CONCERT REPORTS: Oakland, April 13, 14 and 15

USA and Canada (April 1 - June 4, 2009). Special concert for fans in NYC (February 19). Concert reports, set lists, photos, media coverage, multimedia links, recollections...
tonymoco
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Re: CONCERT REPORTS: Oakland, April 13, 14 & 15

Postby tonymoco » Wed Apr 15, 2009 12:40 am

gb14772 wrote:
Huh? They were wandering all over the street outside the box office before 6 PM.
Thank you to everyone who posted correct info about the Beards and other Paramount helpful hints.

Are they allowing in backpacks etc?
Baldwyn
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Re: CONCERT REPORTS: Oakland, April 13, 14 & 15

Postby Baldwyn » Wed Apr 15, 2009 12:53 am

I noticed the people right in front of me left, but with much longing. I half expected the audience to break into song at some point, but I think the resumed silence was out of respect for other members of the audience. I think it was a collective "we are here to listen". I would have been ok with it, really hoping we would have joined in a chorus of Hallelujah, but eh.

That all aside, what an evening! I was exhausted when it was over! Everything was perfect, except the horrendous bathroom ordeal. The songs after the break are not to be missed, so I feel sorry for those who didn't decide to hold it! Beyond the musicianship, Leonard and his charm, and voice, the Webb sisters, Sharon...I was really impressed with the lighting. I am so grateful we have had this opportunity to see Leonard live (again for some, first time for me), and even happier that he seems to love doing it. One can hope that he comes out with another CD, and tours with it, but I find it's too much to hope for! Seeing this one performance will last me a lifetime.
Baldwyn
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Re: CONCERT REPORTS: Oakland, April 13, 14 & 15

Postby Baldwyn » Wed Apr 15, 2009 12:54 am

tonymoco wrote:
gb14772 wrote:
Huh? They were wandering all over the street outside the box office before 6 PM.
Thank you to everyone who posted correct info about the Beards and other Paramount helpful hints.

Are they allowing in backpacks etc?
I'm curious what others think about the Beards. I saw them at Anjani's concert, and loved the idea, but somehow it wasn't as cool as it sounds in person.
hesperides23
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Re: CONCERT REPORTS: Oakland, April 13, 14 & 15

Postby hesperides23 » Wed Apr 15, 2009 4:03 am

I'm so glad I got to go see the Monday night concert (thanks to our forum member Mirka who so generously paid for my ticket). This was the first time I'd seen Leonard in concert (I remember kicking myself for missing him fifteen years ago last time he played here).

I was a little bit afraid I might not be able to enjoy the performance. One, because I've been sliding deeper and deeper into an apathetic depression over the past few weeks, and I've lost most of my enthusiasm for everything in the process. Two, because I tend to avoid large-scale superstar concert tours of this scale, preferring to go see lesser known artists and bands in small venues where there's more intimacy and spontaneity. I was afraid this would be a letdown on account of all the buildup and hype surrounding this tour. And also, my seat was really far back in the balcony: without being close to the stage with the performers really in my face, I feared my attention would wander.

Due to my ongoing emotional torpor, I can't say it was a joyous experience. But I was definitely impressed. If I wasn't emotionally swept away by the power of the music and words, I was absorbed and engaged with all that I witnessed. Though I am a longtime fan (since the early 70s), I'm not what you'd call a diehard devotee - I don't own all the albums and I haven't followed Cohen's career closely over the years (I got kind of disenchanted with his music on some of the 80s recordings on account of the production style of those albums). As an amateur musician myself, I can't help thinking that being in a band on tour where you perform the same songs and arrangements night after night for scores (or hundreds) of concerts, the feeling you put into the performance has got to grow a little stale and *rote*. I've seen big concerts like that where it seemed like the musicians were just up there doing a job. This wasn't like that, I could tell that Leonard and his band had their hearts in what they were playing. One of the qualities I always look for in any of the art I love, be it music or cinema or whatever, is authenticity, and of course Leonard has never been anything but authentic in his words and songs. That came through in the performance, too. I was very glad I borrowed a set of binoculars for this concert, since I was far from the stage and my eyesight is bad (corrected with contacts, but still not 20/20). So I was able to see the faces of the performers and their fingers on their instruments, etc. All good players, certainly. Being a horn player, I was especially impressed with that guy (sorry, don't remember his name now) because of his diversity: playing tenor and soprano saxes, B-flat and bass clarinet, harmonica, keyboards and even bassoon (there are a lot of windplayers who double on sax and clarinet, but double reeds like bassoon are a very different animal, I can only think of a few reed players who play double-reed instruments as well: Paul McCandless, Lindsay Cooper, Bunk Gardner...) And he played that EWI electronic horn that served as the violin on the opening song... nice.

I enjoyed Leonard's between-song banter. Like the litany of antidepressants he's been prescribed, I could relate to, having myself been on most of those same meds he listed by name. And at the end, when he said "May you all be with friends and family, and to those of you whose lot it is to be alone, may the blessings find you in your solitude." That made me feel good.

I did see some people leave early, after the first set or soon after the start of the second. I have been known to leave early from concerts often enough, when bored or disenchanted or simply too wrapped up in my own worries to focus on the performance. I never felt once like I wanted to leave. I was glad I didn't, since I really liked the second set better than the first (I can't say why exactly). And when I left after the last encore, and went home alone as planned, I felt gratified that I'd been in attendance.

What a great thing for a 74-year-old guy to get up and get out there and tour the whole world and connect with all his audience, old and new. I'm so glad that he has got such a warm and enthusiastic response. He's surely earned it.
"Let the great constellation of flickering ashes be heard..." (Noel Scott Engel)
sue7
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Re: CONCERT REPORTS: Oakland, April 13, 14 & 15

Postby sue7 » Wed Apr 15, 2009 6:12 am

Hey, Hesperides23, I'm pleased you made it to the concert. Sorry that you haven't been feeling too good, though. Thanks for the detailed reports to you and others.
Sue
Chicano
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Re: CONCERT REPORTS: Oakland, April 13, 14 & 15

Postby Chicano » Wed Apr 15, 2009 10:42 am

Tuesday show - very cool. The crowd was feisty. A good looking fan in the Pitt section placed a polka dot blouse for Closing Time and LC picked it up placed it on his shoulder. Put a real smile on his face, but nothing like the lady that rushed the stage and started licking and/or whispering in his ear. Lucky guy! That put a very very big smile on his face. And, someone gave some flowers to the ladies. Those fans had the guts and made the evening special and enjoyable. Nothing crazy, just an true expression of LC love!

No Lullabye (sp), however. Heard it last night, such a touching and special song. Catching the final show tomorrow night and taking the wife. It will be fun.
4/7 San Diego; 4/10 Los Angeles; 4/13, 4/14, 41/15 Oakland; 6/4 Red Rocks
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mirka
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Re: CONCERT REPORTS: Oakland, April 13, 14 & 15

Postby mirka » Wed Apr 15, 2009 11:16 am

'Good looking fan in the Pitt section' who placed a polka dot blouse is the member of the Forum, I'm hoping she will write more about her experience. I wonder who was the other girl who jumped onto stage and hugged LC until security walked her off ?
I liked todays concert better then yesterday's, IMHO the audience response was more enthusiastic, and the sound was better (or my seats location). Still no singing or dancing though :( (at the Dublin concert people danced and sang "Marianne" in the torrential rain, it was almost a spiritual experience).
/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/
littleowl
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Re: CONCERT REPORTS: Oakland, April 13, 14 & 15

Postby littleowl » Wed Apr 15, 2009 11:20 am

Monday night was enough to send me to the Paramount with thank you flowers this morning and straight into a happy daze all day at work today - which is what I can blame for stopping by the Paramount on my way home and picking up another ticket for tonight, despite the fact that I already have tickets for tomorrow as well.
I noticed no one leaving or seeming disappointed in any way - and I must say that while I usually like crowd enthusiasm and singing, I was thrilled to not have people singing over Leonard on Monday. The tickets were too expensive and too hard to come by for me to want to hear anyone else sing but him. Tonight's show I was overruled though and surrounded by singers. Maybe tomorrow I'll find a happy medium.

I still can't believe it has happened at all.

Thank you so much for this incredible opportunity
cj
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Re: CONCERT REPORTS: Oakland, April 13, 14 & 15

Postby cj » Wed Apr 15, 2009 11:31 am

The Tuesday show was perfect. My husband and I were wowed by Mr. Cohen and his band and singers. He was in fine form and the audience was properly appreciative. The concert started about 8:10 because of the lines to the bathrooms and we got out of there at 11:30. LC was incredibly generous. Also got to meet Dino and Rafael before the show.
tonymoco
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Re: CONCERT REPORTS: Oakland, April 13, 14 & 15

Postby tonymoco » Wed Apr 15, 2009 5:04 pm

Would someone who was at the Paramount on Monday or Tuesday please confirm whether or not it's possible to pick up "fan club" priced tickets at 6pm (5:50pm!) and then leave to have dinner and be readmitted back in for the show?

Someone had posted that once you pick up your tickets you can't leave the theatre. I'm hoping that's not entirely accurate or that there's a way around it.

Also...

Were they letting backpacks etc in?

Is the "bathroom problem" only happening before the show, or at intermission and/or other times as well?

Thank you.

Tony
tonymoco
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Re: CONCERT REPORTS: Oakland, April 13, 14 & 15

Postby tonymoco » Wed Apr 15, 2009 5:18 pm

mirka wrote:'Good looking fan in the Pitt section' who placed a polka dot blouse is the member of the Forum, I'm hoping she will write more about her experience. I wonder who was the other girl who jumped onto stage and hugged LC until security walked her off ?
Tell us more!

She only "placed" the polka dot blouse and didn't "tear it off"?! ;-)

How did Leonard react/respond to the hug?

Thank you.

.
gb14772
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Re: CONCERT REPORTS: Oakland, April 13, 14 & 15

Postby gb14772 » Wed Apr 15, 2009 5:50 pm

tonymoco wrote:Would someone who was at the Paramount on Monday or Tuesday please confirm whether or not it's possible to pick up "fan club" priced tickets at 6pm (5:50pm!) and then leave to have dinner and be readmitted back in for the show?

Someone had posted that once you pick up your tickets you can't leave the theatre. I'm hoping that's not entirely accurate or that there's a way around it.

Also...

Were they letting backpacks etc in?

Is the "bathroom problem" only happening before the show, or at intermission and/or other times as well?

Thank you.

Tony
We picked up our tickets on Monday at 6PM, and I asked the ticket takers if we could go in and come back out to eat. They said no way. I don't know of a way around it.

There is a special fan club table inside the lobby to pick up tickets, there was no real line for it, the line is for general will call that queues up to a machine that reads your CC and then dispenses your tickets. The fan club presale tickets are handled differrently. There is no need to pick up tickets first and then go eat, we're going to get there early for parking, then go eat, then pick up tickets around 6:30 or so for early entry. No need to hang around waiting until 6PM to get your tickets, might as well be doing something else. Ignore the people out front saying that you need to stand in line for Ticketmaster will call, go to the table inside the box office lobby to the left with two nice ladies with boxes of envelopes. First 1/2 of the alphabet on the left, 2nd half on the right. They are practically right in front of where you go into the theater. This entrance is not the main theater lobby. After you go in, walk straight ahead about 60 yards or so, and you'll come to the main theater lobby on the left. It's well worth a visit as it is a beautifully restored Art Deco architecture. The walls and ceiling are gorgeous, and you can try to hear the beards singing about the racket of the crew setting up the bar/refreshment stand. There is a large merchandise table here also, don't spend time at the small one when you come in through the box office entrance. The box office entrance is around the side of the theater and faces onto 21st st. There are two parking lots by the theater. Heading up Broadway from 880, turn left on 20th St and it's just on your right 1/2 way down the block. The other one is best accessed from Telegraph which splits off of Broadway around 15th St. Take this split and then turn right on 21st st, there's a sign that says "Paramount Theater" and this street has all the tour semis parked there and the band bus. The parking lot entrance is on the right just past the box office. This is a small lot, maybe 30 cars. The other lot is a lot bigger. Both should have space before 6pm. Both are $10.

There are a bunch of restaurants within a couple of blocks of the theater, just walk down Broadway (away from the bay) about a block, there's a Louisiana Fried Chicken place (fast food, but quite good and inexpensive, one of the ticket takers recommend their Peach Cobbler) on the corner you can't miss. Next to it is a wine bar with a menu that looked good. Across Broadway from these was Luka's Tap Room which looked like another food candidate. Cafe Madrid is on Broadway going the other way, at the end of block the Theater is in. Here's a Google search for nearby restaurants. All those little red dots are restaurants and you can click on them to see what they are, most are lunch-type fast food places, but there are plenty of variety with in a 2-3 block radius.
http://maps.google.com/maps?near=2025+B ... 122.268208

With regard to rest rooms, we didn't use them right before the show, but they were a disaster at intermission. Don't drink very much before the show would be my advice... the couple next to us left a song before intermission (Anthem) to use the restroom, sort of a mid-concert emergency. That's another option to consider. The ushers only let people back into the seating area between songs, which is nice for audience, but not so nice for those that want a quick trip to the rest room.

I don't know about backpacks. I didn't see them searching anyone though, but we got in early and were nearly the only ones there.
tonymoco
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Re: CONCERT REPORTS: Oakland, April 13, 14 & 15

Postby tonymoco » Wed Apr 15, 2009 6:48 pm

Thank you, gb14772. :)

I'm driving up from the Monterey area and meeting a friend for dinner near the theatre, so everything you shared was of great help in terms of advance planning for me/us.

I really appreciate your taking the time with the details. I will no doubt be thinking of you and appreciating you at approximately 6pm and 7:30 this evening, so catch the vibe! (I'm sure I won't be the only one.)

Tony
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mnkyface
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Re: CONCERT REPORTS: Oakland, April 13, 14 & 15

Postby mnkyface » Wed Apr 15, 2009 7:05 pm

Thank you Chicano :)

The polka dot blouse was mine! It was a short sleeved white cotton blouse with green polka dots. No, I didn't tear it off :lol: , I brought it in my bag and laid it on the stage during the beginning of Closing Time. I have never done anything like that in my life. Someone had left their seat and I was able to step through the chairs and make it to the front of the stage. It was seriously one of the most frightening things I have ever done but I would have been kicking myself forever if I had brought the blouse and not given it to him. Some of the people around me were grumbling (and I do get that it's a risk of disrupting Leonard, so I was kind of sheepish and apologized to those around me) but I did it pretty quickly and a security lady was right on my tail but I had already done the "placement" by the time she talked to me so I made my way back to my seat and waited to see what would happen. At this point I wasn't sure if Leonard had even seen the blouse (darn that singing with the eyes closed! :lol: ) so I started thinking this might end up to be my imperfect offering, with a roadie or someone picking it up later. Just when I was resigned to that, during one of the last verses of CT, he started focusing on it and eventually bent down (while singing "women tear their blouses off") and picked it up (while singing "the men they dance on the polka dots") and kind of showed it, then he threw it over his shoulder (the image in my mind is that he had it like a baby burp cloth!) and kept it there for the rest of the song. I can't even begin to describe the euphoria I felt. I was screaming my head off. People in my immediate vicinity were laughing and cheering and high fiving but I really have no idea what else was going on. It was like some kind of dream. Other forum members will have to help with other details if they remember any. I do remember the girl rushing onstage and hugging him at the end of the song, and someone giving flowers too. But he still had my blouse when he was skipping offstage. Though I wish I had thought to get my camera out (I was too frazzled), I know will NEVER forget him holding my blouse and skipping offstage.

The concert as a whole was PHENOMENAL. Leonard seemed to really, really enjoy the audience (this crowd was indeed more boisterous than Monday). And we got That Don't make it Junk, which I hadn't heard in any of the 3 concerts I have been to. It was a wonderful night made better by the 4 wonderful ladies I met from this forum who were soooo supportive. It was great putting faces to names of people I have corresponded with online and just hanging out - so nice to talk to people who *get* him! Bonnie - thanks for carting me all over downtown Oakland- I got home just fine. Which reminds me- Bonnie and I waited at the stage door for a little bit. Leonard was gone but we cheered for Javier Mas and Neil Larson and the Webb Sisters when they walked out to their bus. Hattie Webb looked at me and said "oh! you're the tshirt lady!" Maybe she thought I had given LC a polka dot t-shirt? No matter- I'll be a t-shirt lady or whatever any of them want to call me. :D

Esther
"In this world of shallow, he is the abyss."~ YouTube commenter greg450318
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Lyon, July 2008 / Oakland x2, April 2009 / San Jose, November 2009 / Oakland, December 2010 / San Jose, November 2012 / Oakland, March 2013
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friscogrl
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Re: CONCERT REPORTS: Oakland, April 13, 14 & 15

Postby friscogrl » Wed Apr 15, 2009 8:21 pm

Mnkyface, I thought you did a great job getting to the stage and gracefully putting the shirt on it. Then to see him pick it up and then I heard your little whoop! Very exciting, a nice moment added to the show. I did see the little blonde security woman go up to you while you were up at the stage but I am not sure if you heard her afterwards when you and Bonnie and I were talking later. She came over and said you that you did a great job going up to to the stage and laying the shirt there.
I thought last night's show was better than Monday's show. Monday he was pretty subdued for the first part of the show but last night he was "on" from the very beginning. And the audience was much more engaged, very lively and repeatedly showing Leonard their appreciation and affection for him. Though that one lady who rushed the stage was maybe a bit too exuberant in showing her affection! I would think something like that would be a bit unsettling for Leonard but he handled it very well. Each time I see him in concert listening to his music with the incredible lyrics and melodies and observing his sense of graciousness and humility, I always come away thinking what an extraordinary human being he is!
it was a great night and it was fun meeting new forum members. We are quite a group!

Marsha
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