CONCERT REPORTS: Dublin September 11, 12, 14 & 15, 2012
Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 2:51 am
Thank you Leonard for a wonderful concert.
The Irish Times - Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Ain't no cure for Cohen: No diminishing returns on reappearance
FOR MANY of his fans, Leonard Cohen’s first concert at the Royal Hospital in Kilmainham four years ago was akin to an Old Testament prophet coming among us to make the songs flesh.
It was his first concert in Ireland for more than 20 years and the first outside his native Canada since his self-imposed exile in a Buddhist monastery.
The memories of that show on a beautiful early summer’s evening in June 2008 have become tinged with magic. Those who were there will invariably tell you it was their favourite concert.
Few of them believed he would be back the following year, or indeed the year after that, for an equally memorable series of concerts at Lissadell House in Co Sligo in 2010.
Last night, after a two-year break from Ireland, he returned to the Royal Hospital for the first of four concerts this week in Dublin.
“Thank you for sitting in the cold and damp to listen to my melancholy dirges,” he told the audience. It wasn’t quite that bad – it was dry for starters – but there was a distinct autumnal chill in the air.
His frequent trips over here have not resulted in diminishing returns. There are only production tickets left for the rest of the run, and each night has a capacity of 10,000.
This time round he also has a new album to promote. The record, entitled Old Ideas, is a nod to his advancing age – he’s 78 in 10 days’ time.
On the opening track, Going Home, he describes himself as a “lazy bastard living in a suit”, and muses frankly in the song The Darkness that “I’ve got no future, I know my days are few”. Both songs got an outing last night.
He introduces his band as if they are the cast of a well-loved play the audience has seen many times before.
His days may be short but his set is not. Once again it clocked in at more than three hours, beginning with Dance Me To the End of Love.
Many fans were caught out by the early start of 7.15pm and were still filing in when he began his song marathon.
Those attending tonight and on Friday and Saturday nights are advised to come early.
One who is scheduled to be there tonight is President Michael D Higgins, perhaps his most high-profile Irish fan.
Hallelujah, the famous blue crooner performs his magic
By Ken Sweeney
Wednesday September 12 2012
HE is the oldest crooner in town. But at 77, Leonard Cohen drew fans young and old to the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin last night for the first of four concerts.
They came for a truly magical concert experience and weren't disappointed by the legendary performer whose set was sublime.
His 12th studio album 'Old Ideas', released in January, is as accomplished as anything in his back catalogue.
However, unlike Madonna's recent show at the Aviva Stadium, he didn't deprive fans of the songs they have grown up with.
Dressed in his trademark dark suit and hat, he arrived on stage at 7.15pm opening with 'Dance Me To The End Of Love'.
"Thank you for sitting in the cold and damp to hear my melancholic dirges. I really appreciate it," he told the sell-out crowd of 10,000.
What came back from the audience was nothing short of adoration. It was a concert in Kilmainham in 2008 which Cohen credits with restoring his faith in his ability as a live performer.
"I was there that night in 2008 and tonight has been the same. Going to a Leonard Cohen concert is akin to a communal religious experience you share with all these people who have grown up with his songs. On stage he communicates a magic so he doesn't have to say very much," said Jim Lockhart of Horslips, who came with his daughter Ciara.
Glen Hansard and Louis Walsh were also among those in attendance.
Having influenced everything from grunge to the 'X Factor', the handsome storyteller is still in business. And over 90 minutes later he shows why, delivering a set in which you could hear every syllable.
The audience remained enthralled till the end of the show when the elder statesman encored with 'First We Take Manhattan'.
Last night Leonard well and truly took Dublin
- Ken Sweeney
It's supposed to be getting warmer - but I'd bring thermal underwear too! I was wearing a T-shirt, a woolly jumper, thick fleece and a mountain coat last night and I was frozen through to the core.reubensmum wrote:The weather forecast is looking ok, but the woolly jumpers are now packed!
Hallelujah: Cohen comes home
By Marc O’Sullivan, Arts Editor
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Last night was something of a homecoming for Leonard Cohen.
He has spoken often of how moved he was by the reception he received when he first played the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, in 2008. That show marked the start of a remarkable comeback: Cohen has toured almost constantly since.
Cohen took the stage, as scheduled, at 7.15pm. He fell to one knee, as if in prayer, as he led off with Dance Me to the End of the Love. He followed that with The Future, one of his bleakest songs. "When they said repent, repent, repent, I wondered what they meant," he sang, swaying gently in the chill September air.
"Thanks so much, friends. Thank you for sitting in the cold and damp to hear my melancholy songs," he said, in one of those brief monologues so beloved of his audiences. He remarked on how, when he plays Dublin, he is allowed to drink inside ("I am rarely asked to leave the pub"), to sleep inside ("sadly, I am rarely woken from my slumbers anymore"), but is always asked to sing outside.
"Do you compel your Irish singers to perform outside as well?" he asked mischievously. "Is that why the Irish voice is so strong and sweet?"
Over the next hour or so, he sang many of his classics, among them Bird on the Wire and Who By Fire?.
"It’s such a privilege to be here, when so much of the world is plunged into darkness and despair," Cohen said, by way of introducing Ring the Bells, with its refrain: "There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in."
Cohen introduced his band — among them his songwriting partner, "the incomparable Sharon Robinson" and his other backing singers, Patti and Charlie, "the sublime Webb sisters" – before retiring for a short break before 9pm.
Cohen returned wrapped in a scarf. "Thank you, friends. Thank you for not leaving," he said, before launching into Tower of Song. He played a simple but effective solo on the keyboard, and the crowd cheered. "You ain’t heard nothing yet," he quipped.
Cohen accompanied himself on guitar on Suzanne, and played jew’s harp on a positively jaunty Democracy. This was followed by the mighty Hallelujah, So Long Marianne and Closing Time. Cohen’s set extended to over three hours, and confirmed that he is, at a sprightly 77, about the best live act on the planet.
He left the stage finally at 11.00 on the dot. Allow 15 mins to exit the venue.amcgee wrote:Could someone tell me what time roughly it finished at? is it 11 or 10:45?
reubensmum wrote:We're flying off to dublin for Friday's concert and were wondering what clothes to take. The weather forecast is looking ok, but the woolly jumpers are now packed!
Greg Ross wrote:. However and please, I don’t mean to offend anyone, the audience in general was a bloody nightmare. People would sit down for ten minutes then get up and walk off, then come back half an hour later, loaded with beers, only to get up and get more 20 minutes later. It was like a fucking revolving door and totally distracting. Everywhere you looked (or tried to look), people were getting up, talking and moving around, there would not have been one minute in the first hour and a half, when people weren’t walking past your line of vision. I have to admit, I hated it and vowed never to attend a concert in Ireland again. At one stage, when three people, very politely, I must add, walked past me, I asked them where they were going, To get beer! Was the puzzled reply. Again, everybody here has been so lovely and welcoming, but bloody hell, Dublin would appear to have a drinking problem. E120 a ticket and beer takes precedence?