CONCERT REPORTS: Halifax, NS (May 12, 13, 15, 16, and 17)

Canada and Europe (May 11 - August 3, 2008). Concert reports, set lists, photos, media coverage, multimedia links, recollections...
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tomsakic
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Re: Five Concerts in Halifax (May 12 to 17)

Postby tomsakic » Thu May 15, 2008 12:45 am

Interesting fact: there's no Sony behind this tour :) All the people, security, recording equipment, soundboard technicians etc. was hired by Leonard's tour manager. :) This is completely solo business venture. Nothing is going to Sony's pockets. What's good.
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Random thoughts on nights 1 and 2 in Halifax

Postby kaczor47 » Thu May 15, 2008 2:58 am

Well, I am now at the Halifax airport, heading home after attending the first 2 shows on this tour stop in Halifax. I have had a chance to collect some thoughts, so here they are.

While the Maritime shows may be dubbed by some as dress rehearsals, the first two performances at the Rebecca Cohn auditorium were by no means work in progress - these were the second and third shows of the tour and already very polished. Not what one would expect anything less from such a stellar line-up, but more on that later. For the most part the renditions deviated little from the album versions (whether that's a good thing or not is a personal preference, I suppose). One exception would be So Long Marianne, as pointed out previously. The only song that I thought did not work well was In My Secret Life - it sounded a little 'bland', IMO (I do like the album version a lot)

One must also note, and this has been seconded by many fans in attendance, that Leonard's vocals are very strong! This was very evident during pieces such as Closing Time or First We Take Manhattan. It is still early on in the tour, but keep in mind that the performances lasted over 2.5 hours, with multiple encores. Having said that, during the closing of I Tried to Leave You on the second date in Halifax, Leonard did appear somewhat fatigued. Perhaps he himself suggested this when he let his arms fall down to the words "...but my arms are open wide". Yes, most of us would prefer to sit all night while Leonard and the band proceed through each and every album in its entirety, but let us not be greedy!

As mentioned, the band assembled for this tour is absolutely first class. It is perhaps unfair to single out any subset of this group, but the following 'new additions' in my mind deserve special mentions. First would be Dino Soldo. Perhaps because he is a man of many talents (harmonica, saxophone, keyboards, guitar and a great sense of humour), but it was him who received the most acknowledgments from Leonard during the show. A superb musician - it only took a minute or two into the opening of Dance Me to the End of Love for the fans to recognize it.

Next would be Javier Mas on the various Spanish string instruments. Replacing the legendary John Bilezikain is no small feat, but I must say that Mr Mas did a splendid job. Sitting on his wooden chair to the side of the stage, a man of small stature - his presence during the show was anything but. The highlights would obviously be the intro to Who By Fire and Gypsy Wife. His love of the instruments he has mastered evident during the show and also during our brief encounter following the show, where he talked to a small group of us about his 'weapons' (Leonard's words).

Next would have to be the Angels. We are all familiar with Sharon Robinson, the incredible energy of her vocals, she did not disappoint. However, as mentioned by someone on this forum, The Webb Sisters deserve more recognition. Beautiful voices - once again I quote Leonard, who pleaded to Charlie 'oh, please don't stop' during the closing doo-dam-dam-dam's of Tower of Song. They were introduced as the Sublime Webb Sisters, and sublime they were.

As far as the setlist goes, with such an extensive repertoire it would be impossible to satisfy all the fans. However the lineup of songs seems somewhat skewed towards the more recent work, the album I'm Your Man being performed in almost it's entirety! Many commented on the absence of Famous Blue Raincoat and Chelsea Hotel . I was also surprised by the absence of spoken pieces - even Leonard's song intros, so eloquent and captivating, were shorter and less frequent. His litany of substances tried in search of a Cure for Love was the longest monologue. I would have loved to hear the story of fake coconut shells at Polynesian Restaurants of Maimi Beach (as I would have love to hear Chelsea Hotel of course), as I would find of interest Leonard's random thought on laundromats and religious hats. This is not to say, however, that the show was impersonal. He very much sang his stories to the audience and at times conversed with other band members (In My Secret Life duet with Sharon Robinson). And of course there were his genuine reactions to the flowers thrown onto the stage and the numerous I Love You's from the audience. The setlist was thoughtfully organized (opening with Dance Me..., closing with Closing Time and I Tried to Leave You) - this very much was an Evening with Leonard Cohen.

To sum it up, I think that the general sentiment among the exiting fans was that it was a top notch, classy performance. Let us hope that the experience is even a fraction as fulfilling to Leonard as it was to those in attendance.
Last edited by kaczor47 on Thu May 15, 2008 7:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Halifax 12.05.2008, 13.05.2008; Wellington 20.01.2009; Wellington 31.10.2010
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Re: Five Concerts in Halifax (May 12 to 17)

Postby jigster » Thu May 15, 2008 4:31 am

Bootlegging has been around forever...its not right but fans who live and breathe everything about their musical hero, in this case Leonard, want to capture every thing possible; what he had for dinner, what the name of his parrot is and particularly anything and everything he has performed or said.
It is unlikely that any musician will record & release everything they say and do so the fans will make a compromise of what is right and wrong to get everything they can. It will never change. But remunerating the artist might be a way of reconciling it; send him some money or perhaps donate to a cause he would dig. I gather he has a thing for animals; maybe donate to animal cruelty prevention...

Anyway, I just want to say it's been wonderful hearing all the positives about the shows.

I am on the other side of the planet (Melbourne, Australia) and stuck as to what to do about seeing the one performer I have longed to see for so long, something I resigned myself to along time ago that would never happen.
Do I fly the 34 hours to New York (all that is still available) then drive the 5 or 6 hours to Montreal? Do I spend my savings $4000- $5000 to see him when he may continue his world tour beyond the current scope and in fact tour here next year?

Flights at this time of the year are enormously expensive ($3000approx) from this part of the world to there but it may be my only chance.
I ask myself is a 74 year old man, after doing an arduous 48 show tour in 3 months going to jump up and say "lets go to Australia".
I'd be interested to hear from anyone who had an opinion on his plans after this tour. Some seem to think he may do the states in the fall. Is this just rumour, wishful thinking etc....
All I can say is, those of you with the opportunity, consider yourself very fortunate.
(Although of course, you already know that..EVERYBODY KNOWS that...)
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Re: Five Concerts in Halifax (May 12 to 17)

Postby kindave » Thu May 15, 2008 6:08 am

Everybody knows ...

I feel very fortunate to be attending the concert on May 21 in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. To see Cohen perform is one thing, but to have the pleasure of seeing a performance in such an intimate setting as the beautiful Savoy Theatre - an 800 seat theatre - will truly be an amazing experience. I simply cannot believe how fortunate we are in this part of the world to have his tour start here, and I will experience it 4th row center in a small theatre. Simply magical .....
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Tri-me
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Re: Five Concerts in Halifax (May 12 to 17)

Postby Tri-me » Thu May 15, 2008 3:44 pm

It is amazing people feel the need to criticize this group of people at the top of their profession. I worked at the Skydome when Madonna was rehearsing she cursed and yelled at people, (one of her dancers made a mistake and was laughing it off she ragged him out for thinking it was funny) everything had to be absolutely perfect. Little glitches show the humanism a CD is perfection through editing a live show ummmmm.
Saying the concerts are a dress rehearsal please, they have been rehearsing. Try singing Hallelujah and hear what you sound like LOL. We left the Playhouse three hours after he started he gave us so much, his voice was perfect, the band and singers were in sync the concert was perfect. Newspapers should comment on the show and leave the criticism to the performers they are no doubt debriefing after the shows.
He had people in the palm of his hand during the show, my friend was swooning and yelled out I love you, gaud love her she could not help herself. I have been getting emails from friends who are just saying It was great, or wasn't he amazing, as if there are no words that can describe the feelings they are having. Like I said in another thread a fdriend said now I can die, another friend said I have accomplished something I wanted to do for years, see Leonard Cohen. After waiting 26 years to see him live all I can say is that he is worth all the admiration and acclaim he has recieved during his career. OK Tri-me say goodbye
Cheers & DLight
Tri-me (tree-mite) Sheldrön
"Doorhinge rhymes with orange" Leonard Cohen
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Jonnie Falafel
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Re: Five Concerts in Halifax (May 12 to 17)

Postby Jonnie Falafel » Thu May 15, 2008 4:42 pm

The world is full of backbiters and non-supporters: people who chew on wet rags ~ Bob Dylan 1978
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Re: Five Concerts in Halifax (May 12 to 17)

Postby kindave » Thu May 15, 2008 6:51 pm

Speaking of Bob Dylan, there is some speculation in this part of the world (Atlantic Canada where the small theatre shows are now taking place), that there may possibly be a Cohen/Dylan meeting on or around May 24. Both artists are touring and will be in St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada at the same time.
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Re: Five Concerts in Halifax (May 12 to 17)

Postby kaczor47 » Thu May 15, 2008 7:20 pm

Tri-me,

(Forgive me if I misunderstood your response, but...)

I was not saying that this was a dress rehearsal. Rather I was referring to some people calling this Maritime set of shows a 'Pre-Tour'. I was not criticizing the performance, quite the opposite in fact. It was impressive by all counts.


Tri-me wrote:It is amazing people feel the need to criticize this group of people at the top of their profession. I worked at the Skydome when Madonna was rehearsing she cursed and yelled at people, (one of her dancers made a mistake and was laughing it off she ragged him out for thinking it was funny) everything had to be absolutely perfect. Little glitches show the humanism a CD is perfection through editing a live show ummmmm.
Saying the concerts are a dress rehearsal please, they have been rehearsing. Try singing Hallelujah and hear what you sound like LOL. We left the Playhouse three hours after he started he gave us so much, his voice was perfect, the band and singers were in sync the concert was perfect. Newspapers should comment on the show and leave the criticism to the performers they are no doubt debriefing after the shows.
Halifax 12.05.2008, 13.05.2008; Wellington 20.01.2009; Wellington 31.10.2010
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Re: Five Concerts in Halifax (May 12 to 17)

Postby lizzytysh » Thu May 15, 2008 9:06 pm

The setlist was thoughtfully organized (opening with Dance Me..., closing with Closing Time and I Tried to Leave You) - this very much was an Evening with Leonard Cohen.

To sum it up, I think that the general sentiment among the exiting fans was that it was a top notch, classy performance. Let us hope that the experience is even a fraction as fulfilling to Leonard as it was to those in attendance.
Well, I broke down and read... just because I saw your name, Kaczor. Was glad I had, too. "An Evening with Leonard Cohen" was a suggestion I strongly agreed with... don't recall who, or if I, suggested it... it just seemed to fit. "World Tour" does, too, though :D ~ anyway, I'm glad to see that the show lives up to that name. It sounds like this experience has got to be as fulfilling for Leonard as it is for us.

Thanks for your account, Kaczor. I really enjoyed it. Tri-me's, too. I'm so glad you both got to see him perform Live. I'm over the moon hearing that Sony is not involved in this venture 8) . You, too, eh, Lightning?? Good on Leonard's manager and his team :D . Okay, back to ignoring these accounts.


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Re: Five Concerts in Halifax (May 12 to 17)

Postby friscogrl » Thu May 15, 2008 9:11 pm

I am ignoring the comments ( I am seeing him in Toronto), but I am looking at the pictures!!
2008 Toronto June 6/ 2009 New York Feb 19 Oakland April 13 14 Coachella April 17 Ottawa May 25 26 Barcelona Sept 21 Las Vegas 11/12 San Jose 11/13
2010 Malmo Aug 4 Gothenburg Aug 12 Las Vegas Dec 10 & 11
2012 Verona 9/24 San Jose 11/7. Montreal 11/28 11/29/ 2013 Oakland 3/2 NYC 4/6
Hamilton 4/9
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Jonnie Falafel
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Re: Five Concerts in Halifax (May 12 to 17)

Postby Jonnie Falafel » Thu May 15, 2008 10:55 pm

No worries Tri-me. I understood that you were appreciative of the concerts. It just irritates me to see complaints about not performing this or that song in this or that arrangement. To me Mr. Cohen is head and shoulders above most in terms of artistic integrity. Let's just let the expert(s) get on with it. It's not like we've had a million opportinties to bear witness. Peace and love ~ Jonnie
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zintman61
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Re: Five Concerts in Halifax (May 12 to 17)

Postby zintman61 » Fri May 16, 2008 2:43 am

William wrote:Well, Ladies & Gentlemen, so much for your passion for the artist and his work.
The attitude here is, as the Americans say, "Screw him."
So do you buy illegally made DVDs?
Do you believe Leonard and others are not entitled to their royalties?
Do you think the copyright of an artist's material is worthless?
That's what you're saying here.
Fans! Go rotate on a ceiling somewhere.

God bless,
William
I understand where you are coming from on this issue William,but let's look at it in the here and now.
In this age of the all-too-easy-download,official releases are hardly selling,let alone bootlegs.I've watched damn near every record store in my city close...there's one left...ONE!
Internet theft is rampant (regardless of whatever reasons the thieves want to apply to it,such as "sticking it back to the record companies" etc.).The sad,unfortunate reality is new releases debut at #1,sometimes with sales of 8,000 copies...8,000!.
Alarming isn't it??!

Artists are now relying on the revenue generated from live shows,and more importantly,merchandise sales (I was shocked to hear Mr. Cohen's merch wasn't ready to roll for the first date of the tour...someone dropped the ball BIG time!).
The emphasis is now on the live show.Many bands are turning a blind eye when people hold up their cell phone at a show and record a song to later post on Youtube.
It attracts a LOT of attention and on some level,just might be swaying people to go ahead and buy tickets to shows.
I post on other boards,and I've lead people to youtube links of the clips available so far from this tour.As a result,I know people from Toronto to Scotland who now want to go see Leonard Cohen live on this tour (and have decided to do so)...thanks to the "bootleg" video.
That's fluid revenue...in Leonard's direction.

Bootleg's have turned me on to bands that I was only midly in-passing curious about (and in some cases,knew nothing about).This lead to concert ticket and official release purchases.And I've never once in my life paid for a bootleg.
Artists are aware of this...Youtube in many cases,is wisely viewed as free advertising (you'll notice Mr. Cohen's live videos from this tour haven't been removed from Youtube as of yet).

Bootlegs for profit are dead in the water.One copy sold hits the internet as a downloadable torrent....every time.Bootlegging has now shifted from unscrupulous moneymakers to the fans.It's about capturing live performances for the sake of the archives.
Fans who record shows now,pretty much head straight to the torrent sites and (proudly) upload their efforts to share with other fans.
I'm not saying that a few bucks aren't still being tossed about from shady characters trying to exploit these releases,but for the most part...bootleggers aren't paying the rent with their "collection" anymore.It's back in the hands of the fans,and the artist has nothing to lose and everything to gain.For every one person who might discover Leonard Cohen as a result of youtube or a downloaded torrent,and become a fan as a result..the benefits are two fold;they discover the brilliance of his art,and Leonard reaps the benefits of potential concert ticket/and related tour merchandise sales...and perhaps official cd/dvd sales.
That's nothing to sneeze at these days.

I wouldn't worry too much about bootleggers these days,it's mostly just the fans who bother to film/tape anymore...with the intent of sharing.
Last edited by zintman61 on Fri May 16, 2008 4:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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mnkyface
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Re: Five Concerts in Halifax (May 12 to 17)

Postby mnkyface » Fri May 16, 2008 3:18 am

Totally agree zintman... coming from a person who discovered LC entirely on YouTube. I first heard and saw him there, then bought official releases due to this "free advertising".

It doesn't surprise me that YouTube videos from this concert are whetting people's appetite to see him live- those who thought his voice might not be in fine form, or had other reservations about seeing him.

The concert-bootlegger-for-profit seems a relic...it brings to mind a Disco Stu type (Simpsons character) with a reel-to-reel machine in his groovy flat. lol
"In this world of shallow, he is the abyss."~ YouTube commenter greg450318
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zintman61
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Re: Five Concerts in Halifax (May 12 to 17)

Postby zintman61 » Fri May 16, 2008 3:23 am

mnkyface wrote:The concert-bootlegger-for-profit seems a relic...it brings to mind a Disco Stu type (Simpsons character) with a reel-to-reel machine in his groovy flat. lol
Absolutely! :lol:
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Re: Five Concerts in Halifax (May 12 to 17)

Postby lightning » Fri May 16, 2008 4:37 am

"
Re: Five Concerts in Halifax (May 12 to 17)
by kindave on Thu May 15, 2008 3:51 pm

Speaking of Bob Dylan, there is some speculation in this part of the world (Atlantic Canada where the small theatre shows are now taking place), that there may possibly be a Cohen/Dylan meeting on or around May 24. Both artists are touring and will be in St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada at the same time."
kindave

May 24 is Bob Dylan's 67th birthday.

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