. He’s a poet, a novelist, a mystic and a monk, among other things. Still, when I told people I was going to see Cohen perform, I found many had either never heard of him at all, or had only some vague notion of him.

At 75 years old, the Canadian-born Cohen has had a tremendous – if slightly unrealized – impact on music and culture. Lou Reed once described Cohen as belonging to the “highest and most influential echelon of songwriters”

Cohen’s immediately recognizable voice and deeply complex songs have slipped, over time, into the collective subconscious of the mainstream. His songs have often become huge hits for other artists like Judy Collins (“Suzanne”), Johnny Cash (“Bird on a Wire”) and Jeff Buckley (“Hallelujah”).

With a deep, gravely voice that seems somehow a mix of sandpaper and silk, his music – though ultimately hopeful –has a dangerously dark romantic vibe and a strong spiritual subtext. It’s the sort of stuff that can take you places you don’t necessarily want to go, to places you didn’t know music could take you. To hear that sort of music performed live is an almost indescribable experience.

I never expected to have that opportunity. Cohen had all but retired from performing, and virtually withdrawn from music until recent years, when an alleged misappropriation of some $5 million of Cohen’s retirement funds by a longtime manager forced him back to the stage. Cohen’s loss was ultimately our gain.

“I don’t know when we’ll be passing through here again,” he told the sold out crowd. “So I want to tell you that it is our intention to give you everything we’ve got tonight.” No empty promise, that - backed by an incredible folk-rock jazz band of tight, world-class musicians and angelic backup singers – a sprightly Cohen literally ran onto the stage and, with profound reverence for both his band and the audience, and performed for three hours.

Perhaps my concert companion described it best. “It was not a concert,” she said. “Rather, a spiritual experience.”
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Atlanta, October 20

Post by bridger15 » Thu Oct 29, 2009 8:09 pm ... ard-cohen/
Birmingham Weekly
Posted on October 29th, 2009
The unfettered Leonard Cohen
By Courtney Haden

Now that I ponder, I don’t remember exactly when I stopped writing concert reviews. Certainly I have loaded the landfill of popular culture with more than my share of such, but time is revealing them to have been biodegradable.

Back in that day, a concert review was a primo piece of creative writing, or so the author thought. Flush with sensory overload, he would fire off full clips of syllables at elusive evaluation, hopeful of flushing a covey of insights from their lair in his subconsciousness.

Sentences like that one usually happened instead.

The concert review of the present day necessarily suffers by comparison to the past because the form has stuck around so long. Ask a baseball writer how tough it is to come up with a new angle on covering the great American pastime. He’ll tell you there are plenty of outstanding players out there, but not many ways to extol them that haven’t been used before or to better effect. It is the same with the business of show, except that there are a lot more good minor league franchises operating there.

Ordinarily I would not trouble you with another performance memoir. The problem is, I cannot stop thinking about a show I saw the other night. Leonard Cohen played the Fox Theatre in Atlanta and the recollection will not leave me be.

Most of you know Leonard Cohen only by association, if at all. A published poet who started singing for a living in 1966 despite a famously limited vocal range, he has written marvelous songs that only rarely became big chart hits for their interpreters; “Bird on the Wire” for Joe Cocker, “Hallelujah” for Jeff Buckley, “Suzanne” for… Noel Harrison. Despite tangible fame, he seems always to have been on the scene, save a stretch in the Nineties when he threw it all away and entered a Zen monastery, taking the Buddhist name Silence.

Cohen has performed only occasionally in the U.S. during his career (he is a far bigger draw in Europe) and was drawn into his current two-year global tour only because his personal manager looted his retirement fund while Cohen sought Enlightenment at Mount Baldy. Despite infrequent tours, Cohen has consistently made time for Atlanta, having appeared there in 1975, 1988 and 1993.

I caught him at the Great Southeast Music Hall in ’75; I’m sure I wrote a glowing review for somebody. I recall he began with “Bird on a Wire” and stayed close to that tempo all night. I found his deliberate exposition of his songs ideally suited to the compositions as well as to my demeanor. I remember it was a long drive back through the speed traps on old Highway 78.

In 2009, I didn’t know quite what to expect. Walking into the Fox, I thought I’d suddenly contracted glaucoma, so translucent was the air. It wasn’t smoke, as in the old days, but something the producers pumped into the room, perhaps to confound Flip cams, perhaps to evoke the presence of ghosts. The crew was tight; the ushers operated under symphony rules, instructed to seat no one after the show commenced until a third-song break.

Promptly at eight, the entertainers strode onstage, and in a bubble of light the poet doffed his hat to the crowd, looking like the clothing store owner his father once was. Cohen was thin and gray and poised for some sort of action.

“Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin,” he crooned from the center of the stage. “Dance me through the panic till I’m safely gathered in. Lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove, dance me to the end of love.” Here Cohen mixed the ingredients for the evening: a jigger of desire, a dash of bitterness, a sprinkle of amusement, served straight up. Was this music for a wedding or a wake? The poet was dressed for either. “I assure you it is our intention to give you everything we’ve got tonight,” he told the standing throng at the end of the tune.

He spoke in the plural, for the presentation was a thoroughly collaborative effort. The stage was anchored left and right by yin and yang; Javier Mas and Dino Soldo on libidinous stringed instruments and woodwinds, the Webb Sisters, Hattie and Charlie on ethereal harmonies. Cohen was surrounded by instrumental excellence, with a rhythm section of Roscoe Beck and Rafael Gayol, cool licks from guitarist Bob Metzger and organist Neil Larsen, plus the soulful contributions of vocalist Sharon Robinson. They drew no undue attention to themselves — well, Hattie and Charlie did turn cartwheels during “The Future” — but served the needs of the songs in a manner reminiscent of far more famous ensembles. Add to this virtuosity the fact that the music was mixed perfectly for the room, at exactly the right volume for songs dependent on lyrical clarity, and we approached concert perfection.

Here is what transformed the night: Cohen was unfettered. I don’t know if the rousing success of this tour so close to the end of life cheered him, whether the years at Mount Baldy had indeed endowed him with enlightenment, or if it was just that the old roué was still getting the eye from beautiful women, but he was no longer chained to the weight of his songs. He dropped to his knees in supplication, he raised his hands to the heavens, he danced around the stage and skipped off — skipped! — when it was time for a break. He imbued every lyric with purpose and shook the foundations of the theatre with his unmistakable baritone.

Last year, I questioned the wisdom of inducting a Canadian folkie into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. After witnessing three transcendent hours of cabaret from the hereafter, I think I get it now. They already had all the rock they could use. They needed Leonard Cohen for the roll.

Courtney Haden is a Birmingham Weekly columnist. Write to
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Arlene's Leonard Cohen Scrapbook
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