From the front row: A fan's perspective

Recollections from Leonard Cohen's pre-2008 tours, YouTube clips
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awaythelads
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From the front row: A fan's perspective

Post by awaythelads » Tue Jan 05, 2021 12:57 am

Jarkko has asked me to post my tribute to Leonard on the Forum.

But, first, the background ...

On 23rd May 2013, I was lucky enough to secure a pair of tickets for Leonard's Birmingham show, which was to take place a few months later, on 8th September. Not just any tickets. Front row tickets! This was all thanks to Jarkko's efforts in organising the presale to members of this Forum.

The concert and experience were as you can imagine. Better than you can imagine. Better than I could have imagined, even after previously attending enough Cohen concerts to cause minor domestic disagreements with my very patient wife ;-)

I tempted fate, and my better judgement, deciding to take my camera to the stadium. I wanted to capture the moment, but I didn't want any hassle, so was fully up-front with security. After some friendly negotiations, I was allowed to take 'just' my camera with a 'small' lens. I had to leave my camera bag, spare battery, spare memory card and a 'big' lens behind. I was more than happy with this compromise.

I took some photos. I was very aware that I could annoy fellow fans behind me, so only took shots at the end of a song (during the first half), or (a lot) towards the end of the concert, when we were all on out feet (“Let My People Dance”).

Whatever the rights and wrongs about fans taking photographs at a concert, Leonard didn't object. He was gracious enough to recognise me at the end of the show. Unfortunately, I was so excited I didn't capture the exact moment, but it's forever in my memory. I was first and foremost a fan, photographing the moment was not important.

The initial edits of my photos were somewhat clumsy, and the originals sat within my archives until about a month ago. My passion is attending live music, particularly photographing live music, and there was little in the way to satisfy my needs during the harsh Covid winter months in Coventry, England. I decided to revisit my original images. I realised they were decent, maybe because I had a very simple lens, and I was able to operate my camera without thinking about any adjustments, and fully appreciate the concert 'in person', not as a photographer. I also realised that I was in a pretty unique position as a fan, with a very good camera, photographing a Cohen concert from the front row. I spent the Christmas holidays re-editing and 'tidying' them up.

Here is the result, set to one of my favourite Cohen songs. Again, thank you Jarkko for allowing me to obtain my front row seats! It was a special night, but you all know that ....

https://youtu.be/716V8JCDiz8

Happy New Year,
Eugene.
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HugoD
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Re: From the front row: A fan's perspective

Post by HugoD » Tue Jan 05, 2021 10:13 am

Eugene ,

Thanks so much for sharing this. You’re story is great and I loved watching the photos you took and the clip you have made from them.
I can relate to the experience of a from row seat, that happened once to me and my daughter in 2013 (Mannheim show) and that is truly something to never forget!
Lille 2010, Dublin 2012, Mannheim 2013, Rotterdam 2013, Montréal 2017
Happiness is just the side effect of a meaningful life.
awaythelads
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Re: From the front row: A fan's perspective

Post by awaythelads » Wed Jan 06, 2021 12:52 am

You're welcome. I thought I needed to put some context, and include a few words of thanks. It's strange, the front row experience couldn't be bettered. I had opportunity to see Cohen again, but from quite a few rows back. I decided against it. Perhaps, I was hoping for another tour but, of course, that wasn't to be.
HugoD wrote:
Tue Jan 05, 2021 10:13 am
Eugene ,

Thanks so much for sharing this. You’re story is great and I loved watching the photos you took and the clip you have made from them.
I can relate to the experience of a from row seat, that happened once to me and my daughter in 2013 (Mannheim show) and that is truly something to never forget!
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Wybe
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Re: From the front row: A fan's perspective

Post by Wybe » Wed Jan 06, 2021 7:48 pm

Hi Eugene,
I enjoyed your beautiful Photo's and video very much.

I have been so lucky that I have been on the front row a few times and I know it is not easy to make good pictures.

Thank you for sharing it here,
Wybe
2008 -- Brugge, Amsterdam, London, Berlin, Helsinki, Oberhausen, Rotterdam -- 2008
2009 -- Antwerpen, Venice, Barcelona .-- 2009
2010 -- 2 x Gent, Lille, 2x Las Vegas, -- 2010
2012 -- Gent, 2 x Amsterdam, Dublin, Verona -- 2012
2013 -- Pula, Rotterdam -- 2013
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B4real
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Re: From the front row: A fan's perspective

Post by B4real » Thu Jan 07, 2021 12:22 am

Yes, thanks Eugene, so nice to re-live, through your camera lens, images from the front row!
I attended 8 concerts in Australia on LC's last tour and was lucky to get a perfect front row seat to 4 of those concerts, all due to the pre-sales - Thank you, Jarkko!
My camera was not working properly so my photos were not so good but I will always have the memories of those wonderful times. My photos and my reports of those unforgettable concerts are here on the the forum too.
It doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to B4real ~ me
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musicmania
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Re: From the front row: A fan's perspective

Post by musicmania » Thu Jan 14, 2021 9:13 am

I've always admired your photography. Some of these are outstanding. They're all great, and very many unique ones. Thank you for sharing. I keep meaning to revisit mine, but I'm still broken. I will though.
2009 Dublin 2010 Lissadell Katowice LV x2 2012 Ghent x2 Dublin x4 Montreal x2 Toronto x2 2013 New York x2 Brussels Dublin x2

Gwen's Leonard Cohen Journey: http://myleonardcohenjourney.wordpress.com/

"I did my best, it wasn't much"
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jarkko
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Re: From the front row: A fan's perspective

Post by jarkko » Sat Jan 16, 2021 10:13 am

I have added 53 of Eugene's Birmingham photos to our Cohen Gallery at https://cohen.1g.fi/kuvat
Thanks to Eugene for sharing these magnificent shots with us!
1988, 1993: Helsinki||2008: Manchester|Oslo|London O2|Berlin|Helsinki|London RAH|| 2009: New York Beacon|Berlin|Venice|Barcelona|Las Vegas|San José||2010: Salzburg|Helsinki|Gent|Bratislava|Las Vegas|| 2012: Gent|Helsinki|Verona|| 2013: New York|Pula|Oslo|||
awaythelads
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Re: From the front row: A fan's perspective

Post by awaythelads » Sat Jan 16, 2021 11:18 pm

jarkko wrote:
Sat Jan 16, 2021 10:13 am
I have added 53 of Eugene's Birmingham photos to our Cohen Gallery at https://cohen.1g.fi/kuvat
Thanks to Eugene for sharing these magnificent shots with us!
Kiitos!
awaythelads
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Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:52 pm

Re: From the front row: A fan's perspective

Post by awaythelads » Sat Jan 16, 2021 11:21 pm

Wybe wrote:
Wed Jan 06, 2021 7:48 pm
Hi Eugene,
I enjoyed your beautiful Photo's and video very much.

I have been so lucky that I have been on the front row a few times and I know it is not easy to make good pictures.

Thank you for sharing it here,
Wybe
Thank you! This was my only front row experience, but I have been to the front a few other times, once Leonard allowed his fans to dance! There is nothing better.
awaythelads
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Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:52 pm

Re: From the front row: A fan's perspective

Post by awaythelads » Sat Jan 16, 2021 11:23 pm

B4real wrote:
Thu Jan 07, 2021 12:22 am
Yes, thanks Eugene, so nice to re-live, through your camera lens, images from the front row!
I attended 8 concerts in Australia on LC's last tour and was lucky to get a perfect front row seat to 4 of those concerts, all due to the pre-sales - Thank you, Jarkko!
My camera was not working properly so my photos were not so good but I will always have the memories of those wonderful times. My photos and my reports of those unforgettable concerts are here on the the forum too.
Thanks! Jarkko was brilliant for all of us fans! Wow ... 4 concerts in the front row, I'm jealous :D
awaythelads
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Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:52 pm

Re: From the front row: A fan's perspective

Post by awaythelads » Sat Jan 16, 2021 11:24 pm

musicmania wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 9:13 am
I've always admired your photography. Some of these are outstanding. They're all great, and very many unique ones. Thank you for sharing. I keep meaning to revisit mine, but I'm still broken. I will though.
Thank you ... appreciate your kind words! Please do revisit your photos. We all look forward to seeing them.
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