Re: CONCERT REPORT: Toronto, Ontario - December 4-5, 2012
Posted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 5:35 am
@dorianlogan be damned, Leonard Cohen is making the Bolo tie look Hep!!
@canucksim Listening to Leonard Cohen right now-in concert. Beautiful words, poetry, it speaks directly to the heart!
@conniecrosby Awefully quiet on the networks with most of Toronto at the Leonard Cohen concert. ^_^
@StryderWolfe Only intermission seeing #Leonard #Cohen at the #ACC And I've already had my mind thoroughly blown!
@julytalk - P.S. Leonard Cohen just made me ovulate. (Waiting for act 2 at the ACC.)
@dorianlogan After that last song, I'm pretty sure Leonard Cohen has had more sex than everyone else in the ACC #CohenTO
@UnoSays At the ACC watching the Leonard Cohen concert with my mama... Beautiful & inspiring!
@writemendelsohn My dad's never once pretended to be cool, but in 1976 in Edinburgh, Scotland he saw Leonard Cohen live and has been that much cooler since
@DeadpanRomantic Pretty sure the Bible could be interpreted as one really long Leonard Cohen song.
@9from9and9 Mr Leonard Cohen. An icon. Such a gift to hear him tonight after a lifetime of wanting to. Amazing show. Enough said.
@d_chua Almost midnight & Leonard Cohen just finished performing. The words "epic", "amazing" & "spectacular" come to mind!
@erksn Just saw Leonard Cohen perform.... it was perfectly understated and a fan's dream.
@racboutique Leonard Cohen thanks for a great night. Cc @jeffreyremedios http://instagr.am/p/S4WMb8Ki4n/
I'm ok with missing "Chelsea Hotel" (there are a few dozen songs I wish he had played Tuesday and then some more too) but VERY sorry I missed his comment about a reviewer. The only way I can see that happening is that the reviewer was not a fan, and I hate it when the media send people who don't appreciate a particular artists work to do reviews of that artist. It does no one any good.musicmania wrote:Another great concert tonight. Am I correct in thinking it was the tour premiere of Chelsea Hotel? Classic moment when Leonard called someone who wrote a bad review of the 1st concert a son of a bitch.
Leonard Cohen - Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ON, December 4
Leonard Cohen - Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ON, December 4
By Scott Tavener
Dec 05 2012
With obvious similarities, porkpie hats and fedoras fall into the same genus. Nevertheless, they're worlds apart. While the former exudes a certain gallant roguishness (see Popeye Doyle), the latter, if worn in earnest (i.e., not you, Joey Jeremiah), radiates class and sophistication (see Leonard Cohen).
Earlier this year, Cohen turned 78 years old. He is not your buddy; he's your man. He exists in rarefied air, and he looks damn natural in a gentleman's hat. Despite the years logged — or perhaps because of them — his shows are marathons. Fittingly, he jogged out to start the first of a two-night ACC engagement. He wouldn't say goodnight for more than three hours.
Long-distance endurance is largely about pace and Cohen and co. managed theirs expertly. Wading in with a laid-back, Euro cabaret-indebted take on "Dance Me to the End of Love," things began slowly, notwithstanding the incisive fiddle. Similarly, the rhythm section stayed in first gear for "The Future" before a one-two punch of "Bird on the Wire" and "Everybody Knows" picked up the energy level.
Backed by an extraordinary nine-piece band, Cohen was a generous leader, frequently recognizing players by name and doling out deserved compliments. Whether going ominous on "Everybody Knows" or jaunty on "Darkness," the rhythm section was integral.
Also, bravura turns came from an amazing Javier Mas on the laud and bandurria (think modern lutes), and Alexandru Bublitchi on violin. Throughout, backup singers, the Webb Sisters and longtime collaborator Sharon Robinson deftly buoyed Cohen's singular rasp.
Across two sets and two encores, highlights abounded, from a spoken word "A Thousand Kisses Deep" and a Nick Cave-style "Tower of Song" to a jazzed-up "Anyhow" and a Celtic-inspired "Come Healing."
Naturally, hits like "Suzanne," "Hallelujah" and "So Long, Marianne" culled sing-alongs, and other standouts included a tango-inflected "I'm Your Man," a grand "Take This Waltz" and apropos closer "Closing Time."
Eloquent, elegant and altogether charming, Cohen delivered a ceaselessly engaging show that profited from its extended runtime. And he'll do it again, fedora and all.
Concert Review: Leonard Cohen seduced the Air Canada Centre
Scott Deveau | Dec 5, 2012 1:28 PM ET | Last Updated: Dec 5, 2012 1:45 PM ET
More from Scott Deveau | @scottdeveau
It began to crystallize early on Tuesday night why thousands had come out to see Leonard Cohen for the first of two shows this week at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre.
The poet-turned-songwriter had already worked his way through most of his first set, hitting many highlights of his expansive career, from the opening number of Dance Me to the End of Love to other favorites, like Bird on the Wire, Everybody Knows, Who by Fire, and even some new ones, Darkness and Amen, off his latest album, Old Ideas, which was released earlier this year.
Cohen had been backed up to that point by a six-piece band and three singers. But shortly after finishing a version of In My Secret Life, with long-time collaborator Sharon Robinson, the band and his singers left the stage, leaving only Cohen alone under the spotlight.
Now 78 years old and barely filling out his suit, he broke into a spoken word version of A Thousand Kisses Deep, leaving the crowd hanging off his every word.
That was when it became clear why thousands had come out Tuesday to toast Montreal’s favourite son, and why thousands more will arrive Wednesday to do the same: They came for the words. They came to be seduced.
I loved you when you opened
Like a lily to the heat.
I´m just another snowman
Standing in the rain and sleet,
Who loved you with his frozen love
His second-hand physique
With all he is, and all he was
A thousand kisses deep.
And seduced they were during his 29-song, two-set show included a handful of encores until the Air Canada Centre curfew forced him from the stage.
Cohen, clearly getting on in age, said he didn’t know whether this would be the last time he would see the adoring fans before him because, he joked, he was planning on taking up smoking again at 80.
But he promised the crowd to give it his all, and that’s just what he did.
From the moment Cohen pranced on stage, shortly after 8 p.m., to when he walked off to a standing ovation about a half an hour before midnight, he proved a surprisingly spry septuagenarian. He danced little shuffle steps, sang on his knees, and brought the audience to their feet his with a puckish smile.
Mixing healthy doses of self-deprecation, graciousness, and a mischievous charm, it was abundantly clear why so many have said he has mastered the art of seduction.
Standing ovations abounded.
There was a standing ovation when he took the stage. A standing ovation at the end of the first set. A standing ovation after Hallelujah. A standing ovation after his finale, Closing Time.
Cohen was equally gracious. At one point, he said he was as thankful for those who had climbed into the rafters of the ACC, as he was for those who had “emptied their pockets” to sit down by the stage.
“Thank you,” he said. “Not just for tonight, but for all the years you’ve given me.”
Dance Me to the End of Love
Bird on the Wire
Who by Fire
Ain’t No Cure for Love
In My Secret Life
A Thousand Kisses Deep (recitation)
Tower of Song
Waiting for the Miracle
I Can’t Forget
Feels So Good
Alexandra Leaving (performed by Sharon Robinson)
I’m Your Man
Take This Waltz
So Long, Marianne
First We Take Manhattan
If It Be Your Will (performed by the Webb Sisters)
Point of View: Be Leonard Cohen
By Samantha Swan On December 6, 2012
In Point of View, The Lives of Indies
Last night, for the first time, I saw Leonard Cohen perform live. Over the years I had heard about his performances in glowing terms from admirers and fans, responses like, he “put on such a great show”, “what a performer”, etc.
To all of these I would like to add: What a performer. What a poet. What a man.
In a career that has spanned more than 40 years, he has been one of the world’s great poets and he only started his career as a musician in his 30s. Think about that alone for a moment. Unlike other major musical figures of the 60s he came from a solid literary background. He has remained immune to musical fashion, concerning himself with composing only the most precise and profound lyrics in music.
Yes, he sang last night; and he played and was supported by truly world class, top notch musicians and singers; but he also performed a poem. I can’t say he ‘read’ it; there were no eyes moving across a page here. Rather it seemed pour out of him, like tears. Or smoke.
And while on smoke, at one point he mentioned that he’d like to tour a couple more years, then fancies taking up smoking again at 80. He said
“at this point in the show I would have a cigarette here and drink some obscure scotch like Lagavulin…”
and it hit me, as he moved across the stage he just performed and evoked having a smoke and and scotch. I love single malt scotch, and I felt it. I have never smoked, but I wanted to smoke the hell out of a cigarette. He has a sense of drama, and knows the uses of the power of a pause and a breath.
As I watched, listened and felt him last night, I thought ‘how is this possible?’ I was listening to material written before I was born from a 78 year old man who danced and skipped offstage and on, who flung himself down on his knees to sing… he was fluid, almost liquid, he skipped like an ageless sprite. And he did all of this for three and a half hours. As a performer myself, I can’t tell you how much physical energy is required and expended for that intensity for that amount of time.
And his mind is as flexible as his body; his performance of the poem “A Thousand Kisses Deep” clearly had stanzas recently added and changed. And as he spoke those words, I was surprised to realize tears were rolling down my face. Really.
So yes: everything you’ve heard about Leonard Cohen live is true. He is funky, sexy, brilliant and cool. He is an artist and a lover of women who is really naked under that suit that he wears. That suit that does not wear him. Yes he is an original and unique, and yet at the same time, I say those of us that write and perform should all attempt to be more like him.
And not least in his attitude towards criticism.
“I was on the internet today and I read a rather dismissive review of last night’s show. I had to ask myself, why don’t you hate this sonofabitch more than you do? I felt love. But then, you’re depriving yourself of the deep pleasure of pure hatred. And I realized; there aint no cure for love.”
It was funny and touching, that after all these years he’d look at a negative review and then be affected by it. And it was a showman’s great segué.
Oh please Mr. Cohen, let me feel the hatred for you. I refuse to lend the reviewer – because he is surely not a critic – any credence by naming or quoting him here, but I was surprised by the flare of hatred I felt for the reviewer and how defensive I felt toward Mr. Cohen. Because what that person failed to understand is, you can’t be ‘dismissive’ of an artist operating at that level. Whether you ‘like’ the songs or sound, etc., etc., is surely besides the point.
So yes: be like Leonard Cohen. Write honestly and straightforwardly without embarrassment. Have a point of view. Don’t squelch your passions. Love and forgive. And when it’s right, don’t deprive yourself the deep pleasure of feeling pure hatred.
After all, it is only by aiming for the sky that you might hit the trees.
Leonard is playing his guitar!!! I hope we get a complete recording, too!sturgess66 wrote:Chelsea Hotel (hope we get a complete/better video – sounds lovely – new arrangement ? )
Leonard Cohen Captivates Toronto Crowd
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
By Mike Crisolago
“There’s a blaze of light in every word
It doesn’t matter which you heard …”
It’s a sure sign that you’re at a Leonard Cohen concert when the multitude of stagehands and technicians, usually clad in jeans and t-shirts, are dressed in dark suits and fedoras – a fitting sight for fans at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto last night. They eagerly awaited their first glimpse of Canada’s celebrated man of words on stage in more than four years.
Then the lights went down and the applause rose from a hush to a giddy cheer as a row of musicians and singers – seen only in silhouette against a salmon-coloured backdrop – walked calmly across the stage and took their places. Then, the arena got louder, reaching a crescendo as the familiar outline of a slim suit and fedora appeared from the darkness.
Leonard Cohen jogged to centre stage, tipping his hat to the crowd and breaking straight into “Dance Me to the End of Love.” There was no doubt that it was show time, and Cohen was ready to entertain.
“We’ve been on the road for a while now,” Cohen remarked after the first song. “I hadn’t sung for about 15 years and now you can’t get rid of me.” The crowd laughed and roared with applause.
The Leonard Cohen who riveted the crowd until midnight was a far different man than the Leonard Cohen who took to a makeshift stage at the intersection of Bay and Bloor streets only six years ago in support of his collection of poetry, Book of Longing. That day, Cohen, forced to head back onto the road from semi-retirement thanks to financial fraud perpetrated by his ex-business manager, seemed nervous and unsure, often requiring lyrical prompting from accompanying Canuck musicians Ron Sexsmith and members of The Barenaked Ladies. In 2008, Cohen came back to Toronto to play a sold out Sony Centre. His career experiencing an unprecedented resurgence, he literally had the crowd dancing in the aisles. But still, there was an underlying sense that he didn’t quite believe it was happening.
Last night, however, the 78-year-old Cohen took charge of the stage as “Field Commander Cohen” may have done in the trenches decades ago. He was confident and comfortable, alternately dancing, swaying, and even falling to his knees to convey the weight of a lyric.
All the hits were covered, along with selections from his latest album Old Ideas. Cohen wrapped his raspy baritone around heavier numbers, like “Bird on a Wire,” “Who By Fire,” and “Darkness” before acknowledging the melancholy nature of many of his songs:
“Sometimes I stumble out of bed and make it to the mirror and say, ‘Lighten up, Leonard.’”
Everyone laughed, and the next thing you know we were clapping along and singing the chorus to “Ain’t No Cure for Love.”
On a few of the numbers, such as “A Thousand Kisses Deep” and the beginning of “Alexandra Leaving,” Cohen recited the lyrics rather than sang them, bringing the intimacy of a coffee house poetry reading to a packed hockey arena.
Longtime Cohen collaborator Sharon Robinson, who sung backing vocals, took over on “Alexandra Leaving” (which she co-wrote) with a soulful, haunting performance. The two other backing vocalists, Charley and Hattie Webb, also took centre stage at one point with a stunning rendition of “If It Be Your Will.” (It must also be noted that this trio always make even the simplest back-up harmonies a joy to take in at Cohen’s concerts.)
Special recognition must also go to the band, including Spanish guitar master Javier Mas and Russian violinist Alexandru Bublitchi, both of whose multiple solos lifted Cohen’s songs to new heights of melodic bliss.
Cohen, for all of the adoration he received from the crowd, retained his trademark humility that borders on self-deprecating.
“Thanks so much for not going home,” he said upon returning from intermission. “It would be terrible to come out here and find a skating rink.”
Of course, everyone stayed. The most moving part of the evening came in the second half of the show, as Cohen dropped to his knees for a rendition of his most famous song, “Hallelujah.” As if in prayer, Cohen clasped his hands and sang, the crowd joining in on the chorus as the light spilled off the stage and into the audience. The song ended and the standing ovation only subdued when Cohen broke into “Take This Waltz,” with many in the crowd still wiping away tears.
This emotion is a direct result of the sense of spirituality that permeates all of Cohen’s shows, perhaps more so now more than ever. This is a man who, in his 70s, was forced back on the road because he’d very nearly lost everything, only to find waves of love and devotion awaiting his return. This is a man who made a massive Toronto arena feel as small as an underground Montreal poetry club simply through creating an atmosphere of intimacy, reflection, and humility. This is also a man very cognizant of his own existence, noting that while he hopes to be back at age 80, “we may or may not see each other again, so I promise you tonight we’ll give you everything we’ve got.”
That’s exactly what he did, and the fans in Toronto couldn’t have left happier. If we’d all worn fedoras, we’d have certainly tipped them to Leonard.
Leonard Cohen returns for another show at the Air Canada Centre tonight, followed by shows in Kanata, London and Kingston, ON, in the coming days. For more information, visit LeonardCohen.com.
The only "bad" reviews I have seen so far, (but I am much less at reviews than you do) are in the exact spirit of what you have wrote, Strugess6. I had to tell you this. Tout n'est pas à prendre au pied de la lettre.Maybe I missed it - but I haven't see the bad review yet - unless it is a reviewer trying to insert their own cleverness - a twist of a phrase here and there - defenses showing - trying not to be too exuberant?
(...), fans in Toronto were granted an increasingly rare opportunity (two, actually) – the first since a 2008 Sony Centre appearance — to bask in the aura that is Leonard Cohen.
Obviously, "here's a man still working for your smile". Each time. Each bloody concert. Any place, any time.On his newest album, Old Ideas, Leonard Cohen paints himself as a “lazy bastard living in a suit,” but the first of two Toronto shows at the Air Canada Centre proved the immense irony of that description.