CONCERT REPORT: Coachella, April 17

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...
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mirka
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CONCERT REPORT: Coachella, April 17

Postby mirka » Sat Apr 18, 2009 1:14 pm

NME News
Leonard Cohen delivers triumphant set at Coachella
Veteran songwriter performs one of his first US shows in 15 years


Leonard Cohen tipped his hat to the audience as he took the Outdoor Stage at the Coachella Festival today (April 17) to give one of his first US performances in 15 years.

The legendary singer-songwriter began his very first song on his knees, winning over the huge crowd with his affecting baritone and earnest delivery.

He was joined on stage by a full band as well as three female backup singers.

Despite delivering the songs at fairly low volume, the crowd paid rapt attention to his every word as he sang classic songs including 'Dance Me To The End Of Love', 'Everybody Knows' and 'Hallelujah', clapping and cheering loudly in all the right places.

Cohen said hardly a word throughout his triumphant set, aside from politely thanking the crowd for their "kind attention".

--By our Los Angeles staff.
http://www.nme.com/news/coachella/44117
LC is also often mentioned on the Coachella message board (search tool is in the right upper corner under Froum Tools):
http://www.coachella.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=2
/Warsaw March 22 1985 / Halifax May 16 /Charlottetown May 18 / Dublin June 15 / Vienna Sept 24 2008/
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Re: Leonard Cohen delivers triumphant set at Coachella

Postby Fontana » Sat Apr 18, 2009 2:21 pm

The L.A. Times music blog

Leonard Cohen's spiritual oasis at Coachella


03:17 AM PT, Apr 18 2009

I have to confess I was feeling pretty skeptical at the thought of seeing Leonard Cohen outdoors in the desert for a mere one-hour Coachella set, just a week after taking in the full breadth of a 3 1/2 hour theatrical evening with the granddaddy of rock 'n' roll poets.

I should have known better.

What was sacrificed in the way of time spent in his soul-deep presence last week at the Nokia Theatre was largely compensated for with the desert surroundings, palm trees bathed in the crimson shades of the setting sun around the Empire Polo Field.

The songs were all gems, and with an adoring standing room crowd of thousands spread before the 74-year-old Canadian wordsmith, his Coachella performance gained an intimacy and power that the cavernous and sterile Nokia couldn't touch.

He delivered the selections pretty much identically to the L.A. Show, except for the unexpected locale reference humorously dropped into "Hallelujah"; "I didn't come to Coachella to fool ya," a moment that's about the closest he gets to spontaneity.

However meticulously rehearsed it might have been, "Hallelujah" became an exceptionally powerful communal experience, most of the onlookers joining in on the chorus like a shared prayer.

A religious experience in the desert--who'd have thought?

--Randy Lewis

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/music_b ... hella.html
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Spinner - Leonard Cohen Dazzles the Coachella Desert

Postby DrHGuy » Sat Apr 18, 2009 3:22 pm

Spinner has this short but especially sweet summary of the Coachella Show
http://www.spinner.com/2009/04/18/leona ... la-desert/
Leonard Cohen Dazzles the Coachella Desert
Seeing Leonard Cohen in the desert one wonders if they're just seeing a messianic mirage. In fact, his set on Friday night at Coachella was not unlike going to church -- a notion driven home by the fact that the notoriously chatty crowd remained absolutely silent during Cohen's one-hour set except for 'Hallelujah,' during which everyone threw their arms in the air and sang in unison. A cathartic moment during a set full of them as Cohen sang one essential hit after another, including 'Bird on a Wire,' 'I'm Your Man' and 'Everybody Knows.'

Cohen, 74, looked frail but didn't act that way as he delivered every verse with the same diction and conviction as the "ladies man" he was in the '60s. He referred to the audience as "friends," thanking them repeatedly and taking his hat off between songs in gesture of respect. Well, our hats off to you, Mr. Cohen
Spinner also has a number of photos of Cohen, all indistinguishable from his photos at other concerts.
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"His rich basso making the girls scream" - MotherJones.com

Postby DrHGuy » Sat Apr 18, 2009 4:56 pm

I couldn't resist including this excerpt from Coachella 2009 Wrapup - Friday by Party Ben for MotherJones.com
http://www.motherjones.com/riff/2009/04 ... pup-friday
As the sun goes behind the mountains, a huge crowd has assembled at the side stage to see 74-year-old singer Leonard Cohen. I know he's a legend and has unquestionable hipster cachet, but this is crazy:—scrappy-looking kids with punk haircuts are shoving past me to get better spots. Cohen emerges onto the stage with his nicely-dressed band, himself in a black suit, white shirt, cheeky bolo tie, and a little fedora, which he doffs for the crowd. The band starts up, quietly, but the other stages have gone silent out of respect, and the sound is clear as a bell. Cohen drops on one knee to sing the opening bars of "Dance Me to the End of Love." His voice starts off a little wobbly, and at one point he seems to fumble a line, but in the chorus he dives for the low notes with gusto, his rich basso making the girls scream. As he continues, his confidence only seems to grow, and he picks rhythms in the repeating choruses that intertwine with the backup singers, surprising counterpoints to the straightforward melody already established. He's on his knees again, and back up again, and I realize I can't do that now, and I'm half this guy's age. "I need to see you naked," he sings, and the crowd screams louder.
Another festival, another generation of Cohen fans
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Coachella, April 17

Postby Fontana » Sat Apr 18, 2009 7:19 pm

Coachella 2009: Two lions in winter -- Leonard Cohen and Morrissey

07:22 AM PT, Apr 18 2009

Tonight, Coachella has brought us two wise men who know how to reach the heavenly center of sorrow and the sorrowful center of heaven. Leonard Cohen courted a dedicated crowd at the Outdoor Theater just past sunset, followed by an ever-dapper, if put-upon, Morrissey on the Main Stage. Both encountered the problem of sound bleeding in from other areas of the field but approached it in different ways. More importantly, both aired their versions of aged grace.

Leonard Cohen has pared down his multi-hour show that recently aired at L.A. Live into a relatively lean hour of almost nonstop "hits," if Cohen can be said to possess such worldly possessions. Stepping into his crowd felt like stepping into a foreign country, intimate and already bonded by their fierce adoration of their patron saint. "Dance Me to the End of Love" set the tone, followed by a slow but hard-bitten "Bird on a Wire"; the Webb sisters' sugar-water-sweet backup harmonies coated Cohen's grizzly incantations.

The ghost of the Chelsea Hotel certainly had his grip on the crowd, but bothersome sound bleed-in stole some of the magic. The sound for his set should have been turned up, but Cohen didn't seem to notice or mind one way or another, his Buddhist spirit lost in the gloaming of his songs. "Everybody Knows" received a spooky Spanish guitar intro; "First We Take Manhattan" was goosed up with organ. But the real ethereal beauty of his show was "Hallelujah" -- for every chorus, gold lights bathed the audience members, who lifted their hands to receive the power. It was good to see Cohen persevere and recapture his full grandeur.

Morrissey is not nearly as classy as Cohen, but that's exactly the point. He's now a late-period Elvis, bulky around the middle, who stalks the stage moping and mocking his foes. "Girlfriend in a Coma" is from his sprightlier days in the Smiths; his newer music has broader tones of mariachi and spaghetti Western, but he knows how to perform those old Smiths songs with a drollness that borders on primordial.

After complaining about the unbearable stench of "burning animals," as he labeled the wares of the concession stands, Morrissey turned in a performance of "Ask" that eschewed celebrating the shy. Instead, he performed it with the subdued frustration of the eternal butler, always serving somebody else. But by the time "How Soon Is Now?" landed, Morrissey was back to being "the son and heir of nothing in particular," crouching during the ferocious percussion interlude, forever waiting to pounce.

-- Margaret Wappler

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/music_b ... aches.html
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Coachella, April 17

Postby Fontana » Sat Apr 18, 2009 7:26 pm

Extract from Rolling Stone article

Image
Leonard Cohen’s early evening set was one of Friday’s most anticipated events, with a huge crowd spread across the field and chants of “Leonard! Leonard!”for the esteemed 74-year-old singer-songwriter, currently performing his first U.S. concerts in 15 years. He jogged to the stage and tipped his fedora with a smile before kneeling beside acoustic guitarist Javier Mas to sing “Dance Me to the End of Love” in a deep, romantic growl. The sound of Cohen’s band was elegant and rich, with unrushed soloing and cascading melody within “Ain’t No Cure for Love” and the bleak “Everybody Knows.”
http://www.rollingstone.com/rockdaily/i ... coachella/
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Coachella, April 17

Postby friscogrl » Sun Apr 19, 2009 4:47 am

At Coachella Leonard was wearing a baby blue ribbon tied around his left upper arm. Does anybody know anything about this? Perhaps another grandson?!

Marsha
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
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Coachella, April 17

Postby lizzytysh » Sun Apr 19, 2009 5:02 am

. . . a notion driven home by the fact that the notoriously chatty crowd remained absolutely silent during Cohen's one-hour set except for 'Hallelujah,' during which everyone threw their arms in the air and sang in unison.
However meticulously rehearsed it might have been, "Hallelujah" became an exceptionally powerful communal experience, most of the onlookers joining in on the chorus like a shared prayer.
The band starts up, quietly, but the other stages have gone silent out of respect, and the sound is clear as a bell.
I teared up at these visuals.
At Coachella Leonard was wearing a baby blue ribbon tied around his left upper arm. Does anybody know anything about this? Perhaps another grandson?!
What an exciting thought, Marsha. I hope we hear what it was about, whatever it was about.
Leonard Cohen’s early evening set was one of Friday’s most anticipated events, with a huge crowd spread across the field and chants of “Leonard! Leonard!”for the esteemed 74-year-old singer-songwriter,
I'm still beside-myself happy for Leonard, seeing for himself how deeply he's loved and adored the world over.
What was sacrificed in the way of time spent in his soul-deep presence last week at the Nokia Theatre was largely compensated for with the desert surroundings, palm trees bathed in the crimson shades of the setting sun around the Empire Polo Field.
As the sun goes behind the mountains, a huge crowd has assembled at the side stage to see 74-year-old singer Leonard Cohen. I know he's a legend and has unquestionable hipster cachet, but this is crazy:—scrappy-looking kids with punk haircuts are shoving past me to get better spots.
What a perfect setting and I love the scrappy-looking kids with punk haircuts shoving past him 8) ... not that they should be rude, of course :) . How gratifying for Leonard this all must be.

He makes the pure best of whatever setting he's in... and it comes through in these reports.

Were you there, Mirka?


~ Lizzy
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
~ Oscar Wilde
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mirka
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Coachella, April 17

Postby mirka » Sun Apr 19, 2009 11:11 am

.
Hi Lizzy, no I wasn't there, I'm taking a sabbatical from touring for a while :razz: :razz:
Plus Coachella requires really a lot of stamina to survive: the desert, music and all those crazy punk kids around. LC being appreciated by them sounds like a miracle to me :o :)

I'm seriously considering seeing LC in Tel Aviv though, as Israel was in our plans for this year anyway, and this certainly will be a memorable 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/
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Coachella, April 17

Postby lizzytysh » Sun Apr 19, 2009 4:30 pm

Hi Mirka ~

I understand what you're saying about Coachella.

I'd give anything [if I had anything to give ;-) ] to see Leonard in Tel Aviv. I SO hope you are able to get there and do it. An experience and memories of a lifetime. A performance that will be a thousand layers and a thousand kisses deep with meaning.


~ Lizzy
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Coachella, April 17

Postby friscogrl » Sun Apr 19, 2009 10:15 pm

Hi all, well Coachella is definitely an experience! Going to the Oakland concerts was a treat, hop on public transportation across the Bay , see leonard, back on BART to the City and you're home. We left Palm Springs Friday at 1:00 PM and got home at 3:30 the following morning! But it was incredible and I would do it all again! The crowd was REALLY young. There were some people my age (old enough to know about Leonard Since the late sixties). But I would say the average person there was probably a college student, early twenties. Not too many "punk types" but there were a lot of tattoos and LOTS of pot and I was hoping for a contact high, but it didn't happen!
We went to the outdoor stage at about 4:30 and had watched two bands perform that we didn't know and fought our way through a sea of mainly young fans to get to the very front. There was a young guy about 19 or 20 and when asked how he knew leonard he said through his grandparents! Which was cool yet disturbing at the same time! Leonard and the band finally appeared at about 7:40. He at first appeared tired and missed a few lines of Dance Me. But the audience was incredibly
receptive and respectful showing their appreciation very enthusiastically. This seemed to energize leonard and he couldn't stop smiling when looked out at the large group gathered to see him. He didn't speak much at all but communicated in other ways. He reached out his arms and pointed at either side of the audience when they were whooping and hollering. At one point he walked over to Sharon smiling, said something to her and she smiled back. When he sang the line from Everybody know "there were so many people you had to meet without your clothes" he smiled and shook his head back and forth He also did a spontaneous little dance (besides the one in The Future) in another song at the very front of the stage He actually spent a fair amount of time at the front of stage which was great because we were less than ten feet from it!
The highlight of course was Hallelujah! He sang it with every fiber of his being and the crowd went nuts singing Hallelujah along with him at the appropriated time, It was so much fun! We have a video of it and will try and post it when we get home Monday.
I do think the organizers of this event made a mistake by putting leonard on the smaller stage with a shortened set. They obviously underestimated the scope of his appeal.He only did ten songs which of course not enough. He was fantastic, seemed to enjoy the crowd and they in return LOVED him.
After that we watched a a bit of Morrisey's set then on came Paul McCartney. He put on a great show, two and a half hours worth! I was thrilled to see him. It was a great night. I saw two of rock's greatest legends and couldn't have asked for more!!

Marsha
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
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Coachella, April 17

Postby John Etherington » Sun Apr 19, 2009 10:19 pm

Pics from the Coachella Music Festival on this link: http://laist.com/2009/04/18/coachella_d ... otos_1.php

(don't think this has been posted here, yet).
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Coachella, April 17

Postby tomsakic » Sun Apr 19, 2009 10:46 pm

Wow, what a show! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7AVBw4ZO0M [Everybody Knows & Who By Fire]

Never saw LC so easy on stage. Even waving with his hand like a prophet during Everybody Knows.
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mirka
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Coachella, April 17

Postby mirka » Mon Apr 20, 2009 12:11 am

.
Marsha, thanks a lot for your report :D
Tom Sakic wrote:Never saw LC so easy on stage.
This has been mine experience that LC shows are much better if he preforms for an energetic/responsive audience, the energy send by them is amplified back by him and so on.
Anybody who has been to one of such performances tends to be disappointed later by a regular 'sitting and waiting to be entertained' crowd. I've been to his Dublin June 15 concert, and since then I miss a lot singing along to 'Marianne', I always think that "everyone is sitting like a bump on a log" :lol: :lol:
(I can see that it's not only my impression):
viewtopic.php?f=32&t=14461&st=0&sk=t&sd=a#p166095

After 100+ concerts LC and the band can easily feel drained, this is a major trap as a responsive audience is vital to LC, his performance was never about his singing skills, but rather about intensity of his music.
Still -- the image of kids 20+ responding so well seems quite surreal to me :o :shock: :shock:
/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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