CONCERT REPORTS: Vienna, September 24 and 25

September 21 - November 30, 2008. Concert reports, set lists, photos, media coverage, multimedia links, recollections...
richardrj
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Re: Vienna, Sept 24 and 25

Postby richardrj » Fri Sep 26, 2008 9:59 pm

neo wrote:Any review of how the second night was different from the first?
I thought the second night had a slight edge over the first, but not by much. The setlist and performances were of course identical, but I thought the second night audience was slightly more vocal and enthusiastic, which Cohen and the band responded to in their evident enjoyment of the evening. At the end of "Whither Thou Goest" he said something like "I just think this is the most amazing band, I could listen to them forever." He was clearly touched by the moment. So was I.
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neo
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Re: Vienna, Sept 24 and 25

Postby neo » Fri Sep 26, 2008 10:12 pm

Thank you for sharing your impressions. Great that the audience was more enthusiastic. (I missed this a bit on the first night.)
richardrj
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Re: Vienna, Sept 24 and 25

Postby richardrj » Fri Sep 26, 2008 10:28 pm

golo99 wrote:I was amazed how quiet the sound system was, you couldn't hear a word Leonard said between songs and even during songs someone ten rows away breaking wind would drown out everything. The problem with having three different gigs in the same building at the same time, I guess. Certainly, I spent 600+ Euro travelling out there from the UK because of what I heard about the venue, and it was the worst sound and worst crowd I have ever encountered. Idiots playing musical chairs right through the first three songs (people standing up, arguing about who was in the right seat, etc - partly the fault of a venue having four Row 1 Seat 1s within a few seats of each other, compounded by a lot of drunken English-only-speaking idiots who couldn't read their tickets anyway). There was no atempt at stewarding at all though - I never even saw a steward even when there was fights over seats in front of me - and I hope LC's management had words before tonight's gig at the same tawdry place. End of the second set, people stormed the stage and stood in the gangway - and despite Leonard's obvious discomfort (he asked them to go back to their seats) they stayed there through the standard (30+ mins) encores, meaning everyone else had to stand too. Worst concert audience I have ever been amongst. I wanted to vomit. I'm glad to be home. My first and last visit to Austria. It's clear much of the trouble was English/American/UN-diplomat fools, but the complete absence of stewarding was totally abhorrent and the sound system was worse than you'd get at a five year old's birthday party. Never again :(
PS Leonard was as glorious as ever though. Shame about his audience on this occasion.
Dear me, I don't know how to begin to respond to this bizarre tirade. Let me start by putting a couple of things in perspective for you. Vienna is without a doubt the most musical city in the world, bar none. I won't give you the history, you probably don't know or care, but take it from me – music is deeply ingrained into the very fabric of this city. And the Konzerthaus is, after the State Opera House and the Musikverein, the most historically significant, acoustically perfect and architecturally splendid concert hall here. To describe it as "tawdry" is so far off the mark that it just beggars belief.

I was the first person to make the point that the sound system was too quiet, but your hyperbolic statements are way off reality. The acoustics were perfect, you could hear every detail in every single instrument. On the second night I had a word with the soundman. And guess what? That sound level is what Leonard wished for. He soundchecked in the afternoon and found it too distracting for him onstage at higher volume. It was nothing to do with there being other gigs in the same building (I think you'll find the Konzerthaus has thought of that and adjusted accordingly).

As for the audience, your comments are offensive as well as off beam. The audience on both nights was completely warm, respectful and appreciative of the superb performances unfolding onstage. Confusion over seats happens at many venues, it's almost a given. It was all resolved amicably after the first song (I know, I was in the fourth row) and it's simply not true to say that the stewards were not there. Yes, many people went to the front after the main set. You know what? I'm glad they did, it improved the atmosphere no end. After sitting still for two hours, of course people are going to want to get up closer if they can. And the encore is the time when the atmosphere in any hall loosens up and becomes more lively. Did Cohen approve or not? Impossible to say, but personally I'd be very surprised if he didn't. He was rocking out and enjoying himself no end, I hardly think he would have wanted the audience to sit there passively a moment longer. In any case, as mpeter pointed out above, if you couldn't see him how do you know he was discomforted?

And finally, I'm English and I work for the UN. You want to make something of it, my friend?

I'm glad you're not coming back. You won't be missed.
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mnkyface
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Re: Vienna, Sept 24 and 25

Postby mnkyface » Fri Sep 26, 2008 11:27 pm

Henning wrote:Maybe he understood "Tame us, you sane throat".
Too funny!!! :lol:
"In this world of shallow, he is the abyss."~ YouTube commenter greg450318
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Judy
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Re: Vienna, Sept 24 and 25

Postby Judy » Fri Sep 26, 2008 11:53 pm

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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mirka
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Re: Vienna, Sept 24 and 25

Postby mirka » Sat Sep 27, 2008 2:08 am

golo99 wrote: [...]Far too many boring idiots hissing when you sing along now. Saw that last night. People started to join in on Marianne, but got glared at so only sang along quietly from then on.
I'm not sure I would call them idiots, but otherwise I agree on the public -- they weren't awfully responsive, rather observing the performance from their comfortable chairs then being part of it (with the exception of the encore, when they probably wanted to observe from the closer distance :) ).
IMHO LC thrives on response of the public, he responds directly to their enthusiasm, his performance is more intense, with lukewarm response he gives back likewise.
/...actually I would love to know how LC feels about the Vienna concerts, and about the tour, maybe he could write a memoir ?/

I also felt urge to sing "So long Marianne" (and I did :D), probably it's the echo of the Dublin concert, I remember at that time it felt strange to me to sing along, now whenever I see LC singing Marianne I want to join in, and it feels like it's the most natural thing to do :)

But maybe all this lukewarm response of Vienna public is just fundamental cultural difference, maybe this is how people in Vienna respond to life ?
I remember reading in a travel guide that universal description of their approach to life is "gemutlich", and this is how they acted in the Konzerthaus.
/Warsaw March 22 1985 / Halifax May 16 /Charlottetown May 18 / Dublin June 15 / Vienna Sept 24 2008/
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mirka
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Re: Vienna, Sept 24 and 25

Postby mirka » Sat Sep 27, 2008 2:22 am

scarlettrose wrote: I'm absolute with daisy; it it is possible to fall in love with an 74-years-old man, it happend to me too!
Scarlettrose and Daisy, you wouldn't be the first, at the Charlottetown concert a local young singer dedicated LC a song starting with "I love you Leonard Cohen, will you marry me" (the song 'Leonard'):
http://www.myspace.com/nikkiemusic
/Warsaw March 22 1985 / Halifax May 16 /Charlottetown May 18 / Dublin June 15 / Vienna Sept 24 2008/
Oakland April 13, 14, 15, San Jose Nov 13 2009/
Las Vegas Dec 11 2010/ Oakland March 2 2013/
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Warthog
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Re: Vienna, Sept 24 and 25

Postby Warthog » Sat Sep 27, 2008 2:57 am

We were at the Konzerthaus on 24th and noticed that it was being filmed. There were at least three discreetly positioned cameras that we spotted.
Did anyone notice if there were also cameras filming the concert on the 25th ?

Concerning the actual performance, of course it was wonderful, but we didn't enjoy it as much as the Manchester Opera House show on June 20th.
Why ? - Because 'A Thousand Kisses Deep' and 'Famous Blue Raincoat' were performed at Manchester, but were missing in Vienna, and the audience in Manchester was better.
London 25/7/1985
London, Royal Albert Hall 30/5/1988 & 10/5/1993 :
Manchester Opera House 20/6/2008 : Vienna Konzerthaus 24/9/2008 :
Cardiff 8/11/2008 : Manchester 30/11/2008 : Berlin 2/7/2009 :
Lille 25/9/2010 : Paris 29/9/2012 : Rome 07/07/2013 :
Bournemouth 26/08/2013
richardrj
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Re: Vienna, Sept 24 and 25

Postby richardrj » Sat Sep 27, 2008 10:38 am

Warthog wrote:We were at the Konzerthaus on 24th and noticed that it was being filmed. There were at least three discreetly positioned cameras that we spotted.
Did anyone notice if there were also cameras filming the concert on the 25th ?
Yes, there were cameras on the 25th as well. I think lots of the shows are being filmed by the record company. They are going to put out a live DVD after the tour is finished and they will want to pick the best performances of each song. Of course, I'd be very happy if the DVD was called "Take This Waltz: Leonard Cohen Live in Vienna" but I think it will be a compilation like "Cohen Live" was.

***The record company has nothing to do with the filming! Sony is not involved in any way in this tour/ Jarkko***
paddyproust
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Re: Vienna, Sept 24 and 25

Postby paddyproust » Sat Sep 27, 2008 11:15 am

The well-to-do Viennese gentleman to my left had no clue as to what Leonard was actually singing, tapped his foot to the jauntier tunes, and was completely asleep midway through the second set. I felt that a lot of the audience were similarly there for appearances sake. Sad to think of the people out in the rain pleading for tickets. I wonder if that girl with the red hair got one.

Great show though.
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Re: Vienna, Sept 24 and 25

Postby Rodin » Sat Sep 27, 2008 11:43 am

And finally, I'm English and I work for the UN. You want to make something of it, my friend?
:D
No wonder the world is in shit.
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mirka
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Re: Vienna, Sept 24 and 25

Postby mirka » Sat Sep 27, 2008 2:37 pm

paddyproust wrote:The well-to-do Viennese gentleman to my left had no clue as to what Leonard was actually singing, tapped his foot to the jauntier tunes, and was completely asleep midway through the second set.
That's an interesting observation. I was in Vienna only for a week so I'm not sure what the reality there is, but feel it's possible Viennese are quite snobbish.
But then - having an imperial history, millions of tourists constantly walking the Viennese streets, and all kind of UN/OPEC guys convinced that Vienna is the most musical city in the world, who wouldn't be ?
/Warsaw March 22 1985 / Halifax May 16 /Charlottetown May 18 / Dublin June 15 / Vienna Sept 24 2008/
Oakland April 13, 14, 15, San Jose Nov 13 2009/
Las Vegas Dec 11 2010/ Oakland March 2 2013/
richardrj
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Re: Vienna, Sept 24 and 25

Postby richardrj » Sat Sep 27, 2008 2:49 pm

mirka wrote:But then - having an imperial history, millions of tourists constantly walking the Viennese streets, and all kind of UN/OPEC guys convinced that Vienna is the most musical city in the world, who wouldn't be ?
If Vienna isn't the most musical city in the world, what is?
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hydriot
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Re: Vienna, Sept 24 and 25

Postby hydriot » Sat Sep 27, 2008 3:06 pm

golo99 wrote:Seriously kids: If you don't like the music enough to sing along, DON'T COME TO THE BLOODY GIG.
Actually, it's the other way round. Selfish egotists treating a concert hall as if it were a karaoke bar are the very few people in this world that provoke me to violence. At Manchester one night, a joker next to me thought he was going to get away with singing along to Suzanne. I poked him sharply, and wagged an admonishing finger at him. Fortunately, he got the message and shut up: there must have been something in my murderous look that got through to him. In spite of my being twice his age and half his height, had he continued truly I would have thrown him into the seats in front.

Remember, folks, the wise words of Oliver Wendell Holmes: "Your right to swing your arm ends where my nose begins".
“If you do have love it's a kind of wound, and if you don't have it it's worse.” - Leonard, July 1988
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mirka
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Re: Vienna, Sept 24 and 25

Postby mirka » Sat Sep 27, 2008 3:34 pm

richardrj wrote: If Vienna isn't the most musical city in the world, what is?
I don't know, maybe Vienna is maybe is not, I guess it depends on what music you have in mind.

In Dublin I had the impression that they love to sing, and music is a very important part of their everyday life.
(I arrived in Dublin late eve, on the way to the hotel through the city I was convinced I'm witnessing some kind of exodus - there was a huge crowd all over, moving out from the center. It turned out Neil Diamond concert just ended, people were returning home).
2 days before LC concert I went to the Viennese Opera to see "The Flying Dutchman", I would dare to say most people in the audience were tourists.

What I wanted to say is that IMHO the world of clearly defined definitions is over, we live in days of constant change, and I wouldn't say that 'Vienna is the most musical city in the world'.
Otherwise I loved the city, and plan to spend my next vacations in Austria :) .
Last edited by mirka on Sat Sep 27, 2008 4:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
/Warsaw March 22 1985 / Halifax May 16 /Charlottetown May 18 / Dublin June 15 / Vienna Sept 24 2008/
Oakland April 13, 14, 15, San Jose Nov 13 2009/
Las Vegas Dec 11 2010/ Oakland March 2 2013/

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