CONCERT REPORT: Perth, Australia, November 24, 2010

July 25 - December 11, 2010. Concert reports, set lists, photos, media coverage, multimedia links, recollections...
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Greg Ross
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Perth, Australia, November 24, 2010

Post by Greg Ross » Thu Nov 25, 2010 4:38 pm

Salutations gentle folk

As promised, herewith links to two Facebook albums featuring Leonard's fabulous concert in Perth last night (Wednesday 24th November).

There's about 280 photos all up, so there should be something to please everyone, I didn't use a flash and was about 30 rows back, so a little constricted in the angles I could shoot, the "whole band' shots were the least successful (too much movement, not enough light ... or the photographer's a dunce!).

I should perhaps add (seeing as Dean has given the correct figure), that yes, I took 1,134 photos, discarded 732 and kept 402, mind you, I'll whittle that down further, when I've got more time to edit.

I've tried to feature photos of all the band, including Leonard and of course, as most of you know, unfortuantely, Sharon was ill and couldn't perform.

Album 1 ... f12e8f7293

Album 2 ... 677fc7c552
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Perth, Australia, November 24, 2010

Post by sturgess66 » Thu Nov 25, 2010 11:37 pm

sturgess66 wrote:Video uploaded by "bianquita1" - Thanks!

"If It Be Your Will"
And more from "bianquita1"

"Dance Me to the End of Love" - partial

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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Perth, Australia, November 24, 2010

Post by dce » Fri Nov 26, 2010 8:28 am

[apologies for the delay in getting this report published -- it's down to a combination of two factors. The first is travel; the second is that clearly I haven't been heeding Leonard's sage advice ... I have come down with a summer cold.]

Tour-closing concerts are always an interesting beast. When you've been playing a series of concerts which have, as in the case of Leonard's, been reviewed with such rapturous praise, how do you wrap it up in a way that is nicely satisfying for both the musicians (for which it's a type of closure) and for the audience? It would seem that Leonard's answer to this conundrum was extremely simple -- just offer up a performance that encapsulates all the best of the tour and then add in some new and interesting twists as flavour enhancers for those of us who have been following his exploits closely throughout the tour.

Fans at nib stadium in Perth on Wednesday night were treated to a performance which combined the very best standards of the band's musicianship with rare playfulness on Leonard's part. It truly was a magnificent night. During the first set the performance was dominated by Our Man's relaxed attitude and uncommon chattiness. The second set was a little more conventional, but was lifted by a crowd who was clear and demonstrative in their appreciation of Leonard and his music. Also, there was a (brand new?) variant offered of the poem recitation A Thousand Kisses Deep to keep us train-spotter types more than satisfied. By the time we were into the encores it was obvious that this was going to be a particularly memorable performance witnessed by a particularly engaged audience. There was a kind of magical and very "fun" atmosphere that pervaded the whole affair ... like the last day of school, where pretty much everybody had adopted an "anything goes" attitude. The whole thing wrapped up with several bouts of thunderous applause for the encores and Leonard coming back onstage for a third encore (which has been rare for the Australian and New Zealand shows, mainly due to curfews). The show wrapped up pretty much spot on the curfew time (10:30pm) leaving an incredibly energized crowd filing out of the stadium somewhat awestruck.

Sharon -- Still Missing

Once again, Sharon Robinson was absent from the performance. No explanation was given ... and all we currently have to go is a stray remark in a Perth newspaper which suggests she may be in hospital (but which could be just unsubstantiated newspaper speculation).

I'm sure all readers will join me in sending their best wishes to Sharon for a speedy recovery from ... well, whatever it is that's keeping her from performing. Although the UHTC still put on a blazing show without her, she is most definitely missed.

The Venue

The vast majority of the concerts on the Down Under tour have been indoor 'arena-style' entertainment centres slash sporting stadiums. Hanging Rock was a one-off, where we were treated to a picnic-in-a-field kind of venue. Given this, the nib stadium -- an open-air soccer (aka football, depending on where you are) venue -- seemed like a bit of an odd place to see a Leonard Cohen concert. I felt a little bit like I should be there watching Bon Jovi, waving a cigarette lighter in the air (or the modern equivalent, a mobile phone :-)). But all-in-all it was an ok venue. The sound was pretty good where I was sitting. Apparently (according to womanfromaroom anyway) there was a bit of an imbalance between the number of male toilets (lots) and female toilets (not many) which I guess stems from the stadium's status as primarily a football venue. Reportedly this problem was solved by the ladies staging a bit of a revolution at the interval and taking ownership of some of the male facilites.

One thing that was very obvious from the very beginning was the absence of the normal stage dressing -- there were none of the flowing white curtains with diaphonous paintings by Leonard, instead the nib Stadium stage was adorned with plain black sheets both at the back and both sides. Lighting was also a lot more rudimentary than usual, although used to fairly good effect during the performance. The main spotlights were thrown from a pair of cherry-picker-type extensible scaffolds near the tent housing the mixing desk.

Being an outdoor venue, as the sun went down (pretty much the same time as Leonard took to the stage), it did get a little cooler. But nothing like the freezing conditions which played havoc with the band and audience at Hanging Rock. I was fairly comfortable with just a long-sleeved shirt and fleecy hoodie (not zipped), so it can't have been all that chilly. Regardless, the Webb Sisters seemed to have plans in place to keep themselves warm -- right from the beginning, they had two fan heaters (one each), and after the interval they returned with scarves. Hattie also wore gloves later in the night. Overall, however, nobody's voice seemed to suffer ... and there certainly didn't seem to be a sense that the performers were uncomfortable.

The Crowd

As mentioned previously, the Perth audience were both vocal in their cheering and generous in their applause. The general vibe was definitely buzzing, although maybe a little less so than at the Hanging Rock show (where the audience had already been at the show, in some cases drinking, for some hours before Leonard came on). Western Australians have a bit of a reputation for embracing their inner larrikin ... and this audience was certainly more than willing to shout out their admiration loudly and without reservation. One lovely example, which I think is a beautifully captured moment of Aussie-ness, was when a woman seated behind me loudly shouted out during Leonard's spoken intro to Anthem, saying "Leonard, you spunk!" For those unfamiliar with the Australian idiom ... a "spunk" is an attractive person, but it's more the sort of statement of affection you'd expect to hear teenagers saying to each other in the schoolyard, which made it quite funny to hear in this context.

Fan Meetings

Prior to leaving Adelaide for the Perth show, I had been in touch with two different groups of folks from the Leonard Cohen Forum who were attending the concert. Ironically, three of the four people weren't actually *from* Perth, but were visitors holidaying there. On the night, I first met up with Mabeanie1 and partner, who had incredible seats right in the front row. I spent most of the break between Clare Bowditch's set and Leonard's first set chatting with them -- it was fantastic to hear some first hand accounts of how fan meetups in Europe and elsewhere work, and the magnitude to which these have grown.

At the interval I went in search of the other group of folks I knew were there: womanfromaroom and Greg Ross. After tracking them down and presenting them with their LC Forum lanyards, I got to speak briefly with them. womanfromaroom is currently visiting from Germany -- it was again great to hear how the shows in Europe have been going recently, and in particular to hear how the Perth show differed from, or was similar to those shows. I was actually fortunate enough to spend quite a bit more time with these guys the next morning swapping war stories about Leonard, the Universe and Everything. Very nice!

A big thank you to both groups of people ... as always they were wonderful, warm and accommodating people. Leonard's fans are some of the best people out there, and the rare opportunity to meet more of them during this tour has been one of the aspects of the long trip that I've enjoyed the most. Thanks, guys!

The Set List

The nib Stadium is located in an area of Perth that is surrounded mostly by (what seemed to me) light industrial areas, but there are also residential suburbs not far away. So it was no surprise that there was a curfew -- the promotional material said the show would wrap up at 10:30 (early, but it also started much earlier than all the other Aus and NZ shows, with Leonard on-stage just after 7). Leonard seemed to have decided at some point during the second encore (or maybe earlier) that he'd leave some time for a third encore -- Closing time was sped up slightly to wrap up at around 10:20, leaving ten minutes for I Tried To Leave You. Third encores have been a rarity for the Aus and NZ shows, so this one was welcomed!

The songs played on the night were:

Set 1

01 Dance Me To The End Of Love
02 The Future
03 Ain't No Cure For Love
04 Bird On The Wire
05 Everybody Knows
06 Who By Fire
07 The Darkness
08 Chelsea Hotel #2
09 Waiting For The Miracle
10 Anthem

Set 2

12 Tower of Song
13 Suzanne
14 Avalanche
15 Sisters Of Mercy
16 The Gypsy's Wife
17 The Partisan
18 Hallelujah
19 I'm Your Man
20 A Thousand Kisses Deep [recitation, variant stanzas]
21 Take This Waltz

Encore 1

22 So Long, Marianne
23 First We Take Manhattan

Encore 2

24 Famous Blue Raincoat
25 If It Be Your Will
26 Closing Time

Encore 3

27 I Tried To Leave You

General Observations

There were a number of specific things that caught my attention on the night:
  • Wandering Bob: for some reason, Bob Metzger seemed to spend quite a bit of pre-performance time and between sets wandering around on stage, fiddling with cables and the like in his little area (just in front of the pedal steel guitar). The funny thing was ... in his single-mindedness he almost wandered on to stage while Clare Bowditch was still playing her last song. It was only a gentle touch on the arm by Pikelet (Clare's sidekick, not on stage for the last Bowditch song which was performed solo) which averted a bit of an embarassing, not to mention confusing, incident.
  • Clare's Support Set: embracing the "do anything" attitude that pervaded the evening, Clare -- who really hadn't changed her set much, even when she had her band at Hanging Rock -- added a couple of nice solo songs, one on guitar and one on keyboard. The latter was a new song, only written a short time ago and not yet recorded.
  • Clare and the Pineapple Juice: before playing one of her songs, Clare alluded to an incident where just before coming on stage at one of the shows, she had spilled a pitcher of pineapple juice in Leonard's crotch. She related how he was quite unoffended, casually brushing aside the fact that she'd messed up his Armani suit!
  • Longer Interval: the break between Leonard's first and second set -- usually very precisely twenty minutes -- was longer in Perth. I was wondering why ... right up until I saw Joey's photo of the bottle of wine that was being shared backstage during the interval. I guess if someone opened a bottle of Penfolds Grange Hermitage for me, I wouldn't hurry either.
  • A Fasces of Flowers: during the standing ovations, the video cameras usually swivel around to film the crowd, putting the pictures up on the big screen. If there's something of particular note, they tend to zoom in on it (as with the laminated heart sign at Hanging Rock). At the Perth show it seemed to be an odd-looking bundle of flowers held aloft a bit like a Roman fasces. I think it was topped with a sunflower.
  • Roscoe's Gizmos: something else that's grabbed my attention at a couple of the recent shows is the small collection of little gadgets that Roscoe has sitting on top of the equipment rack behind him. In particular, there's a blue gizmo with an LCD screen and some buttons. After painstaking searching on google images, I can now confirm this is a bass tuner, specifically a Peterson VS II. Photo at ... 20VSII.jpg

Specific Songs

As always there were some subtle (and on this occasion, also not-so-subtle) nuances to the performance in Perth which made it quite unique:
  • Bird On The Wire: Before playing this song, Leonard said "Well ladies and gentlemen, thank you so much for your warm welcome here this evening. It's a great pleasure to play for you. So glad that you invited us back to Australia and y'know it's our last night here." He then went on to give the normal statement about how the band would be giving everything tonight. Minor lyrical elaboration: "People, don't cry, don't cry you were always the one"
  • Everybody Knows: there's been a little bit of discussion on the forum about the gesture Leonard makes when he sings the line "when you've done a little line or two." At this show we didn't get the little sniff (which I heard at Hanging Rock) but he still pointed his thumb at his nose.
  • Who By Fire: A different Javier intro again, seemingly more 'modern' than some of the other versions. Almost a combination of classical Spanish guitar, with maybe a touch of jazz mixed in there somewhere. As always it was extremely well received.
  • The Darkness: Leonard gave a spoken intro to this song: "I don't know how it happened. I don't know how I caught it. There's a lot of it going around, that's all I can say. I was minding my own business, and I caught it." This was a great rendition of this song with Leonard's guitar playing on this version the best I've heard it, with just the right amount of twanginess and buzz. The Webb Sisters seemed to be trying to sing some lower harmonies for this song, to make up for the fact that Sharon was absent.
  • Anthem: The spoken intro to this song was: "Thanks a lot friends, you've been so very hospitable to us tonight. It's really an honour to play for you. We are indeed privilegd to be able to gather in places like this for occasions like this when so much of this dark world is plunged in chaos and suffering. So, those of us who can ..." The Saga of Rafael and "It", which has been slowly unfolding in Leonard's introduction to the drummer, came to a bit of a suprise conclusion (see below). When Leonard introduced Neil, he described him as "grammy nominated". At the conclusion of the song, Leonard said "Thanks so much friends. Thank you for your kind attention. I don't like to keep you up late on a school night, but we'll be back in a few minutes with the second part of this concert. I hope you'll be there. Thanks a lot friends."
  • Rafael & It: Here's how Leonard introduced Rafael: "A sculptor of silence. Laying it down, bringing it home, putting it to bed, clipping its toenails, smothering it with a pillow, going to jail, joining the Aryan Brotherhood, later converting to Judaism, later losing his faith, spending the remainder of his days working in a half-way house for destroyed vegetarians ... the Regent of Restraint, the Prince of Passionate Precision, Rafael Bernado Gayol!"
  • Tower of Song: "Thanks so much friends, thanks for staying." The audience reaction to Leonard's keyboard solo was unusually raucous, with whoops and claps sporadically through the second half of the solo. At the end he said "Now I know why you are famous for your kindness."
  • Suzanne: Leonard played another nice elaboration on his solo guitar intro to this song. All in all, a great version of this classic.
  • Sisters of Mercy: At some point during the first few bars of this song, a guy in audience loudly yelled out "yeeeaaah!"
  • The Partisan: There was something different with the sound of Rafael's hi-hat line on this song. I don't know whether it was a different line that he was playing, or there was something different in the mix or microphones.
  • Hallelujah: namecheck "I didn't come to Perth to fool you."
  • I'm Your Man: Again, there were lots of people talking along with the line "I'm Your Man". We got the lines "You know damn well you can" and "if you want to work the street, ok, I'll disappear for you". The remark about wearing "an old man's mask for you" got an unusually large laugh this time around. There were a few folk up and dancing at the front during this song, but security very quickly shut them down.
  • A Thousand Kisses Deep: This was notably different to any other performance of this poem that I've heard. Two stanzas were substituted at the end (see below). The comment about the perfect porn aristocrat and Leonard being "still into that" got an uncommonly large cheer, with a woman from the crowd loudly shouting out "eyyyyy".
  • Variant stanzas: The Perth version of the poem was as per the version normally performed, right up until the second iteration of the lines about "his second-hand physique", after that the rest of the recital was:
    Don't matter if the road is long
    Don't matter if it's steep
    Don't matter if the moon goes out
    And the Darkness is complete

    Don't matter if we lose out way
    It's written that we'll meet
    At least that's what I heard you say
    A Thousand Kisses Deep
  • Take This Waltz: In place of the line "I want you, I want you, I want you", we got something different ... and not the "Te Caro" substitution that has been in most of the recent performances. Instead, Leonard sang "I love you, I love you, I love you". Generally, Leonard's vocal delivery here was more flowing than usual. When, at the end of the song, he gave credit to the back-stage crew, he added in a thank you to the "custodians of our hats: Maz(?) and Lee Lomar(?), who's leaving today." Just before leaving the stage he said "I want to thank you all for the great hospitality you've show us this evening. We deeply appreciate it. Thanks so much."
  • First We Take Manhattan: Rafael added in some double kicks in numerous places throughout this version, which added some extra energy to the song.
  • Famous Blue Raincoat: This was a very relaxed performance by Leonard. "The enemy is sleeping and the woman is free."
  • If It Be Your Will: The Webb Sisters offered up some fantastic harmonies in this version -- it was extremely well received by the audience.
  • Closing Time: This was performed with great gusto, a little faster than usual (I think with an eye towards leaving 10 minutes for a third encore). Leonard's monologue at the end included the normal lines about stacking up the chairs, the lines about giving the night a ticket, and then "Been so great being here, friends and to share the stage with the astonishing Clare Bowditch and Evelyn Morris. I want to thank you all for the warm greeting and the warm hospitality that you've shown us tonight. Take it easy friends. I don't know when we'll meet again. Until that time, God bless you, every one. Thanks for everything friends. Good night!"
  • I Tried To Leave You: For their solo, the Webb Sisters provided a different harmonic piece than they have performed at the rest of the shows on this tour.
  • Final outro: "Ah you've been so good friends. Thank you so much. We hope to see you soon. What a lovely way to leave Australia with this incredible display of affection. Thank you so much, friends!"
That's It For Australia & NZ

Perth marked the end of Leonard's Down Under tour ... but not the end of the "World Tour 2010". There are still a handful of shows coming up in Canada and the US. But someone else will need to chronicle those ... I've got to start paying off all my travels around Australia and New Zealand!

All the best to Leonard and the band for the remainder of the tour!

Dean (from Adelaide)
(For most of November 2010, I followed Leonard and the band as they toured around Australia and New Zealand. You can read about my wanderings on the blog I created to collect them all in one place:
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Perth, Australia, November 24, 2010

Post by AlanM » Fri Nov 26, 2010 8:53 am

Final outro: "Ah you've been so good friends. Thank you so much. We hope to see you soon. What a lovely way to leave Australia with this incredible display of affection. Thank you so much, friends!"

Many many thanks for your excellent detailed reports.
You have given those of us who didn't get to Perth great hope with the final outro line.

Too much Leonard Cohen is never enough.
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Perth, Australia, November 24, 2010

Post by sturgess66 » Fri Nov 26, 2010 9:53 am

Music Review: Leonard Cohen
The West Australian
November 26, 2010, 10:52 am


Leonard Cohen
nib Stadium

Wednesday, November 24

Reminiscent of his previous Perth appearance in February last year, one of the stops on an Australian tour that won the Helpmann Award for Best International Contemporary Concert in 2009, Leonard Cohen's Wednesday night performance left an enthralled audience grappling for superlatives.

It was a night full of transcendent moments; a smooth blend of religious ceremony and music hall. For over three hours the consummate sculptor of words bared his soul, exorcised his demons and growled his way through a generous cross-section of his entire catalogue of revelatory songs that have their roots in lust, biblical texts and poetry.

The mesmeric 76-year-old Montreal-born ladies man skipped on and off stage, dapperly attired in a dark suit and low-brimmed hat. He looked sprightly and nourished by the warmth of the audience's response. "Friends," he stated at the start of the show, "I don't know when we'll pass this way again, but tonight we're going to give you everything we've got."

Never has a truer word been spoken. The supremely gifted eight-piece band - singer Sharon Robinson was missing - kicked into action like a well-oiled machine. They created a series of stunning musical backdrops to a selection of songs that ranged in temperament from the intense Bird on the Wire, Avalanche, the celebratory anthem I'm Your Man and Closing Time to the slinky Waiting for the Miracle.

Cohen's sonorous baritone was remarkably strong and in perfect pitch. He inhabited the songs. His heart-stopping, poignant rendition of Famous Blue Raincoat, that tells the story of a complex love triangle, was one of the highlights. With the recitation of the poem A Thousand Kisses Deep, he created an eerie, hushed intimacy amongst the soccer ground filled with fans.

Throughout the lengthy concert the dignified and witty singer was respectful of the predominantly baby-boomer audience, frequently dropping to bended knee, as well as doffing his hat to his fellow musicians. The bandurria player Javier Mas, musical director and bass player Roscoe Beck, "the master of the wind" Dino Soldo and the charismatic drummer Rafael Gayol were outstanding.
The two songs that received the warmest reception were the alluring Tower of Song ("I ache in the places where I used to play") and the hymnal Hallelujah, perhaps his best-loved song. The gravity of the ancient-sounding lyrics was lightened with the substitute line "I didn't come to Perth to fool ya." No fear of that.
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Review of Perth Concert ex West Aust. Newspaper

Post by Sonoflaren » Fri Nov 26, 2010 11:39 am

I concur..what a superb concert it was. Thank you Leonard.
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Perth, Australia, November 24, 2010

Post by wombat writer » Sat Nov 27, 2010 9:53 am

That's It For Australia & NZ
Thanks again Dean for your excellent reporting on the concerts. You kept my memories alive and I will be in touch to get your postal address so I can send something to you.
Hope you don't have too much trouble 'coming down' from the euphoria.
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Perth, Australia, November 24, 2010

Post by wakeupmartin » Sat Nov 27, 2010 2:38 pm

Great report Dean, thanks
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Perth, Australia, November 24, 2010

Post by Sheryl » Sat Nov 27, 2010 5:05 pm

I have listened to Leonards music since I was 20 yrs of age, I am now 56. As soon as Leonard starting to sing I cried, I never thought I would get to see him and the music and poetry went to my soul and spoke of my lifes journey, especially when I was younger. Perths concert was wonderful and all that I had imagined. His voice is still strong and his sense of humour well regarded. Thank you to Leonard and all others in his team of entertainers for a wonderful experience.

I will not forget it. :D :D :D
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Perth, Australia, November 24, 2010

Post by Fontana » Sat Nov 27, 2010 5:28 pm

Leonard out and about in Perth


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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Perth, Australia, November 24, 2010

Post by cohenadmirer » Sun Nov 28, 2010 7:07 pm

Fontana wrote:Leonard out and about in Perth


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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Perth, Australia, November 24, 2010

Post by sturgess66 » Sun Nov 28, 2010 11:52 pm

A review posted on the blog of a microbiologist. :D
A Tower of Song

November 28, 2010
By micrognome


When he jogged back on stage for a final, final encore to his Perth concert, singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen launched into I tried to leave you with heavy irony. It was a fitting end to a wonderful, warm November evening at Perth Oval.


Some of Cohen’s long time fans stayed away, fearing that the urban venue might steal some of the magic of the outstanding 2009 concert at Sandalford winery. Their loss. Leonard Cohen was on song, pulling favorite after favourite out of the hat. During his 2009 tour it was clear that Cohen has mellowed with age, acquiring a softer edge to his delivery. But the depth of passion is still there at the heart. Perhaps there was a hint of world-weariness in some of his arrangements. However, anyone wondering when Leonard Cohen might start slowing down will have to go on speculating. The tempo picked up with Everybody Knows. By the time we got to the Partisan and First we take Manhattan, there was a thundering authority to his delivery. In the Tower of Song, Cohen sang with characteristic self-deprecating humour and gravelly undertone of being born with the gift of a golden voice. Then, when performing his own helleluia chorus, he sank to his knees in an act of intense personal devotion. Here is a man with much more than a golden voice; his songs form a vehicle for an unusually wide range of emotions, particularly for those of a certain age.


Though subtle, there was another appreciable difference from the 2009 performance. This week’s concert was about the supporting musicians even more than last time. Although Cohen’s gracious recognition of each and every one of his support has become something of a hallmark, you have to wonder if he is working towards a legacy. The instrumental solos added a further layer of musical beauty to the still evening air. And then there were the Webb sisters, whose rendition of If it be your will raised the question of when or whether the group will tour again. Let’s hope they do, and soon.

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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Perth, Australia, November 24, 2010

Post by sturgess66 » Mon Nov 29, 2010 11:21 pm

The author "ashryn" is a bit confused about "Who By Fire" - until Who by Fire which elicited a happy gasp from many. The song had been introduced by a long saxophone solo from Dino Soldo (also on clarinet, keys, dobro and harmonica) ... rth-241110
Leonard Cohen @ NiB Stadium, Perth


Local News by ashryn,
30th November, 2010
williamb’s gallery

Hitting Perth for his final night in Australia, Leonard Cohen promised that he and the band would be giving us their all. And they did. From beginning to end, the audience was rapt. Eyes shone with empathetic tears, even as Cohen’s wry humour incited chuckles of delight.

The NiB stadium was crowded with music lovers of all ages. Throughout the concert Cohen was humble and dignified, repeatedly thanking us for inviting him back, calling us “friends” each time. After three hours listening to his intimate stories in song, the appellation seemed apt. And an honour.

There is no one song that was most eagerly anticipated, and no guessing which ones would be saved for the encore, somehow he made each familiar song a favourite, and any unfamiliar song your new favourite. Cohen is a lyrical genius, and his baritone has only become deeper and more compelling with age.

Beginning with Dance me to the End of Love, which he sang mostly kneeling in front of Javier Mas, his “Shepherd of the strings” (12 string acoustic guitar, bandurria, laud, archilaud,) a hush fell over the crowd, which would be broken only by applause at the end of each song until Who by Fire which elicited a happy gasp from many. The song had been introduced by a long saxophone solo from Dino Soldo (also on clarinet, keys, dobro and harmonica) so it wasn’t till Cohen began to sing that there was a response.

That a 76 year old dude can sing “…giving me head on the unmade bed …” And not make a bit of vomit come up in anyone under 60 is an indication of his magic. But Chelsea Hotel #2 is about his affair with Janice Joplin, and it is one of those songs that breaks your heart and can still make you laugh with his candid delivery of “You told me again you preferred handsome men, but for me you would make an exception.” It was clear from his delivery that the emotion in each song is still real, though he seems more able to look back fondly as if some of the bitterness has gone.

He introduced the band several times, “The Sublime Webb Sisters… the Grammy nominated Neil Larson ” (Keys / Hammond B3) Rosco Beck (Bass / vox) Bob Metzger (Guitar / Pedal Steel), earning applause for each member of his band. When he came to introduce his drummer, he went into considerable detail, to the surprise and delight of Rafael Gayol:

“A sculptor of silence. Laying it down, bringing it home, putting it to bed, clipping its toenails, smothering it with a pillow, going to jail, joining the Aryan Brotherhood, later converting to Judaism, later losing his faith, spending the remainder of his days working in a half-way house for destroyed vegetarians … the Regent of Restraint, the Prince of Passionate Precision, Rafael Bernado Gayol!”


During the intermission, exclamations of “he is just so… amazing” were heard often -in a lost-for-words kind of way. It seems Cohen’s words are so perfect, so evocative, that people lose their own words trying to describe them. Also during the intermission, several angry conversations were witnessed between punters and the door staff who would not allow people to smoke in the outdoor stadium, or come back in if they chose to go outside to smoke. For those used to this sort of discrimination, it was typical, but the baby boomers in the crowd who still smoked were furious that the venue and the promoters had conspired to prevent them from indulging their addiction. Eventually, most people found a way to smoke, and the ladies who had been queuing for a while appropriated one of the men’s toilet blocks rather than wait any longer.

Whatever grumbling there was during the break, was soothed away with Tower of Song, and people hurried back to their seats not wanting to miss a second. Avalanche and Sisters of Mercy received roars from the crowd as well. It is impossible to choose the highlight of the second half, each seemed to be the most beautiful song ever, though Suzanne had people in tears, as did the recitation of A Thousand Kisses Deep. During the encore, his performance of Famous Blue Raincoat was so arresting that not a sound was heard from the audience, not a peep. He managed to namedrop Perth in Hallelujah, earning a chuckle from the crowd. Skipping on and off the stage between encores, he seemed spry and not at all tired, finally winking at the crowd as he performed I Tried to Leave You as his final song.

Twenty six songs and four standing ovations later, the crowd was sated, and he doffed his hat and bowed, thanking the crowd for their kindness and hoping to back this way again soon.

williamb’s gallery

Setlist: Leonard Cohen, Perth 24/11/10
Set 1
Dance Me To The End Of Love
The Future
Ain’t No Cure For Love
Bird On The Wire
Everybody Knows
Who By Fire
The Darkness
Chelsea Hotel #2
Waiting For The Miracle


Tower of Song
Sisters Of Mercy
The Gypsy’s Wife
The Partisan
I’m Your Man
A Thousand Kisses Deep
Take This Waltz

Encore 1
So Long, Marianne
First We Take Manhattan

Encore 2
Famous Blue Raincoat
If It Be Your Will
Closing Time

Encore 3
I Tried To Leave You
Last edited by sturgess66 on Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Perth, Australia, November 24, 2010

Post by wakeupmartin » Tue Nov 30, 2010 1:04 am

The song had been introduced by a long saxophone solo from Dino Soldo (also on clarinet, keys, dobro and harmonica) so it wasn’t till Cohen began to sing that there was a response.
Surreal! This is so funny.
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Perth, Australia, November 24, 2010

Post by MaryB » Tue Nov 30, 2010 8:25 am

Ah Dean,
I am so glad you were able to attend and report on all these concerts. What Albert Noonan is to concert videos, you are to concert reviews. I will sorely miss reading more of them :( .
Warmest 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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