I guess I'll be alone with this opinion here, but, for my girlfriend and me, I'm starting to think less is more with Leonard Cohen live. And the sad thing is, it could easily be very, very different.
When I was growing up, seeing a Leonard Cohen show was on the top of my bucket list, but back then, it looked like he would never tour again. So, I resigned myself to listening to his incredible albums, was overcome with joy when in 2001, Ten New Songs was released. I was one of the only people I knew who enjoyed 2004's Dear Heather. In 2008, when he finally went back on tour again, I was away travelling Central America & Southeast Asia, but I even so, I considered flying in for a show or two -- which I never did, because of the prohibitive cost and the fact that I was having the time of my life backpacking through the world.
So my first show was in 2009. It was an outdoor show, in Wiesen (Austria) and I was standing directly in front of Leonard, first row center. The concert was everything I hoped it would be: magical, mind-blowing. Mr. Cohen, very much the elder statesman, gave a wonderful performance and seemed to have a blast on stage. The next show, in 2010, was even better (Römersteinbruch St. Margarethen, the show where Sharon caught a cold) -- hearing "Feels So Good" made me remember how wrily funny Leonard can be, this and "Born In Chains" made me long for a new album. The first two shows of the new tour in 2012 were great (the venue in Verona simply stunning, Waldbühne in Berlin nice too), but by then I was beginning to wonder why Mr. Cohen didn't vary the stelists a bit more. There are so many wonderful songs he never plays -- and as great as it is to hear the same hits night after night, I can't help but feeling it would make for a much more interesting show if he'd shake up things a bit from time to time.
Full disclosure: I am a huge Bruce Springsteen fan and while I don't think Springsteen is in the same league as Leonard Cohen when it comes to lyrics, I'd argue that he is a way better songrwriter than he's usually given credit for and simply a stunning live performer. But this is not my point; my point is the variety in songs played.
Now, while I don't expect Mr. Cohen to do anything resembling a Springsteen show (he's not a rock singer, for one), the two share the passion for their work, they both do rather long shows and they both have toured extensively in the last years. And with Springsteen, if you like his music and visit multiple shows, you get a different show almost every time you see him, sometimes from one night to the next, 12-15 songs might change. In the beginning of a tour, he crafts a setlist that conveys the theme of what he wants to say, presenting new songs and (reworked) versions of other songs in a thematic arc, with about 6 or 7 slots where one-offs, rarities, cover versions or sign requests might fit in. As the tour progresses, shows get more and more loose, the setliste structure crumbles and things change. One night, you might get the performance of a classic album in its entirety in the middle of a show, the next might have the string section of an orchestra on stage for a song and the next might have Bruce attempting a never-before-played rarity on the acoustic guitar.
I am not saying that one approach is superior to the other; I'm merely saying that Springsteen's approach works better for me, i.e. someone who goes to multiple shows. Maybe everybody else here is different, but for me, hearing almost the same greatest-hits show every time diminishes its efffectiveness and emotional impact. Yes, the songs are still masterpieces, yes, Mr. Cohen does give it his all and yes, the show is still amazing. But there are moments when I am wondering why he doesn't play more songs from his amazing recent album "Old Ideas" (I'd die to hear "Show Me The Place", "Different Sides" live, and, yes, I know, he played the latter at some shows last year), why he doesn't mix things up a bit. The man has so many great songs that any other artist would be cite as the highlight of their career. I don't think people here would complain if he'd play "The Window", "The Guests", "There Is a War", "Do I Have To Dance All Night" or any other of his lesser played songs. What if one night you'd get "Dress Rehearsal Rag" and "That Don't Make It Junk" while the next you'd hear "Different Sides" and "Story Of Isaac"?
I respect the thinking that everyone who goes to a Leonard Cohen show gets more or less the same experience, much like a theater performance (with minimal variation), and it's his show, so who am I to stand on my little internet soapbox and ramble on and on, but, man, what would I give for him to loosen up and dig into his amazing catalogue.
So, to make a very long post short, I'd say that, for me, one or two shows a tour is probably enough. As great as Vienna's concert was last night, for more than a hundred euros, that's (good) enough for me.