CONCERT REPORT: Auckland, January 22

New Zealand and Australia (January 20 - February 10, 2009). Concert reports, set lists, photos, media coverage, multimedia links, recollections...
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Re: Auckland, Jan 22

Postby lisz » Fri Jan 30, 2009 11:28 pm

wow, over a week later, and i am still waking up with one of his songs in my head.
I first saw leonard in around 78 in london, - still have the programme somewhere. This latest concert was just so unbelievable, our seats were good and we got to hang onto his every word and movement for 3 hours. I struggled with a great big lump in my throat and the odd tear managed to get away on me - i was overcome by emotion and was staggered by that. Having read on the net i see this seems to be a normal response to his concerts, now i wish i had just let it rip! The love that was in that arena was awesome, he loved us and we loved him back. The power of music can not be underestimated. I see two more rave reviews/columns in the saturday herald today. So neat to know i am not alone in thinking this man is a great poet and performer. He has lessons for us all.
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Re: Auckland, Jan 22

Postby LadyLilley » Sat Jan 31, 2009 2:28 pm

I'm discovering that you don't just return to your life, unchanged, after attending a Leonard Cohen Concert.
Reviews are still coming over a week later. Here is one I read today.

Noelle McCarthy: Backward glance to simply joyous night
4:00AM Saturday Jan 31, 2009
By Noelle McCarthy

I said I'd be writing about Leonard Cohen this week, having run out of room last week to talk about the singularly uplifting show he played at the Vector arena. A week is a long time in column land I know, and Leonard's been and gone, but there are still things about that night I think are worth mentioning.

Not that I'm any good for a review, really, to be honest I've forgotten most of the set list since last Thursday. I didn't know the song he opened with and while I recall the last number was an elegant and thoughtful way of saying goodbye, I can't remember the name of it to save my life.

Truth to tell, I wasn't really as much of a long-time fan as the diehards who surrounded me in their beaming, swaying hundreds, tears streaming down their faces as they listened to the likes of If it be your will and of course, Hallelujah. I did have the obligatory Laughing Len epiphany, discovering his lyrics at the age of 17.

We'd sit at the back of Mrs Breen's English class, passing around the lyrics to Suzanne or Bird on a wire, marvelling at their sad, mysterious sensuality when we were supposed to be making sense of Milton, or Patrick Kavanagh.

In terms of the songwriters who made us yearn for life, lust and experience, Cohen was up there with Dylan and Billy Corgan. We grew up though, and Suzanne somehow got left behind, with the poetry textbooks and homework journals and pregnancy scares.

It's been years since I heard any of his songs. Which is probably what made it such a remarkable thing to be a part of a decorous and devout cast of thousands worshipping at the altar of Len at Vector last week. A rapt crowd who greeted their idol with a standing ovation and found it difficult to keep their seats throughout the night, such was their delight at being part of the audience who received him.

For me the highlights were the songs that came with memories. I can't hear the arch incantation of Everybody knows without thinking of the devastatingly sexy arch of Christian Slater's eyebrow in Pump up the Volume, back when he was being funny and adorable, before he got fat and strange and started brawling with women on the street.

Famous blue raincoat is a song from the days of swooning, back when I knew the value of a good swoon and there were a few fellas of my acquaintance who benefited from that. New to me was 10,000 kisses deep, which proved I still have a swoon or two in me somewhere.

In fairness though, Leonard Cohen is a performer possessed of enough charm to make a graven idol tremble. From the moment he bounded on stage in all his puckish glory he had us in the palm of his hand, and he proceeded to woo and caress us all in turn, men and women, old and young alike until he had stroked and sung us into a satisfied kind of reverie, delivering us into the night beaming and content, if just a little disoriented from the wonder of it.

Much has been made of his "eerie" charm, his power over women. Believe it all and more. It was certainly enough to captivate me - 74 or not, I'd have willingly followed him home. I'm more than a little ashamed to admit that actually, I was saving myself for when Ryan Adams hits town next week.

But the one moment that sealed the deal, that turned the night from singular and special to completely unforgettable, happened right at the end. When I say right at the end, I mean after one of the innumerable encores that Leonard was kind enough to give us that evening.

I don't like encores, usually. They seem like an unnecessary protraction, a self-indulgent little pantomime designed to whip up gratitude and heighten feeling. And they always make me nervous; I'm afraid that if I don't clap long enough, don't shout loud enough I'm not really doing my bit as a diligent member of the crowd.

That the artist won't feel loved enough and will decide to just feck off home instead of playing the one more song that everybody wants. It's a strain. And of course it's pointless, because they always do play the one more that everybody wants, whether I shout and roar or stand there mute as a stone. Encores are a bit of a have.

This one was different though, of course it was. After one of his approximately 36 encores, a woman in the front row reached under her seat and threw a bunch of flowers at Leonard Cohen (he got knickers as well I think; obviously I am not the only one who believes he's still Got It). Off he skipped away, off stage, carrying the lovely bouquet with him.

I was sitting in a spot where I could see into one of the wings, and I watched him there, on-side of stage, pause, and bury his nose in the flowers. Leonard Cohen literally stopped and smelled the roses. And then came back and did what seemed like another 10 encores, and sent us all home happy, feeling more like members of a particularly blessed, joyous, literate congregation than punters at a gig.

Watching him do that did more for my resolve to get what enjoyment I can out of life, while I can, than any self-help manual ever will.

The ticket to the concert was a gift, and I'm very grateful to the giver, because it's one that's kept on giving. Ryan Adams and I have been soul mates for years now (in my head if nowhere else), but he's going to have to pull it out of the hat when he plays here next week, if he's to stand any chance of living up to Len.

You can find it here: ... 399&pnum=0
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Auckland, January 22

Postby deadladiesman » Thu Sep 30, 2010 4:07 pm

Hi everyone,

I'm new to this forum, and I know that this post is coming in very, very late. But I would just like to reiterate what everyone else has said.

This show was amazing. Hands down the single greatest concert I have been to in my relatively short life. I am 18 now, and was 16 and the time of the concert. I was raised on a diet of R.E.M., Star Trek and Leonard Cohen from a very young age, by a father who I must say has amazing taste in music ;-) .

As a child, I shrugged Leonard off as boring. I wanted excitement in music, and a singer who seemed to speak to me...but really, looking back, I was just following trends. Leonard's music is neither popular, nor widely appreciated by my generation, and people my age. While most acknowledge him as "the guy who did Hallelujah" (though most seem to think that's either Jeff Buckley or Rufus Wainwright these days), they shrug him off like I once did. Once I started listening to Leonard Cohen again, at about 15, I really started to understand what he was about. And how he has affected me.

This concert was something of a pilgrimage for me, as I imagine it may have been for many other attendees. I went with my dad, whom Leonard has also had a great influence on, and we both knew that we were going to experience something special.

Special doesn't even begin to describe it.

Even though I swear I was the youngest person in Vector Arena (and I did get some searching looks from various attendees), it didn't matter. What came from that stage transcended age, race, religion...none of it mattered. You were bought into this man's world. His vision. It was touching. It was emotionally moving. Most concerts are fun, some acts have presence, but none have emotionally affected me like Leonard did. He was so genuine. His thank you's and speeches didn't seem staged and practiced. His jokes didn't seem like they'd been told a thousand times before. It felt like it was just for us. Just for me. How he managed to be so personal, and yet speak to nigh on 20,000 people at once, I can't understand.

I think it just comes down to the fact that Leonard knows he is just like you and I, and he accepts that. Despite being a rich, famous, gifted person, who has the privilege of being able to do what he loves for living, he accepts that he is human just like everybody else. His words can speak to so many people, who differ so much from one another, because he sings about being alive. About experiences we all have. It's a beautiful thing.

And so, my pilgrimage was enlightening. From being Danced to the End of Love, to First Taking Manhattan, I know that this is one of the best memories I will ever have. Leonard has been one of few constant presences in my life. Through all the phases of Alternative Rock, Heavy Metal, Classic Rock and Rap, I always seemed to come back to Leonard. Like a warm bed which was always made no matter how far, or for how long I strayed. When my dad passes, as he sadly will one day, this will be one of the memories I will treasure the most.

Thank you Leonard, from a young soul,
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Auckland, January 22

Postby MaryB » Fri Oct 01, 2010 11:00 pm


It is never too late to post a review. Thank you for your absolutely wonderful and touching post!

Warmest regards,

(P.S. At the inception of the tour, it is true that the majority of the audiences were 'mature', but as it has progressed I have seen the age demographics change to include so many, many more younger attendees. You are truly fortunate to have 'found' him at your age and to have been able to witness a live performance.)
1993 Detroit 2008 Kitchener June 2-Hamilton June 3 & 4-Vienna Sept 24 & 25-London RAH Nov 17 2009 NYC Feb 19-Grand Prairie Apr 3-Phoenix Apr 5-Columbia May 11-Red Rocks Jun 4-Barcelona Sept 21-Columbus Oct 27-Las Vegas Nov 12-San Jose Nov 13 2010 Sligo Jul 31 & Aug 1-LV Dec 10 & 11 2012 Paris Sept 30-London Dec 11-Boston Dec 16 2013 Louisville Mar 30-Amsterdam Sept 20

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