CONCERT REPORT: Tel Aviv, September 24

Europe and Israel (July 1 - September 24, 2009). Concert reports, set lists, photos, media coverage, multimedia links, recollections...
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Tel Aviv, September 24

Post by yaniv297 » Fri Sep 25, 2009 1:29 pm

seadove wrote:
The people before us didn't even pay for their tickets (got them as a present), and when "Bird on the Wire" began, one of them asked loudly "Isn't this Hallelujah?".
Ho yes Yaniv, I know exactly what you're talking about! I sat in block number 14 next to a guy who was no anal I thought to myself maybe that was my punishment not to buy the 1200 shekel tickets. He and his wife did not even clao hands, they just sat there and stared at the stage. Then at one point he requested me to "calm down" and not sing along with Cohen because he can't hear the kyrics from him. :neutral: My wife told me to ignore him and continue to enjoy myself in my own way but I decided to respect his request instead and that spoiled quite a lot of the atmosphere for what I paid for.

Damn those idiots. Not you. him.
Well if that helps you, there were people like him in the 1200 shekel place too. I do remember a guy in front of me who stood up and applauded after every song, but almost nobody else did... at least he tried. "Hallelujah" was the first song to receive a standing ovation (not counting "Anthem", when LC walked out).
gever27 wrote: as for the DVD,as much as i know,the concert had filmed in HD with hebrew subtitles,so yes-there will be an HD dvd of the concert
According to Jarkko, every concert which had screens was recorded... but so far only one was released as DVD. so it's not likely this show will be a dvd.
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Tel Aviv, September 24

Post by seadove » Fri Sep 25, 2009 1:36 pm

I think that the Ramat Gan concert was such a huge success I can't believe that they won't dvd it.
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Tel Aviv, September 24

Post by yaniv297 » Fri Sep 25, 2009 1:36 pm

Oh and here's a picture of my setlist...
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Tel Aviv, September 24

Post by sturgess66 » Fri Sep 25, 2009 1:41 pm

From "moshete" on YouTube -

Another video of Hallelujah - a video of the audience and the green candles.

From "TaliaE" -

Suzanne (you can see the Hebrew translation on the big screen)
Last edited by sturgess66 on Fri Sep 25, 2009 1:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Tel Aviv, September 24

Post by gever27 » Fri Sep 25, 2009 1:47 pm

seadove wrote:I think that the Ramat Gan concert was such a huge success I can't believe that they won't dvd it.
i don't think that they brought some FULL HD cameras specially all the way to israel if there are not attended to DVD it
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Tel Aviv, September 24

Post by yaniv297 » Fri Sep 25, 2009 2:06 pm

Found these on YouTube:

First We Take Manhattan:

The Future:
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Tel Aviv, September 24

Post by AyalaBE » Fri Sep 25, 2009 2:15 pm

I was in row 98 of the grass, the 1000NIS area, and some of the audience were very stiff as well....actually it was the first time I have been to a concert where everyone stayed sitting down, although by the 2nd half that changed and then everyone started enjoying themselves more, I was on my feet clapping after every song and some of my neighbours were looking at me like I was nuts.
My only regret is that I wish he had done Who by Fire more towards the end, when things had warmed up more.

It would be good if there was special seating for diehard fans to stand together!

I am sure it would have been recorded - wouldn't the organisers have recorded it? How can we contact them to request a DVD?

Even if it isn't proper quality like the London one, if it is better than the cellphone recordings we will see on youtube it would be worth buying just to have the whole thing, especially the encores....
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Tel Aviv, September 24

Post by yaniv297 » Fri Sep 25, 2009 2:52 pm

AyalaBE wrote: I am sure it would have been recorded - wouldn't the organisers have recorded it? How can we contact them to request a DVD?
It was recorded, but it isn't likely to be released... it's way too similar to "Live in London".

I can see an EP working though... a collection of recording from the entire tour, of songs missing from London (Raincoat, Partisan, Miracle, Chelsea, Lover, etc).
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Tel Aviv, September 24

Post by Evie B » Fri Sep 25, 2009 3:12 pm

I think it is unfortunate that generally reports state that Leonard 'defied' the boycott, to my knowledge there is no boycott in place for him to defy.

It appears that even the neutral reporters in the media have tended to use this terminology.

Surely, it would be more accurate to say he ignored those who have pressured him to boycott Israel?

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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Tel Aviv, September 24

Post by Joan » Fri Sep 25, 2009 3:40 pm

Big, big thanks to everyone for sharing all this wonderful feedback.
It sounds like it was a glorious night.
Kind Regards, Joan.
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Tel Aviv, September 24

Post by ajcox67uk » Fri Sep 25, 2009 4:33 pm

I am glad that Leonard Cohen's Tel-Aviv concert went ahead. I am privileged enough to have seen the great man play 3 times in the last 15 months, in Amsterdam, Birmingham and Weybridge.

I find the idea of cultural boycotts quite repellent. At the moment there is controversy regarding the Toronto International Film Festival, where supposedly enlightened figures like Noam Chomsky have called for a cultural boycott against Israeli films being shown, under the slogan of 'No Celebration of Occupation'. The stimulus for this campaign against Israeli films was the presence of Canadian Jewish businessman, Amir Gissin and his marketing strategy 'Brand Israel' at the festival. The campaigners deny being in support of boycotting Israeli films, yet oppose their being shown because of Gissin allegedly using the festival as a propaganda vehicle for Israel. ... stion/9857

Politically, I am critical of Israeli policies, but I don't see why artists should be tarnished with blame for the actions of their state. In the case of Leonard Cohen, another Canadian Jew also under fire, he should have never been pressured into the position of playing in Ramallah anyway and I am relieved that he didn't play there.
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Tel Aviv, September 24

Post by sirius » Fri Sep 25, 2009 5:25 pm

Singer Leonard Cohen Performs in Israel, Against Backdrop of Criticism

Pro-Palestinian activists have accused Leonard Cohen of betrayal.

By Howard Schneider
Washington Post Foreign Service
Friday, September 25, 2009
Washington Post ... 03406.html

RAMAT GAN, Israel, Sept. 24 -- Singer-poet Leonard Cohen's first concerts for Israelis weren't in Israel. They were for troops in the then-occupied Sinai Peninsula of Egypt, part of a morale-boosting tour that the Montreal native gave during the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

Thirty-six years later, for what has been billed as the Concert for Reconciliation, Tolerance and Peace, the 75-year-old grandfather of angst-pop is again embroiled in the Arab-Israeli conflict. This time he has been the target of a boycott campaign that aims to discourage artists, writers and others from performing or touring in Israel.

As he went onstage Thursday night in a 45,000-seat soccer stadium near Tel Aviv, it was amid accusations that he had betrayed his humanist and Buddhist principles. The concert was "a kind of validation" of Israel's occupation of the West Bank, said Shir Hever, an economist and activist with the Alternative Information Center, a group opposed to Israel's policies toward Palestinians.

The proceeds of the show were intended for a Palestinian-Israeli reconciliation fund started by Cohen, but the singer also decided over the summer to balance the schedule with a smaller companion concert in the West Bank city of Ramallah. "He was mindful of the conflict" when he decided to perform here after a long absence, said manager Roger Kory. The Ramallah concert came under fire as a "pity performance" and was canceled.

At a reception before Thursday's concert, members of the mainstream Israeli peace movement criticized what they regard as fringe groups trying to undercut cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians.

But it was Cohen who "missed the point," Hever said. "Palestinians don't want appeasement, they want recognition of their rights." Israelis "point out the willingness of people like Madonna and Leonard Cohen to give shows as a sign that Israel is normal, like a European country. It evades responsibility," he added.

"I had no idea it would be so difficult to do something simple and good," Kory said on the eve of the concert. The charity Cohen set up was designed around his desire to help Palestinians and Israelis who have lost family members in the conflict and are working toward reconciliation -- the type of "transcendence," Kory said, that Cohen often talks about in his songs and poetry.

Boycotts are nothing new in Israel. The Arab League has had one in place for decades, and even countries such as Egypt and Jordan, which have made peace with their neighbor, have been reluctant partners. But a scattered collection of grass-roots boycott efforts, organized here and abroad by Israelis, Palestinians and others, has scored enough recent successes that it has registered with Israeli businesses and politicians. Alongside a recent U.N. Human Rights Council report on last winter's war in the Gaza Strip, Israeli officials have stepped up diplomatic and other efforts to push back against what they see as a challenge to their country's international standing.

In the aftermath of the Gaza war, a survey by the Israeli Manufacturers Association found that about 20 percent of its members said their business had been affected by overseas efforts to boycott Israeli products. Norway recently ordered a government-held investment fund to sell about $5 million worth of stock in the Israeli high-tech company Elbit Systems because the firm has supplied surveillance equipment for the security barrier running around and through the West Bank. A college in the West Bank settlement of Ariel was kicked out of a solar-architecture competition in Spain.

Cohen was, going by the standards of such things, a significant target. A Jew but not an Israeli, his body of work is more deeply philosophical and his outlook more universalist than that of, say, Madonna, who blithely wrapped herself in the Star of David flag during her recent concerts here, dined with top Israeli politicians and kept the profits as well.

But Cohen has a special place, and Kory said the politics surrounding his show here registered deeply and almost forced a cancellation.

The singer is a bit of a national obsession. The counterculture favorite "First We Take Manhattan" and renditions of the anthemic "Hallelujah" are radio staples. Cohen's concert Thursday, which was part of an extensive world tour, sold out quickly.

There is no doubt, Kory said, that Cohen's Jewish heritage and connection with Israel have influenced his work, but his decision to perform meant to send a broader message.

"How can you boycott a good heart like Leonard Cohen?" said Ali Abu Awwad, a West Bank resident whose brother was killed by Israeli forces and who now works on reconciliation efforts. "We have loss and pain but still believe in peace and reconciliation. We come without labels to talk in one voice. It's not our destiny to keep dying."
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Tel Aviv, September 24

Post by somewhat_nifty » Fri Sep 25, 2009 5:32 pm

Discussion article in the Guardian about Leonard's concert: ... -palestine

Leonard Cohen sings of love and peace

The singer's Tel Aviv concert illustrates the need for constructive engagement, not boycotts, to build Israeli-Palestinian peace

Three days before Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, when everything comes to a halt in Israel, Leonard Cohen sang:

Repent, Repent … I'm the little Jew who wrote the Bible, I've seen the nations rise and fall, I've heard their stories, heard them all, but love's the only engine of survival.

The national football stadium in the Ramat Gan suburb of Tel Aviv has been the scene of many agonising defeats in recent times, but Cohen's performance, with a background of signs saying Shalom, Salaam, Peace, was a triumph of the will. Or as Cohen put it:

Ring the bells that still can ring, forget your perfect offering, there is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in.

"How many roads must a man walk down, before they can call him a man?" asked his fellow troubadour, so many years ago when they both began to build their tower of song and enter into the consciousness of my generation. For Cohen to be able to reach the point of saying "I'm your man", he had to overcome the theft of millions of dollars by his former manager, bouts of depression, transformations of identity, a fainting spell in one of his recent performances and a call that he should boycott Israel as a show of solidarity with the Palestinians.

Cohen's response to the call for a cultural boycott was to create a Fund for Reconciliation, Tolerance and Peace and to devote all of the proceeds from the Israeli concert "to organisations and individuals working in Israel and Palestine to advance the recognition and full expression of human rights in the region".

The singer singled out the Israeli-Palestinian Bereaved Parents Circle, who despite the loss of a close loved one work together for peace and reconciliation. Author David Grossman, who lost a son on the last day of the Lebanon war in 2006, thanked Cohen for his support and the singer answered from the stage that "the bereaved parents' response to their suffering transcends the instinct for anger and revenge, and offers hope from the heart, even the hope for peace".

I have always believed that constructive engagement, and not boycott, is the way to promote an end to the occupation and build Israeli-Palestinian peace. Last week I participated in a brainstorming session of the Palestinian-Israel Peace NGO Forum, a network of more than 100 civil society organisations, which discussed the challenge of promoting greater awareness in the media of activity for human rights, against the occupation and for peace. This is never an easy matter when media is immersed in a Darwinian survival of the fittest and continues to function under the traditional slogan, "If it bleeds, it leads (and also sells)". Cohen's concert, with the media saturation it achieved, provided the answer.

I was not surprised to see Member of Knesset Ilan Gilon (Meretz) at the concert, one of the few MKs who openly declares that he is still a socialist, devoted to both a just society and Israeli-Palestinian peace. However, I also saw MK Tzahi Hanegbi (Kadima) who, as a student at the Hebrew University, used to attack leftwing activists but has now mellowed into an opposition MK who is ready to come to a concert held under the flag of peace and reconciliation.

Roger Waters recently narrated a short film called Walled Horizons, produced by the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs. During the film's finale, in a segment from his 2006 concert at the joint Jewish-Arab community Neve Shalom-Wahat al-Salam, Waters promised to do a performance of The Wall when the separation wall comes down, just as he did when the Berlin wall came down. Just imagine the potential impact that Waters might have if he were to perform the concert today next to the wall, with Israeli and Palestinian singers and a joint audience.

In the words of Cohen's mesmerising version of the old anti-Nazi Partisan Song, one of the highlights of last night's concert and an old staple of leftwing hootenannies during the 1950s and 1960s in the US:

Oh, the wind, the wind is blowing, through the graves the wind is blowing, freedom soon will come; then we'll come from the shadows.

With a little help from our friend, Barack Obama.
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Tel Aviv, September 24

Post by joyezekiel » Fri Sep 25, 2009 5:38 pm

Thank you everyone for all your wonderful posts...... I am sitting here with tears streaming down my face. So many people have talked about Leonard's concerts as being a spiritual experience, but I can only imagine how it must have felt to be in Tel Aviv last night. I'm so happy for everyone who was able to be there.
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Tel Aviv, September 24

Post by sirius » Fri Sep 25, 2009 5:45 pm

Leonard Cohen performs in front of 50,000 in Israel

By City Mouse Online and Haaretz Service

Veteran singer Leonard Cohen took to the stage at Ramat Gan stadium on Thursday night after breaking an Israeli record when all the tickets for his show were sold out in less than 12 hours, despite costing between NIS 1,000 and 1,200.

Seconds after Cohen took to stage in his legendary tailored suit and hat the 75-year-old singer-songwriter softly uttered a Hebrew prayer in front of some 50 thousand people curious to see how the frail looking man planned to overcome the distance between the stage and the people tens of meters in the back.

Ramat Gan stadium was not the most suitable venue for a Leonard Cohen concert. The sound was not at its best and the intimacy factor between the singer and his audience seemed at first somewhat non-existent.

But the very instant the music began and Cohen opened his mouth to sing "Dance Me to the End of Love," his celebrated deep voice overcame each and every centimeter of distance and signaled the triumphant tone of the entire evening.

In the first half of the concert the Canadian virtuoso played his early hits such as "Bird on a Wire" and "Chelsea Hotel" before skipping off the stage like a young boy for a 15 minute break.

As expected Cohen saved his most anticipated songs for the second and most memorable half of the show, "Famous Blue Raincoat," "Hallelujah" and "First We Take Manhattan" which raised the entire stadium to its feet.

Everyone in the audience felt like Cohen was personally singing to them and the enthusiastic and even ecstatic crowd wouldn't let the singer leave until his third encore.

Cohen himself appeared touched by the gesture and in return held one of the most inspiring concerts of the season.

Before the concert, an event was held in the VIP section of the stadium for the Leonard Cohen Fund for Reconciliation, Tolerance and Peace, which gives support to bereaved Israeli and Palestinian families. At this event, grants were given to people who have suffered personally from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but continue to believe in peace and work to achieve it.

Around 200 bereaved Israeli and Palestinian families attended the concert, among them renowned novelist David Grossman. Many other celebrities and movers and shakers of Israeli society were there as well.

Cohen had announced about two months ago that the proceeds from his performance in Israel would go toward the reconciliation fund, after his plan to perform in Israel sparked opposition.

A pro-Palestinian group had called "Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel" urged the singer to cancel the show and launched a protest campaign. And some Palestinian activists called for a boycott because of Israel's invasion of Gaza, which was aimed at stopping daily rocket attacks.

Cohen, who is Jewish but was ordained as a Buddhist monk, responded by offering to perform in the West Bank city of Ramallah. However, that offer was rejected by the Palestinian protesters. He then said all proceeds would go to Israeli-Palestinian peace organizations.

Initially, Cohen asked Amnesty International to help him distribute the funds, which he hoped would help smaller groups that work for coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians. But Amnesty backed out of that arrangement, so Cohen started his own charity to distribute money to community groups. The charity is run by a board of Israelis and Palestinians.

During the concert, organizers screened some of Kobi Meidan's translations of Cohen's songs. But it seemed as if almost everyone knew the English lyrics by heart.

Cohen last performed in Israel in 1975. Before that, he entertained Israeli troops during the Yom Kippur War in 1973.
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