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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Dublin, September 11th and 12th 2013

Posted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 9:03 pm
by musicmania
I don't normally record at the actual concerts but 2 videos I've wanted to make are A Thousand Kisses Deep and Leonard's closing comments. Both these were extra special last night so was happy to get them.

A Thousand Kisses Deep:

Closing Comments:

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Dublin, September 11th and 12th 2013

Posted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 11:36 pm
by mutti
Thank you Gwen for posting the closing comments of Closing Time. I hadn't heard it and loved it...he really meant it didn't he! loved that comment.
Thank you Albert for your videos and everyone else for all the reports.
I was in Sligo at Lissadell and sure wish I was there in Dublin the last 2 nights. Sounds like and looked like yet again another wonderful concert!
Leslie 8)

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Dublin, September 11th and 12th 2013

Posted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 11:44 pm
by johnos
Fantastic show, darkness one of many highlights

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Dublin, September 11th and 12th 2013

Posted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 12:57 am
by jdhayes
Has anyone got a video of I'm your Man from the Wednesday 11th? Well worth a look! Would love to see it.

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Dublin, September 11th and 12th 2013

Posted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 1:14 am
by Zimmer

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Dublin, September 11th and 12th 2013

Posted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 3:20 am
by sturgess66

There is a Photo Gallery/slide show at the bottom of the review - a lot of good pictures - worth a look
Here's a direct link -
Leonard Cohen at The O2 | Review
by Sean Noone / on September 13, 2013 at 3:14 pm /

Leonard Cohen at The O2 | Review Leonard Cohen In The O2 by Yan Bourke on 110913

Leonard Cohen at the O2, Dublin, Wednesday 11th of September 2013

Much was made in the lead up to Leonard Cohen’s shows in the O2 this week. Everything from his age (79 next week), to his regularity on these shores, to tickets prices were in the spotlight. Nevertheless, on Wednesday night, about 7,500 people paid between €88.50 and €110 (plus whatever additional charges are applicable) for the privilege of seeing him. And what a privilege it proved to be.

Shortly before quarter to eight, Cohen and his band enter, all suited in black with the men all wearing Cohen’s trademark fedora. As they start into Dance Me to the End of Love it’s evident that, despite his frail appearance, Cohen still has the voice that made him famous. He is still spry too; he has a bounce in his step and gets down to his knees and back up again which is enough to cause Goldenplec to curse their joints gone gammy from years of abuse.

But, while he performs with enthusiasm, for large parts of the first half he feels like the old man that he is. He is a frail, distant creature on stage. He is a voice lost in the music. It is that voice we know, that voice that made so many people part with substantial funds – “Thank you for endangering your household budgets,” Cohen jokes early on – but it just doesn’t stand out from the music that surrounds it.

It all just seems too far away. You can see that there is a great show playing in a smoke-filled lounge but you’re standing across the street peering in through an open door. Songs like Who by Fire and Amen are played brilliantly by all present but never truly resonate in the massive auditorium. Come Healing is perhaps the only song to do so before Cohen and Co make wake for the interval, shortly after the hour mark.

But when Cohen returns twenty minutes later with Tower of Song the atmosphere changes entirely. With just a keyboard and his back-up singers, the performance is so much more intimate. His deep, guttural voice resonates better now with the audience, both sonically and emotionally. The trend continues through the rest of the night with Chelsea Hotel #2 a highlight coming soon after. Even when the rest of the band return for Waiting for the Miracle the night never reverts to what it was before the interval.

Perhaps the highlight of the evening though comes when Cohen steps out of the spotlight for the first time in nearly two hours, letting back-up singer Sharon Robinson take the lead on Alexandra Waiting. So angelic is her voice, and such a contrast to Cohen’s, on such a beautiful song that she receives a standing ovation for her performance.

But that standing ovation is just one of several forthcoming. After a spoken version of A Thousand Kisses Deep Cohen and his band play the glorious Hallelujah which brings the whole audience to their feet. Shortly afterwards the band leave the stage for the first of many false endings, each met with thunderous applause.

The first encore of So Long Marianne, Going Home and First We Take Manhattan get the crowd – for most of the show sitting in rapt silence – rocking for the first time in the evening. It’s after 11 by the time that Cohen, standing the entire night finally skips (yes, at his age!) off stage after the pertinent I Tried to Leave.

Throughout the evening, Cohen had referred to the audience as ‘friends’. His three and a half hour set ensured that was how he left. Those who may not have been Cohen-heads before the show had no choice to be won over by this charming, humble, brilliant man. The concerns raised as the start – his age, the ticket price, the possible over-exposure – all prove unfounded. Leonard Cohen offered a truly moving evening of no little talent, false start notwithstanding. Come back often Leonard, we would love to have you again.

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Dublin, September 11th and 12th 2013

Posted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 3:28 am
by Joe Way
Sorry about the late report, but we have had busy times after the concert and today. Albert put me to shame after staying up to post, "I've got a little secret" then going to work in the morning. I'll try to catch up.

The tri-colors displayed on the stage made for an impressive entrance for us into the O2. It was apparent that Leonard wanted the show to start on time as much as possible because he wanted to pack a lot in- which he did. The audience was warm, respectful and extremely knowledgeable. They sang along so readily, in tune and with great awareness of the words (not until late in the concert and encores). I've told the story many times how discovering how the folks who gathered on Hydra, all joined in at the start of "Dance Me to the End of Love" and how it made me feel I'd met " my people." It was like that in Dublin only with 10,000 people instead of 200.

Leonard scat sang during the drum solo in "Darkness"-I don't remember that before. Getting "Anthem" to end the first set seemed like such a bonus after it having dropped out of the set list. His jokes during the instrumental started out with the "Are you humoring me?" And continued to say that he accepted it as kindness to the elderly. It is worth watching the youTube to catch it.

The first part of the second set was more solo acoustic than I've seen before. "Suzanne" and "Chelsea Hotel"we're pretty much all Leonard playing. And "Chelsea Hotel" has a slight new chord progression.

All and all one of the best concerts we've seen. I'll try to think of other observations and post them later.

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Dublin, September 11th and 12th 2013

Posted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 4:02 am
by fhenry99
sturgess66 wrote:
Sharon Robinson take the lead on Alexandra Waiting.

the pertinent I Tried to Leave.

Whether one agrees with them or not, a reviewer is entitled to his opinions, but those opinions would be more credible if details such as song titles were correct.

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Dublin, September 11th and 12th 2013

Posted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 4:04 am
by sturgess66
Video - and I think this is all from Sept 13th -

Uploaded by Liam McConway

Save The Last Dance For Me

Uploaded by Niamh Hogan

Hallelujah (misnamed Chelsea Hotel)

Chelsea Hotel (misnamed Hallelujah)


Uploaded by uturemusicvideo

Famous Blue Raincoat

So Long Marianne



Uploaded by John Hughes

Save The Last Dance For Me

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Dublin, September 11th and 12th 2013

Posted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 4:10 am
by IrishAL
Night Comes On.

First Night - September 11th .


Re: CONCERT REPORT: Dublin, September 11th and 12th 2013

Posted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 1:13 pm
by ciaran
IrishAL wrote:Night Comes On.

First Night - September 11th .

Quite wonderful, Albert
Thank you!

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Dublin, September 11th and 12th 2013

Posted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 2:28 pm
by cohenadmirer
Nice to see ' night comes on' again

'I've got a little secret' is certainly growing on me ,but if it is a choice between that and ' Feels so good' on the next album , i'd prefer the latter!

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Dublin, September 11th and 12th 2013

Posted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 2:45 pm
by musicmania
cohenadmirer wrote:Nice to see ' night comes on' again

'I've got a little secret' is certainly growing on me ,but if it is a choice between that and ' Feels so good' on the next album , i'd prefer the latter!
Maybe the original of Feels So Good (or the Katowice version from 2010) and I've Got A Secret :D

Here is my review. Apologies for the length and clogging up so much space but believe it I could have written so much more as these two concerts were exceptional.

http://myleonardcohenjourney.wordpress. ... 12th-2013/
When the European tour for this year was initially announced Ireland wasn't on the list and while I was disappointed I was grateful for all the concerts we've had here and had of course the New York and Brussels concerts to look forward too. To say I was ecstatic when Dublin was then announced is an understatement. To have Cohen returning to the venue where I first saw him in concert was something I really relished and after freezing in Kilmainham last year and as much as I love outdoor concerts it was a relief to know we'd have no incremental weather to disturb us.

I was very excited and a little sad knowing that concerts were the last I am attending this year. I had gotten used to in the last year of having the knowledge of future concerts to look forward to, such is how spoilt we have been by the tour over the last year.

Like in 2009 the lighting director Ryan Murphy bathed the background of the stage in the colours of the Irish flag for us to see as we were coming into the venue. I've no knowledge of seeing this anywhere else. That isn't to say it doesn't be done at other venues, just that in all the concerts I've attended I've never seen it anywhere else.
After taking our seats in the fifth row dead centre we awaiting Cohen and his wonderful band to take the stage and when they did it was a great reception from the delighted Irish and travelling fans who as always there was many that I knew here with us.

As always Cohen opened with Dance Me To The End Of Love. The set list for the first half of the concert is mostly the same these days so we always have a fairly good idea what is coming next. This never takes away from the excitement for me as I could witness these songs live a thousand times and never bore of them.

After Dance Me To The End Of Love Cohen thanked us all for coming, thanking those in the high seats for climbing up there and those of us at the front for breaking our household budgets in these tough economic times. While the concert tickets are expensive I personally think Cohen is worth every cent as his concerts are longer than nearly everyone except Bruce Springsteen but Cohen has been know to do even longer concerts than Springsteen on occasion and indeed the second Dublin concert was longer than the one Springsteen concert I was at earlier this year. It must not be forgotten that for a man of his age, Cohen will be 79 next week this is a very impressive statistic. Not only are the concerts long they are performed to perfection, and Cohen always gives us as he promises at the start of his concerts everything that he has. There are no songs I'd call fillers and Cohen is never going through the motions.

I've often stated in the past it is hard to pick favourite moments from Cohen concerts because everything is performed well but thinking back to Wednesday night moments from the first half that stand out include Javier Mas introductions to Who By Fire and The Gypsy's Wife. He is a musical genius on any of the stringed instruments he plays and it is mesmerising watching him perform and while my tried mind can't remember which night now on one of the nights I had tears streaming down my face during Who By Fire at the beauty of it.

Before Cohen performed Darkness we heard a what is familiar introduction to us for a different song, Ain't No Cure For Love, where Cohen speaks about looking in the mirrors in his hotel rooms with the magnifiers and how it is a bad idea to look into these after the age of eleven and that he says to him self "Lighten up Cohen" This is normally expanded to include the line that there ain't no cure for love before beginning the actual song. On Wednesday night he just said and "Now I am going to sing a song about it". I can't say if this was a mistake on Cohen's part or if Darkness was his original intention as the set list for the last few concerts had Darkness in this position but either way I love that introduction from him so was happy to hear it!

Something while rarely fails to move me to tears is anywhere in the concerts where Hattie and Charley Webb are singing and this week was no exception. Their voices are so angelic and it is no wonder Cohen refers to them as the sublime Webb Sisters and his angels. They perform the opening lines to Come Healing and it is achingly beautiful to hear. During the encores they perform If It Be Your Will and for me it is impossible not to be in floods of tears during that performance.

Lover, Lover, Lover brought us to the end of the first half. While I do love the song and if I take this version as a stand alone and not compare it with the original version or the one performed on the previous tour it is brilliant but I do confess I do much prefer when this song is performed at a slower pace and find it much more intimate.

The second half was opened with Tower of Song which is a great opener for the second half. Cohen is very playful during this song on which he plays the keyboards. It never fails to amuse me and having a good reaction from the audience means a very happy Cohen and therefore a very happy Gwen!

It is always special to hear Suzanne after this. I've always love this song but more so since visiting Montreal and the location of the line "And the sun pours down like honey on our lady of the harbour"

After Chelsea Hotel #2 we had the wonderful surprise Night Comes On. This song hasn't being performed live in a while and it is one of my favourites from one of my favourite albums Various Positions.

Sharon Robinson was exquisite singing Alexandra Leaving. This song doesn't normally bring tears but on Wednesday night it did. At the end of the song she got a much deserved standing ovation from many of us in the audience. It can never be stated enough how important she is to Cohen and indeed to all of us as she has co-written so many of the songs he loves to perform for us and we love to hear.

After Hattie Webb's solo in Take This Waltz I caught her eye and mouthed "Thank you that was beautiful" and she smiled and mouthed back "Thank you". I was yet again a tearful wreck. I always get emotional at some point at a Cohen concert but for the two Dublin concerts I was more emotional than usual. I think it was a mixture of the fact they were my final two concerts but also the fact that they were absolutely amazing concerts. Cohen and co for me keep getting better and better. I always think the concerts are perfection but having attended a lot of concerts now I have learned there is always room for improvement and that things can be taken to whole new levels which I didn't even know existed!

From when I bought my tickets I knew that with my brilliant central location I wouldn't be able to escape for the encores like I usually do so I stayed put and enjoyed it as much as always. Lots of my favourites are performed. I've been lucky to see Cohen in many different locations but I have to say for the audience participation especially during So Long Marianne means that my favourite concerts are the Irish ones. I must state though that I've loved all the concerts I've attended and to be able to witness the magic is so many locations is something I am truly grateful for and I've loved all the different places I've visited. The atmosphere for So Long Marianne didn't disappoint and it was amazing. A couple of times I glanced around the venue and it was electric seeing the whole place up enjoying it. The reaction to First We Take Manhattan was on a par with New York and reminded me of those concerts.

While it looked like Closing Time might have indeed being closing time Cohen delighted us with performing one last song, I Tried To Leave you. I love when this is done as each band member has a solo. One of my favourite parts is Rafael Gayol's drum solo where he throws his drumstick in the air and tries to catch it. This time he missed but that made us all smile.

Heading into The O2 for night two my heart was torn with a mixture of excitement for the night to come but also with an ache knowing this was going to be my last concert for the foreseeable future. Please readers know I am truly grateful for all the concerts I had but I've never become complacent and Cohen concerts and the times I've spent speaking with him are the best moments of my life.

This was an extremely emotional concert for me and in my opinion very very close to Lissadell as one of the most special concerts I've attended. Between a new song, the return of one of my absolute favourites Anthem, actual funny hecklers and Cohen's closing words it made for what I can only describe as a magical recipe of perfection.

The first song to have me in tears was Bird On The Wire. Again like Who By Fire the previous night I don't usually cry during this song but it is one of my favourites and in what I call my top five of Hallelujah, So Long Marianne, Anthem and Famous Blue Raincoat. What made this song so special Thursday night was what was an astoundingly amazing performance from Cohen. It is always performed well but I remember thinking at the first night in Montreal Cohen had taken it to a whole new level. Well Thursday night he done it again and so much so my friend and I turned to each other in amazement at the end and said something along the lines "That was out of this world" to each other.

There was no repeat of the "introduction" to Darkness on Thursday but I should make a note of a chant Cohen does to Raphael Gayol during this song. No one has any idea of what this means as I did ask a couple of the crew members who said no one has asked Cohen what it is or what it means!
I was on cloud nine when Cohen performed Anthem at the end of the first half on Thursday. I was heartbroken when I saw it dropped from recent concerts. That song is very significant to me personally and I think it is the perfect song for that part of the concert.

The antics during Tower Of Song were again very amusing with hecklers adding to Cohen. I can't remember now what was shouted up but at the time found it hilarious. Hopefully a video will appear to remind me!

After Chelsea Hotel #2 on Thursday Cohen had an extra special treat for us, a new song called I've Got A Secret. I didn't recognise the melody but immediately recognised some of the lyrics. While I couldn't place them at that moment on returning to the hotel I investigated and discovered that they were some of the lyrics from what I call the second version of Feels So Good which we'd heard in Toronto. Speaking with Hattie Webb after I mentioned this and she told me she hadn't made that connection and was very impressed that I did! On that first listen to the song I immediately loved it. The melody has a lovely jazz feel to it.

As much as I love Cohen singing I also love when he recites A Thousand Kisses Deep. I recorded this on both nights but missed the first few words the first night so had to try again. I'm glad I did though as it was unique the second night when Cohen had a false start due to a lady in the row behind us yelling "Leonard I'm your woman". Normally someone yelling during this would be on the receiving end of a glare from me but given it was the start it was funny and anything that makes Cohen smile makes me smile.

As it is my all time favourite song from Cohen Hallelujah is always my ultimate highlight at the concerts. He puts passion into every song but seems to do more so in this song and for me I think the Thursday version is my all time favourite rendition. Of course the tears were flowing and more so as it is my last live performance but the tears didn't take away from my enjoyment of the song.

Like the previous night given my central location I didn't think I would be able to escape to the front for the encores. However seeing a huge gap directly in front of the seats I asked the person in front would she mind me climbing over the seats to which she kindly allowed and for the first couple of songs of the encores I was in the second row of standing pilgrims but then a gap appeared which allowed me to be at the very front almost centre for the last few songs. This was very special for me as the last time I was that close to Cohen as he performed was during the encores in Katowice 2010. Being that close for especially So Long Marianne and Famous Blue Raincoat is great. It means we can see the glances between Cohen and his band and also experience a up close view of the wonderful musicians.

There was a funny moment for me when having developed a sore throat and lungs from the singing along and the dry ice I was spending ages rooting in my bag for throat sweets. Having eventually found them buried under my jacket I looked up to see a confused look from Charley Webb as to what was I doing. I held them up and touched my neck to demonstrate and she smiled down at me.

It must be noted that the musicians I haven't mentioned personally throughout this review were just as amazing as they always are. I'm just aware this is a very long review and I hope my readers enjoy it. I think I just want to have a record of as many moments of these two concerts as I can! Just to mention though Alexandru Bublitchi performances on the violin are always breathtaking and I always appreciate the contribution by the musical director and bassist Roscoe Beck.

After having Anthem as a extra song I thought maybe we'd get a shorter encore but no Cohen actually gave us an extra song there too with Save The Last Dance. While I always prefer hearing Cohen's songs over covers I was very happy to get this as an extra at the end. Also I am rarely a fan of listening to covers preferring the originals,but maybe it my love of Cohen but I actually prefer his version to the original!

Leaving The O2 on Thursday night I couldn't have wished for more over the two nights. We had a total of 60 songs performed, 31 different ones between the two nights. Cohen and his band never fail to deliver but on these nights he gave us everything he got and more. His closing words after Closing Time on Thursday were very special and we could tell he enjoyed these concerts as much as we do. I never thought I'd witness a concert to be on a par with magical Lissadell but the Thursday concert especially is up there for me.

Thank you to Leonard, your wonderful band and crew for giving us the most memorable nights. If these do turn out to be my final concerts I couldn't have asked for a better ending. For now I take forth the memories and will be eternally grateful to do so.

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Dublin, September 11th and 12th 2013

Posted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 3:59 pm
by cohenadmirer
Thanks Gwen

What a great account of your experiences :D

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Dublin, September 11th and 12th 2013

Posted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 6:10 pm
by annmarie
IrishAL wrote:Night Comes On.

First Night - September 11th .

The combined genius of Leonard Cohen and Albert Noonan...........spectacular.

Thank you Albert.