"joeshrubbery" has uploaded another song - a wonderful performance of ...
"joeshrubbery" has uploaded another song - a wonderful performance of ...
On Twitter: https://twitter.com/NoIdeasTheBlogBefore the second set begins, a circulating rumour speaks of a set-change: Heart With No Companion might be dropped in after Suzanne, and before Waiting for the Miracle. For my part, I need to know as and when the change is occurring, because Mitch uses two different guitars; a standard Telecaster for Heart, and a baritone guitar for Miracle.
Mitch and I huddle; ‘Okay,’ I say, clapping and rubbing my palms together. ‘If he calls Heart, you need to give me a sign.’
‘How about this?’ Mitch taps his chest lightly — a flutter, if you will.
‘That’s good,’ I reply, ‘but what about this?’ I open my mouth, widen my eyes until their red edges bulge, and flap my hands in affected terror at the panic of something new in the set. In the end we agree on Mitch’s way; the flutter came, the change was made, and the set continued as per Hamilton.
Leonard Cohen, Halifax, April 13, 2013
by Andrew Douglas
Leonard Cohen, Halifax, April 13, 2013
Despite his age, Leonard Cohen is not an oldies act.
His latest release, Old Ideas, is the best-selling album of his almost half-century career for reasons other than nostalgia. The songs on 2012's Old Ideas stack up with the best material of his career, a statement that simply can't be made about any other artist of the Montrealer's vintage, not even Dylan. Although the man born as Robert Zimmerman has been enjoying a late-career renaissance of his own since 2001's Love and Theft, nobody can seriously argue that any of his material from that point on deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as mid-60s landmarks Highway 61 Revisted or Blonde on Blonde. Dylan himself has even said that those albums came from a different place, almost like they were written by a different person.
But aside from the changes in Leonard Cohen's voice over the years - the basso profondo LC we find on Old Ideas is the Voice of God to the reedy-voiced Jesus Christ found on 1967's Songs of Leonard Cohen - the lyrics and melodies of Leonard Cohen's recent catalog of songs match, maybe even surpass, the terrible beauty of anything that preceded them.
Two highlights of Leonard's three-and-a-half hour-plus tour-de-force performance in Halifax on April 13 came from songs on Old Ideas. He played six of the ten songs from that record, by my count.
The performance of Come Healing, featuring England's Webb Sisters, Leonard's modern-day sisters of mercy, was one of the most uplifting musical experiences of my 35 years. The Webbs are angels at the gates of Heaven, and Leonard is an old, battered sinner hoping his penance will gain him admission. Sort of A Singer Must Die (from New Skin for the Old Ceremony, 1974) played straight, there were surely tear-stained cheeks in the almost-sold out crowd following it.
Anyhow represents what he'd like to say to a former love he's wronged (Have mercy on me, baby/After all I did confess/Even though you have to hate me/Could you hate me less). It's preceded by a darkly funny monologue which has our hero lying in a hospital bed at 80 - two years hence - with a nurse offering him a cigarette, the smoking of which transports him back to the time in his life when he hurt this particular lady.
The contrast between these two songs represents quite handily the experience of this Leonard Cohen concert, with the Metro Centre being transformed at turns into a church and bordello, a monastery and seedy nightclub at Closing Time.
Besides the new material, Leonard and his nine-piece band played through generous portions of I'm Your Man (1988) and The Future (1992), and tunes from every era including the predictable (Suzanne, Bird on The Wire, Hallelujah) and the less so, including Lover, Lover, Lover (New Skin for the Old Ceremony) and Heart with no Companion (Various Positions, 1984).
A fantastic concert for any artist of any age, Leonard's performance was not less than heroic for a man of 78 years. Although he observed at the outset his hope that he's not on his farewell tour, he almost certainly is. While it seemed highly improbable he would return to Halifax after his five-night stint at the Rebecca Cohn in 2008, I imagine Vegas would put the odds at around a half million to one that he'll step foot on a Nova Scotia stage again after last night. If it was indeed his final show here, it was a worthy farewell. Leonard, thanks for the memory.
Sincerely, a friend.
A few stray observations:
-never has a concert at a hockey arena sounded so good. All future concerts at such venues will be measured in my mind against the crystal-clear audio provided by the Cohen tour's crack team. From my admittedly excellent seat about 20 rows back from the stage at the center of the floor, not a word of lyric was missed, nor a quiet ping emanating from one of Mexico City native drummer Rafaeel Gayol's cymbals. If the show hadn't been so mesmerizing, I would've walked around the arena to hear it from other vantage points, but I simply couldn't peel myself out of my seat.
-Leonard's level of respect for each individual band member is a joy to regard. Leonard acknowledged each member of his band at least twice, most of them many times more. During virtually every instrumental solo, he stood in reverence before the soloist, hat solemnly held over his heart.
Leonard Cohen, 78, entertaining capacity audiences on Old Ideas World Tour 2013
(photo Brian Sørensen Creative Commons license some rights reserved)
Leonard Cohen The Last Romantic Poet Singer Thrills Halifax - Photo Gallery
Published on Monday, 15 April 2013 00:41
Written by Stephen Pate
Photo gallery – 12,000 fans packed the Halifax Metro Centre to hear Leonard Cohen sing about love, sex, death and God for 4 hours
Leonard Cohen, 78, entertaining capacity audiences on Old Ideas World Tour 2013 (photo Brian Sørensen Creative Commons license some rights reserved)Leonard Cohen, 78, entertaining capacity audiences on Old Ideas World Tour 2013 (photo Brian Sørensen Creative Commons license some rights reserved)
A rapt capacity audience of 12,000 fans packed the Halifax Metro Centre on Saturday April 13th, 2013 for Canadian singer/poet Leonard Cohen’s “Old Ideas World Tour”.
The audience thrilled to hear old Leonard Cohen favorites about love, sex, depression, death and God for 4 hours.
To show his vigor, Cohen danced and pranced on and off the stage for a concert that had 3 encores.
Cohen, 78 years old, said he hoped it was not his last visit to Halifax.
A gallery of concert photographs follows on the next page.
Cohen is on a world tour that takes him to St. John, Winnipeg, Regina before he crosses the Atlantic for Paris, London and other European cities.
We will have a full concert review on Monday. Click on a picture to see full size or start the slide show.
LESSONS LEARNED FROM A LEONARD COHEN CONCERT
by Halina St James
WHAT CAN SPEAKERS, presenters and writers learn from Leonard Cohen? Quite a lot, as we discovered when we joined 12,000 other fans at the Halifax Metro Centre at the weekend.
1 -SHOW YOUR PASSION
From skipping on to the stage just after 8pm to skipping off almost four hours later, the 78 year-old showed how much he still enjoys singing for a crowd. His enthusiasm was transmitted to the audience before a word was spoken or a note played.
Business speaker and author Tom Peters used to say 'an audience's biggest turn-on is the speaker's passion for the topic'.
Your audience wants to be engaged, entertained and enlightened. And the quickest way to engage an audience is by being comfortable showing your own passion for your material and your task.
2 - RESPECT YOUR COLLEAGUES
When he wanted to invite a musician to take a solo, Leonard raised his trade-mark fedora to the chosen performer, held the hat over his heart, and stepped back into the shadows until the solo was over.
Show that same support and respect when you are sharing the stage in a group presentation. Don't fidget, count the ceiling tiles or check your watch when others are speaking; focus respectfully on the other speaker. By that simple act you will help focus the audience's attention on the message.
3 - STRIP OUT CLUTTER
Cohen is famous for constantly trimming, polishing and refining his verse. The result is poetry where not a syllable is wasted.
We should all learn the lessons of songwriters and poets. Strip away the clutter. Erase the flowery phrases and adjectival excesses. Make every word work hard for you.
If you want to improve your writing and don't like reading grammar text books, download the lyrics of songs by favourite singers. Check how they tell a story and share an emotion in just a handful of words.
Throwing words at the paper is easy. Delivering maximum message in minimum words is a whole lot harder. But your readers will thank you.
4 - CONNECT WITH YOUR AUDIENCE
Cohen's show in Halifax was one of 22 in North America. Then he's off to Europe. It would be easy to turn up, deliver, and head off for the next destination. The same applies to speakers. There's a danger of thinking of yourself as the sage on stage, turning up, delivering the wisdom and departing.
So let's learn from Leonard. With a few simple phrases, Cohen established common-cause with his audience. He raised his fedora to the folks in the nose-bleed seats: "thanks for climbing all the way up there," he said. He shared recollections of previous concerts in Halifax. And, with the clock heading towards midnight, he acknowledged people who were leaving to catch last buses and pre-ordered taxis. "If you have to leave, please don't feel bad. I know it's getting late."
Any speaker who has ever felt slighted because someone in the audience left the room could learn from Cohen's easy charm and humility.
Halina St James is founder of Podium Coaching, creator of the TalkitOut Technique for upgrading presentation skills, and is author of TalkitOut: From Fears to Cheers. The book is available from our online store.
Fantastic story! Thank you for sharing it.elainecohen wrote:I am still a little shaky from the events and the only way I can describe this is to re post what I posted on my Facebook page this morning. You may not know the people but I hope you enjoy my story of what happened to me. Much love..E
What can I say, Anita MacDonald I know it was Karen who planned for me to meet Leonard Cohen. There is no other way that this could have happened, no way. Here is what happened. It was the most breath taking evening. For those who don't know I went with my friend Rose Westbury. As you all know I have joked about stalking Leonard Cohen, just like I stalk John Alexander..LOL Rose and I went down to Pete's Sunday morning after breakfast. When we were done, I said let's get going because I figured we could just take a run up to the 9th floor where we thought he might be staying, we were on 7. So off we went, stopping for a second at a little shop on Spring Garden Rd that I like. Well we were in there for only a few minutes as we were speaking to CBC about a stabbing that took place just outside the shop that evening, when I had a sudden urge to leave to get back to the hotel. As Rose and I were walking and talking we reached the hotel steps. I looked up to grab the rail ready to climb the stairs, when I came face to face with the man that has brought so much joy, tears and laughter to our life. Here is how it played out. He was looking into my eyes, and my jaw had dropped, and don't ask me how, but I managed to speak. I said "OMG it's you". He just had that calm peaceful grin as he continued just to look into my eyes, not anywhere else. I said to him, "I have loved you forever, you have brought such joy into my life and my sisters. My sister died June 21st so I brought her slippers with me to the concert last night". Well I guess you know I was in tears and crying. He said "thank you for telling me". He never took his eyes off me nor I off him. Then I just looked at him and said "would it be alright if I hugged you". He said, 'yes" with that grin, and gave me the most amazing hug. I was in the arms of Leonard Cohen. I did not want to leave his comforting arms, but I was respectful as they were heading out. I thanked him and off he we all went. I also thanked Sharon for her performance that blew everyone away. I said "you were amazing" Leonard said, "yes she was wasn't she". We all parted ways. All I could feel was Karen looking down on me with that beautiful smile of hers, I can still see it this morning. This was no coincidence. Thank you Karen for giving this to me, I love and miss you so much. E.
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