CONCERT REPORTS: Ottawa, Ontario, May 25 and 26

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...
coopersworkshop
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Re: CONCERT REPORTS: Ottawa, Ontario May 25th and 26th

Postby coopersworkshop » Wed May 27, 2009 6:02 pm

Ali,when the lilies-of-the-valley landed, all of us who have them in our garden attached ourselves to your gesture -- homegrown, wrapped in gratitude. Completely appropriate. How differerent than the mood in 1988(?), at the Congress Centre, when his comments were political, the stage a long catwalk slicing through table clusters where the beer and wine flowed. He and we still dressed up in swagger -- now, at my 61, the kneeling position needs assistance and I definitely ache in the places where I used to play. Mr. L Cohen made me believe I will dance and play again, now with humility and naked grace.
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cohenfreek
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Re: CONCERT REPORTS: Ottawa, Ontario May 25th and 26th

Postby cohenfreek » Wed May 27, 2009 8:36 pm

aliross wrote:
asta wrote:aliross wrote:
Ottawa May 26, 2009


I was thrilled to finally hear Lullaby and it was wonderful, the band with Leonard had evolved so beautifully.
Ali Ross

Lullaby was not played; they played the same set both nights. I was really hoping the band would pull out a surprise for us during the encores last night, and "Lullaby" would have been nice!
The set list which was given to us from the stage had Lullaby on it towards the end.
Since I have not heard Lullaby yet, (and why I was looking forward to it so much...) I may have mistaken a piece of music and song they played at that time in the program. Possible different version???...
Whether I heard it or not, or they played it or not, doesn't alter the amazing experience I had at the concert! I am still walking on clouds!

Ali
I hear ya!!!!! I have to start work in an hour and I'm still walking on clouds myself (it's going to be a LONG afternoon and night)...

Speaking of "new songs", I met someone from the Forum on Monday night who had a great point about Leonard and co. possibly touring beyond the 2008-9 campaign: if indeed a new studio release is looming after the 2009 shows, it would be rather anti-climatic for him to have staged a rumoured "final tour" prior to releasing the cd....maybe grounds for a 2010-11 world tour!!! (Are you listening, Leonard?????) ;-)
This mental space is occupied and everything is mine
London (ON) June 6 1993/Kitchener June 2 2008/Ottawa May 25 & 26 2009/Ottawa December 2012
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sturgess66
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Re: CONCERT REPORTS: Ottawa, Ontario May 25th and 26th

Postby sturgess66 » Wed May 27, 2009 10:20 pm

thermoman wrote:
Aha! I knew it could be done. Live performance video of Canada's National Treasure - "The Man" - has been smuggled out of the National Arts Centre! :lol: :lol:
From the upper levels you could see hundreds of "Blackberries" recording throughout the evening. Their illuminated screens were very prominent throughout the performance. Many who did record did so only for a few short moments. I was very impressed with the absence of photo flashes throughout the performance. Many concert goers understand the limits of their cameras and choose to simply enjoy the performance rather than concentrate on the recording and miss the magic of the moment.
thermoman - I was speaking playfully - in jest. I know NAC well. Someone correct me if I am wrong - but I believe that Leonard Cohen is "video friendly." I do not know if he advises the venues in advance that he does not mind video - some artists will purposely do that prior to arrival, regardless of the venue policy - or advise that they do not want video. There were no photo flashes at the show I attended either, or if there were, I did not notice. It is a beautiful venue that also has a strict "no camera policy. But there were many in the audience taking "fan videos," including me. I did speak to those around me and no one had any objection – at all. I also made every effort to cover the red recording light with my thumb. So – in the interest of being fair and balanced (I proudly hold dual citizenship - Canada and the USA), I am playfully pleased to report that I was able to smuggle video out of the Academy of Music in Philadelphia. As was reported in the Philly thread, the Academy “is Philadelphia’s Holy of Holy’s! It is where Queen Elizabeth was greeted by Philadelphia’s Main Line Society last year when the Royals visited America’s first Capital City.

But back to the subject in general, about taking video during a concert - I would say that there are definitely pros and cons. I don't always do that, but for this show, I was in a video frame of mind. :) A point can also be made that a video from a live performance can capture the “magic of the moment.” And one nice thing about fan videos is that they are usually shared with other fans. One thing for certain, I feel blessed to have attended one of these magnificent shows and the magic was definitely not lost to me. Thermoman, I envy you your experience of seeing Leonard Cohen and his fine musicians and singers at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa – and similarly I envy all those who will be seeing him in Boston - and in Red Rocks – and any and all other shows from this tour. This show is the best of the best.

Aliross – I love your story about the lily of the valley bouquet! :D
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Mollydog
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Re: CONCERT REPORTS: Ottawa, Ontario May 25th and 26th

Postby Mollydog » Wed May 27, 2009 11:11 pm

I am still completely in awe after last night's concert. Everything seemed to come together perfectly. The audience were extremely lively and Leonard and the band seemed to draw such energy from that. I keep thinking it can't get any better, and then it does. I have never felt as overwhlemed as I did last night. Front row, almost centre...pure heaven.

Mary
Last edited by Mollydog on Thu May 28, 2009 2:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Emeraude
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Re: CONCERT REPORTS: Ottawa, Ontario May 25th and 26th

Postby Emeraude » Thu May 28, 2009 2:10 am

coopersworkshop wrote:Mr. L Cohen made me believe I will dance and play again, now with humility and naked grace.
Thanks coopersworkshop, just what I needed to hear this week. Lead on, Leonard...

Lover the story about the lillies of the valley. Thanks for sharing.
You're in my blood like holy wine... J. Mitchell
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MarieM
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Re: CONCERT REPORTS: Ottawa, Ontario May 25th and 26th

Postby MarieM » Thu May 28, 2009 2:17 am

CBC Radio 3
http://radio3.cbc.ca/blogs/2009/5/Last- ... -in-Ottawa
Cohen at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa
Amanda Putz at 11:20 AM


Dear Mr. Cohen,

I tried to avoid knowing what you were going to deliver last night. From my friends who went in London, Kingston, and the night before in Ottawa I heard things like, "satiated, post-coital" and "...best 3.5 hour concert of my life" and "I cried."

Even with only those three reports, I kind of expected to be blown away.

In a world full of disappointment, I thank-you for delivering the goods. The tears welled by the third song, Bird on a Wire. I've never felt particularly close to that song until I heard it sung from your lips. I'm at the age you were when you wrote it. It felt like an everyman's song and my heart felt like it was wrapped tight in a tensor bandage.

Those post-oyster feelings came with the recitation of 1000 Kisses Deep. Your voice, it's something else.

Sometimes the very best musicians are not those that rattle triplets on the snare or whose fingers fly across the strings or keys shredding notes like scissors. They're those that can, quietly and understatedly, create a frame for some of the most perfect words ever assembled into verse in the English language. You found the band, you're their man.

You are a dignified gentleman who donated time for each of those musicians to take a turn in the spotlight and showcase their prowess, at which point you removed your hat and then graciously bowed to them in deference afterward. You even took time to thank your drivers and the lighting guy. You are Classy with a capital C.

To anyone reading this in the States or anywhere your tour takes you next, GO see this man. Mr. Cohen, you make it very worth the price of admission, and then some.

Sincerely, your fan and humble appreciator,

Amanda C. Putz

(ps. Yes, I bought the t-shirt. The ticket is my bookmark now.)
Marie
Speaking Cohen

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AlieKatt
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Re: CONCERT REPORTS: Ottawa, Ontario May 25th and 26th

Postby AlieKatt » Thu May 28, 2009 2:19 am

Leonard's May 26th show was a dream come true.

I laughed, I cried and I smiled so much my cheeks hurt. I always dreamt of this day but it was even better than I could have hoped for.

I sat centre stage three rows from the front and the evening was perfect. Just perfect.

Thank you for giving me the best of gifts. Thank you for hearing my "I love you Leonard".

Funny isn't it? I feel as though I have lost a love one on some level. I fear I will never see you again...

Who knew I could be so in love.

Be blessed.
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bridger15
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Re: CONCERT REPORTS: Ottawa, Ontario May 25th and 26th

Postby bridger15 » Thu May 28, 2009 2:51 am

Cohen at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa
Amanda Putz

You found the band, you're their man.
I think a lot of the credit for assembling this extraordinary band, goes to LC's multi-talented Musical Director, ROSCOE BECK.
http://www.uncut.co.uk/music/leonard_co ... ures/12478
And he wants the band to be very good. When we were hiring, his only instructions to me where: “Rossie” – that’s what he calls me sometimes – “I only want the best band on the road this year.” No pressure, then
2009-San Diego|Los Ang|Nashville|St Louis|Kansas City|LVegas|San Jose
2010-Gothenburg|Berlin|Ghentx2|Oaklandx2|Portland|LVegasx2
2012-Austinx2|Denver|Los Ang|Seattle|Portland

Arlene's Leonard Cohen Scrapbook http://onboogiestreet.blogspot.com
CarolineM
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Re: CONCERT REPORTS: Ottawa, Ontario May 25th and 26th

Postby CarolineM » Thu May 28, 2009 3:36 am

I went to the 2 shows and it was so amazing!! :)
It was my first concerts of LC (and I hope not the last).

He sang all my favorite songs, I enjoyed every minute of the show, and Tuesday night it was even better :) (especially Closing time :D )
Ottawa - May 25, 2009 / Ottawa - May 26, 2009 / NYC - October 23, 2009
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sturgess66
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Re: CONCERT REPORTS: Ottawa, Ontario May 25th and 26th

Postby sturgess66 » Thu May 28, 2009 3:50 am

Thanks Bridger. Excellent article.
thermoman
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Re: CONCERT REPORTS: Ottawa, Ontario May 25th and 26th

Postby thermoman » Thu May 28, 2009 7:15 am

Amanda C. Putz

(ps. Yes, I bought the t-shirt. The ticket is my bookmark now.)
Advice to Young Cohen Newbies; Read the Books First
Then the music and the stage performance completes the experience.

In 1967 Leonard Cohen's books were on our secondary school English class curriculum and we were taught the meaning and nuances of his work by non other than an ex-heroin dependent ex-Jesuit monk from Montreal. This experience was fundamental to my appreciation of Leonard's work throughout my life. (Sex education classes at the time were limited to human biology but these English classes were an excellent substitution that allowed us to talk about sexual feelings, ideas and angst in a more honest and open forum)

I would suggest that if more teenagers and young people were introduced to Leonard Cohen through his literature and poems, they would better understand and appreciate the full scope of the concert performance. This concert production is the latest manifest of the best of Leonard's literary work put into song and theatrical production. It's presentation is sheer brilliance and a thing of beauty that arouses all the primal senses.

This is what good art is supposed to do in all its forms. Leonard's music is built on a complex and rich poetic and lyrical foundation that can easily support continually evolving musical arrangements. We thought that the 80's and 90's tour versions were spectacular but the 2008/09 productions take the material to a much higher level of sophistication that continues to compliment and enhance the literary work of Leonard Cohen.
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brightnow
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Re: CONCERT REPORTS: Ottawa, Ontario May 25th and 26th

Postby brightnow » Thu May 28, 2009 5:00 pm

thermoman wrote: Advice to Young Cohen Newbies; Read the Books First
Then the music and the stage performance completes the experience.

In 1967 Leonard Cohen's books were on our secondary school English class curriculum and we were taught the meaning and nuances of his work by non other than an ex-heroin dependent ex-Jesuit monk from Montreal. This experience was fundamental to my appreciation of Leonard's work throughout my life. (Sex education classes at the time were limited to human biology but these English classes were an excellent substitution that allowed us to talk about sexual feelings, ideas and angst in a more honest and open forum)

I would suggest that if more teenagers and young people were introduced to Leonard Cohen through his literature and poems, they would better understand and appreciate the full scope of the concert performance. This concert production is the latest manifest of the best of Leonard's literary work put into song and theatrical production. It's presentation is sheer brilliance and a thing of beauty that arouses all the primal senses.

This is what good art is supposed to do in all its forms. Leonard's music is built on a complex and rich poetic and lyrical foundation that can easily support continually evolving musical arrangements. We thought that the 80's and 90's tour versions were spectacular but the 2008/09 productions take the material to a much higher level of sophistication that continues to compliment and enhance the literary work of Leonard Cohen.
thermoman: I believe that every word you said is true. I would add that since Leonard Cohen's work is very deeply layered, there is more that one can do to better understand and enjoy it: Knowledge of Judaism, Christianity and Zen will help a reader/listener decipher more references, and understanding of Canadian culture during the 40's and the 50's when the writer was growing up will help too. Putting each work, be it a novel, a poem or a song in a historical perspective appropriate for the time in which it was written helps as well and one will need to know much about every decade from the 50's to current time in order to do that. I could go on with suggestions for further study for a while. The more you know, the deeper you penetrate into the layers of the work.

The nicest thing about it though, is that you can enjoy Leonard Cohen's work at ANY level. And my advice to anyone at any age would be: Read the novels, or the poetry, or listen to one album, or to all of them; go to one concert, or twenty, or do all of the above. Whatever you do, you will not regret it! (And please, I beg of you, try to catch a concert sometime soon! The written and recorded work is much easier to catch up on later!)
Columbia May 11, 2009; Boston May 29, 2009; Durham November 3, 2009; Las Vegas December 10 & 11, 2010; Austin November 1, 2012; Boston December 15, 2012; Brooklyn December 20, 2012
CarolineM
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Re: CONCERT REPORTS: Ottawa, Ontario May 25th and 26th

Postby CarolineM » Fri May 29, 2009 5:46 am

I don't remember much from the first concert, I was mesmerized, I spent all the time staring at him with my mouth wide open and a big smile on my face. :D
His band is really great, Sharon Robinson has such a beautiful voice, and the Webb sisters were wonderful too :)

The second night, it was even better. To watch him sing all my favorite songs was so wonderful, and even if I'm not a very "religious" person, I have to say there was something "divine" about his performance. It was just perfect.
I can't say what were the highlights of the show for me, because every minute was a higlight for me. I will never forget what I've felt when he arrived on stage ( running :D ) and started singing... I can't even find words for it (or maybe it's just because my english is not that good :lol: )


On a lighter note, I have to admit, during "I'm your man", "Dance me to the end of love", "waiting for the miracle" and of course "a thousand kisses deep", I found myself swooning over him :razz: (I know I'm young enough to be his grand-daughter, but he still has such a sexy voice, I couln't help myself :D )

I was already listening to his music all the time before the concert, but now I'm completely addicted, and I still have a lot to discover (I haven't read his books yet). I guess it's a normal "newbie" reaction :D

There are a few pics from the shows on flickr (including those beautiful pics : http://www.flickr.com/photos/7488690@N04/tags/cohen/ ) and a few videos on youtube.

If anyone is interested, there's a also recording of the concert of May 25 on dimeadozen.org ;-)
Ottawa - May 25, 2009 / Ottawa - May 26, 2009 / NYC - October 23, 2009
Dream Warrior
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Re: CONCERT REPORTS: Ottawa, Ontario May 25th and 26th

Postby Dream Warrior » Fri May 29, 2009 7:22 am

Before Monday night's concert I was debating whether or not I should buy the DVD of the London performance. After all, I had seen the show twice, watched excerpts of it on television, listened to the NPR broadcast, etc.

BUT, I did buy it and am glad I did. The DVD is a pristine record of an incredible tour with terrific sound and images. I would highly recommend that anyone who wants a personal, permanent record of this incredible tour invest the few dollars it costs. It's well worth the money and (no offense) infinitely superior to much of the material found on Youtube. Not only was I able to appreciate the increased intimacy, I was carried back to the concerts I attended and relive some wonderful moments.

Just a suggestion.
tgoode
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Photos from Ottawa May 25 gig.

Postby tgoode » Fri May 29, 2009 7:17 pm

Hi everyone!

I covered this concert for CTV.ca

My zenfolio gallery can be found online at http://tgoode.zenfolio.com/leonard

The CTV.ca gallery can be found at http://www.ctv.ca/gallery/html/cohen_ot ... oto_0.html

I found it quite ironic that as a professional photographer I am limited to shots from a specific location for the first song only while there were flashes going off all throughout the audience during the entire length of the concert... I should have brought a point and shoot camera with me! LOL

I had tickets so my wife and I stayed for the duration of the concert. What a special concert!

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