I was a little upset when Cohen's concert in August at Prague's Castle was unconfirmed.
Anyway I subscribed to mailing list in one of the e-tickets companies and was surprised when I received an email that Mr. Cohen will follow his Summer Tour with new concerts. There was a short period of ticket's sells only to subscribers before official announcement and even if the price was slightly above usuall level (eg Iron Maiden, Queen and other concerts this season in Prague), all 8000 places was sold out almost immediately.
As the stage they selected old hockey arena (finished in 1962), there is a good view from all places but sound in corners and in upper parts of the arena are not so good for this type of music. Fortunately, people complained after three first songs and sound engineers made their best and people was satisfied for the rest of the show.
We have seats on the left part with good view to the podium, for details there were two big screens on each side. The show begun few minutes after 8pm, Mr. COhen ran from backstage full of elan. A lot of people hurried to their places, it was little inconvenient during first two songs.
Between songs there was small "intros", just remarks or notes but it was funny and people enjoyed it. First part was professional but after Everybody Knows it improved to fantastic performance. In My Secret Life and Who By Fire were amazing, I got "goose flesh" listening his voice.
The break let almost everyone on their seats.
After the break Mr. Cohen started alone, with electric piano and quote "Don't be afraid, I start this machine, it is automatic" but during song he performed several passages with skill.
One big song after another followed and people applauded to some indivudal performances by band members. Especially dancing Webb Sisters had success
As people sometime spontaneously start clapping to the rhytm, Heart With No COmpanion moved them up from their seats so after last song of the standard part nobody leave the stage and So Long Marianne quickly follows.
Mr. Cohen and the band leave podium three times but they were always summoned back
After his recital If it be your will That I speak no more there was silence like in the church and I suppose that show is over, but from the dark harp and crystal voices of The Webb Sisters hypnotized entire arena. After that a lot of people from back part moved just before the stage but as anyone was standing it was no problem.
Final (third) introduction of the band during Whither Thou Goest was followed by wish of good night and safe way back to home through chilly night, everyone know that show is after more than 3 hours over.
As friend od mine said, I feel like at Christmas time...
Very nice night, I'm happy that I have a chance to visit this concert.
Setlist for Prague show (i hope that I don't forgot something)
Some link to reviews (in czech)
http://kultura.idnes.cz/leonard-cohen-s ... 0_hudba_ob
http://www.novinky.cz/clanek/150598-coh ... -svet.html
http://ihned.cz/c4-10073040-28367930-00 ... -s-cohenem
ps: Sorry for errors