CONCERT REPORT: Grand Prairie, April 3

USA and Canada (April 1 - June 4, 2009). Special concert for fans in NYC (February 19). Concert reports, set lists, photos, media coverage, multimedia links, recollections...
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CONCERT REPORT: Grand Prairie, April 3

Post by geo » Sat Apr 04, 2009 6:17 pm

What a fantastic performance! I will be thinking about it for a very long time. Thank you, Leonard!
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Grand Prairie (Apr 3)

Post by studio60 » Sat Apr 04, 2009 6:26 pm

Leonard Cohen is still the man "born with the gift of a golden voice." He hasn't lost his touch, and Hallelujah brought me to tears.
I had never heard of the Webb Sisters before, but I will never forget them, they handled If It Be Your Will with precision and grace.
The theatre was packed, and there were people from all walks of life. I even sat next to a really nice couple from Canada. Definately a
night to remember forever.
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Dallas show seat upgrade (balcony closed)

Post by Satchel » Sat Apr 04, 2009 10:08 pm

We bought seats in the balcony at Nokia Live theater in Grand Prairie TX (outside Dallas). We got $60 seats in the first row of the balcony.

When we arrived, the lady who scanned our tickets noticed our location and directed us to a table where a man said the balcony was closed and everyone was being moved down to the floor level.

I was concerned about getting stuck on the extreme side of the theater. I'd seen those seats available when I bought and I purposefully bought upstairs to get centers.

I was soon thrilled with the upgrade, as we were almost center-stage on the 11th row.
They had to be the $275 tickets. I guess those didn't sell well. In fact, there were 8 open seats in a row right in front of us.

The lower level looked pretty full, but there were spots that were empty.

All in all, great show.
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Grand Prairie (Apr 3)

Post by MarieM » Sat Apr 04, 2009 10:33 pm

So glad to hear Leonard has picked up right where he left off during the last leg, being brilliant and pleasing his audience. What did you think of the new song? Did you catch the set list?
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Grand Prairie (Apr 3)

Post by ProfNowlin » Sun Apr 05, 2009 2:24 am

Last night, upon entering Nokia Theatre in Grand Prairie—a venue as soulless as its name indicates, though its first-rate sound redeems it—I was of course, as a certified Cohenite, beyond excited at the prospect of seeing Leonard Cohen live for the first time. I knew that the night promised to be the supreme musical honor of my concert-going life. That said, and in the spirit of Cohen’s art, which consistently speaks out of and to those realms of experience that we deeply feel but usually fail to acknowledge (even to ourselves), I must admit that I was not without apprehension. This was, after all, the third night in a row of the (improbable, and no-doubt thanks to Roscoe Beck) Texas kickoff to the U.S. part of the tour. Would there be the seemingly inevitable letdown after the two Austin shows (trust me when I say as I lifelong Texan that everyone, in whatever context, feels a precipitous decline of élan when making the transition from Austin to Dallas)? Also, since I had been listening to the Live in London CD pretty much constantly for the past two days, would I find the concert too familiar and therefore lacking in a certain freshness, an adventurous edge, that I had always imagined would go along with seeing Leonard live?

The answer to both questions is a resounding no. For the entire three-hours-plus of the show, I hung on every word, every note—delivered as if this were simultaneously the first and last show Cohen would ever perform. I know the by-now de rigueur acknowledgment that Cohen is a consummate performer and an infamous perfectionist, the kind of guy—contra Dylan, it must be said—who would never just phone in a performance, but this was a show that exuded a level of passion that, though certainly dependent on discipline and diligence, can never be reduced to conscientious preparation and earnest execution. Notwithstanding either my undeniable predisposition to love the concert, or the visionary dash (not flood) of alcohol that was concomitant to this predisposition, this was simply the best concert I’ve ever seen. “Concert” does not do the experience justice, as the performance created a kind of sacred space that, in my experience, characterizes only the highest manifestations of art (I’m aware that Field Commander Cohen himself would likely undercut the grandiosity and pretentiousness of this claim with either a self-deprecating verbal wink or a delightfully worldly allusion to chthonic passion, but then again self-deprecation and earthy fire also weave their way through all the art that endures).

Every song was truly a highlight, but I found myself especially moved by “Chelsea Hotel #2,” “Anthem” (which single-handedly won over my wife to full-blown Cohen fandom), “Famous Blue Raincoat,” and the overtly Spanish/Gypsy-styled songs—“Who by Fire” and “The Gypsy’s Wife”—which I recently described elsewhere when writing about the London concert as “a Jewish/Spanish plunge into the heart of the Duende… songs that sound as if an aged Talmudic scholar—with eyes that still twinkle at the ladies—somehow took up with a band of gypsies and jazzmen and decided to sing about the deepest mysteries of love and longing and death.” “Chelsea” was less coy than the original, but the gravitas that Cohen now effortlessly conveys gave its celebration of the liminal beauty and poetry of music much more resonance. It was also great to witness the band flexing its muscles on “First We Take Manhattan” and “I Tried to Leave You.” Placing the latter song after “Closing Time” and yet another encore was a wonderful touch of humor. And for those of you who have not yet heard the new song, “Lullaby,” you are in for a real treat! The between-songs addresses to the audience were pretty much recycled from the earlier tour (as I’ve gathered from the recordings of the London and the Beacon shows), but they still felt authentic. Wearing a cowboy hat to perform the almost bluesy “I Tried to Leave You” did seem like a unique-to-Texas touch…

I could write much more about the songs, and much better, and do greater justice to just how exquisite this Dallas (Grand Prairie) show was, but time does not permit… Suffice it to say: For those of you who haven’t seen this tour yet, do whatever you have to do to make it to one of the stops.

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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Grand Prairie (Apr 3)

Post by ladydi » Sun Apr 05, 2009 3:00 am


An incredible review! I am looking forward SO much to being in Phoenix tomorrow evening! In my estimation, Leonard can do no wrong. I am totally willing to listen to the same concert I heard in Copenhagen and the Beacon. But the addition of Closing Time (great song!) and the new Lullaby are very very special.

Thank you so much for your input!

All the best,
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Grand Prairie (Apr 3)

Post by bridger15 » Sun Apr 05, 2009 3:11 am

Dear Brian/ProfNowlin

Your review is the most outstanding, literate and scholarly concert analysis I have ever read. I appreciated it so much, I printed a copy to keep - the first time I have ever printed anything off the Forum.

My compliments on your extarordinary report!

May we have more please...
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Grand Prairie (Apr 3)

Post by yrfuneralmytrial » Sun Apr 05, 2009 4:00 am

@ Brian - Man, what a great review. You really nailed my wife & I's thoughts on last night's show.

My wife & I drove 6+ hours to see the Dallas/Nokia show. Some non-performance observations... In our small "circle of good music-loving friends", we don't really know anyone "older" into Cohen. At the show however, pretty much every person looked liked they were actually in Peter, Paul & Mary! Not a thing wrong with that, just expected to see more aging post-hipster/DIY/underground musician types. Okay, the Nokia... the good? AWESOME sound! I mean it was like a CD + magical air. Just live and clean. Also, they have two large screens with multi-camera set-ups that I actually found very useful. The lighting was simple, elegant and effective.
The bad? Well, $15 parking fee, outrageous concession prices and a souless atmosphere. Also, as our luck would have it, in a room of people totally engaged we were unfortunately seated next to a somewhat bizarre boho type that kept laughing maniacally at nothing and a drunken girl "pulling stars" from the sky all night. You know, the type that has to make the show about them. Oh well, nothing could've ruined the show though.

As writer Brian wrote, the performance was simply amazing. The set-list, the sound, the stage vibe. Leonard ruled but occasionally, I would think "the acoustic guitarist (etc...) is the special weapon. Then, the Webb sisters would amaze (and cartwheel!), then Sharon would steal the show. All in all, he's got one extrordinary group in tow. We were blown away by a number of things. Leonard's voice (mesmerizing), Leonard's showmanship (pure old school "please 'em"), Leonard's agility (watching him skip around was hilarious) and his obvious humility, thoughtfulness and gratitude for his place in life right now. He pretty much represents everything I'd love to see myself grow into as a man. I feel like I learned a few "life lessons" last night. I hope they stick with me. Thanks Leonard and Co. for such an amazing night!!!
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Grand Prairie (Apr 3)

Post by JacquelineR » Sun Apr 05, 2009 8:05 am

ProfNowlin wrote: I hung on every word, every note—delivered as if this were simultaneously the first and last show Cohen would ever perform. I know the by-now de rigueur acknowledgment that Cohen is a consummate performer and an infamous perfectionist, the kind of guy—contra Dylan, it must be said—who would never just phone in a performance, but this was a show that exuded a level of passion that, though certainly dependent on discipline and diligence, can never be reduced to conscientious preparation and earnest execution.


I was so lucky to be at the Beacon show and look forward to Radio City with sweet pink pixie dust in my heart. Not at all surprised to hear how consistently magical the shows are. Am compelled to stick up for Dylan. Saw him at Prospect Park in Brooklyn last summer and he was totally in the moment. Not at all phoned in. He was powerful and absolutely together and wailed. Is the second best show have ever seen so far.


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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Grand Prairie (Apr 3)

Post by capofrank » Sun Apr 05, 2009 8:26 am

The hall had side rows at $130, so we went with those, because we could tell on the map that it put us close to the stage, but more near the band then, say, the Webb Sisters. Sightlines were perfect, and the acoustics were good.

Near the end of the show, when some of us from the front rows congregated near the front of the stage, on his last song finished, I had to yell, "We love you, Leonard!" He slightly reacted to it, but went on trying to say how grateful he was and how he hoped we would all meet again.

I was really glad to see what I thought was a full house, only to find they closed the balcony. But, this is a hall that holds over 6000, and Leonard's news of his, well, they might have sold more if that had been more time. I noticed the local PBS affiliate promoting Leonard's concert.

After listening to all the CD's and watching all the DVD's, it was a royal pleasure to get to see Leonard LIVE.
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Grand Prairie (Apr 3)

Post by jarkko » Sun Apr 05, 2009 3:30 pm ... e-april-3/
Concert Review: Leonard Cohen at Nokia Theatre (April 3)
By Mandi Collier

Friday night, Nokia Theatre was transformed from a mid-sized, 6,000 capacity venue, to an old-school jazz lounge. With the mezzanine closed and the blue lights low, the ambiance was set for a night dedicated to songwriting legend Leonard Cohen.

The crowd was an interesting mix, several of them clad in hats; the signature Cohen fedora among the majority of them. But regardless of what adorned their heads, one and all gathered to hear the famous prose put to music. Immediately as the show began, the surprises followed suit. The star of the show (well into his seventies) was skipping lightheartedly onto the stage to welcome his fans and begin his three-hour presentation.

Playing many old favorites right from the start, each attendee was reintroduced to the raspy bass that makes up Cohen’s one-of-a-kind vocals. The stage was dressed with long, understated curtains, several area rugs, and instruments- both traditional and obscure. Throughout the evening, sounds would come from the likes of a bassoon, mandolin, harp, and an unidentifiable electric clarinet. Throughout his two set show, Cohen sang and read poetry, while intermittently doodling on several instruments. As intermission ended, the frontman started the second half playing what he comically deemed a “sophisticated keyboard.” This sarcastic statement was just one of many during the night, as yet another surprise was realized- this guy has a sense of humor too!

The second set featured many of the tunes from Live in London- Cohen’s first release since 2001. "Suzanne" and "Boogie Streets" were among them, the latter he explained, was co-written by backup vocalist and producer Sharon Robinson. During each number, Cohen’s eyes were closed and his fists clenched, often bending on one knee. Each song was an opportunity to share just a little bit of himself- and he had to make them all count.

The latter half of the show also included perhaps the most familiar Cohen tune - one that has been covered time and time again. And though the most popular version is likely the courtesy of Jeff Buckley, the song took on new meaning hearing it from its original source. There was a greater understanding of what the illusive "Hallelujah" meant to Cohen when he wrote it over twenty years ago.

After the multiple encores ended and bows were taken, the house lights came up and the masses went their separate ways, each of them taking a small piece of Cohen’s musical poetry along for the ride.

This story was submitted by a member of the Pegasus News community.
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Grand Prairie (Apr 3)

Post by Detour » Mon Apr 06, 2009 12:51 am

I can't add much to the already great reviews and reports here but I have a couple of comments. Overheard this comment while leaving the theater:

"I'm an atheist who just had a deeply spiritual experience"

I had the pleasure of sitting behind a six year old boy who wore a fedora (and removed it during the show) and sang along with nearly every song. What a wonderful experience to watch him enjoy the show. I'm fairly certain Leonard was able to see the child too because it seemed to me that he looked at him frequently. That might have been my imagination though.

I saw several people recording video, including one who went down front and off to the left several times, and none of them were asked to stop. That was surprising to me.
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Grand Prairie (Apr 3)

Post by ProfNowlin » Mon Apr 06, 2009 12:21 pm

Since the remarkable DrHGuy has cited on his blog ( ... tour-page/) the part of my above post that mentions Cohen changing into what I called a "cowboy hat," I should be more precise: the hat in question was not some J.R. Ewing monstrosity as large as a sombrero from an imagined Dionysian outtake of "The Lost Canadian" (merging into "Don't Go Home With Your Hat-On"). Rather, to my eyes, at least, L.C.'s (Texas specific?) costume change involved one of those spiffy black western-style hats that Dylan often wears. It was definitely the closest I've ever seen to Cowboy Cohen, and it undeniably added to the raw, unlimbered quality of the performance of "I Tried to Leave You" -- almost as if the Nokia Theatre had momentarily become Stubb's Barbecue. Perhaps some of you in attendance who have a better knowledge of hats can clarify, as this is the kind of point that DrHGuy, to whom I tip my own virtual hat, likes to be quite precise about.

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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Grand Prairie, April 3

Post by dragnsteph » Tue Apr 07, 2009 11:26 am

I'm going to chime in here and add my "best concert I've ever seen" and "amazing" and "spiritual" and all of the things everyone above me has said. We were in the "cheap seats" of the lower balcony and it was an amazing show. The Nokia might be soulless in character, but it has WONDERFUL sound, and there's not a bad seat in it.

I will admit to being slightly irritated that the upper balcony people were moved down below. It would have been nice to have say, moved the presale, or the fan club people down or something - we were separated out into our own batch of will-call, it wouldn't have been hard to move those people I don't think. It didn't damped my enjoyment of the show, it was just an aw man, we could have been in the front! feeling.

There were, as someone above mentioned, lots of people taking pictures and video - even flash shots which I would have assumed someone would have taken offense to. I didn't bring my camera, so I had to resort to craptastic camera phone shots, but I did exchange emails with a neighbor who was well-equipped camera-wise and he said he would send me some of the good ones :)

I'm thrilled to have finally gotten to see Mr. Cohen in concert - I've been waiting for it my entire adult life, ever since I discovered him in my freshman year of college (My undying thanks to Concrete Blonde for being on the Pump Up The Volume soundtrack. I'm not ashamed to admit it!), in 1992. I picked up The Future and fell in love, and I've been hoping for a tour ever since! I'm so glad I went, and don't feel like it was money in any way that I shouldn't have spent, even unemployed.. except for the Nokia's ridiculous parking charges :P

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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Grand Prairie, April 3

Post by capofrank » Wed Apr 08, 2009 3:05 am

Many fans found the Grand Prairie show to be the best thing they had ever seen. I expected a great concert, but I didn't expect that days later I'd still have a feeling left by the experience. Not just from the stimulus of incoming email. This was the best show I have ever seen. I'm 57, and have seen some top groups from a few choice eras, but I can't think of another show where an artist gives away his songs with such a love and commitment.

Leonard was speculating on stage as to when we would all meet again. I do hope that happens, and that the wait for such an event will be a short one.
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