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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Oakland, March 2 & 3, 2013

Posted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 9:14 pm
by sturgess66
Rolling Stone article -
http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/ ... r-20130303
Leonard Cohen Brings Fresh Intensity to 'Old Ideas' Tour
Singer kicks off major North American leg of the tour in Oakland


Image
Leonard Cohen performs in support his Old Ideas release at The Paramount Theatre on March 2nd, 2013 in Oakland, California.
Tim Mosenfelder/Getty

By Matt Diehl
March 3, 2013 11:05 AM ET

"I was looking at life expectancy tables, and I could probably do another seven or eight years." So Leonard Cohen claimed as he introduced "The Future" – the second song kicking off the major North American leg of his Old Ideas World Tour, which commenced in December 2012 with two New York dates and resumed for an additional 19 shows at Oakland, California’s Paramount Theatre last night. "I don't know, friends, when we’ll ever meet again – no one can know that – but tonight we'll give you everything we've got." And that’s exactly what the Canadian genius poet-songwriter and his nine-piece backing band did, despite the omnipresent air of mortality – only reinforced when Cohen sang "I know my days are few" during "Darkness."

With every tour jaunt, gossip inevitably centers on the possibility that it will be Cohen’s final such outing. Indeed, when you’re a 78-year-old with decades of decadence under your belt, there’s a significant chance that each performance might be your last. But Cohen’s spry sprint onto the stage to launch into "Dance Me To The End Of Love" at the beginning of the show seemed to mock such talk, resulting in the first of many standing ovations of the night. Three hours and 28 songs later, Cohen had entered Springsteen endurance territory, making clear he wasn’t going away anytime soon.

50 Best Songs of 2012: Leonard Cohen, 'Going Home'
http://www.rollingstone.com/music/lists ... e-19691231

If anything, Cohen proved more vital onstage than ever, which follows his recent creative trajectory. His comeback tour, which started half a decade ago and continues to evolve with each passing year, has proven to be one of music’s greatest success stories: Cohen had always been considered a cult act, but by 2009 his recent concerts had already grossed $50 million, according to I’m Your Man, Sylvie Simmons’ essential recent biography, published last year. But Cohen refuses to exist as a mere oldies act. In 2012, Cohen released Old Ideas, his first album of new material in nearly a decade. At a moment when he could have rested on his laurels, Old Ideas proved anything but a victory lap: Instead, it was one of the greatest efforts in the Leonard Cohen canon, adding ten new stone classics to the one of the richest repertoires in pop music. Old Ideas also proved Cohen’s highest commercial success, shooting into the U.S. charts’ Top Ten and reaching the top spot in numerous countries around the globe.

At the Paramount, Cohen would perform almost half of Old Ideas, to the displeasure of absolutely no one; the new songs sounded absolutely of a piece with the more familiar chestnuts like the encore "So Long, Marianne" (which caused spontaneous outbreaks of couples waltzing in the crowd). Likewise, Cohen hardly treated his vintage favorites as sacred texts. "Waiting For a Miracle" was given a deeper, almost trip-hop funk workout, making it simultaneously sexier and more futuristically dystopian. Similarly, "First We Take Manhattan" and "Everybody Knows" sprouted even greater rhythmic heft, turning into disco-party boogie monsters onstage. "Bird on a Wire" took on a much bluesier tone, with extended guitar interplay and churchy organ, while "Anyhow" exuded some of the smokiest jazz vibes Cohen has ever rendered. "Who By Fire" became utterly transformed by Javier Mas’ dramatic Spanish-inflected six-string interpretation – just one of Mas’ many astonishing virtuoso moments throughout the evening.

Cohen’s most radical reworking, however, was saved for his biggest hit, "Hallelujah," whose arrival felt almost unexpected, introduced with offhand grace midway through the concert’s second half. Cohen started "Hallelujah" in understated fashion, seeming to deny the melisma-laden performances that have made it a TV singing-contest trademark; his delivery grew in force, seeing him drop to his knees as he lost himself in the song. His current treatment of "Hallelujah" belied a self-referential, deprecating wit that held sway over the entire performance. Throughout the night, Cohen perversely drew attention away from himself, thanking the members of his band numerous times, along with many others, including the monitor mixer and lighting designer. (Hello, Brian Patrick Murphy of Chicago!) He also encouraged lengthy solos and showpieces from his backing group – which includes the Webb Sisters on background vocals, his musical director and bassist Roscoe Beck, keyboardist Neil Larsen, guitarist Mitch Watkins, percussionist Rafael Gayol, multi-instrumentalist Mas, and violinist Alexandru Bublitchi – during which Cohen would doff his hat in respect. Of particular note, Cohen’s longtime backing singer and songwriting collaborator Sharon Robinson took the mic for an especially powerful rendition of "Alexandra Leaving" that resulted in audience rapture.

However, as much as Cohen seemed to willfully challenge his cult of personality, there was no denying who was at the center of this hurricane set evocatively and provocatively on simmer. From his signature fedora and dark suits, Cohen has become, like Johnny Cash, an eternally compelling explorer of human nature’s darker corners. He finished his set with the appropriately climactic "Closing Time" and its farewell lyric, "Now there’s nothing left/It’s closing time." Regardless, even after Cohen told the crowd "good night" and the house lights went on, no one really believed he was going anywhere.

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Oakland, March 2 & 3, 2013

Posted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 9:28 pm
by CohenFan08
hmmm...no FBR in the setlist...

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Oakland, March 2 & 3, 2013

Posted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 10:16 pm
by Zimmy66
Or indeed Joan....

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Oakland, March 2 & 3, 2013

Posted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 10:41 pm
by bkmccalla
Wow. Transcendent. This level of joy, of rapture, comes so infrequently. If i weren't so spent perhaps i could give one of those brilliant reports. Suffice to say it was sublime. We were treated to improvised lyrics, new patter, vitality not seen in some time. Leonard and the band really caught fire the second set. So much flawless playing, Sharon with her lovely new hair style slew me on Alexandra Leaving (which made me want to hear Boogie Street), that fiddler fiddled sublimely the whole night, everyone played their hearts out, as always. Miss Bob terribly but Mitch is equally soulful and brilliant. Leonard sang "the goddamn horror" -- tell it like it is. He forgot to mention democracy came and went. Or that 110 Tibetans, so far, have self-immolated for freedom. Sorry, i digress. Um, Neil and Roscoe and Javier and Raphael their usual superlative selves. Lover, lover, lover what a treat. Leonard struck me as having a blast last night, a small miracle after five years of touring. Delighted to see Wendy, Scott, Leslie (ey? sorry!), hope to see Esther and Marsha tonight. Wow.

I too look forward to the more lucid concise reports.

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Oakland, March 2 & 3, 2013

Posted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 11:15 pm
by comfortandpain
I am the guy who was updating crap on Tumblr last night.. (http://comfortandpain.tumblr.com/) [<--this is me]
>>>>>>>the setlist.com one is the same as mine, I'm just reproducing it from my notes<<<<<<<<<<<<<

Set 1
----------
1. Dance Me to the End of Love
2. The Future
3. Bird on a Wire
4. Everybody Knows
5. Who by Fire
6. Darkness
7. Ain't No Cure for Love
8. Amen
9. Come Healing
10. In My Secret Life
11. A Thousand Kisses Deep (poem)
12. Anthem

Set 2
----------
1. Tower of Song
2. Suzanne
3. Waiting for the Miracle
4. Anyhow
5. Lover, Lover, Lover
6. Democracy
7. Alexandra Leaving (Sharon Robinson)
8. I'm Your Man
9. Hallelujah
10. Take This Waltz

Encore 1
----------
1. So Long, Marianne
2. Going Home
3. First We Take Manhattan

Encore 2
----------
1. I Tried to Leave You
2. Closing Time

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
5 songs from new album Old Ideas, not a lot of surprise. (If there is one, I would say that I was pretty surprised when he put Going Home in the Encore…)

Highlights/interesting things that I jotted down on my phone:
  • The concert started 15 minutes late because people (Californians) were arriving late.

    When he went on stage, there was a standing ovation. He said, “I was looking at life expectancy tables, and I could probably do another seven or eight years.

    In Who By Fire, I think he probably forgot lyrics. For the line “Who by avalanche, who by powder”, he said “Who by avalanche, who by fire”.

    Before Ain’t No Cure for Love, he said something like “I make my way to the mirror, and said to myself, ‘Just lighten up Leonard, for Christ sake!’

    Probably in Anthem (I can’t remember which song was it), he blanked out in the beginning of a stanza. He was starting a new line, and he suddenly stopped, AND THE WHOLE BAND JUST WENT SUPER MELLOW FOR ANOTHER STANZA’S TIME WITHOUT HIM SINGING ANYTHING.. It was kind of awkward (and people didn’t know what was going on).

    In the Tower of Song (Set 2), when he was playing single notes on the keyboard, he missed a note or something. And when he was about to start the next line, a bunch of people started cheering, and he kind of stopped and laughed, and said “ARE YOU PATRONIZING ME???” and he was punching the keyboard and playing random notes and everyone was laughing… It was hilarious.

    In the end, he offered his usual blessings — “may you be surrounded by friends and family. And if this is not your lot, may the blessings find you in your solitude” — I almost cried at this point…

    I felt totally transcended during Lover, Lover, Lover. The whole band was totally enjoying themselves, and I sat there and I felt very detached. In the next moment I felt intensely present in his music for the first time. It was absolutely a moment of spiritual transformation.

    The violin solos by Alexandru Bublitchi were absolutely breathtaking. Sharon Robinson also had an unbelievable solo for Alexandra Leaving.

    During the recitation, the old couple sitting next to me kissed right after he said “A Thousand Kisses Deep”, I was so jealous ~_~

    During Encore, when he started So Long, Marianne, the people on the sides all stood up and some couples started dancing.
I’m still suffering from Post-Concert Dissociative Disorder.

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Oakland, March 2 & 3, 2013

Posted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 11:37 pm
by artolog
Agree with the kudos above.. Here's a shot of Leonard from last night that I took:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/artolog/8525368014/

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Oakland, March 2 & 3, 2013

Posted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 2:05 am
by mutti
A brilliant performance last night! Leonard was in top form and I thought it was a beautiful show.
I loved each and every song especially thrilled to hear Lover,Lover,Lover again. I had desires to hear certain songs but it didn't matter to me as the ones played were perfect.
I was lucky to get a set list and the one listed above reflected what I remember.
I was sitting close and to me in Anthem the audience was still clapping for Alex at a certain point so that is why Leonard stopped and had to wait to start again. Everything made sense at the time and flowed...
I felt Leonard was smiling and laughing a lot...to himself and to band members...Sheer delight is what I felt...

Went out to Mill Valley this morning so couldn't post till now.
Looking forward to tonight!
Leslie 8)

Re: AW: CONCERT REPORT: Oakland, March 2 & 3, 2013

Posted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 2:36 am
by Hartmut
comfortandpain wrote: on)In the Tower of Song [...] AND WHEN HE WAS JUST ABOUT TO START THE NEXT LINE, a bunch of people started cheering, and he kind of stopped and laughed, and said "ARE YOU PEOPLE PATRONIZING ME???" and he was punching the keyboard and playing random notes and everyone was laughing....... lol
LOL indeed. - I need a video of that ...

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Oakland, March 2 & 3, 2013

Posted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 3:10 am
by rnielsen
A wonderful evening, with a very attentive , enthusiastic audience in a beautiful local.
Highlights for me included Alexandra Leaving and all the songs from Old Ideas. The high ceilings seemed to suck up the sound thought it could have been a little louder. I thought the "Patronizing " remark was in reference to the somewhat delayed and tepid applause after the little piano solo. Anyway his response was hilarious. Somewhere in the tour I hope he throws in a Field Commander Cohen.
Enjoy the tour folks.

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Oakland, March 2 & 3, 2013

Posted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 3:22 am
by OldIdeasAreTheBest
Absolutely magical and transcendent. I cannot recall which song it was, but, toward the end of that song, Leonard was almost scatting, facing Rafael, and it was quite primal.

A nickel to anyone who can recall the song or give a better description of what he was doing!

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Oakland, March 2 & 3, 2013

Posted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 3:34 am
by friscogrl
I think it was Darkness. I thought it was scatting too and then thought maybe he was chanting.

Marsha

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Oakland, March 2 & 3, 2013

Posted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 3:53 am
by B4real
rnielsen wrote:I thought the "Patronizing " remark was in reference to the somewhat delayed and tepid applause after the little piano solo. Anyway his response was hilarious.
It's just his patter - In Brooklyn last year in December, during Tower Of Song he asked an almost identical rhetorical question. "Are you humouring me?"
and in New York, MSG "Is this charity for the elderly?" He's just changing it up a bit, probably for himself as well as us. :)

.... and I'm so glad you all had a great time :D

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Oakland, March 2 & 3, 2013

Posted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 5:34 am
by Chloe
artolog wrote:Agree with the kudos above.. Here's a shot of Leonard from last night that I took:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/artolog/8525368014/
Wonderful capture of Leonard! Can't wait for the Winnipeg concert next week!

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Oakland, March 2 & 3, 2013

Posted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:15 am
by oblivion
...he´s wearing two bracelets now...
that´a great shot thank you!
and thak you comfortandpain
now i got a little idea from what i´m suffering.(PCDD)
i love leonards words about mirrors, life expectancy tables and solitary persons.
the lover lover lover is back!

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Oakland, March 2 & 3, 2013

Posted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:33 am
by basecamp
comfortandpain wrote:I am the guy who was updating crap on Tumblr last night.. (http://comfortandpain.tumblr.com/) [<--this is me]
...
Before Ain’t No Cure for Love, he said something like “I make my way to the mirror, and said to myself, ‘Just lighten up Leonard, for Christ sake!’ ”...
Wow, just like me... every day! ;-)