Cohen pictures worth 1,000 angry words
Jun 10, 2008 04:30 AM
Pop Culture Columnist
I'm curious how many low-res cellphone photos of Leonard Cohen are enough. Thirty? 50? 100?
Judging from the people in front of me at Friday's concert at the Sony Centre, there obviously is no limit. I'm also curious how it is that someone would pay $250 for a ticket and then watch the entire show through a cellphone.
Last weekend's Cohen concert, the first of four Toronto shows, was one of those highlights-of-your-life type things. Star music critic Ben Rayner called it breathtaking. I will add that there was a lot of crying. From myself as well as from many grown men in the audience.
The show was moving and beautiful and more than anyone could have hoped for. Except for the constant lights from the bloody phones as photo after photo after photo was taken.
Believe me when I tell you that the man in the spotlight did not have any wardrobe changes. Nor did he perform any card tricks. Or dance. Or do handstands with monkeys. The first picture you took will closely resemble the last, you no-consideration-for-other-people idiots.
Next time you go to a show featuring someone truly great, try this: Sit your ass in your chair and just listen. Be. Enjoy. I know this may be difficult for you to understand, but it will all still have happened even if you don't obsessively photograph it. And if you don't leave with 100 grainy pictures of an old man wearing a hat, your evening – and not unimportanTly, mine – will have been better for it.
This is hilarious... and right on the money. My gripe, which I'm sure many share: the two women next to me in Moncton distractingly seat-danced and sang their way through most of the show. Listen, I'm glad you're enjoying yourself so much, and I'm glad you "LOVE HIM SO MUCH" as you kept proclaiming (we all do), but I came to give all my attention to a legend, not hear a squeaky, off-key voice in my ear or feel swaying arms bump into me a dozen times. And the whispered "1... 2... 3" followed by hollering in unison: "WE LOVE YOU LEONARD"? Did I somehow get transported to a Backstreet Boys show?
(One of the women eventually decided seat-dancing wasn't enough and that she just had to stand up and dance... possibly during Hallelujah? Well, when the usher told her to sit herself down, she was NOT pleased, and proceeded to gripe about it for the rest of the show. Seriously. Grow up.)
Look, if you're at a rock show in a bar or an arena, dancing and singing are to be expected. Most artists even encourage this behaviour by holding their mics out and asking the crowd to help out on well-known choruses. At the recent Blue Rodeo show here, Greg Keelor let the crowd sing the entire
first verse of "Hasn't Hit Me Yet." At a Matthew Good show, if you're not bouncing along for "Hello Time Bomb," you're probably dead. But in a theatre, watching show such as Leonard Cohen's? Such behaviour is completely out of place and incredibly inconsiderate to the rest of the audience.