Friday, February 6, 2009

Leonard Cohen Plays Brisbane

I've been to a few concerts in my time and quite a lot recently
as you all know. Sometimes something comes along that I
instantly place in that place in my memories where all the
truely great experiences go, this is one of those things.
As far as a concert goes it is one of the greatest I have
seen, it up there with my other greats and for a few different
reasons. I mean the musicianship was incredible, the band
fantastic, the backing singers unreal, the songs some of the
greatest written, but Leonard connected with
me on an emotional level almost exclusively by his songs.
There was a little talking in between songs, but nothing
like say Michelle Shocked who bears her soul and draws
you in. I heard audible grasps from people around me
when he spoke the chorus to Anthem
and that was all he had to do

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.

You can see a recent video of that song at the end of this post.
All the favorites were there, Tower of song, Chelsea Hotel #2,
Suzanne, Everybody Knows, The Future, Bird on the wire,
So long Marianne, The Future, I'm your Man, 1000 Kisses Deep
Boogie Street, First We Take Manhattan, In My Secret Life
and of course Hallelujah.
So many songs over 20 I'm sure, at 74 perhaps Leonard
wants this tour to be how he is remembered and he couldn't have
given more. Two separate hour long sets and 3 encores, he played
for some 3 plus hours. Even Paul Kelly who put on a fine set
himself as support, declared it a privilege to be on this tour.
26 years since he last played here in Brisbane, a show I
missed and 15 years since gracing a stage he gave us this
insight into where he'd been.

“It’s been 15 years since I was on stage
I was 60 then, just a young kid with a crazy dream.
Then I took a lot of Prozac. And Zoloft.
And Wellbutrin, Ritalin, Effexor…
I studied all the religions and philosophies of the world too
but somehow, cheerfulness just kept breaking through.”

It might be the most expensive gig I've ever been to,
but well worth it, I find it incredible that you can
even buy something like that.
If hes coming to a town near you make sure you don't
miss it.

The band was
Leonard Cohen - vocals, acoustic guitar, keyboard.
Roscoe Beck - bass, double bass, background vocals
Neil Larsen - keyboards, Hammond B3, accordion
Bob Metzger - guitar, steel guitar, background vocals
Javier Mas - bandurria, laud, archilaud
Rafael Bernardo Gayol - drums, percussion
Dino Soldo - keyboard, saxophone, wind instruments, dobro, background vocals
Sharon Robinson - vocals, shaker
Hattie Webb - vocals, harp
Charley Webb - vocals, guitar


Mona said...

Bob, you have almost hit the nail on the head. I saw LC the other night here in Melbourne and am still trying to process what exactly I saw! It certainly wasn't anything to do with that lovable, frivolous beast called rock'n'roll! A few things at my blog already but more as I process what it was...complicated but bloody amazing!!!
PS I may point a few people in yr direction or rip off yr thoughts...still not sure!!!

Bob, Brisbane, Australia said...

Thanks Mona point or rip, I'm glad to hear from others and what they thought. It was almost like something I heard Bono say, as much as he irritates me, that no matter where you are in the spectrum of human existence, he's got a song for you.
ciao bob

Mona said...

Would you mind if I used that clasped hand photo and just linked to yr post?

Anonymous said...

Great Review from Stephen Walker.

Set One
01. [0:44] audience welcome
02. [5:36] Dance Me to the End of Love
03. [6:55] The Future
04. [5:06] Ain't No Cure for Love
05. [6:16] Bird on the Wire
06. [0:33] talk (Australia Day)
07. [5:42] Everybody Knows
08. [5:05] In My Secret Life
09. [7:29] Who By Fire
10. [4:11] Chelsea Hotel #2
11. [4:36] Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye
12. [11:32] Anthem

Set 2
13. [6:49] Tower of Song
14. [3:57] Suzanne
15. [6:39] The Gypsy's Wife
16. [5:18] The Partisan
17. [5:56] Boogie Street
18. [7:27] Hallelujah
19. [5:51] I'm Your Man
20. [3:27] A Thousand Kisses Deep [recitation]
21. [10:26] Take This Waltz

Encore 1
22. [0:36] audience sounds
20. [5:34] So Long Marianne
21. [6:24] First We Take Manhattan

Encore 2
22. [6:30] Famous Blue Raincoat
23. [5:37] If It Be Your Will
24. [7:16] Democracy

Encore 3
25. [9:03] I Tried to Leave You
26. [3:02] Wither Thou Goest

Bob, Brisbane, Australia said...

Mona you can link or use anything
you need.
look forward to your post
ciao bob

Mona said...

Was actually miles away/ they are just photos with a small camera taken off the screen!!! Surprised how well they turned out!

Bob, Brisbane, Australia said...

damn i would have done that if i had taken a camera. Video too
ciao bob

Mona said...

See that Paul Kelly's support set from Sydney has just gone up at Dime/ hopefully LC will get uploaded soon there.

Bob, Brisbane, Australia said...

Fantastic Mona thanks for the heads up

Joyful said...

I have been to hundreds, thousands of concerts and this was the best I've ever been to (it helped also that I was seventh row, I feel so lucky!). I also know that nothing will ever top it.

Bob, Brisbane, Australia said...

wow 7th row you were quick getting tickets, it was a night to remember and theres a dvd coming soon.
ciao bob

Aikido Kiryat Anavim said...

Dear Bob,

Loved your remarks about Leonard Cohen's concert. I had the pleasure of watching him on his 75th birthday in Barcelona, Spain.

Did you personally take the picture of Leonard Cohen holding his hands in front of the mic? If you did, I would really appreciate it if you sent me the original file. It is an amazing picture.

Eyal Wurgaft,

Bob, Brisbane, Australia said...

hi Eyal, glad you liked the post, sorry i didnt take any photos at the concert, i found that one on the web